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Art Marketing Ideas and Straight Talk about Selling Art, Marketing, Inspiration & Fine Living

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Lessons From the Open Studio: Send me a postcard!

by Luann Udell on 5/8/2014 7:04:50 AM
11 Comments

This year we added a spring event. And some folks, especially our newer artists, didn’t get the sales or even the visitors they’d hoped for. Some reasons are obvious and expected. There were some things we could have done better. And there were some things about which people should KNOW better! The most obvious was their lack of a mailing list. [...]

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Your Artful Amplifiers

by Clint Watson on 10/29/2013 7:22:58 AM
8 Comments

Listen, you don't have to beg. Instead, do what we tell artists over...and over...and over: focus on your existing fans. [...]

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The "6C's" of Art Sales

by Clint Watson on 10/15/2013 7:18:43 AM
4 Comments

The secret to high art sales, which must be done IN ORDER: craving -> creativity -> competence -> community -> conversations -> commerce [...]

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If You Don't Have Anything To Say...Don't

by Clint Watson on 10/8/2013 8:28:55 AM
16 Comments

When someone writes for any other reason than sharing real knowledge and value, it just adds another piece of virtual paper to the landfill that is much of the internet. [...]

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Run Upstairs

by Clint Watson on 10/1/2013 7:29:42 AM
6 Comments

Since I had never previously been in the gallery business, I had no conception of what was "normal". So, to me, everything we were doing was normal. And I really didn't understand that we were "running upstairs" until one day, we hired an experienced salesperson who had cut her teeth at galleries in Scottsdale, Santa Fe, and Laguna Beach, all big art resort towns. She had sold very well in those towns and I was extremely excited to have landed a salesperson who had worked for the "big guys". [...]

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Avoiding Email Subscription Overwhelm

by Lori Woodward on 8/28/2013 6:45:53 AM
20 Comments

The funny thing is - when I unsubscribe, I feel guilty about it, like I'm no longer supporting people I care about - but wouldn't those bloggers rather me not just hit the delete button every day when I see their email? That gives them a false assumption that I'm getting something from them. I can't help but get distracted by what's on my computer screen because I have no internal filter. I'm visual, and if I see it - it enters my mind and takes up space and energy. Ultimately, I must limit distractions that take me away from my important work... which is making my artwork. [...]

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The Biggest Mistake on Most Artist Websites

by Clint Watson on 2/28/2013 7:43:05 AM
12 Comments

I reply to the artists whose works I particularly enjoy and ask them if they have an email newsletter and let them know that I'd like to be on it. And even when I go to the trouble to beg these artists to add me to a newsletter list... they don't. I have yet to receive even one newsletter from any artist in this group. [4] Multiply that mistake dozens of times over and you're costing yourself, over your career's lifetime, thousands of dollars in sales (if not more). Make this mistake enough times and perhaps it will even cost you an art career at all. [...]

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Artist as Storyteller: Be tactful when sharing your story Part 2

by Brian Sherwin on 1/31/2013 2:45:11 PM
6 Comments

In my opinion, it is crucial to keep things relevant art marketing-wise. You are branding yourself with every detail... even if you don't realize it. [...]

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Why What You See is NOT What You Get with Email

by Clint Watson on 1/31/2013 7:24:36 AM
3 Comments

What all of these different rendering engines mean is that the only way to be sure your email newsletter looks correct is to stick to a small, safe subset of HTML and then to rigorously test each design in every major email program...and different versions of those programs...and with images blocked...and with images enabled. One option for artists would be to pay a designer to design your email designs and test them in all of these email programs. Then you could use the same design over and over, being careful to only change your content and none of the HTML itself. Like I said before, it's a quagmire. [...]

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Artist as Storyteller: Be tactful when sharing your story - Part 1

by Brian Sherwin on 1/27/2013 10:31:43 PM
27 Comments

Artists need to be tactful when meshing aspects of life storytelling with art marketing. Point-blank, sharing a little can sometimes be interpreted as sharing too much. [...]

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We Eat Our Own Dogfood

by Clint Watson on 1/3/2013 7:13:20 AM
7 Comments

So here's something that surprises me: I see some other artist website services recommending you use their software for your blogging solution, but, for their own company blogs, they use Wordpress or Blogger. That should tell you something. How do they find the pain points? How do they know what to fix? [1] Why don't they think their own software is good enough for their own use? [2] [...]

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Are You Ignoring the Dark Social Network?

by Clint Watson on 12/6/2012 7:28:02 AM
11 Comments

The question you need to answer is this: are you having fun playing with the 20% on Facebook, while ignoring the much larger network of people you can reach via the "dark social network?" [...]

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Your Hidden Email Subscriber List

by Clint Watson on 11/1/2012 7:34:39 AM
10 Comments

A common objection I often hear from artists is that they don't have an email newsletter list so who, exactly, are they supposed to send the email newsletters to? Many artists are simply convinced they don't have anyone to send to. But I don't think that's true. [...]

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Did I Just Solve All Your Art Marketing Woes?

by Clint Watson on 10/25/2012 7:32:10 AM
14 Comments

Put on your thinking cap, I'm sure you can think of something more interesting than "check out my art". Your bottom line will thank you for it. [...]

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Hyperlinks Are Uber Cool

by Carolyn Henderson on 10/9/2012 7:29:20 AM
15 Comments

If you send out a newsletter, it’s a given that you’ll want to embed links, and for this example, I am adding the link to a sample newsletter of ours. I counted 15 links in this issue: if I mention a specific work, I link to it; if I talk about a show, I link to the show site or more information about it on our site; at the bottom I append individual links to specific sections in our website; and of course, this being the newsletter, I offer two separate links for readers to pass on to their friends. Whereas in an article or a blog this number of links would be possible overload, in a newsletter it’s not unexpected. [...]

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Letting People Know about Your Newsletter

by Carolyn Henderson on 9/4/2012 7:22:35 AM
12 Comments

So, go for it! Remember that if you've never put out a newsletter before, the first time is always the learning curve, and the first product will take some time and frustration, but it'll get done, and doing it will get easier, and you will continuously edit and improve and innovate and experiment -- the same way you do with your art. [...]

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Email Newsletters are the New Hub

by Clint Watson on 8/23/2012 7:34:49 AM
24 Comments

Nobody will visit your website until they know it exists. So you have to tell people, repeatedly, about it. And email is the simplest, most effective way you can put yourself into one of the “big three” places that most people check every day. [...]

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Newsletter or Blog? Control versus Community

by Keith Bond on 4/2/2012 10:05:10 AM
18 Comments

But, by offering something of value that is exclusive to your newsletter, you can convert anonymous blog followers into newsletter subscribers. [...]

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Exciting Week Part II

by Jacki Newell on 2/23/2012 9:01:14 AM
12 Comments

We're not normally "I told you so" type of people, but we told you so. :-) We cannot stress enough the importance of sending a newsletter...it worked for Jacki and it can work for you, too. [...]

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Flat Lined! Timing Is Everything, Or At Least Worth Noting

by Karen Cooper on 2/15/2012 9:18:42 AM
6 Comments

So if you are one of those crazy seven or eight, sitting in front of the machine, designing that newsletter, when everyone else is out on holiday, look at your calendar. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Schedule that article/newsletter to go when there's actually someone there to receive it. [...]

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Video Newsletters

by Keith Bond on 6/27/2011 2:11:00 PM
37 Comments

Of course TV and video don’t replace reading. But when it comes to marketing your artwork or yourself, there is a place for video. Most of us have huge volumes of email and don’t always have time to read a lengthy article. But I can watch/listen to a short clip. [...]

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The Perfect Sending Frequency for Artist Email Newsletters

by Clint Watson on 6/17/2011 8:13:45 AM
24 Comments

You can send your newsletter as often as you like...as long as you don't have more than 2 people unsubscribe for every 1,000 emails you send (.2%) [3]. If you lose more than 2 people out of every 1,000 emails, then you're either sending too often, or you've strayed too far off topic (such as discussing politics in a newsletter where people were expecting art). [...]

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Email... Friend or Foe?

by Lori Woodward Simons on 10/22/2008 10:07:35 AM
2 Comments

Today's Post is by Lori Woodward Simons, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. I don't consider myself to have an addictive personality. I've never used illegal drugs, or smoked a cigarette (probably got enough nicotine from second hand smoke). However, these days, I'm finding that I'm just as vulnerable as the next guy when it comes to being addicted to social media. A month ago, Clint Watson “tweeted” through Twitter that I was being sucked into the Twittersphere, but I denied it! Nope, not me... but Lately, I've been showing all the signs of addiction. Today I'm admitting it, [...]

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Who Can You Send Email Newsletters?

by Clint Watson on 6/18/2008 8:58:48 AM

How do you know when it's OK to send someone your email newsletter? MF wrote me today asking just that question: "Initially I added a lot of my friends and family as well as people I thought MIGHT be interested in my occasional announcements to the mailing list because I thought that was something that you had advocated.  In a later newsletter, however, you were pretty adamant about not putting people on who didn't actually SIGN UP for the newsletter. (So I took you off.)  Of course I know that if people really don''t want to get the newsletters I [...]

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Sell More Art and Enjoy Life by Encouraging Engagement

by Clint Watson on 4/15/2008 12:15:19 AM

Engaged Prospects Thinking About Buying Art
To experience art marketing success, to sell more artwork, to become a microcelebrity.... what you truly need with your prospects is ENGAGEMENT. is Starack of Entrepreneuers Journey defines engagement this way: "Engagement means that [your fans] are not only entertained and informed, they come away truly benefiting from your output. Their life has been enhanced in some way and they want more. . .This is about more than just attention. This is prolonged focus leading to action. It’s not easy to cut through all the information on the web and grab attention and it’s even rarer for people [...]

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Where the Art Collectors Are

by Clint Watson on 3/25/2008 8:28:47 AM
5 Comments

A few weeks ago we introduced the concept of The Collector Courtship.  Remember, selling your art requires building a relationship with your potential collectors . . . and, we're sorry to tell you, building that relationship is like dating. Where the Art Collectors your first lesson:  If you're going to "date" collectors, you've got to go where the collectors are. My wife recently talked me into watching the 1960's "classic", "Where the Boys Are."  The movie told the story of four college girls on spring break.  They wanted to get away from the ice and snow and [...]

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Blog vs. Email Newsletter

by Clint Watson on 2/12/2008 10:44:47 AM
1 Comment

Short answer:  You should utilize both a blog and an email newsletter. Occasionally, however, an artist will ask us something like, "If I can have only a blog or an email newsletter, which one should I go with?" Our answer:  hands down - an email newsletter. Blogs are great for increasing traffic to your web site and for engaging in a more informal discussion with your fans.  However, if your goal is to sell your art, blogs don't always bring the right kind of traffic - buyers.  Blogs also require the reader to actively visit your blog [...]

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Your Most Important Art Marketing Asset

by Clint Watson on 1/17/2008 9:30:56 AM
2 Comments

is your mailing list. A mailing list that you have developed of people who know who you are....and who have given you permission to communicate with them. It can be an email list or a "snail" mail list....or both. Yes, your "in house" mailing list is your most important art marketing asset.....if you use it. [...]

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The True Value of an Artist Blog

by Clint Watson on 2/2/2007
26 Comments

There has been a lot of hype about blogs in the last year and, in many cases, too much hype.  In fact, last summer I wrote a piece that was fairly critical of blogs. See Blogs and Success, Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: http://data.fineartstudioonline.com/dataviewer.asp?page=fineartviews&keyvalue=126&subkeyvalue=379 Since my service, FineArtStudioOnline, has since introduced an integrated blogging platform, today my goal is to focus on the specific, real benefits that one can achieve from blogging.  As an artist, one major reason you want to blog is to bring traffic to your website in hopes that at least some of those visitors will be interested in [...]

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The Art Ghost of Christmas Present

by Clint Watson on 12/22/2006 8:25:12 AM
7 Comments

Ebneezer blinked.  Andy was gone and a new apparition appeared before his eyes.  The spirit said, “Touch my garment, Ebeneezer, I am the art ghost of Christmas present, come and see things as they are. . . .”  Ebeneezer reached out his hand and touched the ghost’s robe and instantly they were hurtling through the air, flying above the streets of New York.  They flew over the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, over Central Park, over the SOHO galleries.  Out, out to the suburbs. They came landed in front of a small home.  There was a mini-van parked in the driveway.  [...]

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The Art Ghost of Christmas Past

by Clint Watson on 12/21/2006 1:07:14 PM
1 Comment

Ol’ Ebeneezer, Curator of the Outrageously Politically Correct Museum of Art, placed the key in the lock of his Manhattan loft and thought “Bah! Humbug!”  He still couldn’t believe that his assistant, Bob, would have the audacity to suggest mounting a Christmas exhibit featuring pieces that depicted truth and beauty! Bob actually wanted to display pieces in the styles of realism, impressionism, expressionism, and even beautiful abstracts!  Who ever heard of such a thing?  Ol’ Ebneezer congratulated himself as he climbed into bed.  “The museum is lucky to have me” he thought, “I mean, what kind of funding could we possibly [...]

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An Overview of New FASO features - Blogs, RSS and More

by on 12/14/2006 11:41:32 AM
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An Overview of New FineArtStudioOnline.com Features - Blogs, RSS and MoreLast week we promised an announcement of FASO blogging coming "soon."  This week we're happy to say that "soon" is now.  FASO now offers integrated blogging to all Gold Plan and higher members.  It is in your account now and if you've ever wanted an easy way to integrate your web site and your blog. . .it's here.  This week we've chosen to focus our member newsletter on an overview of new FASO features.BlogA full featured blog is now integrated into your control panel.  Simply select "Blog" as a category for [...]

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A Look At Links

by Clint Watson on 12/7/2006 9:26:25 AM
25 Comments

What are links?The word link is short for hyperlink, which is active text that you can click on to go to a web page.  There are three types of links that are important to your web site: site navigation links, outbound links, and inbound links.  The importance of linksMost people try to find information on the Internet by using search engines.  The big three are Google, Yahoo!, and MSN.  But how do the search engines determine the most relevant pages to return for a given search?  That’s a topic in itself, however, a lot of very smart people at these search [...]

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We are Truly Thankful for Artists

by Clint Watson on 11/22/2006 11:09:37 AM
6 Comments

Left: The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris (1863–1930)A man and his rag-tag band of followers gather to break bread and share a meal. They start the meal by giving thanks.Astern group of prude Puritans in proto-Massachusetts congregate toshare a meal with the native people. Legend has it that they gavethanks. They were probably thankful that they even made it across theAtlantic in a rickety old ship. . . they were thankful to be alive.Duringthe American Revolution George Washington, proclaimed a Thanksgiving inDecember 1777 as a victory celebration honoring the defeat of theBritish at Saratoga. Thanksgivings were held off [...]

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After Election Day Vote

by Clint Watson on 11/8/2006
1 Comment

  We Have a lot of Irons in the FireOver the past 18 months, we have been working on a number of new products and initiatives.  Many of you have seen different projects we have been working on and have seen names such as “WebArtSites”, “FineArtViews”, “Praxis Technology”, “MyStudioSite” and have wondered, “What the heck is all this stuff anyway?” We will be explaining in more detail in the near future, but in short, these are all various services and projects that we offer (or are experimenting with), but did not want to integrate directly into FASO until they were fully tested to [...]

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Great Marketing, Dubious Art - People Really WILL Buy Anything

by Clint Watson on 10/17/2006
4 Comments

  Great Marketing, Dubious Art – People really will buy anything. A few years ago we saw a play about a man who bought a completely white canvas.  The comedy was created in watching the man attempt to justify to his family and friends why he spent a ridiculous amount of money on a blank canvas.  The answer, of course, had everything to do with him being duped by the dealer’s marketing and nothing to do with the intrinsic value of the artwork.  Thank goodness such nonsense only happens in works of fiction!  Or does it?  We happened across a web site today [...]

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Essential Marketing Elements for the Artist's Web Site (ver 1)

by Clint Watson on 8/29/2006
1 Comment

Reality:Your web site traffic is going to come to your site largely because of marketing strategies and efforts that you undertake.  Please don't expect search engines, your web host or anyone else to do it for you, after all, you don't expect the phone company to market your phone number, but simply to make it work.Essential Elements for Marketing Artist Web Site - Draft 1These are my thoughts on the subject of marketing an artist's web site.  These represent my initial compilation of thoughts on the subject and are not meant to be taken as the final word on the subject.  [...]

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Blogs and Success: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

by Clint Watson on 8/24/2006
7 Comments

A realistic look at blogs and why Duane Keiser sells a painting a dayToday, dear reader, we visit the subject of blogs.  We preface our missive by saying we have nothing against blogs.  No, that would be hypocritical; after all, we post our own scribblings to a blog.  We simply seek to separate life’s truths from media hype . . . to separate the wheat from the chaff . . . to distill out those ideas that will make a difference in our life and reject those that are simply hype and noise.Blogs:  Media ManiaLet’s start with the obvious:  Blogs are hot.  We [...]

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Immediately Increase Your Sales by 15% with Hot Apple Pies?

by Clint Watson on 8/16/2006
3 Comments

Today we offer a practical tip for increasing your sales. . . At least for those of you who are brave enough to engage your adoring customers directly. If you shun the “front line” of sales and purvey your artwork primarily through galleries, then call your galleries and make sure that they employ this technique in their sales efforts. Feel free to tell them we suggested you do so. They might still be insulted at your audacity to question their methods. . . But at least you can point a finger at us. Who knows? It might [...]

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Creativity begets Creativity – So Get Small for Erfahrung

by Clint Watson on 8/9/2006
6 Comments

In the art production game, continuous practice and improvement is essential to growth, particularly if you’re looking for rapid growth. Along comes Robert Genn of The Painter's Keys, "We're all familiar with the problems associated with Sunday Painters. Cranking up the old machine once a week may be okay in the vintage car hobby--but it's bad news in the creativity game. The steady worker who applies his craft daily is more likely to make creative gains than an intermittent one." If this “law” of creativity weren’t true we could all just recline by the pool for four days a week and [...]

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