Christopher Roche’s vibrant active pastel and acrylic paintings depict unforgettable moments in sports as well as every day scenes that become magical because of his treatment of them. His work is full of life and motion, brightness and color. In his artist statement he says, “I have always been naïve enough to believe that if I create images of great interest to me, that they will be of interest to others as well.“ Apparently, the philosophy has paid off, because Roche is one of Artspan’s biggest-selling artists. We asked him a few questions about his approach to marketing his work.
- What sort of special promotions have you used to help sell your work?
I don’t do a ton of special promotions, but when I am printing an entire limited edition of 50 giclee prints, I do offer the prints at a $50 pre-sale discount prior to the edition running. This rewards customers for buying early, and helps me pay for the cost of the edition upfront.
- Your Facebook page is almost as lively as your art. I like the way you show your customers holding the work they bought. How do you use Facebook and other social media to market your work?
I use FB a lot in selling my work, and it has been a successful vehicle for me sales wise. I use my personal page as my art business page, I only post about things related to my art. I join groups that tie in with my work, whether that be an ASU football group, a Neon sign group, or a hometown Mesa, Arizona group where I live. Some of these groups have 5,000-10,000 members, so when I post my work in a group it is being exposed to a wide audience. Now, most groups don’t want you posting links to your website, or outright selling on their pages, so I don’t do that. But, what I do is follow the comments, and when people start commenting, and asking questions, are you selling these? I private message them, send them the link privately and “friend” them as well. I did this the other night in an ASU group when I launched a new limited edition, and I was up late responding to comments in real time, and sending the information out to those who expressed an interest, and it generated significant sales. You gotta stay up on those people commenting and respond quickly, I feel that makes a big difference in closing the sale.
- You’re selling both prints (using Artspan's Prints-on-Demand program) and originals. Do you have different marketing strategies for each?
Mainly, my strategy with the limited edition prints is to keep them priced at $400 or less framed, that has become kind of a sweet spot for me, but also offer other options. Unframed in the $200 range, and then small mini prints at a lower price point for those who like the work, but can’t afford the limited edition prints. My mini prints 8” x 10” have been a consistent seller. With my ASU football stuff I have also been able to get some of the editions autographed by the players in the paintings, and that has helped spark interest as well. I have sold originals through social media, but mostly I sell originals to established clients I already have, and at my festival shows, where I meet people directly.
When talking about my limited edition prints and framing, I frame them myself, and make sure the prints fit into a standard sized frame with a 16" x 20" opening. This allows me to make money on the framing. I have a black wooden gallery style frame with double white matting that looks really nice on my pieces. It also allows people who order unframed to frame them themselves pretty affordably if they choose to.
- How does having a website help you to sell your work? Have you made any changes to it that improve its effectiveness as a marketing tool?
Having a website is very important in making you a legitimate business where people can buy your work. I have made some changes, but nothing dramatic. Having a website in and of itself is not going to sell your work, you have to find ways to drive traffic to the website, it is a numbers game, social media has helped me do that. I also try to make sure that my website is updated with new work pretty quickly, and give your customers choices on the various purchase options available.
Do you use press releases or other methods to engage more traditional media outlets?I have not used press releases, and such to engage other media outlets.