Sometimes when something goes really well you are afraid it won't ever be that good again. But my Art Marketing Bootcamp #3 has been amazing. Boot Camp isn't easy (which is why I don't call it "Art Spa Camp"). But to watch these women go through a very intense "soul searching" few days and then see their expressions when they realize they have a brand and a plan is one of the best experiences I have ever had. I even shed a few tears today when I realized each of these six women were thrilled with their progress and success. They are just wonderful.
If you are interested in any of my upcoming boot camps I do have a few spots available. Just click here for all of the information. It's a pretty amazing experience and I would love to share it with you!
I can't believe how exhausted I am after spending most of the day leading an Art Marketing boot camp! I am blessed to be able to share my marketing thoughts with six extremely talented artists. Thank you for making this week possible! Today we broke off early and went straight to the Magnolia Market and Silos. Fortunately the crowds from last weekend were gone and we had so much fun!
The inside of the Magnolia Market is amazing! Look at those gorgeous fake "faux" tulips on display. Plus as you can see the wonderful kitchen in the store. It is a perfect setting to show and tell all of the amazing gadget and storage solutions available at MM.
I can't help notice the brand of "Magnolia" everywhere in Waco. This is such a perfect place to host a workshop where we talk about branding and finding your audience because we have one of the best examples of a perfect brand right in front of us. Chip and Joanna Gaines have created an incredible experience here and I only hope we can all learn from the two of them!
Thank for your confidence in me. I can't thank you enough for making this happen!
I am in Waco, Texas. And if you haven't seen the show Fixer Upper then you are wondering, "What's she doing in Waco?". But it's a great town and I love it here because I am huge fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines. I love their show Fixer Upper and one of my favorite places is the Magnolia Market and Silos. It's kind of like "my Disneyland".
So this week I am taking you along on my fabulous trip.
The first thing I need to mention is I am participating in an Instagram drawing for a $1000 gift certificate to Magnolia. That's $1000 dollars to spend in their magnificent store! If you want to be eligible you just ned to go to my new instagram account @my100yearoldhome and click on the photo seen above. Then follow the instructions. It will take you about three and a half minutes to complete the loop. But it's worth it because they have so many awesome thing to buy at their online store! Plus, I really want one of my friends to win!
I arrived in Waco yesterday and went straight on over to the Magnolia Market and Silos. It was the last day of their Spring Silobration and I really wanted to check it out. Apparently, so did the entire state of Texas. As you can see from the photo the event was a huge success! I have been to Waco twice before and I can tell you that I have never seen this many people here. Never!
After spending about an hour at the Silos, I spent the rest of the afternoon visiting all of the antique stores seen on the Fixer Upper Store (such as Junque in the Trunk and The Junkey Monkey). There were so many wonderful and inexpensive finds that next time I come here I need to plan on driving a uhaul truck home!
Today I went back to Magnolia Market and Silos to take some photos so you could see how cool this place really is. And since it's closed on Sunday there weren't quite so many people!
I also found the restaurant Chip and Joanna bought which will open this summer. I think it will only be open for breakfast!
I am staying at the Harp House which is owned by Clint Harp (he is the amazing carpenter on the Fixer Upper Show) and its awesome! I will share photos tomorrow.
In case you are wondering why I am in Waco, I am here hosting six wonderful artists for my Art Marketing Boot Camp. It's an intense three and a half days but we sure got off to a great start and had a lot of fun today. I can't wait for the rest of the week!
Lie #5 - Trying to sell your paintings online will take time away from creating your art so you will make less money in the long run.
In a business where you are responsible for not only selling the product but also creating it, there is a lot of work that needs to be done. Most artists are small businesses and work alone. If you don’t have the opportunity to sell through galleries then you will have to do a lot of the marketing yourself. Of course this takes time but the good news is you won’t have to payout a commission if you sell the paintings yourself.
When you first set out to market your art it does take a lot of time. It could be as much as 50% of your time. But if it’s done correctly, you will find your audience who will become repeat buyers. As you build your customer base you may need to spend less time marketing. A smart marketing plan focuses on buyers who will buy multiple paintings over and over again, such as interior designers. Once you have established relationships with these designers, the success is endless.
I hope you have enjoyed my blog posts this week. If you want to sell your art online you will need good photographs of your art, a website or online site to sell your art and the ability to post your paintings online as soon as they are completed. With some effort and creativity, you can find tremendous success selling your art online.
Lie #4 - You will never find the right audience if you sell your paintings online.
The internet is the gateway to finding your audience. We are so lucky to have the internet available to us with the amazing tools such as Facebook and Instagram to find our audience. In most cases the online tools are free (or almost free!) and they enable us to find people who might like our art thousands of miles away! I have done quite a few radio shows on “how to find you are buyers (i.e. audience) and about 95% of the solutions are found online.
It is important to first understand who your audience is. Once you have identified your audience then you need to start interacting and getting to know them. There are so many online communities where your buyers can be found. And it’s not that hard to find them. I honestly can’t imagine how you would find them without the internet!
Lie #3 - You are likely to get ripped off (or scammed) if you sell paintings online.
Unfortunately there are a lot of online scammers. But most people who fall in to this prey are not taking the necessary safeguards needed to make sure the sale is legit. Some of the sings that are a red flagged with a potential online sale are bad grammar in the email or an overseas buyer who wants to “overpay you and have you send the overpayment back to them in cash or wire transfer”.
They key is to only take payment via paypal and don’t ship the painting until you have the payment in full. If your buyer is a repeat customer then you may ship or deliver the paintings with only a deposit collected. But I still don’t recommend it. And the reason to take paypal? If you have a problem (and file a claim right away) paypal will freeze the money in the buyers account until the situation is resolved.
Never accept checks unless you have a strong history with the buyer. And be wary of cashier's checks and money orders as they may be fake. Only accept paypal. A buyer can even use their credit card with paypal. It's really that easy.
Lie #2 - You will always sell more paintings in a gallery than online.
There are some artists who do sell more paintings in galleries than online. But this is not always the case. In fact, it is more the exception than the rule. Many artists don’t realize that even if you sell your art in galleries you still need to promote your art. You want to help your galleries sell your art. So don't have a goal to get in to galleries solely because you don;t want to have to promote your own art.
For many artists who are in galleries, they may only sell a few paintings at that gallery in many, many months. It's a harsh reality. The art marketplace has changed and a lot of galleries have been hit hard with competing internet sales.
For the majority of artists who don’t sell in galleries, selling online is a great option. I know more artists selling their art online than those who sell in galleries. Only a handful sell more art through galleries. Selling your art online allows you to show your art to the world! Ok, I may have exaggerated a bit, but you know what I mean.
Most artists have the goal to sell their art in galleries. It's a great goal! But you need to remember that galleries want to represent artists who sell! So don't sit around and wait for a gallery to call. (Because they probably won't.) Market and promote your art and get the attention of your favorite gallery. If things don't work out with the gallery you will still be in a good place. Develop your own customer base and continue to promote your art online. It does work!
This week I would like to address what I call “common lies”. These lies pertain to selling your art online.
Lie #1 - You can only sell small inexpensive paintings online.
I decided to start with the biggest lie first. Although we need to define what “inexpensive small paintings” means. For arguments sake, let’s say a small inexpensive painting is defined as anything less than an 11” x 14” painting priced at $500.00. There are plenty of artists who sell paintings priced in the $5000 - $10,000 range online. I can personally promise you that.
The key is finding your audience. Because there is an audience out there for your paintings. You just need to find them. If the right people are seeing your paintings then there is a likelihood they will sell. I offer a 100% guarantee that ensures the buyer that if they aren’t happy with the painting they can return it within 10 days as long as it is in the same condition as it was shipped. In seven years of selling almost all of my paintings online, I have only had one painting that was returned. The photo was lighter than the actual painting (which was my fault) and the buyer wanted a darker one. The good news? They bought another one of my paintings instead!
I have sold many paintings in the $5000 - $8,000 range and worked with the buyer (or interior designer) entirely online. Some sales were done directly through my website without any prior notification to the sale. In other cases the sale took place after the buyer contacted me online and questions were asked and answered.
In all cases, it is important you have good photographs that represent your paintings exactly as they are. Make sure all of the information about the painting is accurate and that you handle the sale in a timely fashion.
I do want to mention that there does come a price point where you may have a difficult time selling paintings online. This includes paintings priced in the $20,000+ range and when the buyer is a first time buyer. In this case paintings are not as likely to sell, as the buyer will likely want to see the painting in person.
Are you unmotivated to paint? Are you feeling "pigeonholed" with your painting? Are you tired of painting the same, old thing? These are situations that every artist faces. But lately I fell as if I am seeing these comments more and more on social media. And that concerns me. If you are facing these situations then this show is for you. If you are not, you can pretty much expect that you will face these thoughts someday in the future. (So listen up!)
This week (due to some traveling by yours truly) the Artists Helping Artists podcast is today. That's Friday, March 10th at 6:00am PST, 9:00am EST. (Obviously I am not on the west coast as it's not likely I would be up before dawn to host the AHA show).
So where do you start if you are struggling and "stuck in a rut"?
The first thing is easy. And that is to accept what is happening. In any job we all have doubts and frustrations. But in most jobs you still show up, you still get your work done and you still collect a paycheck. But I think it is much harder as an artist. Creating wonderful art (which is what we all strive to do) is not easy when you are in a rut. In fact, I think it is almost impossible. Which is all the more reason to accept hat you are going through. In fact, accepting what is happening to you is the first thing you have to do to get out of it. Second, you need to understand that this happens to every artist. Even the top selling ones. Even the greatest and most talented artists alive. In fact, it happens to all of us ...
What to learn more? Just listen to today's podcast here. (You can listen live or anytime after the show as all episodes are recorded and archived.)
I mentioned on my blog last week that I had some pretty crazy deadlines. Well guess what? I am on schedule. Well, at least for today. (I am also sleep deprived but I can make up for that later.)
Today was a big day. I finished a 48" x 48" abstract and a 60" x 60" abstract. The client is approving them tomorrow and I will varnish them tomorrow afternoon. I also finished 12 small sample abstract paintings. They are for an interior designer whose client will select three for three very large paintings for an office building. Did I mention these paintings are huge? Just to give you an example, one of them is 72" x 90".
So right now I have a pretty serious space problem in my studio. All six canvases are in my studio and the smallest one is 48" x 48". The painted ones are laying flat and the gessoed ones are stacked up against the wall. I hope I can get each painting deliveries as they are completed ... because there isn't enough room to paint (or store) them all at once.
I also have some traveling scheduled as I have trips planned to Ohio and Waco, Tx in the next few weeks. I am very excited! Of course I have a million things to get done before I step foot on an airplane. Ugh.
What do you have on your schedule this week?
Before I forget ... I still have space in my Art Marketing Boot Camp in Waco. There is even space at the Harp House! If you have an open schedule or are in the Texas area then you need to join me for this amazing experience. It will change your art life. I promise. The dates are March 19 - 22. Click here for more information.
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