Artist Websites  Artist Websites |  Featured Artists |  Art Marketing  Art Marketing |  Art Contest |  BrushBuzz |  InformedCollector |  FASO Loves You - Share Your Art, Share Life


« Pilate's Peer Pressure | Main | The Real Goal of Your Web Site »

Follow this Blog

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Quick Links

Artist Websites and Good Design
How to Sell Art
How to Get Your Art Noticed by Galleries
SEO For Artists - The Ultimate Tip


Blog Roll

Mikki Senkarik's Blog

About the Artist
acrylic painting
advice for artists
art and culture
art and psychology
art and society
art appreciation
art blogging advice
Art Business
art collectors
art criticism
art education
art fairs
art festivals
art forum
art gallery tips
art history
art law
art marketing
art museums
art reception
art show
art studio
art supplies
art websites
artist resume advice
artist statement
Artwork videos
BoldBrush Winners
Brian Sherwin
Carolyn Edlund
Carolyn Henderson
Carrie Turner
Clint Watson
commissioned art
Cory Huff
Curator's Pick
Daily Art Show
Dave Geada
Dave Nevue
email newsletters
Eric Rhoads
exposure tips
FASO Featured Artists
Fine Art Shows
framing art
Gayle Faucette Wisbon
giclee prints
Guest Posts
Internet Scams
Jack White
Jane Hunt
Jason Horejs
Jen Piche
John Weiss
Juried Shows
Kathleen Dunphy
Keith Bond
Kelley Sanford
Kim VanDerHoek
landscape painting
Lori Woodward
Luann Udell
Mark Edward Adams
mixed media
Moshe Mikanovsky
New FASO Artist Members
Noteworthy Artist
oil painting
online art competitions
online art groups
open studio
plein air painting
press releases
pricing artwork
S.C. Mummert
sell art
selling art online
selling fine art online
SEO for Artist Websites
social media
social networking
solo show
Steve Atkinson
still life art
support local art
Think Tank
websites for artists
Zac Elletson

 Mar 2018
Feb 2018
Jan 2018
Dec 2017
Nov 2017
Oct 2017
Sep 2017
Aug 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
Apr 2017
Mar 2017
Feb 2017
Jan 2017
Dec 2016
Nov 2016
Oct 2016
Sep 2016
Aug 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
Apr 2016
Mar 2016
Feb 2016
Jan 2016
Dec 2015
Nov 2015
Oct 2015
Sep 2015
Aug 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
Apr 2015
Mar 2015
Feb 2015
Jan 2015
Dec 2014
Nov 2014
Oct 2014
Sep 2014
Aug 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
Apr 2014
Mar 2014
Feb 2014
Jan 2014
Dec 2013
Nov 2013
Oct 2013
Sep 2013
Aug 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
Apr 2013
Mar 2013
Feb 2013
Jan 2013
Dec 2012
Nov 2012
Oct 2012
Sep 2012
Aug 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
Apr 2012
Mar 2012
Feb 2012
Jan 2012
Dec 2011
Nov 2011
Oct 2011
Sep 2011
Aug 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
Apr 2011
Mar 2011
Feb 2011
Jan 2011
Dec 2010
Nov 2010
Oct 2010
Sep 2010
Aug 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
Apr 2010
Mar 2010
Feb 2010
Jan 2010
Dec 2009
Nov 2009
Oct 2009
Sep 2009
Aug 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
Apr 2009
Mar 2009
Feb 2009
Jan 2009
Dec 2008
Nov 2008
Oct 2008
Sep 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
Apr 2008
Mar 2008
Feb 2008
Jan 2008
Dec 2007
Nov 2007
Oct 2007
Sep 2007
Aug 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
Apr 2007
Mar 2007
Feb 2007
Jan 2007
Dec 2006
Nov 2006
Oct 2006
Sep 2006
Aug 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
Apr 2006
Mar 2006
Feb 2006
Jan 2006
Dec 2005
Nov 2005
Sep 2005
Aug 2005


Gallery Protectionism: Poor Thinking and Poor Marketing

by Clint Watson on 4/9/2007 9:37:17 AM

Many people in the art business try to create alliances that "protect" themselves from what they consider to be "unfair" competition.  This practice, on the surface, seems to make sense, but over the long run ends up hurting the marketing efforts of those who engage in it.  Let me explain with a story . . .

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Laguna Beach and naturally spent some time "gallery hopping."

In visiting with the gallery folk, I had a chance to visit with "Vincent"  (The names in this story have been changed).  We discussed several topics, but the thing that struck me the most was his belligerence and aggravation with artists who advertise in magazines, directly promoting their works (i.e. -  not promoting through a gallery).  We began to discuss a particular magazine, let's call it "AM" for "art magazine".  AM has a habit of only accepting advertisements from retail art galleries with a physical location.  As I talked with Vincent, the subject of AM's advertising policy came up...their policy appears to be one of NOT accepting ads from individual artists or online-only galleries.  Vincent wholeheartedly supports this policy.

"Of course I advertise with AM.  They protect me from artists who advertise directly!" Vincent excitedly explains.

"Why should I support a magazine that doesn't protect me?" Vincent continues, proudly explaining how he recently quit advertising in a different art magazine that DOES accept advertisements from individual artists.  (a big mistake in my opinion as I have, in the past, gained clients who spent six figures apiece on art from the second magazine).

"Why is it the magazine's job to 'protect' Vincent", I wondered...but didn't say.  The magazine should be concerned with maximizing their own revenue.

Vincent's view is common in the art business.  In my experience, most art galleries take a "limited market" view.  In other words, they view the "market" of art collectors as a fixed pie. 

This is obviously how Vincent looks at things, In his mind, the more art collectors that someone else gains, the less art collectors that he has. 

On the surface, this would seem reasonable. But, surprisingly, the truth is that overall sales for everyone usually increase when you increase advertising into a marketplace. Instead of creating more but smaller pieces of the same-size pie, additional advertising and selling (as could be provided by individual artists or online galleries) usually creates a larger pie.

Michael Masterson, successful marketer, multi-millionaire and publisher of Early to Rise puts it this way:


[creating a larger pie is] what happens when your restaurant monopoly on Main Street is suddenly challenged by two more restaurants on the same block. For a week or so, your sales may dip a little -- but in the long run, you'll do much better.

The same holds true with almost any retail operation. That's why it's so common to see like-kind operations in the same area. You often see this with antique stores, furniture stores, car dealerships, and art galleries -- to name a few examples.

The size of a market is not limited in dollar terms. The same number of people that spent $1 million one year can spend $1.2 million the next -- if they are stimulated to do so. Likewise, a market of $1.2 million can shrink to $1 million or less when promotional activity is slowed.

There is actually a universal principle underlying this. Everything in life is expandable -- happiness, misery, pleasure, pain, even time if you believe Einstein. If you think of anything as being limited and conduct your life accordingly, it will be limited. But if you understand that you can get more by opening yourself up to more, you'll get more.

But let's get back to money.

You can make more money for yourself and your business if you recognize that the amount of buying your customers will do is not limited. If you provide them with more selling stimulation, they will probably buy more.

The limitation usually comes from the seller's side. Most marketers have a limited number of products to sell and a limited number of ways to sell them. When all those products are sold in all those ways, they think, "Well, that's it. This market is tapped out."

But it's not. What's happened is that one particular marketer has reached his limit. By inviting someone else in to market a different set of products in a different way, additional sales can be generated.


Vincent and AM think they are helping each other.  But in fact, they are hurting each other....tremendously.  Vincent (and several other art galleries), by insisting that AM "protect" him from competition is drastically hurting the magazine's advertising revenue.  For example, I alone have tried to book several double-page spreads in AM and have been refused (for reasons they have not ever clearly provided).  Had the magazine accepted my advertising, they would have by now received over $25,000 in ad revenue from me alone*(in less than one year....not to mention the lifetime value of what I would have spent).  Now just multiply that $25,000/year figure by the number of other people who cannot advertise in their magazine: individual artists, online galleries, private art dealers.  The magazine would do much better to forgoe Vincent's ads, if necessary, to tap into a much larger pool of advertisers.

But more importantly, the magazine is missing a chance to "make the pie bigger." (Ironically, they state in every issue how much they want to support the art market and how their goal is to make collectors aware of more artists.....and yet they reject ads that would do exactly what they claim is their goal!) 

What they either can't see or don't care about is that the more art that is advertised in the magazine, the more that collectors will want to read it.  The more collectors that read the magazine, the more effective Vincent's (and other art galleries) ads will be.  The more effective Vincent's ads are, the more sales he will make.  Why can't Vincent and AM see this?

Therefore, in the end, by "protecting" Vincent, the magazine is ultimately hurting his long-term sales...and their own.

This is simply poor thinking and poor marketing. 

Unfortunately, it is pervasive and hurts the most important people in the art market - the artists and the collectors.


Clint Watson
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic

PS:  If you are a magazine or art gallery, and wish to present a cohesive, logical arguement for Vincent and AM's position, I will happily post it for my readers.  Angry rants and raves that are of no substance and not logical will be ignored...unless, of course, they are worth posting simply for chuckles and grins.

PPS:  If you choose to present an argument, be sure it truly makes sense (not the old "overhead" routine - increasing the overall market as I outlined here would help increase sales, thus helping the "overhead" sitution) - remember that I was in the gallery business (including being part-owner of a major national retail gallery) for 16 years, so I do understand the market from the gallery's point of view and am not some idealist who doesn't "understand" what a gallery goes through.


FASO: The Leading Provider of Professional Artist Websites.
FineArtViews: Straight talk about art marketing, inspiration - daily to your inbox.

InformedCollector: Free daily briefs about today's finest artists in your inbox.

BoldBrush Contest: Monthly Online Painting Contest with over $25,000 in awards. 

Daily Art Show: Daily Show of Art that reaches thousands of potential collectors.


Topics: Art Business | Marketing | Michael Masterson 

What Would You Like to Do Next?
Post your comment Join Email List Follow via RSS Share Share


Loading comments...

Brian Kliewer
via web

This was very good. I have seen this line of thinking from art galleries before. The galleries I show with now seem OK with the idea of the Internet and my website. But I have seen the point of view expressed by "Vincent" myself. He is off in his "protectionism" ideas. I get many visitors to my website and blog. Most never contact me directly, however. But where DO they go on my site? Directly to my Galleries page! That's fine with me. Maybe they'll buy a painting at one of my galleries.

What "Vincent" is failing to realize is that his artists can give him some "free" advertising as well. I've done traditional "snail mail" promotional mailings in the past and even then I got, "We will check out your gallery in..." even though that was not what I was targeting. Now my presence on the World Wide Web affords me, and my galleries, an even bigger audience than I could ever get the old fashioned way.

I firmly believe that "Vincent's" stance against his artists' advertising, and no doubt the WWW itself, will leave him asking the five W's. Who? What? Where? When? and Why?

Tim Wilcox
via web

I'm afraid I don't share your opinion of Michael Masterson. He is probably best know for his copywriting course. It's hard to decide which word best describes this whole scheme. But words that come to mind are fraud, scam, ripoff, con, fake or hoax but here are

1 AWAI is not a school. In fact, they recently got into some legal difficulties with the State of Florida for pretending to be a school.

2 The program is nothing more than a cheap correspondence/home study course. There are no graduates, no diplomas. and after completion, you've gained no credentials or credibility.

3 The critiques they offer to do on your assignments are done by copywriter wannabes, not real professional copywriters. They pay these wannabes $10 for each critique.

4 The company operates out of a dingy little building on a dumpy side street in Delray Beach Florida. If you ever visited the place, you wouldn't buy anything from them.

5 The so-called copywriting experts who answer student's questions are not even copywriters.

6 The promotions they use to sell the course is absolutely filled with careful omissions, half-truths, lies, distortions, deceptions, selective memories, phony testimonials, exaggerated claims, over-simplifications, forced conclusions, unsubstantiated “facts” and good old fashioned trickery. It really is a remarkably involved and finely crafted charade that convinces people they can truly earn $100,000+ a year after taking some poorly written, lame correspondence course or attending a silly 3-day rah-rah “bootcamp”… for a hefty price.

7 The testimonials they use a worthless, many written by people who are paid to speak at AWAI seminars and who have other business dealings with the company. Michael Masterson often uses testimonials from family members.

8 At AWAI "bootcamps, the so-called job fair is nothing more than a bunch of Michael Masterson's cronies pretending to be interested in AWAI students.

9 The program is so lame that they have to throw in a bunch of "valuable" booklets revealing "secrets" in an effort to entice you to buy. None of this extra stuff is any better than the course itself which is a poorly written, rudimentary introduction to copywriting. The main part of the program is nothing more than a cheap 500 page spiral bound book with a lot of blank pages for you to do your "exercises".

10 In many ways, the course itself is a continuation of the promotions used to sell it. It is designed to set the stage for additional purchases.

11 After you buy, AWAI will badger you to death trying to get you to spend more money on their "master's" program, bootcamps, CD's, DVD's, teleconferences, etc.

12 There is little evidence that Michael Masterson can actually write decent copy. Like most of these self-appointed copywriting gurus, he never seems to actually be practicing his profession. You would think there would be a lot more money in selling billions in products and services than in selling silly get rich quick copywriting courses. And for some strange reason, you never see any copy that was ever written by the guy.

13 If AWAI was really cranking out the next generation of superstar copywriters, wouldn't they have trouble retaining their own employees? Wouldn't their employees be constantly leaving to greener, more profitable copywriting pastures? Or maybe their employees know it's all baloney.

14 When trying to secure a job as a copywriter, saying you completed the Michael Masterson's Accelerated Six Figure Copywriting Program will only get you laughed at. The real world is looking for real, creative, talented, educated, experienced copywriters who know how to drive sales, not correspondence course graduates.

15 The truth is, AWAI is simply telling you what you want to hear. They say it's fast, it's easy, anybody can do it, there's big money in it, you'll get famous, people will envy your new life, you can live and work anywhere, etc. They even call it retirement. None of this is true.

16 But the scam is so good that some people are into the course for a few years before they realize they've been constantly shelling out money and their careers are still stuck at the starting gate.

17 When negative comments start popping up on the Internet, AWAI has employees, friends and family start posting phony testimonials to offset the bad press.

18 You can buy a $20 book at your local bookstore and get better copywriting instruction than AWAI's $500 program.

19 Michael Masterson uses the same approach with his ezine Early To Rise (ETR). He is constantly selling himself as an expert on everything and offers a steady stream of worthless "get rich quick" schemes.

20 If you've already purchased the program, don't feel bad. You're no alone. Like I said, it's an effective scam.

21 The guy's real name is Mark Ford. There is no such person as Michael Masterson.

Nicolette Tallmadge
via web
I'll have to say that I agree with you. There's a lot of galleries that also have a problem with artists having blogs and websites as well and I believe that your thinking also applies in those cases as well.

The artist/gallery relationship is a mutually beneficial business *partnership* not the adversarial situation that "Vincent" appears to be making it out to be. It's almost as though "Vincent" sees artists as unruly children that need to be controlled and that shows a stunning lack of respect toward the people that are instrumental for keeping his business afloat. In the simplest of business terms, artists are the "suppliers" to these galleries and making things harder for your suppliers are a good way to put yourself out of business.

At the end of the day, an artist has to be responsible for marketing their own work whether they're with a gallery or not. It does an artist very little good to be completely dependent on a certain gallery to do that work for them. That includes things like websites, blogs, advertising, etc. And an artist who can market themselves well outside of as well as within a certain gallery will only make them more valuable the better known they become.

Mark Ford/Michael Masterson is a fraud - and you should steer clear of any "service" or product he or his companies offer. They include Agora publishing, Early to Rise, AWAI, MaryEllen Tribby, Katie Yeakle, and the whole lot of them. They dub themselves "direct response marketers" but the only thing they're expert in is convincing you to give them money.

Look very carefully at the language used in their marketing materials. No promises, just carefully worded seductions to entice gullible people to pay for a product that makes them feel good - but doesn't do a damn thing for them. Rather than a $500 course, why not buy a $25 business book at your local bookstore. You will get the same result.

Clint Watson
@ "Sucker" - I've never paid a dime to early to rise/awai/agora. I only subscribe to their free daily newsletter. The ideas I've gotten from that newsletter have helped me to build my business and increase my income many times over.

I've never told anyone to purchase a $500 course from them. I do think you might want to be careful of calling people a "fraud" without providing real evidence though.

Mary Ellen Anderson
Vincent's point is that he's losing his visibility. The magazine doesn't have unlimited capacity, and this would either raise advertising prices or his ad would become lost in pages of ads without content.

This policy was not put in place to protect Vincent's market and 'good old boy' business. It was done to protect subscribers from scams, and flooding them with inferior art. The policy is there to protect the reputation and quality of the magazine.

Making the pie bigger is offset by making the value of the magazine less to the subscribers and advertisers.

Did the other magazine you mentioned screen their advertisers in some other criteria?
--mary ellen anderson

Mary Ellen Anderson
However, the argument is valid in the artist website scenario. Here the quality being submitted into the system is maintained. So a bigger pie means something. Because it more buyers, not more sellers.
--mary ellen anderson


FASO Resources and Articles

Art Scammers and Art Scam Searchable Database


FineArtViews, FineArtStudioOnline, FASO, BrushBuzz, InformedCollector, BoldBrush
are Trademarks of BoldBrush Technology, LLC Licensed to BoldBrush, Inc. 

Canvoo is a registered trademark of BoldBrush Technology, LLC Licensed to BoldBrush, Inc

Copyright - BoldBrush Technology, LLC  - All Rights Reserved