Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 32

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 why you might want to reconsider writing exhibition proposals to get into art galleries, and how to build your own mailing list.

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 32 >>>

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 art marketing questions from things you send in email your questions to Eric at art marketing.com. Here’s a question from Carolyn Hancock. It doesn’t say where Carolyn is from, but she says Eric, I’d love to get your feedback on writing an exhibition proposal. I’ve created a body of work that should be exhibited as a whole For the full impact, what is the best way to introduce today’s galleries or museums or nonprofits? Thanks for all you do for supporting artists. But Carolyn, I gotta tell you, I’m not big on writing proposals. I got it. I have spent so much of my life writing proposals and having them rejected and not having them even read in some cases, that I decided I’m just not doing proposals anymore. I think it’s a big giant, waste of time. Now, there are certain environments where proposals are necessary. You know, like if you’re doing proposals for a grant or something, absolutely got to do it. It all seems very formal to me, but I like to think that we tend to hide behind email and proposals and PDFs and things like that. The reality is that if you want to get something done, it’s best to either get face to face or phone to phone. Let me explain why. Let’s imagine for a second that you’re a busy gallery or music Director, you get hundreds of emails a week. everybody’s asking you the same question. Everybody wants to be in your gallery. You know, gallery owners tell me they get 1500 2000 unsolicited artists who are reaching out every every week or every month to try to get into their gallery. Well, you don’t want to do what everybody else is doing. You want to be different. And so if you’re busy, I was with a gallery director. We were having a meeting and while we were doing meeting, he was opening up glancing in and throwing things in the garbage. And I said, What is that he said, you know, artists proposals people have sent, he said, and I get 150 emails a day. He said, I if I spent all my time doing this, I never get anything else done. So to them, it’s, you know, it’s important, but they have other things they have to do too. So if you’re busy and you have to sort through things or you have your assistant if you have one sort through things. Well, what’s left is about 2% to get their attention, if you open your own email, and your goal is to get Through it fast, you’re looking for certain keywords or clues. So you can hit Delete fast, right? I get dozens of proposals. Every month, I get proposals for articles. I don’t hit Delete in those cases, I just forward them to my editors because I don’t make those decisions they do. It’s up to them. And I get proposals for tech stuff. Sometimes I forward it, sometimes I delete it, you know, I get probably dozens of people every month say, you know, we want to do SEO for you or we want to build websites for you. I already know we have that covered. So I just hit delete, I don’t even respond. I can’t possibly respond to everybody. I’m not trying to be a jerk. But these are people who are coming unsolicited. If I know somebody, I’m always going to respond anyway. People are looking for ways to eliminate work. And so if you’re one of the many proposals coming in the door, chances are they’re not going to read it or if they read it, they’re going to read the first headline and if the headline doesn’t grab their attention, they’re gone. So I scan things that come through. So guess what never happens though. Nobody ever calls me. It’s very rare. Once in a while people will email and ask for an appointment once it all somebody will call. And sometimes I give appointments to people that way but it’s got to pique my interest, you got to get my attention, you got to get their attention. And if not, you’re not going to get an appointment. Now I’m not trying to sound difficult. It’s just that there’s a lot going on and I can’t do it all. So you gotta kind of pick and choose. So what you say in your email or your headline or your subject line has to pique interest if you are going to do a proposal. You need something in that top headline in that proposal that’s going to sound exciting and get them interested. And it shouldn’t be about you. It should be about them. In other words, what is this going to do for me this is going to draw crowds. This is going to get a lot of attention. This is going to get national publicity Look at what it’s going to do for them always shift this to what’s in it for them, or what’s in it for me, right? So don’t make things about you make things about them. If you can get a meeting, then you can sell yourself on your idea and you can overcome objections when they come up. I was at a meeting the other day and somebody brought up a couple of objections. I said, I’m glad you mentioned that, because here’s why. That’s not a problem. And then they went, Oh, yeah, okay. But you can’t do that when they’re reading a proposal. And most people are not going to give you the time and attention to call you and ask you those questions. They’re just going to move on. So tailor your presentation to people’s needs to so you want to start by asking them, what are they looking for? What are their needs, if you’re doing gallery shows what kind of shows you looking for? What do you want them to accomplish? And then when you’re doing your proposal, you can say what you mentioned that you really need something that’s going to generate a lot of publicity. Here’s why this is going to generate a lot of publicity. See, that’s how it works. selling yourself In person is the best way you don’t have to take any sales courses. You just have to be yourself and be willing to tell people what’s on your mind. But always listen first, remember, you got two ears, and one mouth, use two ears and listen, stop and listen and then adjust your course as you go. And of course, if you know someone who will introduce you in, you’ve got an 80% chance of increasing the likelihood of getting a meeting. So I hope this all helps.

The next question came up in our figurative art convention marketing sessions. It says the question is about how and why to build your list. Well, what would your life be like if you owned your own media? Let’s say you’re me. Let’s say you own Fine Art connoisseur magazine and plein air magazine and realism today and American watercolor and fine art today and Plein Air today or the Plein Air convention of the figure convention, or the video companies, streamline and Liliedahl and creative catalyst. All of those are platforms and their opportunities to promote. So if you could advertise your own in your own media for free, it’s a real benefit, right? Well, I can do that. Other people pay a lot of money to be in my media, but I can advertise my own stuff for free because it’s my company promoting my company, right? So what if you could do that? Well, building a list is like having your own media. When you have a mail list and email list and and by the way, both are a good idea. You can email them or mail them as much as you want. Of course, you want to be respectful. You don’t want to over mail, you want to be careful about that. You want to make sure they’ve opted in to receive things, but you can do anything you want. So now you can email things like new painting announcements, workshop announcements, newsletters and things Like that, whereas you could still buy advertising and you still should buy advertising. But this is a way to expand on it. So I like to say, look for everything you do to drive one particular initiative and that’s building your list. I try to do that very much. on your website, you should have something that makes them join your list on your social media talk about it, you should have business cards to talk about it. You should have it on the signature of the bottom of your email talks about it on your you know, everything that you do talk about build my list. Well, the way to do that is to create an incentive product. Let’s say you want to do the 20 best paintings you’ve ever done or 25 best paintings, you can say I’ve got an ebook of the 25 best paintings I’ve ever done in the stories behind them, takes you 10 minutes to create it. Make a nice cover, put it on your website, they click on it says you know free, just enter your email address. Now you have the ability to to email them and and talk to them. And this is the way to build customers for whatever it is you’re doing. And if you want something very specific, build an E book that’s specific to that. So if you wanted something for painters, and something different for collectors have a different subject for each and that collectors will go with the one subject, the painters will go with the other. Of course, we’re finding today, a lot of collectors are learning to paint, so you might get them to do both. Anyway, I hope that helps. But having your own media is a beautiful thing. So if you can, you could do that. That’s a great thing. And the nice thing about email is that you can control it a little bit more, right, you can mail it now, there are things called open rates. And so if you get like a 18 or 15% open rate that’s considered pretty good. Not everybody’s going to open every email. And so you know, that’s in a social media only 2% of the people on your newsfeed ever see what you’ve put out there. Only 2% so if you’ve got 10 thousand people, you’re getting to 200 people. And we all think that everybody sees everything, but it’s just not true. So this is something you can control a little bit more. Now you got to have the speaking of headlines and subject lines, you got to have powerful headlines and subject lines on your email subject, and on your headline because if those don’t draw people in, then nobody’s gonna pay attention to it, so you’ve got some homework to do. Anyway, I hope that’s been helpful. I want to remind you that I’ll be doing art marketing three mornings live at the upcoming plein air convention and also the upcoming figurative art convention. It’s kind of fun to do live because we can interact and you can ask your questions. So come and join us. Anyway, that is today’s art marketing minute.

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.