Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Focus or Fail Sell more art

Here's a shocking idea: artists are not destined to be poor. Yep that's right you can make a good living selling your art.

If you're an artist, you can actually make money from your art, feel good about it, and build up a following to support your independent career. I often wonder how so many artists know so little about how the art business works and what they have to do to sell art.

The main reason you go to art school is to learn to make art that's good enough to sell . But those art school forget to teach you about how to build a business.

Most artists fail NOT because they lack talent but because they have not been trained to represent themselves, to build a customer base, and to actually sell their great artwork. Art schools do not teach the business of being an artist.I know I went to one of those great art schools where the subject of how to get started in the business was never mentioned.

Your day-by-day accomplishments are what advance you in your art career. Art 
school give you some basics but you are on your own from there. If you are one of the lucky ones yo leave art school with a portfolio. I mean at least 20 paintings framed and ready to show to the world. If you don't have that get moving because that is step number one. I know no one told you.

But in the real world, we all have food to buy, rent/mortgages and bills to pay 
And then there’s the cost of the materials we need to buy in order to actually create art in the first place.If we want to make a career out of our art, we need to know that we can make money from it – enough money to pay for all our essentials, and preferably have some left over for savings and the odd luxury purchase.

One of the best ways to know how many pieces of art you are going to need to make a living each year is figure all your expenses, car payment, rent, lights,heat,luxury items like food, insurance, supplies and materials. Now that you have that figure; OMG Yikes, it is bigger then you thought!

What is the sale price of your average work? Haven't sold anything yet? How many paintings can you make in a year working full time? Take this number and divide it into you cost. Can you sell your work at that price? Can you produce that much work?

Here is an example: Lets say my average paintings selling price is $300.00 because I am developing a client base. My bare bones living on Ramen Noodles and tea expenses are $30,000.00 ( I wanted to make the math easy after all I'm an artist not a math major ) So you know you have to paint and sell 100 paintings. Painting 100 paintings in a year is very doable. That is only 2 a week. But the catch is you have to sell all of the paintings not as easy.  But you are getting the idea. So record keeping becomes very important at this point. What you sell, how much it sold for,who was the buyer and so on.

How are you going to sell your work? Do you have a plan? I would sell in as many places as you can find to start out. Then eliminate the ones where you are not getting any sales.

Do not forget on line marketing.

Create a blog or website to promote your work.

 If you are starting up and don't have a lot of money for a web site yet don't worry but do start a blog. The first thing I recommend is thinking ahead on what your business name is going to be. Joe Blow, Joe Blow Fine Art, Think about this visit other blogs and web site that you like and see what these artist are doing, how their blogs are set up, what is the their web site URL? 
The thing most people don't understand about a blog is that you must do it all the time each day or at least 2 times a week. If you are going to sell from it post daily, even if it is just to show what your working on. It will keep you focused and help you to talk about your art and why you paint the way you do.

When you have decided on an URL name ,even if you are not ready to set up your website yet buy your domain name and make sure it ends in a dot com not dot net or dot org. A domain registrations will cost any where from 15.00 to 40.00 some place to look are Go Daddy, and Domain.com . Now you have your URL you can start using that name in all of your marketing materials.

 Now you need to keep potential buyers informed about art events you are attending, and the latest pieces you are working on so you will want to drive internet traffic to where you sell your art on line; even if all of your paintings are in a gallery display them and new work on your blog and website and direct the buyer to the galleries website to buy, this is just good marketing. 

Oh yes regardless of where you sell you art you will need a camera and you must be able to take good photos and edit you photos. You can keep them on zip drives or on off site storage so as not to use up all your computer memory. I use SmugMug for my photo storage  There are many online place available and some are free. The advantage is yo can show someone a painting at any time from any where and they are safe from computer crashes.

You can drive traffic to where you sell your art online by:

* using a blog specifically for sales - this can link to where you have the artwork set up for auction and/or have an ecommerce set up for doing business online. I use my daily painting blog for most of this Painting of the Day

* using a blog to generally promote yourself as an artist, I do this with my Art by Delilah blog where I give tips and how to videos.

* use social networking sites/services (eg Facebook/Twitter) to promote relationships with potential buyers.

*Send a News Letter

Create a database of the people you know to use as a mailing list. Send newsletters about your latest work, and your upcoming. I try to get this out once a month.

Another basic that you should create and update frequently is a Marketing Package:

* Biography
* Cd of latest work and Jpegs of works in files on your computer ready to go if some request them.
* Business cards and stationary
*Press clippings
*Portfolio of work, framed and ready to go at least 20 to start.

Okay  now it's time to focus and get going. If you have any questions please feel free to send me an email and I will do my best to answer them for you.

" POST YOUR OPINIONS IN THE COMMENTS" or email me at delilah@artbydelilah.com
Join Our Email List

For Email Marketing you can trust
Pin It
Home Page Art by Delilah = http://www.delilah-smith.com

No comments: