Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 35

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 insights on using social media for marketing (even if you avoid social media), and networking tips for freelance artists.

Listen to the Art Marketing Minute Podcast: Episode 35 >>>

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 answer your art marketing questions. All you got to do is email me, [email protected] Here’s a question from a YouTube listener who said, I’m a fairly successful artist, I make a good living and I refuse to do social media. For me, it’s a giant waste of time and I’d love to hear your thoughts as to whether or not an artist should engage in any social media at all. Well, it’s not an easy answer because it can be a giant time suck and it’s hard to measure the value unless you do it exactly right, which is something very few people know how to do. Now a lot of people are posting a lot of stuff And posting progress shots and posting their paintings. But I’m not sure that a lot of people are selling a lot of paintings from it once in a while somebody gets a Hey, I want to buy that painting. But there are not very many people who are actually selling a lot of art. And there’s a reason for that. It’s because they’re not doing it properly. I think it can be done properly. I would refine your question a little bit more by asking is not doing it hurting your business, you say you have plenty of business. And if that’s the case, it’s probably not hurting it. But just keep in mind, a lot of people built a business and they have momentum, and then it dries up and it stops suddenly, because they’re not keeping their momentum up. That’s why advertising is important to things like that. But social media can be advertising and there is advertising opportunity there. But it’s a whole different game on social media works very well for things where it’s clicking buy this now, and it’s not necessarily an expensive item. So So clearly, Facebook, Instagram, etc, are mainstream and most people are on it. But does it sell art? Well? Is it gonna get you into more galleries? It might I mean, there are gallery owners who watch and they clearly are paying attention to what people are posting to find out what they, what they’re doing whether or not they’re bringing them in. It’s not automatic, of course. But again, there’s a formula. You know, today, it’s kind of like not being in the phonebook and the old days, you know, when people use phone books, if you weren’t in the phone book or the Yellow Pages, they wouldn’t remember you well. Being on the web is more like being a phone book, of course. And I think having a website is absolutely critical too. And it sends a signal if if you’re not doing it well or if you haven’t updated in 30 years, but anyway, a lot of people will randomly learn about you discover you because someone may have clicked on or commented on your Facebook and then they see that and they you know people pick up on it, but Most artists actually don’t have many collectors following them. Some do. Most of the artists have their friends, fellow artists following which is nice, a nice way to be seen nice way to be social. But it’s not necessarily moving the sales needle, although artists do buy paintings and so that can happen. But you have to know how to do it exactly. And I do hear stories about a few people selling consistently, but not very much. There is one thing to know is there’s a false belief about Facebook, and even Instagram. And that is that we think that everything we post is being seen by all of our followers. Well, on Facebook, only 2% of the people on average, will actually get to see what you post and that’s assuming they see it because they’re scrolling through, they might miss it. If you don’t have good creative, you don’t have good graphics. If you’re not saying something interesting. They might buzz right by it. I do that all the time. I’m flipping through just going fast. So just because it’s somebody’s speed doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to be seen. So what you want to do is, of course, if you’re working on business, you want to be in a controlled environment, that’s an environment you control yourself or someone that you know. And trust controls a controlled environment, to some extent would be email, except you can’t control it completely because you might end up on a spam list or you might get no open rates, advertising, you know, things like our magazines, our newsletters, like some of the stuff we produce, obviously controlled environment, it’s, it’s gonna get out to the right people. But you have to, no matter what you’re doing, if you’re using it for marketing, there’s three legs on the marketing stool, and I talked about this in my books in my videos, and that is that you’ve got to have great attention getting content or copy. copywriting is very important headlines are very important. And that’s true on social media too. You’ve got to get people’s attention, you got to have a great graphic. Next, you got to have a great audience. And that is An audience who is the audience that you really need to reach. And then of course, you’ve got to have repetition, any message. In order for people to take action on it usually has to be repeated and seen by that individual eight or 10 times, and sometimes over longer periods of time depending on how much time has passed because we lose memory of certain things when we sleep. And so in a short period of time, you want to be seen 789 10 times in a longer period, it might be 30 4050 times depending on if you’re building a brand or you’re trying to sell something in particular, great content, great copy, great audience and repetition without those things, most marketing will fail. The next question comes from Jan Coby. It does not say where Jan is but she says, I used to paint as a greeting card artists for five years for the leading greeting card company now teach art part time and I’m developing a line of card ideas. I would love to free For other card companies, and share my new ideas, but I don’t know how to proceed. I have a list of greeting card companies and art directors all over the US. And I plan to send them five by seven postcards to my best work for consideration. What’s your best advice for me to find freelance work?

Eric Rhoads 1:04:19
Well, Jan, you must be pretty good. I think that the first thing is to take an inventory of what you already have. You have connections at the big greeting card company. And unless you left on bad terms, maybe they would become your best customer. as a freelancer. Have you thought about that if you open that door? Secondly, you’re probably in touch with a lot of other greeting card designers. And they probably worked for other companies too. And they know former designers they know art directors, maybe ask them the question. Can they make introductions? Can they tell you who they know? My guess that they’re probably not a lot of greeting card companies. I might be wrong, but I don’t think there are hundreds of certainly probably Not thousands. And my guess is that they all have designers on staff or they all use freelancers, one or the other, maybe both. So why would they buy your designs? What’s unique about your designs, you need to come up with a compelling reason to get their attention. This is called strategy. Cease mailing postcards is a tactic, what you put on those postcards and what you’re targeting and who you’re talking to and what your messaging is. That’s strategy, cards or tactics. Now, let’s say there are six to 10 companies and six to 10 art directors. Why send a card? Why not just pick up the phone and call each of them and introduce yourself? It’s only six people. So if you get a no, you can probably ask a couple questions and learn about the likelihood that you would succeed with them long term. And if it were me, I’d start my own card company. Then the key is getting distribution and being able to afford to print your cards but You’re up against some big guns. So why not create something unique and different, like an online greeting card company, make it so that they can order online cards through an app and have them auto mail to the people you want with the messages you want. There are some apps out there that do that kind of thing. I don’t know if they have designs like what you provide, but you could certainly work with apps or you could do it yourself. My rule is that self employed is always better than employed. In other words, you’re controlling your destiny more if you have your own business. So think about that. Now, being a freelancer is having your own business. So that’s a good thing. But you’re also relying on other people. If you can rely only on yourself and your great marketing and your great distribution. Think Big and you can control your own world. Now related to your question about postcards, I love postcards. They’re very effective. Now they’re expensive. They’re not as expensive as other types of mail, but you can probably count on you know, 50 or 50 cents or $1, or card, depending on how many people you’re sending to if you’re sending to 1000. You know, it’s going to cost you 1000 or $2,000 for a mailing. And postcards don’t typically work without what we call repetition. And what I do postcard campaigns, I like to hit people over and over and over again in a few weeks period of time, you know, every week every two weeks twice a week, you will grow on them, people will start paying attention, they won’t respond immediately, but eventually a high percentage of them will respond. Anyway, hope this helps. This has been the art marketing minute.

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.