To sell your artwork, you will need to have an understanding of art marketing. The good news is that you do not need to go to college for four years to be able to start marketing your artwork.
I am not taking anything away from education. In fact, I recommend continued education.
- Learning is power.
- Learning gives you confidence in what you do.
- Learning reduces trial and error.
With an understanding of how to market yourself, you could make a good income selling your artwork.
I am a good example that it is possible. I started a hand-painted sign business in the late 1990’s. Within 2-3 years I was grossing over six digits a year shipping product worldwide.
Late 2014 I started a different business with a medium that I have a genuine passion for, graphite. Within less than one year I built the business up to where I have commissioned jobs scheduled for twelve months.
I did not achieve what I did because I am the best artist; it was all done by marketing to the correct people.
I had the drive, passion, and knowledge on how to market to make the new business successful. One of the best lessons that I have learned over the years is, do not be afraid of trying something. If your plan does not work, you need to adjust it. If your plan is working, go full force and don’t look back.
I do not want you to think that it is easy. In fact, it is hard work. You need to design an art marketing plan, assess your plan regularly, and adjust your plan. It is constant work. However, if you have a passion for selling your artwork, you will put in the work necessary to reach your goals. The sky is the limit. The only thing that can stop you is yourself.
From this point on you will be a student for the existence of your business. Learn from everyone and everything. Study how the greats became successful. Study how large businesses became successful. Learn from everyone. Most important learn from yourself.
What is art marketing?
Marketing is being able to communicate your story to the people that have an interest in what you have to say.
The key words are “to the people that have an interest in what you have to say.”
For your marketing to be effective, your message will have to address directly to their needs and offer value to them. You only have seconds to gain their attention. Your efforts have to be on target every time.
Think about how many advertisements that you encounter each day. How many can you say that you remember? The only advertisements that you will remember are the ones that are valuable to you. All other advertisements that are in the newspaper, magazines, radio, TV, bulletin boards, social media sites, etc. you block out. Your brain will automatically block out information that you do not need or want.
Could you imagine how exhausted you would be at the end of the day if you accepted all of that useless information? The information that you block out is useless because it does not provide value to you.
Here are just a few examples of companies with a great marketing plan:
Apple does fantastic job marketing. They will have you believe that you need the newest iPhone a year before it comes out. Apple knows what you want and every year they give it to you. They are creating value for you.
McDonalds: you may not like fast food, but you cannot deny knowing the golden arches.
McDonald’s Vision statement is “to be the best quick service restaurant experience”. Being the best means providing outstanding quality service, cleanliness, and value so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.
McDonalds had this vision since 1955.
Ray Kroc was 52 when he started McDonalds. He had a keen vision to have a restaurant chain across America. His vision gave him the tools to design a marketing plan. An idea alone does not build a successful business. A marketing plan, patience, and hard work create success.
Two of my favorite quotes from Ray are:
“If I had a brick for every time I’ve repeated the phrase Quality, Service, Cleanliness, and Value. I think I’d probably be able to bridge the Atlantic Ocean with them.” ~ Ray Kroc
“I was an overnight success all right, but 30 years is a long, long night.” ~ Ray Kroc
Ray’s vision started when he visited a small restaurant that offered a limited menu of burgers, fries, and beverages. The successful restaurant Ray visited was operated by Mac and Dick McDonald.
Kroc explained his vision Mac and Dick, he envisioned McDonalds all across the U.S.
- In 1955 McDonald’s System, Inc. was established.
- By 1958, McDonald’s sold 100 million hamburgers.
- Today you can stop into a McDonalds in many countries around the world.
Ray had a vision, passion, drive, and patience to do what every needed to be done to succeed.
Ray’s marketing strategy was much different in the late 1950’s then marketing strategies are today. We are lucky to have the internet and to be able to connect with people around the world. Could you even imagine selling 100 million hamburgers in three years without the help of the web?
My hand painted sign business was all based on internet sales. I had a different marketing strategy than Ray’s, but they both had the same nucleus, being able to communicate our story to the people that had an interest in what we had to say.
I built my latest business Nevue Art Studio Commissioned Graphite Drawings on both traditional and internet marketing.
It does not matter if you do traditional marketing or have a marketing strategy for the Internet. What does matter is learning how to get your message across. You find out how to get your message across by taking the time to learn everything about your customers. Learn who your customers are. Learn what they value.
What difficulties are you having with art marketing?
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“McDonald’s Egypt :: Our Vision & Mission.” McDonald’s Egypt :: Our Vision & Mission. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.
“The Ray Kroc Story.” :: McDonalds.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2016.