Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 44

In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.

In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads shares advice on how to know which publications in which to advertise your art, and insights on paying percentages to art galleries.

Click Here to Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 44

 

Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer
This is the Art Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book, “Make More Money Selling Your Art.” In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads
Here’s a question from Amanda Houston, from Cornelius, Oregon. Amanda says how do I evaluate which publication to go deep into? I assume she means advertising. If I want to be in the waters where the money is flowing, which is a term I teach in marketing, which publication will allow me to grow my list of calls collectors and potential galleries, art brokers, interior designers, etc. Well, Amanda goes back to your strategy. You have mentioned a list of growing strategy but for different areas of focus, you’ve said galleries, collectors, art brokers, designers, you need to pick one which is your 80 percenter, which is the one that if you’ve got nothing else you go after that one particular one. I don’t think you should try to go after all four. I don’t think there’s any publication that’s really going to give you all four you know, if you want designers, you might want to spend, you know, massive amounts of money for a page in Architectural Digest or maybe it’s a local designer thing in your community. If you want art collectors, you know, who are looking for representational art, you know, and you want really rich ones. You go with something like fine art connoisseur, but if you want plein air collectors, those people happen to be in plein air magazine. So there’s a lot of different things and you’ve got to kind of decide Which you want. galleries are a low target because you can’t control your career with galleries as effectively. And you won’t get your prices up until you’re in their high demand top tier. Now I’m not trashing galleries, I think they’re a really good idea. But we put a lot of emphasis on galleries, I think earlier in our careers because we think, oh, they’re going to solve my problems. The problem with having a gallery is that if you have only one, then you’re relying on their ability to sell and if they mess up, or they have a bad month or a bad year, you’re going to have a bad month or bad year. That’s why I want to control things I want to control who in how I say who I sell my art through and how I sell it. And that way you can control your pricing you can get your prices up, etc. With a three year branding campaign that’s going to help you because branding helps you get your prices up. It’s going to help you get to galleries, it’s going to help you get in a lot of what a lot of different people collectors and so on. You know, you can reach galleries and collectors through one publication typically like the one that I mentioned. But designers, big world, you know, national, local, the cost to reach them can be, you know, 100 times the cost of reaching art collectors. It just depends on how you want to approach it. So first and foremost, Amanda, get your strategy down. And once your strategy is down, that will make a huge difference in what you decide to chase.

Okay, next question comes from Mark Dickerson in Mission Vallejo, California who says I have a quick question. I know you’ve talked about this in the podcast. I don’t have gallery representation yet. But when I do get a chance to really want them to be my art marketing partner and I want to offer the gallery a percentage of everything I create, even if it never hangs in their gallery. I want them to know we are in this together. How much of a percentage should I pay the gallery for any work I produced that night hangs in there gallery 25% I want to have this figured out. So when I get a chance to partner with a gallery, I’m ready to offer them to be my partner and all of my art. Mark respectfully, why would you do that? I you know, I think that the idea of having a gallery partnership if a gallery sells something for you, typically they want somewhere between 40 and 60% depending on your stature, you know, like if you’re a you’re a high level artist, you might get paid 60% they keep 40% if you’re a newbie, they might keep 60% but somewhere around that 50% area’s what they’re going to pay, but they get paid for what they sell. Now, I’m not suggesting selling around them, but why would you give a gallery a percentage of everything you sell, even if they don’t do it for you? I think that would be folly. Now. I think it goes back to what I said earlier is that a lot of people want to advocate they don’t want to delegate then want to advocate, the idea is you delegate to a gallery and you say, okay, your responsibility is we agree to that you’re going to sell my paintings at this percentage for a certain period of time and and hopefully so many per month, you know, you can’t predict that exactly. But when you advocate, you’re just saying here, take over my career and run with it. And the problem is when you have somebody taking over your career, they may or may not do it as effectively as you want them to. And you know, it’s like, say, okay, you hire a manager, and you say, okay, go do whatever you want to do. Well, all of a sudden, that managers spend all your money and run off with your wife. Just never know. So you’ve got to be really careful about advocating versus delegating. And I think that’s a really important thing to think about. So, you know, typically 50% is what the gallery gets, and I like to have a balance. I think that every artist should have a certain percentage of their work or certain type of their work that they’re doing. Selling direct. And that, you know, some galleries don’t like that. And I understand that. And if they’re willing to give you enough of a good deal and enough sales, then it might be worth allowing them to do that. I know people who do it very effectively, but I don’t want my art to be in one gallery and then sit there for months and not sell, I need those paintings to sell to be able to pay my bills. And so as a result, you want to have something, you know, I like to have balance. I like you know, sometimes there’s hot markets. You know, there was a time when Silicon Valley was really hot, and people were spending money there, there were time that certain vacation spots were hot, and there were other cities that were not. So I like the idea of having my work in an area that’s hot as well as two or three other areas maybe and and that way, you know, and there are also economies that are based on seasons. So you know, like if you have a gallery in Cape Cod, they’re not going to sell much in the winter probably. If you have a gallery in Hawaii there may not sell much in the summer. You know that you’ve, you’ve got a ski resort. Well, ski resort probably is popular in summer and winter. So you got to kind of figure that out. And I like to, I like to spread the risk to at least three and sometimes a little bit more. I personally am only in one gallery. And that’s because I can only produce a certain amount of work because I don’t paint for a living. And I just got a call that that gallery is thinking about closing their doors. And so what do I do now I got to figure out a new gallery to go into, right. So I think you want to make sure that you have control and I didn’t have control in that particular case. Anyway, I hope this is helpful.

Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected] And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Artmarketing.com. Thanks for listening.

How to Submit Your Art Marketing Questions: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

By |2020-11-10T10:47:32-05:00November 30th, 2020|Art Marketing Minute Podcast|0 Comments

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 42

In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.

In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads shares advice on how to get your art seen (and sold) in a small town, and how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to advertising dollars.

Click Here to Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 42

Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer 0:02
This is the Art Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book, “Make More Money Selling Your Art.” In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads
In the marketing minute I try to answer your marketing questions which of course you can email me, [email protected] Here is a lesson. Here’s a question from Carla. I don’t know where Carlos from it says, How do I get my art seen. I live in a small town and they want my work. They just don’t want to buy it. Now, Carla, you’re not alone. Sometimes people value things more if they are at a distance. It’s called the consultants rule. You will not hire a consultant in your town but you’ll pay more for that person and hire him if they live 100 miles away, or even more if they’re thousand miles away. It seems to be true in the art world too. So you’re not alone. You know people often sometimes think that buying Art in New York is better New Yorkers won’t buy it in New York they’ll buy it in LA you know it’s kind of funny. But you know it’s it’s true to some extent in people’s heads you know they’ve got this hang up. So it can be a distance thing so you could just be in a gallery elsewhere and then make a living and and that’s a cool thing. Not everybody though wants it for free. Usually people who can’t afford it want it for free. So I say always say stand in the river where the money is flowing, find it a fluent marketplace, where do the people with money, who could buy paintings hang out in your area, do a show at a local affluent restaurant, do a show at a high end Country Club or a golf club or some place you know hair salon where all the wealthy affluent people go do something and you will sell you will have success. They’re assuming your work is holding up and you got to be ready to make sure it’s holding up but it probably is and so people are willing to To pay for things that are of quality and so get it out there. The key to marketing is your presence, get it known build awareness, build your brand, and repeat, do charity events, raise your profile and it will raise your sales.

Next question comes from Amanda. Amanda says, if I’m going to put some really big marketing dollars behind advertising, what is the biggest biggest bang for my buck paid social media ads, printed publications, how much in each 50/50 or 30/70, etc? Well, Amanda, I honestly can’t answer that question. Because I don’t know your strategy. And you can’t answer it either. Till you know your strategy, you have to pick one single goal. This is the mistake. Everybody says, you know that they’re like, well, I want to sell some paintings, but I also want to build my brand. I also want to do this. I also want to do that. Pick one goal because that one goal will determine how and why Where you spend your money? Now you will get side benefits with one goal no matter what, but you have to focus on that one goal. So there are steps to each goal. Most goals of any substance take two to three years to accomplish, sometimes more, sometimes less. So what is the one thing you absolutely must get done in the next three years as if your career depends on it, because it does in terms of how much each. Don’t make that mistake. Don’t dilute your effectiveness. Now, I’m a big Facebook advertiser. I spent a huge amount of money just last week, but I also am a huge magazine advertiser, online advertiser, I do a lot of advertising for a lot of my projects, because I’m a marketing guy. Of course, I advertise. But I don’t recommend you spend money in social media unless you have a giant war chest. A big war chest and Quite frankly, unless you know how to do it, you have, you’re competing to outbid companies for proper ad space. And honestly, I don’t think it works very well for art. I’ve seen some people do it, but I’m not really convinced. And it can work well for branding. But you got to make sure you’re branding to the right people. It’s very expensive for branding. And I think the key to most media is that you want to own it, dominate it, one media property, one magazine or one website and dominate it for three or more years. And once you’ve dominated, then you’ve got to keep your momentum and just kind of be committed to that. But once you’re getting fruit out of it, then you can start spending money at other places as well. But you if you divide it up, you’re going to slow down your effectiveness, you’re going to slow down. You know, it’s like I see people say, Well, I’ll buy a little in this issue and a little business magazine, a little in that magazine, and then you dilute it and you’re not being effective people the same exact People need to see you seven to 10 times over and over and over again before they’ll even make a decision to buy. So focus on dominating something. That’s one of the reasons our magazines are in business. We teach people to dominate, dominate. That’s what will happen. And of course, you will see a huge shift in your career if you do it that way. But what happens, happens so many times, people are like, I’m not seeing enough results fast enough. So they stop and they kill their momentum. And they’ve already got like five or six impressions. They just need a couple more impressions with certain people and those people start buying, but they back out too soon. It’s very frustrating anyway, don’t throw your money away. advertising is expensive. You got to do it right. And only big advertisers like Coca Cola or Mitsubishi or Mercedes or somebody can afford to dominate a lot of media. I can’t afford to you probably can’t afford To some people can but you dominate one thing first keep it alive for years it will pay volumes to you. volumes.

Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected] And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Artmarketing.com. Thanks for listening.

Remember to Submit Your Question: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

By |2020-10-27T09:56:32-04:00November 16th, 2020|Art Marketing Minute Podcast|0 Comments

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 39

In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.

In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads shares advice for artists who may be ready to start advertising, and marketing tips for more established artists.

Click Here to Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 39

Art Marketing Minute Podcast with Eric Rhoads - ArtMarketing.com

Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer 0:02
This is the Art Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book, “Make More Money Selling Your Art.” In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads
In the art marketing minute I try to answer your questions. All you got to do is email them to me [email protected] Today both questions come from a listener named David Cruz whose first question is at what point in an artist’s career do you suggest they try advertising to reach potential buyers? Is it effective for artists still trying to establish themselves or is it better Left to more well established artists. Well, David, it starts by being ready. And what I mean by that is your work has to be developed and strong enough to sell. And you have to be able to do consistent enough painting so that your paintings are all pretty much consistent with one another. So you have more winners than losers. And you have to have that confidence to begin as fast as possible and never let up. And what I mean by that is that marketing becomes a lifetime commitment. If you’re planning on selling art for your lifetime, you have to plan on marketing for a lifetime. I’m in business. I have to constantly be marketing the minute I let up, my business stops, I don’t have any more customers. That’s the same for all artists. Now. There’s various forms of marketing. Part B of your question you said…

You ask if it’s effective for artists still trying to establish themselves to be marketing or if it’s better for established Artists? The answer is Yeah, both. But let me tell you a story about an established artist. He was famous top of the game really big deal making lots of money selling lots of art. In fact, he had such momentum that he decided he could save all this money on his advertising. And he stopped because everybody knew him. And he was okay for a while because he had a brand he had some momentum, but his momentum was lost. And within a very short period of time, nothing was selling anymore. And as a matter of fact, he was out of sight, out of mind, all of a sudden, he wasn’t being invited into shows. He wasn’t being invited to galleries. And as I talked about, there’s a thing called attrition. So people are always in and out of the market, the average gallery or artists loses 10% of their potential buyers every year simply because those people are out of the market for some other reason. But there’s another group of people who may be coming in if you’re refreshing that well. He wasn’t doing that. So all of a sudden nobody knew who he was anymore he was it was a has been, I hate to use those terms. But he became a guy who went from being on top to being on the bottom making nothing and nobody knew who he was he was contacting artists and, and guy me and other galleries and they were like, sorry, you don’t know who you are. And so he had to re establish himself and rebuild his career. He lost a lot of momentum lost a lot of years, because he had stopped. The minute you become an artist professional, meaning selling your work, you have to start marketing on you’re working on your marketing, even if it’s a year out from when you plan to launch, you need to learn it. You need to make plans, you need to plant seeds, you need to develop strategy, you need to develop a marketing plan. Everything always takes longer than you think it will. We’re all optimistic things take time and you you have to build momentum. Momentum actually helps sales but you have to build momentum in the beginning and takes time to build momentum and experimentation and trying different things. Marketing is a life time commitment. Your next question is aside from quality, what are the major criteria that buyers look at to determine if a piece of art is worth paying 1000 versus 10,000 for? Well, it’s all perceived value and perceived value is emotion as a BMW seven series is the same car as a Bentley with a few extra touches, but it’s $100,000 more in price. perceived value comes from branding and looking successful and that branding saying that you’re successful in subtle ways. It comes from social proof, meaning other people prominent customers who are buying your work and it’s visible that they are social proof could be being in the right gallery. Everybody knows that gallery sells paintings that are expensive. It comes from having courage and it comes from A slow build up of a collector base, raising that collector base to buy your work and raising your prices a little bit every year, being invited to the right shows being seen at the right places. And I saw one artist who had some courage he put his price out there 200 K, he got it all of a sudden he was $100,000 artist. So you cannot typically launch your career selling hundred thousand dollar paintings, although I’ve seen it done one time, but it was from a famous sculptor who switched to painting and just put $100,000 price in his first painting and got it prices about perception. Who you’re seeing with being in the right galleries getting into the right shows into the most important museums, showing that your work is embraced and accepted at a high value. Now I go into a lot of depth in my books and videos about pricing. But everything you want to accomplish in your art career, other than your painting ability can pretty be accomplished through some form of marketing. It starts with knowing where you want to go, why you want to go there and then developing your strategy and your plan. I hope that helps.

Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected] And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Artmarketing.com. Thanks for listening.

Remember to Submit Your Question: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

By |2022-10-24T09:39:33-04:00October 26th, 2020|Art Marketing Minute Podcast|0 Comments

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 29

In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.

In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads explains where you should advertise your art when you’re ready to start selling it, and he gives a quick overview of the complicated subject of “branding” and how it affects selling your art to the right buyers.

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 29 >>>

Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer 0:02
This is the Art Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book, “Make More Money Selling Your Art.” In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads 0:23
Thank you Jim Kipping. And thank you for joining us today. My goal is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists. So let’s get right to today’s questions.

Eric Rhoads 0:35
Here’s a question from Kevin in Nashville, Tennessee. Kevin says Eric, I’ve been working on art and finally have decided to start selling it start marketing it Where should I advertise? Well, Kevin asking me that question is probably not very objective because of course I’m going to tell you you should advertise in plein air magazine Fine Art connoisseur artists on art American watercolor plein air today and fine art today. Lots of good stuff. options. But quite frankly, even though they’re good options and very targeted to very specific artists like fine art connoisseurs very targeted collectors, plein air reaches the plein air collectors and the artists. But I have to tell you that most advertising dollars are wasted, right? Because many people don’t understand advertising. And one of the things that happens is when you’re first learning advertising, you’re going to easily get seduced by things that people tell you which may or may not be accurate, but most importantly, not necessarily effective for you. Most people spend their time and money where they are comfortable and where their friends are. Let me give you an example of that. For instance, I have this guy named Murray, whoever, I tried to get to advertise with my radio stations one time. He owned a clothing store in Salt Lake City that appealed to teenagers. And I owned a top 40 stations that appeal to teenagers and it was a perfect fit yet he wouldn’t advertise with us. He advertised the Have a local Elevator Music station. And when I asked him who his customers were, he said their teens. I said, Well, why do you advertise on the elevator music station that doesn’t have any teens listening? And he said, Well, it’s where my friends are. It’s the friends at the country club. And it gives me a lot of status at the country club. And I said, Well, is it working? Is it bringing in teensy says no, but it’s making me very popular at the country club. His goal was ego and popularity for that it was a good move, but it wasn’t necessarily about selling product. If you really want to sell product, don’t worry about where your friends are. And if your friends are seeing your ads, what you want to worry about is are you in the right fit, for instance, if you want to reach wealthy collectors, then you want to go to something like fine art connoisseur, which has ultra wealthy collectors, lots of billionaires, lots of really, really wealthy people. If you want to reach people who collect plein air paintings and people who go on the plein air circuit, then you want to go to Plein Air magazine. If you want to reach people who are artists and specifically You want to talk to them about something that is you’re selling to artists, and you want to be in plein air magazine, or artists on art, etc. So think about that. But good advertising is about good targeting, pick a place that matches what you’re trying to accomplish. And of course, if you read my books and you watch my videos, I always am talking about how you really need to figure out what you want to accomplish. develop a strategy before you start doing a tactic. advertising is a tactic, an important one no less, but you have to be ready for it. And advertising takes some time. You got to do it right. We can walk you through how to do that. Anyway, I’ve got a section on that in my book.

Eric Rhoads 3:39
Another question from Michelle in St. Petersburg, Florida. I’m not sure I understand the concept of branding, and why it’s important. Can you explain it for me? Well, Michelle, branding is a complicated subject and I’ll try to tackle it briefly. Did you know that the top line of BMW car the top line of BMW is all So the exact same car is a Bentley, same frame, same engine, same body. The style is the body style is slightly different, but everything is about the same. The only difference is the manufacturing cost. It’s $18,000 more because they put some special interior touches and they put the special Bentley grille and stuff like that on it yet, I’m told the difference in price is $150,000 more than the BMW so you could buy the BMW for $150,000 less and get about the same car yet Bentley is the top upscale brand are one of the top and you have to be very, very rich to drive a $250,000 car yet it’s still a car. Why not just buy a Kia for $20,000? Right? Well, it’s not about transportation is it? It’s about stature. It’s about status. It’s about self image of the buyer, wanting to be known for and seen with the best and it’s not just that it’s Creating a position for instance, you could buy a Trac phone for about 100 bucks. Why bother with an iPhone? That’s 1000 bucks? Well, it’s because you want the cool stuff but you want the status with it. Most of us don’t think about the status, but there’s kind of a little hidden thing in the back of our head that we want the best right? Price appeals to certain groups. high price appeals to other groups, low prices appeal to certain groups ultra high, ultra high prices appeal to certain groups. So the brand you reinforce, helps people to determine if you fit into their world. I’ve told many times about the lady who tore up a check when the man said she asked them the man How much is this painting? He said? $4,000 she wrote a check for $40,000 he said no ma’am, you misunderstood 4000 She said it must not be very good. She ripped up the check and went away. Right. So the brand you reinforce helps determine if you fit in their world. She didn’t think a $44,000 painting fit into her world but A $40,000 painting did we can’t relate to that, because we don’t necessarily have that kind of money. But that’s how things work. And so a brand creates what people’s it reflects people’s self esteem, you got to figure out where you want to be seen. You want to stand for something. And a brand is also about developing trust in the minds of your target customers. We know people, I know people in a way you probably do too. We know people who sell their paintings for a million dollars, or for a quarter of a million dollars. And we also know paintings that are the same size, and maybe pretty close to equal quality that are a whole lot less money. But it’s because of the brand of the artist because the artist is well known the artist has proven himself or herself and developed a following. And that’s what branding is all about. So when you have a good brand, it really serves you because it helps you get better prices but you have to build that brand. That doesn’t happen overnight. We have a whole section on the book on that.

Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected] And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Artmarketing.com. Thanks for listening.

Remember to Submit Your Question: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

By |2022-08-04T13:18:47-04:00August 17th, 2020|Art Marketing Minute Podcast|0 Comments

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 23

In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.

In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads explains what to do if you hit a “price ceiling” when selling your art, and how to advertise your art to a targeted audience.

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 23 >>>

Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer 0:02
This is the Art Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book, “Make More Money Selling Your Art.” In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads 0:23
Thank you Jim Kipping. And thank you for joining us today. My goal is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists. So let’s get right to today’s questions. Here’s a question from Rich in Tucson, Arizona. He says I’ve been a professional artist for years but I’ve hit a price ceiling. Gallery owners have told me they need to keep my price low and have discouraged me from raising prices. How do I change this? Well, Rich, you’ve got a couple of options. One option is not to raise your prices and to increase your volume. If they can sell more volume, whether Not they can. That’s a discussion you want to have with them. But everything about prices psychological price is tricky business, lots of great books on pricing. And I’m not sure I can answer this the way you want me to. But here goes I’m going to try. First gallery people know their audiences and they know what they can get. Or at least that’s what they believe. They have put you into a price box that they think they can get for you. Now you might be able to talk to them and edge your prices up gradually by 10 to 15% a year. And I like to see artists increase their prices every year anyway. But if you’re not selling, increasing your prices isn’t going to necessarily make it better. Now, you should, though, have this discussion with a gallery. If they believe that they’re not going to get the increased price. They’re not likely to push you. They might even push you out of the gallery. So you have a couple of choices, trust them and ask them to help you gradually raise your prices. Or you have to experiment, see what happens. Maybe they’ll do that with, you know, say, hey, let’s raise the prices and see what happens. But if you’re doing that your prices have to be the same online everywhere, they’re gonna find you, like if they’re gonna look you up in another gallery, and it’s an eight by 10 painting, it better be the same price as the eight by 10. everywhere because people do that, as you know, you do it, I do it. The other thing is, you might have to change galleries. Now. I want you to respect your gallery and have a discussion with them before you do that, because they work very hard on your behalf or at least they should. But I know an artist who had this problem with three galleries. She had kind of got boxed into a price. They weren’t raising their prices. She talked to them. They didn’t want to raise her prices anymore. So she thought What do I do? Well, she had heard from some other galleries who wanted her in she contacted some other galleries who wanted her in and she said, Okay, here’s the price range I want to get and they went Oh, that’s No problem. As a matter of fact, we could get a little bit more. So they set a new price. She terminated a relationship with the old galleries and went to New galleries that believed they could get the price and in fact they did. So that’s kind of how this all works. But again, try to trust your gallery try to have a relationship and a dialogue with them. They do typically work very hard for you.

Eric Rhoads 3:20
The next question is from Crystal B. of Texas. Crystal says I need to choose the best advertising venue to really connect with those who will connect with my art. I challenges developing a target audience since I do landscapes, figures and portrait. Is there a place I can advertise where there’s an audience that appreciates all three? Well, Crystal, I’m going to tell you something you probably don’t want to hear. Brace yourself. Are you ready? Well, there are plenty of places you can advertise that have readers that love landscapes, portraits and figures. My own Fine Art connoisseur magazine is one of them for instance, but I think you have a photo problem, and you’re going to confuse your audience while you’re building your brand. Who are you as an artist? How do you want to be known? Now, don’t get all bent out of shape, paint what you love paint the styles paint the subjects that you want to pay. But if you had to pick one to be known for which one would it be, but establishing your career and building your brand over the first 10 or so years, maybe longer, you need to be known primarily for one thing. Now there are people like Richard Schmid, for instance, who can pull it off because he’s been around for 60 years. He’s known as a brilliant artist and he does still life. He does portraits, he does figures he does landscapes. He does it all. But when he built his career, I’m guessing I’ve not talked to him about this, but I’m guessing he kind of focused in one particular area became known and collectible. people found out how brilliant he was and started collecting his other work. Now, there’s also artists like David Lefell, David Lefell, is known as a portrait and figure artists primarily He also does landscapes, but it’s rare to see him. So you should consider standing for something, you know, he’s big, you want to be big, right? So ask yourself, what’s the story people will say about you. Crystal B is a, what? A landscape artist, a figure in portrait artists, I think figure and portrait kind of go hand in hand. So that’s one category. If you want to go the route of offering lots of variety, you can do that. But it may slow your progress because you don’t want to confuse your audience. Now, if you can show different kinds of work in a gallery, because the gallery is there to be able to explain it, they could say, you know, crystal is a brilliant landscape artist. She’s known as landscape artists, but little do most people know she also does these portraits and figures and we happen to have a couple of them. They’re pretty rare, but you should get one of those. But when you’re advertising, try to keep your primary focus in one particular area while you’re building your brand because that’s really critical. Now I’m sure there are people who are exceptions to that. But I think as a marketing person, that is probably the right way to go. Anyway, hope these have been helpful for you.

Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected] And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Artmarketing.com. Thanks for listening.

Remember to Submit Your Question: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

By |2022-06-21T11:24:17-04:00July 7th, 2020|Art Marketing Minute Podcast|0 Comments

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 21

In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.

In this Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads explains if you should change your medium if it seems less popular than oil, for example; and what percentage you should be spending on advertising your art.

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 21 >>>

Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer 0:02
This is the Art Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book, “Make More Money Selling Your Art.” In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads 0:23
Thank you Jim Kipping. And thank you for joining us today. My goal is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists. So let’s get right to today’s questions. Here’s a question from Brenda, of Kingston, Ontario. She says I paint in acrylics and I’ve noticed a certain response when I tell people that for business purposes, should I change to a different medium? Well, let’s start with the fact that there are tons and tons of successful acrylic artists and galleries all over the country. And so I don’t know I’m not so sure I got I think it kind of depends on your gallery owner. But, you know, actually there are more acrylic painters than there are oil painters. And I think there’s more acrylic painters than there are watercolors but I may be wrong about that maybe flipped on that anyway, you can succeed very much in acrylic, and there’s so many amazing acrylic products out there now that you can do a lot more things with them. One of the reasons acrylics got a rap with oil painters is because you know, they dry fast. Well, there’s now all kinds of acrylics that don’t dry fast, and as a result, you can kind of mush them together like oil and they stay wet a little bit longer. So I wouldn’t worry too much about it. But you know, you might want to ask your advisors, you know, if you have a gallery, then they may have an opinion about it. But acrylic is archival, it’s going to last forever. It’s beautiful. It just depends. I think acrylic also sometimes gets a name because some people paint very garish colors and very crazy things and, you know, that’s okay too, but it it just kind of depends. But now you can do so much more with them. So I think it’s cool. And as a matter of fact, we’ll probably start adding more and more acrylic. We’ve got some acrylic painters now at the convention, but we’ll probably add more because there’s so many acrylic people out there.

Eric Rhoads 2:09
The next question is from Leslie M. I worry about spending too much on advertising, what percentage of sales? Should we be spending on advertising? Well, that’s a loaded question, Leslie. And the reason it’s loaded is because advertising is about what you need to accomplish at the moment. For instance, if you’re a new business and you’re trying to create awareness, you’re gonna have to do a lot more advertising than you would normally if you’re maintaining it, or it also depends on, the kind of business like an art school, it depends on your margins, how much money you’re making. Some businesses have a high margin, like the cosmetic business, they make about 90% on cosmetics, because there’s no cost to put that stuff together. So they spend, 30-40-50% on advertising, and you notice cosmetic companies all around while you’re trying to gain market share. That’s why they do that. If you’re, you know, you’re only making 10 or 20% on your money, then you got to be more conservative. I think, you know, roughly a lot of people kind of depends on the business 5-10-15% of what they net on their advertising, but again, depends on the time in place, what you’re trying to accomplish? There are times if I’m like launching a new business, I’ll spend a lot more on advertising, there are times that I’ll cut back because I can kind of maintain it, but I never stopped because the minute you stop, people forget about you. So anyway, just kind of judge that. I’m sorry, I can’t give you more of a very specific answer. But you’ve got to get the word out. Because if you don’t get the word out, nobody’s going to show up and then you’re going to have expenses without customers.

Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artists to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected] And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Artmarketing.com. Thanks for listening.

Remember to Submit Your Question: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

By |2022-06-21T11:18:01-04:00June 22nd, 2020|Art Marketing Minute Podcast|0 Comments

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 6

In the Art Marketing Minute Podcast, you’ll learn how to sell your art, how to market your paintings, and everything else you need to know in order to have a successful art career. Each episode answers questions from artists by host Eric Rhoads, author of “Make More Money Selling Your Art,” publisher of several art magazines and newsletters, and author of ArtMarketing.com.

In this Art Marketing Minute, you’ll learn when it’s better to outsource your art-related marketing versus doing the work yourself, and advice for designing your own print ad, including the most important things to consider.

Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 6

Submit Your Art Marketing Question:

What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

FULL TRANSCRIPT of the Art Marketing Minute:
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the Art Marketing Minute. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.

Announcer 0:02
This is the Art Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the Amazon best selling book, “Make More Money Selling Your Art.” In the marketing minute we answer your questions to help your art career brought to you by artmarketing.com, the place to go to learn more about marketing. Now, here’s your host, arts magazine publisher, Eric Rhoads.

Eric Rhoads 0:23
Thank you, Jim Kipping. And thank you for joining us today. My goal is to eliminate the idea of starving artists. So let’s get right to today’s questions.

I got a couple of questions from a guy named Jason Bowman who’s in Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario, which is right outside of Toronto, and Jason happens to be a creative agency and ad agency there. He’s also a planner painter. He’s been in touch and he sent me these questions. And so I got two questions from him. And he happens to be in the marketing business. He’s an artist and so he’s probably not going to agree with everything I say, but we’ll see. His first question is in your estimation, what marketing functions are best outsourced versus doing it yourself?

Well, in my life, I want to outsource everything somebody can do better. So I don’t have to burn time learning. I can’t learn everything. Well, I can’t do things as well as someone who’s been an expert for 30 or 40 years or 10 years or five years. And so some things I try to set, what are the things I like to do? What are the things I’m good at? What are the things I’m not good at? I try to push all the things I don’t like to do, and push all the things I’m not good at, often somebody else. And so anytime I can get somebody who’s better at it, I’ll do that. But it depends. Like as an artist, there are things that when you’re kind of getting started marketing your work, well, you’re going to have to do them yourself because you don’t have the extra money. And there are some services. And some of those services you almost have to use, right like there are services for building websites. You know, if you do it from scratch, it’s probably a giant waste of time trying to figure it out, where you can get a company You can just upload your images and everything’s done for you. And there are people who do this who specialize in websites for artists for instance. And and of course, there are others out there who do it for everybody. So you can kind of pick things like that. I know artists who actually outsource things like social media to experts, because those experts are good at getting them massive followings in it. And it pays off in some ways, you know, maybe it helps them fill up their workshops or other things. There is some evidence that some people are starting to sell some art via social media, but most people aren’t. And there’s some very specific tricks. We’re going to talk about some of those at the marketing sessions in the planner convention, but you know, there are lots of people who can do things for you, their agents who can set up gallery relationships, and manage them. There are people who can set up and manage your workshops or do your shows etc. And it depends on how much time and money you have. We do this program called Art marketing in a box, which it’s not an outsource, but it’s like You pay us the money. And it’s a year of marketing this planned out for you. It’s all pre written for you pre written newsletters, emails, mail campaigns, etc. And pretty much the people that we’re hearing from that are using it and getting really great results. In I saw something on the private website where we all communicate. One person said they had doubled their income last year, and other ones said that they more than doubled their income. So those things are pretty cool. And they basically still have to be customized, right? You got to put your paintings and stuff in them, but they can save you a lot of time, but you got to have the money to buy them, and sometimes you don’t. So there’s this old adage, and that is that marketing either takes time, or money. The more time you put in, the less money you have to spend of course that time is keeping you from making money if if making money is about painting and doing enough paintings, and you have to make that you know that balance thing, can I spend a little money, get somebody to do something for me, so that it doesn’t take my time so I can do more painting. And so that’s the way you want to Look at it. When I started my business, I worked a full day basically from about seven o’clock in the morning till about five or six o’clock in the afternoon. And then I didn’t have any time for marketing. So I had to learn marketing. So I would take from like six o’clock at night till 10 o’clock or 11 o’clock at night, and driving home at 11 or midnight every night and I was working on marketing during those times, so I had no choice. So you got to put in the time or you got to put in the money if you want something to happen, and sometimes you have to put in both, especially when you’re growing a business. But after I got some meat on my bones and I had had a little money then I would take that money and hire somebody to help me out or hire a freelancer. Today we have sites like Upwork where you can hire people for projects and design and writing copy and things like that they’re invaluable.

Jason has another question. It says best practices for designing an ad in planner magazine, what to include what not to include what to emphasize tagline call to action. Well when I did my First Magazine Ad I knew nothing about it. I remember specifically the time I bought my very first Magazine Ad I thought it was a hot shot. I thought it was really cool. And I went out and I called this magazine, I talked to the sales rep. She told me exactly what to do. But I decided I knew better. And so my friends had been giving me some advice. And I did exactly the opposite of what she told me to do, and the ad bombed. And then I kept doing it in the ad bombed and kept bombing. And I wasted a lot of time and money. It’s expensive. And so I think first off, you want to listen to people who are experts who do this who know their publication, and I could have saved a lot of money and had a lot more success a lot faster. Let’s start with some of the basics. In a magazine like planner, you have basically one of two audiences you have collectors who buy or who go around to the various plein air events and you have artists who buy paintings but they also go to workshops and surprisingly, about 80% of the artists are buying paintings. And so even though you might think it’s a magazine for artists, what we’re finding is a lot of people who’ve gone to a plein air events, as collectors have taken a painting and they’re still buying paintings. As matter of fact, what we’ve been learning is they’re buying more because now they want to have them around them so they can look at them and understand how they did them. Anything. Everything you do, though, you want to start with the outcome in mind. So what do you want to accomplish, you may want to drive people to a show, you may want to drive people to an event, or you may want to do branding and build your name awareness or create any awareness of you. You may want to sell a specific painting or maybe you want them to visit your website, or maybe you want to get their email address. You can’t do it all in one ad. And when people try to it just becomes one giant cluster mess, right? So honestly, try to figure out what’s the one thing you want to do? What’s the one purpose and everybody’s got a different purpose depending on what’s important to you? And honestly, realistically, in most cases, one is never enough. It’s pretty good for a show. Like if you’re doing a planner event, you know, you should really be doing two or three of those minimum. So people get it on their calendar way in advance. But it’s like a doctor asking you to take antibiotics and you say, Well, I’m going to take one pill, there’s a cumulative effect of that pill over and over time in your bloodstream. And the same thing happens with advertising. There’s a cumulative effect. And that’s why I always preach about repetition and never ever giving up because you just the more repetition, the more momentum you build, momentum builds on momentum. And then after a year, two years, three years, you’re just really rocking it and really getting results. And then what happens is people get cocky and confident and they stop, they think, okay, things are going well, and then their business crashes about six months later, and so then they kind of start up again and they’ve lost momentum. So keep that in mind. You want to be careful not to get seduced by numbers. Now I can buy a magazine with a million readers. I could buy a magazine with 100,000 readers, or I could buy a magazine with 1000 readers. The natural thing we default to when we don’t know about these things is we think bigger is better. But what if the hundred thousand people were people with no money, or people who didn’t like paintings or people didn’t like your kind of paintings or people who maybe they liked paintings, but they just, you know, they’re all in positions where they don’t have the money to buy them. Or what if a magazine had 1000 people but every one of those thousand people were billionaires make a big difference, like fine art kind of sir. My other magazine has, you know, it’s got a lot of readers but it’s got 310 billionaires 310 billionaires, and I have one advertiser tells me he gets $80,000 average return on his investment, every time he runs an ad because he’s targeting billionaires who buy you know, half million dollar paintings and so that’s, you know, that’s really good for him. So it kind of depends on the product. The reality is that every artist, most artists paint only Like 5200 paintings a year, and some of the better artists early can paint, you know, four or five or 10, or maybe 20. But the reality is you don’t need 100,000 people to buy paintings, you don’t even need 1000 You don’t even need 500 you know, if you’ve got an output of 50 to 100 paintings a year, you only need to sell it to 50 or hundred people. So you want to do advertising in a place that’s most likely to get people to buy who wants something specific that you have to offer where you really fit the target niche of the audience. That’s why plein air magazine is a great place if you’re selling planner or studio or landscape paintings because it’s really, really focused on that collector and it’s a it’s a nice, it’s a good group of people, but it’s a narrow niche. Now when you’re building an ad, start with the outcome in mind, like I said, and keep in mind that most art ads all look alike. And that’s not good. You need to stand out. Ask yourself How can Stand up. There’s an ad running in plein air magazine right now by Michelle jung. She’s writing ads that brand her have a big photo of her stands out. She doesn’t show her artwork on the on the ad. And the temptation would you would think would be, well, let’s show the artwork, but everybody’s showing their artwork. So she’s going the opposite. She’s standing out. And I think Charlie hunter has been doing that a little bit too. And so the idea is you want to stand out, what can you do that’s going to stand out. experts will say the number one most important thing is the headline. It’s like an email. The number one most important thing is the subject line. You got to get them to read the subject line to get them to open the email. In an ad you got to grab them fast with a headline because they’re flipping through the pages and that headlines, gotta grab them, talk to them, get their attention, make them want to read to the next line and then the first line is got to draw him in. The photo has got to draw in second most important thing is is either the photo or the first line in your copy. And then your call to action you want to have copy that draws them through, draws them to a conclusion. And then you want to ask people to buy something, or to do something or to take action, you know, go to my website and do this. I’m a big fan of offering what I would call it ethical bribe, right. And that is come to my website for a free note card or free book or free something of value so that they will want to give you their email address so that they’ll sign up for something and then you have a name and you can do more contacting with them over time. But don’t do what everybody else does. get attention and attention getting ad works 10 times faster than one that blends in and looks like everything else. And don’t copy other people because you don’t know the outcome you want remember it you know there was a time when everybody after Got Milk, everybody’s doing, you know, got plumbing got this or got that. Well. You know, it isn’t necessarily what the outcome that these copycats desire, you know, don’t copy the big national advertisers. They’re not necessarily looking to do anything other than keep their brand alive and less. That’s what you want to do. So be original stand out, have a call to action and that will work. I hope this helps. Well, this has been the art marketing minute with me. Eric Rhoads. My goal in life is to eliminate the idea of the starving artist and to help your dreams actually come true. So if you want to submit questions, simply email [email protected] And to learn more about marketing ideas, you can visit Artmarketing.com Thanks for listening.

Remember to Submit Your Question: What questions do you have about selling your art? Email Eric today at [email protected] (include your name and where you’re from) to hear your question answered on an upcoming Art Marketing Minute Podcast.

By |2022-03-21T14:28:29-04:00March 9th, 2020|Art Marketing Minute Podcast|0 Comments

The Magic Lamp: Just Rub It and Your Art Career Will Soar

Magic lamp art marketing eric rhoads art marketing.com

 

Much like the Fountain of Youth, I think we all tend to seek out a “magic lamp.” All we have to do is rub it, and “Poof!” A genie will grant us the success we dream of.

 

Over decades as a marketer, I have sometimes fallen prey to the belief that a magic lamp exists — and I’m happy to report that yes, indeed it does. There is a way to rub a magic lamp and watch your career go “poof” toward success. It will take more effort on your part than you might have hoped, but if you rub the lamp, it will happen.

 

A “magic lamp” is usually the promise of something too good to be true, raising unrealistic expectations of success with little effort or small investment.

 

I’m always looking for shortcuts, and even when I know something seems too good to be true, it often tempts me. So I spend my money in hopes of magical results, and poof! Nothing happens.

 

The biggest seduction in art marketing is the belief that big audience numbers can equal instant success from a single ad. Yet every time I fall into that trap, I wish I had realized that the physics of marketing always matter. There are things that will give you that desired success, and things that won’t. Violating the physics of marketing almost never works.

 

Most think that advertising to a big audience is like rubbing the lamp. “If only,” they think … “If only I advertise to a giant audience, I’ll sell a painting, or a couple of dozen.”

 

So they prepare an ad, pay the money, and poof! The money is gone, and there are no results from rubbing that magic lamp.

 

Oh, in case you think an experienced marketer like me doesn’t sometimes fall for it, think again. One year I decided that the subscribers to a major auction house list would be great potential subscribers for one of my magazines targeting art collectors. It was a big number, and a very high price.

 

I ran a spreadsheet, and told myself that if just 2 percent signed up, I’d pay for the campaign and make money on it. So I paid $18,000 for one ad, and poof! Something amazing happened. My money disappeared and I sold a grand total of two $40 subscriptions. It cost me $9,000 per subscriber.

 

Of course I kept waiting for more results, rationalizing that some readers hadn’t seen it yet, or some hadn’t responded yet.

 

Nothing happened other than my feeling like a buffoon for throwing away a big amount of money.

 

If there is a magic lamp to marketing art, it is to follow the physics of marketing. I’ve found that every time the physics are right, the results are amazing, and every time I try to shortcut the physics, I fail.

 

Here is the formula.

 

Massive Frequency + Great Creative + Targeted Audience + Concentrated Audience + Time + A Ready Buyer + Stability

 

How big or how small an audience is really does not matter. It’s a trap we all fall into, but the reality is that a small audience could result in the sale of every painting you could possibly produce.

 

Though it seems logical to believe the odds are better because you are exposed to more people, more isn’t what you need.

 

The physics of advertising work very much the way friendships work, or the way business relationships work.

  • When you meet someone new at a cocktail party, it’s a quick hello.
  • If by chance there is some interest in getting to know the person, you may engage in a conversation.
  • Then maybe you run into them at another event, and remember you found them interesting.
  • That conversation may lead to a follow-up call or meeting.
  • Then maybe another call or meeting.
  • If, over time, the relationship gels, it can turn into a casual friendship.
  • Combined with time, that friendship might lead to a deep friendship, at which time trust happens.
  • The longer the time, the deeper the trust.
  • The deepest relationships tend to develop over long periods of time.

 

But there are also other factors to relationships, like chemistry and bonds through common interests.


In the early stages, you know you don’t dare abuse the relationship with a big ask, like a favor or an introduction. It’s just too soon to ask for anything, and doing so could result in the end of the budding friendship. If you ask for too much, too soon, or inappropriately, trust is lost. But the deeper the relationship, the bigger the possible ask.

 

Let’s examine the elements of the formula, the “magic lamp”:

 

Frequency:
Advertising and marketing is about frequency. The more they see you, the closer you get to a point of awareness, then deeper awareness, then the early stages of interest, then deeper stages of interest, then finally trust and its deeper stages as well.  

 

Frequency is different from repetition. Frequency is the number of impressions a single individual receives within a certain amount of time. For instance, you could repeat an ad in a publication, but if a person didn’t see or notice that instance of the ad, that repetition doesn’t count toward their frequency.

 

Marketers have known for decades that a person needs to have a frequency of seven before they will be ready to buy something. If you can get seven impressions — repetitions that are seen — within a shorter window, the process can, in theory, be sped up.

 

But if you’re selling art, the message has to get someone’s attention and appeal to their interest and the buyer has to be in the right mood and the timing right to buy.

 

Great Creative:

The problem is that most advertising is competing for the attention of the buyer. We are all exposed to thousands of ad messages every day. Which ones are going to get you to sit up and take notice?

 

The creative is the content of your ad, made up of your design, your headline, the art featured, the story or message you’re communicating, and the call to action.

 

In the art world, most ads tend to look alike.

 

I was once in a meeting with an advertising agency and the CEO of a company who wanted them to help him sell aluminum siding. His instructions to the agency: Don’t do a before-and-after picture. Why? That’s what all the other aluminum siding companies did.

What are you going to do to stand out? If you’re in a 100-page magazine with 40 pages of ads, why will someone stop and read your ad instead of the other 39?

The answer is in powerful creative concepts. Frankly, the most important part of any ad is the headline. Ninety-five percent of the results from an ad will come from a powerful headline that stops the reader in her tracks.

 

Once you have a great headline, the other elements come into play, like a great opening line, a real emotional connection through your story or message, and a call to take a specific action. Plus information on how to get in touch with you, and an incentive to do so right now.

 

Concentrated Audience:

Perhaps the biggest mistake people make, and one of the most common, is assuming that the people who read one art magazine read another. Though there is some overlap, it’s not all that large. So an advertiser will run an ad or two, not see results, and jump ship to a different publication. A couple of ads there and they jump ship to another, then another, and so on. It is imperative to concentrate your advertising in a single place. Otherwise you lose momentum and the opportunity to build awareness and trust.

 

Though using multiple publications or mediums is fine, you should only do it if you can afford to dominate and build the necessary frequency over long periods of time.

 

Targeted Audience:

Big audiences alone are not enough. You could go into Reader’s Digest, with millions of readers, but the chances of selling art would be slim. You could even go into an art publication with a big audience and still have a slim chance of selling. You need a publication or website or mail list that has a proven track record of selling paintings in the price range of the paintings you’re selling.

Many publications sell wholesale copies for a few dollars to build their audience numbers. Their subscribers love art, but they may not have two dimes to rub together. If they’re not buyers, the audience numbers might be good for your ego, but ego strokes won’t pay your rent.

 

Time:

Like friendship, it takes time to build awareness, interest, and trust before anyone will take action. People want to watch you, see if you consistently produce good results, see indicators that you are becoming successful or collectable. They might discover you, love your work and be keeping an eye on you, but are not responding because, in their mind, it’s not time yet. About the time you’re getting frustrated that you’re not getting any results is about the time people are just starting to pay attention. Marketing is a commitment of time — an ongoing commitment. As long as you’re in the art business, you’re in art marketing.

 

How much time? You’ll need to assume that as long as you are in business, you’ll need to keep a constant presence with the audience you have chosen. It takes about one year to start seeing results, but the second year makes up for the lack of sales in the first, and it builds on itself over time. The more your brand grows, the more trust, prominence, and collectability grow. Old Masters are famous both because they were, in fact, masters, but also because of the passage of time — their names have been known for generations. The good news is that there are many ways you can speed up time, with some good strategic thinking.

 

A Ready Buyer:

Art purchases are unpredictable. Sometimes the buyer sees a painting and buys it on impulse. Other times it’s because they have a need to fill — a home or office to decorate, a gift to buy. Just because someone sees your ad does not mean they are ready to buy right now. Everyone has their own timing. Maybe they get a bonus at work, they sell a business, their kids are no longer in college and they feel flush with cash. There is no way to predict this, and that is why the next point is so important.

 

Stability:

Imagine this. Someone looks at an art magazine, and has been seeing your paintings for a few months in a row. They’ve grown to like the work, but don’t always remember the artist’s name yet. Then a new issue comes in, and they see THE painting and decide they want to buy it. They mark the page and put the magazine in a pile, fully intending to go online or inquire about the price. But they get distracted, they forget, life goes on, and you fall off their radar. Then the next issue of the magazine comes in and they suddenly remember, “Last month there was an artist in here I was interested in. Who was it?” So they flip through looking for an ad that reminds them of your name or your painting. It’s not there. They move on, and you miss a sale.

 

Stability means a constant presence. Understanding that people won’t remember your name and that it takes a long time to get them to remember it, so you need to be there at all times. They may have a birthday gift to buy and know their spouse liked your work, but neither can remember your name. If you’re not always present, you’re not there when they come into the market to buy.

 

We discovered that this is true of articles, too. If someone views your work in an article, not only do you need to be present in that issue so they know how to find you, you need to remind them of yourself for at least one or two issues after. People get busy and forget to take action, and your presence in the issue acts as a reminder.

 

It took me decades of mistakes and experimentation in the advertising and magazine publishing business to understand how this all really works. It really is counter-intuitive.

 

If you want to build an overnight success, just know that physics still apply. Though there are strategies you can employ to speed the process, it still requires all the key elements of the physics of marketing. This is the closest thing I have found to the magic lamp, and if followed, it will grant you all your wishes.

About the author:
Eric Rhoads has been a publisher of ad-based magazines for over 25 years and is the publisher of Fine Art Connoisseur, PleinAir, and Artists on Art magazines. He writes a regular blog on art marketing at www.artmarketing.com and has produced five videos in the Art Marketing Boot Camp series on art marketing techniques and strategy, available at www.streamlineartvideo.com.

By |2020-01-21T11:56:05-05:00August 3rd, 2016|Branding|0 Comments

How Do I Know If My Ads Are Working?

An Art Marketing Message from Eric Rhoads

 

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"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don't know which half."

— John Wanamaker (1838-1922)

Founder, Wanamaker Department Stores

Advertising seems simple. Buy an ad, get results, right? Our lives are so filled with advertising, coming from so many directions, that we all feel fairly comfortable engaging in it ourselves. How difficult can it be? Especially for artists, who have strong graphic instincts, and many of whom have graphic design backgrounds. Some have even been doing work for advertising companies.

 

But when you are advertising, how do you know it's working? Sadly, the answer is not cut-and-dried.

Easily Trackable Results
In the direct marketing world (direct mail, direct e-mail, direct Internet), they test like crazy, comparing one piece of copy against another to see which sales letter or campaign worked best. They have industry standards for returns on "mailings" and are very disciplined about tracking sales as correlated with campaigns. In the direct marketing world, results are easy to track. You know what you purchased and when, and whether people purchased something after seeing it.

 

But as an artist, you're not selling widgets, gadgets, vitamins, videos, or books. If you were, the question would have an easy answer: Track results.

 

In the world of art, here is what you are selling:

 

  • A specific image that will have a narrow appeal to a small group of people

  • A brand name as an artist

  • A status item (in some cases based on the notoriety of the artist)

  • A piece of decoration for a home or office (sorry to be so crass as to bring it to the level of commodity)

  • A memory or a dream, something that represents an emotion to the viewer

  • The feelings stimulated by your painting

  • A solution to a problem (we need something to go over the couch)

  • A souvenir of a place visited

  • An investment or a hedge against inflation

 

Artists who advertise often think their primary goal is to sell a particular painting. And of course selling something is the fuel that keeps the business moving forward. Yet finding one single buyer to like and buy one single painting is a pretty narrow focus. Though you want to sell that painting, you really need to develop a deeper and wider vision.

 

The Importance of Trust-Building

Imagine you meet someone for the first time at a cocktail party. Twenty minutes later, that same person comes up to you and asks to borrow $500. Would you give it to them? Of course not. Why not? No trust has been built.

 

If, on the other hand, you get to know that person, see them frequently, and a few months later that same person asks to borrow $500, you might consider it.

 

In fact, if you know someone well, feel comfortable with them, have known them for years and they ask, you would probably not hesitate if you had the money.

 

This highlights the importance of building trust, which is a big part of what branding is all about.

 

When someone sees your work for the first time, they may like and respond to your art, yet not take action. Why? They don't know or trust you yet. Over time, the more they see you, the more evidence they see that supports their desire to buy your work, and the better chance you have of selling them.

 

It's the primary reason I'm so insistent on focusing on trust-building through branding.

 

Branding Is Not for Wimps

I was coaching an artist on her first advertising campaign. She said, "I'll buy an ad and see if it works, and if it works, I'll buy more."

 

I said, "How will you know if it works?"

 

She said, "If I sell this painting."

 

I said, "Respectfully, that won't work. Save your money. Though you might get lucky and sell it, no one has heard of you. You have to build trust, you have to build awareness, you need to create and maintain a brand. It won't happen overnight, and there is nothing you can do to make it happen faster because trust requires time."

 

I told her she needed a campaign that would build trust by advertising consistently to a single audience (mine or someone else's) and that she would not see much, or any, result for about a year.

 

Gulp.

 

That's a tough sell.

 

To her credit, this artist wanted to be successful so badly that she found a way to commit to an every-issue ad campaign.

 

I then told her this: "Though you might get lucky and sell the paintings you advertise, your primary goal needs to be trust-building — branding. And about six to nine months into this, I fully expect a phone call with you cancelling your advertising because it's not working. The reason I'm telling you this now is that at the point of your greatest fear and frustration, you'll be just starting to build momentum, even though you can't see it. When you get to that point, don't give in to the temptation to cancel. You'll lose the momentum, and if you come back later, you'll be starting over."

 

I said, "At about the one-year mark, you'll start seeing some activity. You'll start getting invited into shows. At about a year and a half, after consistent trust-building, you'll start being invited into galleries. You'll start seeing paintings sell, and your workshops will start selling out. At about two years, you'll hear from more galleries, sell more paintings, and you'll be invited to bigger shows and have a waiting list for your workshops. At three years, you'll see your prices double, you'll see the very best galleries seek you out, and there will be so much demand on your time you'll have to cut back on shows and workshops. And you'll be selling more paintings than you ever imagined possible."

 

Then I cautioned the artist, "At that point you'll be tempted to stop advertising because you'll start believing all the press clippings and think it is you making all this activity happen. And it is, but it's because you've become like a giant magnet, pulling people toward you with your marketing."

 

Sure enough, at the six-month mark, she called to cancel. I reminded her of what we'd discussed, and to her credit, she stayed in, based on faith.

 

At the nine-month mark, she started getting invited into shows and selling a few more paintings. At the 12-month mark, she started being contacted by galleries. It snowballed from there, and everything I predicted came true, almost exactly. (It's only because I've done this so long that it's that predictable.)

Trust-building — branding — is not for wimps. It takes courage and patience. Yet if you do it, and you keep it alive, you can become a major name in about three years' time, and within five to seven years become known as a master. Keep it alive for a decade or more, and you're an icon.

 

So How Do I Know It's Working?

As you can see, all this relies on momentum building quietly in the background, and it's hard to see it and measure that. Yet it's a powerful tool and is the very reason big brands hammer their name and message in the media, over and over, forever. There are always new people entering the market who don't know your brand, and the minute you stop, another brand takes your place.

 

You'll know it's working when you start seeing the activity level rise and other signals begin to show, about a year into a good campaign.

 

Critical Elements of a Marketing Campaign

All campaigns have critical elements. If those elements are out of balance or not fine-tuned correctly, the results will vary.

 

  1. Powerful Headlines
    Lots of research has been done on this topic. A headline is designed to pull someone into your ad. Without a strong headline, they won't stop and look; they will simply keep turning the page until a headline does get their attention. I recently attended a conference where a speaker said a change of headline can impact an ad's results by 700 percent — when the only thing that changed was the headline. (The same is true for a subject line in an e-mail.)

  2. Powerful Copy
    The copy in your ad, short or long, matters. Every word counts, and every word needs to help accomplish your goal. Most ads are weak and meaningless emote-y drivel. Ever hear these lines?

    1. The best quality

    2. The best service

    3. All your ___ needs

Your copy needs to cut through.
The problem for artists is that they primarily want to highlight their name with a big image of a painting. But it's hard to stand out by doing that alone. If you study who is getting lots of attention these days, you'll notice they are writing strong headlines for their ads.

 

3. Audience Saturation and Repetition

It's important to pick a single media outlet (a publication, a website, etc.) and dominate it as much as you can, with ads as large and as much frequency (repetition of ads) as possible. Most of us are tempted to move to other publications after a couple of ads to reach a new audience. But that's a giant mistake unless you can stay in the initial publication, add the other, and dominate in both. Few can afford to do that, so stick with the one outlet. It's time + repetition of message that builds trust, which builds your brand and your sales.

 

4. Audience Target
Contrary to what others would like you to believe, size does not matter. What matters is that you reach a relevant audience for what you're selling. Though you will get a bounce from advertising anywhere because you can gain customers from any audience, a relevant audience will speed your success. For instance, if you were selling gold, you'd want to reach people who can afford gold. Being in Investor's Business Daily or the Wall Street Journal will be better for that than People magazine, even though People has a bigger audience. In your case, you want to reach people who can afford what you sell, people who are known buyers of paintings.

 

5. Emotion

All decisions are emotional and only later supported by logic. Never forget this. If your ads don't have an emotional element to trigger strong feelings in your potential buyer, you'll reduce your success. (Of course, paintings themselves trigger emotions, so you have that to your advantage.)

 

6. Call to Action

Ads that don't ask for the order don't work. It seems simple, but most people simply include their contact information and never ask for the order. Research indicates that results will increase if you simply ask someone to pick up the phone and call to make a purchase.

 

7. Overcome Fears

Ads need to overcome the fears of a buyer. What fears do people have when they buy a painting? "Will it retain its value? What if I get it home and it looks bad with my couch? What if the gallery goes out of business?" The best way to overcome these and other fears is with a guarantee, such as: "If you decide for any reason the painting is not right for you, you have 60 days to return it for a full refund, no questions asked." Of course, everyone is afraid to do this, yet this one line will put some buyers over the edge and help them pick up the phone to call.

 

There is no one easy answer to "How do I know if my ads are working?" To some extent you have to trust that they are, after you've made sure the right elements are in your ads and the repetition and commitment are there.

 

Two Ads, Different Results

Most media works, or they wouldn't still be in business. Yet I can have two advertisers call me on the same day, and one will say their phone has not stopped ringing, their sales are strong, and they are getting amazing results. The other will tell me their ads are bombing — and they'll want to blame the publication for not having the audience. What's the difference?

 

It all boils down to the elements we discussed above. A great, well crafted ad, with the proper elements, and the proper frequency over long periods of time, is the difference. Badly crafted ads don't work.

Unfortunately, everyone tends to be in love with the ads they create. But most advertisers lack deep experience in creating great copy and the right elements for success. Then when their ads don't work, they want to blame someone other than themselves.

 

In closing, before you ever buy one drop of advertising, you need to ask what your primary goal for that advertising is. If you could accomplish just one big thing, what would it be? Once you understand that, it will make the message you craft crystal clear, and clarity is critical to make advertising successful.

By |2020-01-21T12:00:03-05:00May 21st, 2015|Uncategorized|2 Comments
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