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more:marketing:marketing_nuts_and_bolts:the_business_of_being_an_artist:start [2019/11/12 11:24]
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more:marketing:marketing_nuts_and_bolts:the_business_of_being_an_artist:start [2020/02/13 10:02]
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-====== The Business Of Being an Artist ====== 
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-{{https://​www.artspan.com/​images/​icons/​famfam/​page_white_acrobat.png?​nolink}} [[http://​www.artspan.com/​marketing_docs/​Business-of-Being-Artist.pdf | Download this page as a PDF]]  
- 
-By Eric Sparre, Founder and director of Artspan.com 
- 
- 
-**Selling into a headwind** 
-  
-The economic downturn has made the already challenging proposition of pursuing artistic work  
-as a full time profession even more difficult. This means that you, the professional artist, need  
-to increase your ability to be self reliant. What does that mean? Simply, you need to be the  
-driving force behind marketing and selling your work.  
- 
-You might say, "but my job is to produce the art; I don't have time to market it (and I am not  
-comfortable doing that anyway)."​ I understand that your skills, training, and inclination may all  
-argue against doing your own marketing. I have been an artist for 30 years and feel the same  
-way! But you should recognize that the world has changed and you both can and must do a lot  
-of your own marketing. You have the tools to do this ­ tools that no artist had in the past. And  
-the art market is also becoming more competitive. Bottom line: you need to ask yourself, "​Why ​ 
-am I creating this work?" If art is your profession as well as your driving passion, the answer ​ 
-combines the desire to see your work shared with the world with the very practical need to  
-keep the lights on in your studio. ​ 
- 
-See my "**Top 10 Tips**"​ below on some tools and ways to market art in today'​s world. But just as  
-important as these tips is the attitude you bring to your marketing. A positive outlook and some  
-patience are key ­ building a career takes time and persistence. It is a lifelong process and runs  
-parallel to the development of your artistic skills and vision. No question that it can be  
-frustrating at times. But it can also be immensely rewarding - which is of course the whole point  
-of being an artist. ​ 
- 
-As someone who has been an active artist and has also devoted the last ten years to helping ​ 
-others market their work, the single most important conclusion I have reached is that taking ​ 
-control of your career empowers you as a seller, as an artist, and as a human being. It is central ​ 
-to everything. And here is where you start... ​ 
- 
-**☛ 1. Harness the incredible reach of the internet: get a website.** ​ 
-The internet is the most extraordinary event of our time. It holds tremendous promise for us as  
-artists, but it can be a bit daunting. However, it's a lot easier to use than you might think. You  
-don't need a degree or special talents, you just need to spend some time learning to harness its  
-reach. Start by getting your own website. The easiest (and I think the best) way to do this is  
-with a self-managed template website, one that allows you to add images and text, customize ​ 
-the design, and more. A template website, like any other website, should be elegant, full- 
-featured, low cost, and easy to navigate. It should look professional. Remember that your  
-website is where you will introduce people to your work and it's how you will stay in touch with  
-people who already know your work. It should be the hub for all of your promotional and  
-marketing efforts. ​ 
- 
-**☛ 2. Branding: you and your website**. ​ 
-You need your own website with your personal domain name: it's about giving your brand the  
-importance it merits. A page or pages on someone else's site is not enough. Again, you need to  
-be able to send people to your personal website. In choosing a domain name, try to register ​ 
-one that incorporates your own name. It's easier for people to remember and people who  
-know you will search for your site using your name as the keyword. Chances are excellent that  
-your site will pop up in the top three on the search results page.  
- 
-Participating in group sites or creating profiles on social media sites like Facebook can be useful ​ 
-for extending your reach, but, again, you will still need to have your own site.  
- 
-**☛ 3. Make your site easy to find.** ​ 
-There are ways you can optimize your site so that it is easier for people to find you via search ​ 
-engines like Google. The relative importance of the different elements that determine search ​ 
-engine rankings is called an algorithm. You can do research on the `Google algorithm'​ over the  
-internet using that as a search term, but here are three of the most important elements: ​ 
-First, the `Meta title' ­ it's what appears on the top left corner of your browser window and is a  
-description of your site. The Meta title is embedded in the code behind your homepage, but  
-with a template site, you should be able to enter the Meta title yourself. It should be seven or  
-eight words long and include your name and the type of work you do. Second, content is very  
-important, particularly content on your homepage - the higher up on the page and the larger ​ 
-the font, the better. Again, use specific terms. The third element is links. The more relevant ​ 
-(highly ranked) art pages linked to your site the better (and you should also link out to them). ​ 
- 
-**☛ 4. Get out there and exhibit.** ​ 
-Show your work as often as you can. Without exhibiting, you won't be able to develop a  
-following for your work and your work won't develop as fast as it could. Most venues are good  
-when you are starting out, though showing at "​vanity"​ galleries and down-scale retail locations ​ 
-can be counter-productive. ​ 
- 
-**☛ 5. You don't need someone else to sell your work, you can do it yourself.** ​ 
-You don't need to spend years getting ready (though you will spend a lifetime developing your  
-vision). You can start simply, with the people who know you best - family and friends or  
-acquaintances. Expand your circles out by asking friends and family to send along a link and/​or ​ 
-an image to a friend. Getting some marketing training can also be extremely useful and I highly ​ 
-recommend signing up for a seminar with an artist consultant. ​ 
- 
-**☛ 6. Look for new markets and new media.** ​ 
-Have you ever taken your work to an art fair? Have you explored new media like archival ​ 
-pigment prints? How about interior designers? They buy a lot of art. Check out The Guild, a  
-source book which reaches 41% of interior designers (and many corporate consultants and  
-others). You can find it at http://​www.guildsourcebooks.com. You should also look into regional ​ 
-mailing lists of decorators and dealers. Talk with other artists; compare notes. Check out  
-relevant magazines like Professional Artist and even artist blogs. Be as creative in your effort to  
-market and sell yourself as you are in your work and you will be surprised at the opportunities ​ 
-you will find.  
- 
-**☛ 7. Know your buyer.** ​ 
-Ask yourself these questions: "Who is buying my work? Where are they buying it? What kinds  
-of work and what sizes sell most easily?"​ These are critical questions for a professional artist ​ 
-and knowing the answers can have a big impact on the success of your efforts. ​ 
- 
-**☛ 8. Price your work correctly.** ​ 
-How do you know what a correct price is? It should be a function of three things: your market ​ 
-(see #7), your career (you will start low and increase with time), and the size of the work. Be  
-consistent in your pricing (charge the same price for two works of the same size and medium ­  
-not more for one because you think it's better). Second, price your work to sell. It's better to  
-sell a work at a lesser price (but still a price that is consistent with where you are in your career) ​ 
-than to have it sitting around your studio. Also, consider sales terms. You may want to sell a  
-work to an enthusiastic,​ but financially strapped, buyer on the installment plan.  
- 
-**☛ 9. Do your homework.** ​ 
-If a buyer (or a gallery) expresses serious interest in your work and you are not familiar with  
-him/her, you should find out who they are. In the case of buyers, most particularly internet ​ 
-buyers, you'll want to get full contact information and business references. As a rule of thumb, ​ 
-never ship anything to a buyer you don't know without having payment fully cleared in your  
-account (not just `credited'​). If you are dealing with galleries, check with the Better Business ​ 
-Bureau (in the U.S.). ​ 
- 
-**☛ 10. If you are a professional artist, be a professional in all things.** ​ 
-You should look at allocating at least 25% of your time to marketing your work. Because the  
-work itself can be so all-consuming,​ you may want to do your marketing later in the day, after  
-your creative work is done. It's a good idea to set a daily and/or weekly routine that includes ​ 
-marketing. Make sure that you set standards for the business end of your career as you do for  
-your creative work. Then, adhere to them. And as you are marketing your work, keep your  
-promotional efforts consistent in their message. ​ 
- 
-**☛ Bonus tip: Be Bold** ​ 
-Art is about finding your voice; it's about growth. You can't grow if you are focused on avoiding ​ 
-mistakes. Pick up the big brush, not the little one. Take a chance. That's what will take you to  
-the next level. Apply the same approach to your marketing. Don't be shy ­ if you feel your work  
-is right for gallery X or buyer Y, tell them why. This is your life!  
- 
-**About Eric Sparre** ​ 
-Artspan Founder and Managing Director Eric Sparre believes that the internet is "a great leveler ​ 
-of the playing field for artists,"​ enabling them to do their own marketing and selling. A  
-successful painter with a career spanning several decades, Sparre looked for a simple way for  
-artists to leverage the power of self-managed websites and launched Artspan in 1999. In the  
-course of his career, Sparre has exhibited in six one-person shows in New York and participated ​ 
-in numerous group shows in both public and private exhibition spaces, with reviews and/​or ​ 
-articles in the major art magazines. ​ 
- 
-[[http://​www.artspan.com|www.artspan.com]] 
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-©2011-2013 Artspan.com ​ 
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-[[More:​Marketing:#​marketing_nuts_and_bolts:​|Back to Marketing: Marketing Nuts and Bolts]] 
  
more/marketing/marketing_nuts_and_bolts/the_business_of_being_an_artist/start.txt · Last modified: 2020/02/13 10:02 (external edit)