Blog on Art Marketing and Selling Art


What About Promoting Other Artist's Works?

I am a firm believer in cooperating with other businesses...forming alliances, cross-promoting, etc.I started thinking, how could this apply to an artist?  And the idea occured to me that artists could cross-promote one another's works.  I think that it would work.  Every artist has a number of artist friends and, in certain instances, might be able to help each other.I'm thinking you could approach an artist you know.  Compile several pieces you would like to offer your clients and send an email newsletter to them promoting the collection.  Perhaps even post the pieces on your web site.  I'm not sure, I [...]

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Found in the Blogosphere: Quotes About Art

Why invest the hours and the sweat and the talent in a piece of art you can't (and won't) sell? Two reasons. The best reason is that when you practice your craft for yourself, not for the market, it drives you in new and important ways. And the other reason is that people are going to talk about it. Ideas that spread, win.- Seth GodinAfter two dinner wines, we argued about modern art. Skill, I said, is the basis of all art -- even the fine arts. The further you move away from representational art, the more difficult it is to come to an agreement [...]

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Hotmail Can Be Unreliable

We occassionally have clients who don't seem to receive communication from us, or from the "Contact the Artist" submissions from their web sites. For years, this perplexed us because we would test our systems and everything worked correctly.  One day, we noticed that all of these problems had one thing in common: the clients' were using Hotmail or MSN email accounts.  After searching online, we discovered that Hotmail is notoriously unreliable. So, just to be sure, we opened our own Hotmail account.  And sure enough, messages from our test web site never arrived in our Hotmail inbox.  They were not in the [...]

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Compliments are Opportunities

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing writes, "If you are like most, when you receive a compliment, you look down at your shoes, shuffle your feet, get a little blushy and stammer something like, shucks, it was nothing."Well don't.He goes on to say, "... this is the perfect time to ask for and receive a testimonial, a lead, new business or a referral. You don't have to fall all over yourself acknowledging how smart you are. You can seize the day tastefully by simply being prepared to suggest that your client might know someone else who would like these kinds of [...]

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Peak Shift by Robert Genn

Nigel Spivey, in his insightful book "How Art Made the World," speculates on "peak shift." It's a concept that comes from research into both human and animal behaviour. A neurological principle, peak shift says we need exaggeration to make our lives interesting. Spivey asks, "Is it possible that a primeval instinct explains why humans like to create unrealistic images?"Spivey cites the Venus of Willendorf, a round little female figurine that just happens to be 30,000 years old. Some anthropologists think this broad-beamed and buxom girl is the world's oldest three-dimensional joke. Others think differently. Fashioned by someone in a harsh, ice-age [...]

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Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Effective People

Years ago, I read the best seller, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey.  I never could work within the framework of his "quadrant" system, but nevertheless, the principles are sound.  I recently came across the list of his "habits" and it dawned on me that of all the virtues Covey could have focused  on in writing his chronicle of successful people, he focused on habits.Covey's seven habits are: 1. Be proactive 2. Begin with the end in mind 3. Put first things first 4. Think "win/win" 5. seek first to understand and then to be understood 6. synergize 7. Sharpen the saw (skill development)Regular [...]

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The WHY, WHAT, HOW Path to Success

Setting specific but flexible outcome targets tied to specific general goals and then reinforcing the proper habits to achieve those goals is the surest path to success. [...]

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Alyson Stanfield's Suggestions for Bloggers

Yesterday I received my weekly newsletter from Alyson Stanfield, art marketing expert.  Her ruminations this week focused on getting more blog visitors.  You, as an artist, can certainly achieve success without a blog, but writing one can provide some great benefits.  If you choose to write one, Alyson's suggestions are not only helpful, but in my opinion, mandatory.Here are her suggestions, we've explored some of these ideas before but they're worth repeating:1. Post as often as possible.2. Read and comment on other blogs.3. Link to other blogs. 4. Create meaningful text links.5. Make your blog visible on your website.6. Use your [...]

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What's the Lifetime Value of a Single Contact?

Each person you know and meet has a "lifetime value" in terms of your career that is most certainly not immediately apparent. However, just as $1 in the bank will grow enormously over time through the "miracle" of compound interest, so will the benefits you receive from people *if* you treat each person with respect, honestly and with an attitude of how you can mutually help each other (not just what you can "get" from the other person). I'll illustrate the point with a story and let you decide the lifetime value of a single contact. (The actual names in this story [...]

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Start a Testimonials File

On Tuesday, I provided a few ideas about how to use testimonials to increase sales.What if you don't have any testimonials?Simple.  Just start a file.  Whenever someone emails you, writes you or tells you something complimentary about your work, drop it in the file.  You'll probably be surprised how quickly you will amass a collection of good, authentic testimonials. [...]

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Artists Should "Hard Sell" Their Artwork

In most people, the term "hard sell" conjures up visions of sleezy used car salesmen and pushy time share purveyors.  Yet I contend that artists should "hard sell" their artwork.  Nearly every artist I've ever met would shudder at the thought...after all, artists are supposed to be above such tomfoolery....pure and uncorrupted....free to express their opinions in paint, clay or photography.  Let the dealers soil their hands selling! Right?!Wrong.The mental conflict most people experience regarding selling results from a misunderstanding of the proper definition of selling.  You see there are two ways to sell:  Bullying and Helping.The Bully Method of SellingThe [...]

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Google Alone is NOT Marketing

I've become slightly dismayed because of increasing communication from artists who focus too intensly on their Google ranking to the detriment of other, more important, marketing methods.  Yes, believe it or not, there are ways to market your work that don't rely on search engines....and this is coming from a web guy! Consider this:  Your site can disappear from Google (or drop in the rankings for a given search term) overnight, for unexplicable reasons and without warning.  Why? Here is what Kevin J. Delaney wrote in the Wall street Journal yesterday: Among the most common reasons for unpredictable changes in rankings are frequent updates [...]

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Use Testimonials to Increase Sales

As I think about ideas fine artists might implement to increase their sales, I can't help but think about the reaction of prospective clients at gallery shows.  Clients become more interested in an artist's work when they overhear other people being enthusiastic about it (See Blog Post: Enthusiam Sells).  Similarly, when red dots are going up all around them, they want to red dot a piece too.  Phsycologists call this phenomenon social influence.Testimonials tap into our desire to be validated by others.  When presented properly, testimonials effect us powerfully...causing us to stop and listen to the pitch . . . motivating [...]

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Submit Your Site to the Open Directory Project

In several past posts, I've encouraged artists to submit their web sites to Google (www.google.com/addurl).  Several of the sources that I read have also been recommending adding your site to the Open Directory Project (DMOZ).  It is a free site and, if your site is selected for inclusion, certainly can't hurt since it would provide yet another inbound link to your site.  The DMOZ is different from a search engine.  It is a directory that is compiled by people, not computers.  Theoretically, this means that it is more focused and relevant.  Unfortunately it also means that your site may not be [...]

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Enthusiasm Sells: A Tale from the Night of Artists

Enthusiam Sells.  I'll simply relate the following story of how I sold a painting without even trying to, simply because I was enthusiastic about it.  You may draw your own conclusions as to how this might apply to your own career....if it even applies at all.Last night, my wife, "P" and I attended The Night of Artists event, sponsored by the National Western Art Foundation.  Arriving a bit late at the packed venue, we immediately began enjoying the art.  P seemed to enjoy taking a leisurely pace, talking with acquaintances, sampling the wines.  I, being a man and relishing my "hunter" [...]

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List of Known Art Scammers

Yet another client emailed me regarding an art scam in which she was targeted.  It followed the usual pattern.  Here are a couple of links that you might fine useful in protecting yourself:List of names and email addresses of known art scammers:http://www.artquest.com/artquest/scammer-names.htm [...]

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A Letter from a Scammer

The email below is an actual message from a scammer.  One of our clients forwarded the letter to us.  The person who wrote the letter below sent our client a cashier's check which a bank has already determined to be counterfiet. I reproduce the letter here because it underscores the point I have been making this week:  scammers are getting more sophisticated.  Here is the letter:Dear G,   Thanks so much for your response to my query about those creatives works. Yes,i will like to proceed with the purchase of the three artworks.  Thanks so much for the discount.. I think they are lovely works [...]

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Fighting Back - A Step Against Art Scammers

The proliferation of art scams has led us to create some new features and recommendations at FineArtStudioOnline.1.  We recommend that you do NOT post your email address on your web site.  Scammers and spammers will pick it up.2.  This will force people to use the "Contact the Artist" form provided by our software.3.  Begining now, our software looks through each message submitted for key phrases common to art scams. If the software thinks it might be a scam, you, the artist, will recieve a WARNING along with the message.4.  Please report anything that you think might be a scam to us.Sincerely,Clint [...]

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Art Scammers Are Getting More Sophisticated

A client recently emailed me the following chilling message.  Be very careful when approached via the Internet about purchases.  Use common sense.  If it feels funny, it's probably a scam.   Last week I received a message that someone wanted to connect with me thru the website. I received an email from someone called Susan.  She wanted to buy 3 of my paintings. I quoted a price and she agreed on all three paintings but was in the midst of moving from Alabama to Johannesburg, So Africa.  She said her moving company would pick up the paintings and ship them with the rest [...]

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Church Under the Bridge

Today's post isn't about art, however, just as a landscape painter may occassionally take artistic license and paint a portrait, today I take artistic license to discuss a nonprofit project that I am involved with.Church Under the Bridge in San Antonio (CUBSA) offers hope to the homeless in San Antonio by bringing them food, clothing and the Word of God.  They feed the homeless "under the bridge" (under a major freeway intersection) three times a week.  I have become involved as their webmaster and recently launched a new web site for them (built on the FineArtStudioOnline platform).If anyone is interested in [...]

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Focus the Lens: Email Marketing Program Recap

1. Make a list of EVERYONE You Know2.  Email Everyone You Know3.  Send Five PERSONAL Emails Daily4.  Follow Up on Each Email You Sent5.  Follow Up with People Your Friends Referred6.  RepeatAll Focus the Lens Series Posts [...]

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