Success Tip #1: Quick Start
Success Tip #2: Setting Prices
Success Tip #3: Marketing is an Ongoing Activity
Success Tip #4: Make a plan for next year
Success Tip #1: Getting motivated to get started
If you have trouble getting motivated, here's a tip
to help you get started with your Artist Success Kit: Try
setting a timer for fifteen minutes. Studies show if we commit to
something for only fifteen minutes, we can get beyond the procrastination
stage. Usually, you'll become so engrossed with your project, that
you'll continue on with your task. But if fifteen minutes is all
you can devote at one time, break your tasks into smaller chunks.
You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
After you have read the Success Handbook, here's what
you can do to get started:
Set your timer for 15 minutes: gather the following materials you will need
to start using your Artist Success Kit: a three -ring binder, white paper,
colored paper (see your kit instructions on what colors you will need), a
set of 12 notebook dividers and a three-hole punch. (time: 15 minutes)
Set your timer for 15 minutes. Print out several copies of each
form in the kit; be sure to print them on the correct color
of paper recommended; punch
them with a 3-hole punch. (time: 5 minutes)
Put them all in a three-ring binder and label the
dividers. (time: 10 minutes)
Set your timer for 15 minutes. Review the instructions on the Inventory Number/Media List page to familiarize yourself with the simple
inventory numbering system. (time: 5 minutes)
Go into your studio and start taking
inventory by filling out an Inventory Data Sheet for the
first piece of art you created this year. Then enter the information
for that piece on the main Inventory sheet. Continue by
doing the same for the second piece of art you created this year
and so on.
as far as you can, and if you must stop,
simply set down your notebook,
pencil inside so you know where
you left off. Pick up again at your next session and when you've
completed all the works created this year, you can work backwards
beginning with last year, and so on, until you have inventoried
all the artwork you've created.
As you inventory each peice, you should note the information
on the back of the work of art. You can use the sample provided
in the back of the handbook to create your Artwork Labels,
and print them off onto self stick paper. Then simply attach to
the back of each work of art.
As you create new works of art, inventory them immediately,
keeping track of all the details as you go.
BACK TO TOP
Success Tip #2: Setting realistic, competitive prices for your artwork
Last month we discussed how to get started with your Artist Success Kit by beginning to inventory your body
of work. As you’re working on completing your inventory form,
questions about pricing your art work are sure to come up. It’s
a challenge for both the beginning and experienced artist, and it’s
not often a very clear-cut process to figure out. So how do you
price your work so that it is both competitive, and likely to sell?
One way to get a feel for pricing is to visit galleries
and exhibitions. Find work similar to yours, done by an artist who
is comparable to you in stature and reputation. This can give you
an idea of how to price your work competitively. That’s not
as easy as it sounds, because often it’s hard to tell the
"stature and reputation" of a particular artist. But,
if you are persistent, and look for work of similar style, media
and subject matter, and work that you judge to be about the same
quality as yours, you can then try to find out more about the artist.
The first step is to visit a gallery. By doing this
you’ll be killing two birds with one stone: you’ll be
scouting galleries that might be suitable for showing your work,
and you’ll be gathering information about pricing and artists.
Take along your "Gallery Information" sheet from your Success Kit. It will help you know what kind of questions
When you identify work that’s similar to your
own, ask if they have a bio or handout on the artist, or if that
artist has a business card or web site. That way you can investigate
the artist further, and begin to judge his or her particular level
of experience. You can then decide how your pricing might relate
to theirs—higher, lower, the same?
Remember to take notes on the prices for different
sizes of work of the artist. You’ll want to develop a pricing
structure that covers the typical sizes of art that you produce.
Finally, while you are visiting a gallery, you also
have the chance to ask the gallery staff about pricing, and what
sizes, prices, media and subject matter sells the best in their
experience and in their region.
Your Success Handbook has more information
on the many other factors you need to consider when you are struggling
with pricing. It contains a simple-to-use method of establishing
a pricing structure, utilizing the "Price List" form
in your kit. You can order the kit now.
BACK TO TOP
Success Tip #3: Marketing isn’t a single event, but an ongoing activity
Most people think of marketing as a single event – a gallery showing,
a postcard mailing, a booth at an art fair. But effective marketing is about
a series of activities that support and follow through after those events.
This month’s Stepping Stones Update is in part inspired by the East Lansing
Art Festival, which is held each spring in Michigan. Every year, hundreds of
artists converge on downtown East Lansing to exhibit their work. They must
undergo selection by a rigorous art-review committee before even being able
to participate. In addition, art galleries in town start their First Sunday
Gallery Walk at the same time. All around the country, communities put on these
types of events.
What makes an event like this successful for an artist is how much premarketing
and post-event follow up is done.
Only a small percentage of visitors to your show or your booth will actually
buy on-the-spot. But that doesn’t mean the event or exhibition is not
a worthwhile endeavour.
• Mail a postcard to every local gallery in town mentioning your show,
event and/or your booth.
• Mail a postcard to any of your customers in the surrounding area (most
regional art shows attract visitors from up to 100 miles away or more; gallery
exhibitions are more local, up to 25 miles).
• Purchase a list of potential art buyers, by demographics (household income),
in the target area to do a postcard mailing. Most good commercial single-use
lists cost between 40 cents and one dollar per name/address set. Lists need to
be purchased ‘fresh’ within 2-4 weeks of use, and you’ll need
to expect about 10-20% inaccuracy rate (people move often).
At the show
Collect information from your visitors by having a "business card drop
box" or a "guestbook," and offer a discount on a future purchase
as incentive to fill this out. (You build your database of future clients this
Add all the show names to your database. Within 10 days (no more than) mail
a thank-you post card to the list. If you wait more than ten days, the list
is too "cold" for immediate sales. However, you can remarket to
them if you have a web site where your portfolio is displayed, or when you
return to a show the next year.
Artist web sites serve primarily to display portfolio samples of artwork. Some
might sell works on line, but typically the main purpose is for exhibition
and evaluation. Most artists can’t revisit or even call each of their
prospective customers, gallery owners or past customers regularly. A website
(combined with an opt-in e-mail list service) showcases your work 24/7. We
encourage you to have such a site.
Armed with these marketing programs across an entire year (a good average to
shoot for is four-to-six events a year) the effects multiply. You’ll
gain a wider potential customer base and have selling opportunities year-round.
Your Success Handbook has more information on the many other factors
you need to consider when you are expanding your marketing. You can order the
kit now .
Success Tip #4: Get Organized and Reconnect
At the end of each year, we all vow that we will finally
There are three simple steps you can do to get organized if you
have the Artist Success Kit. Click here for our Success Tip #1: Quick Start program.
There are four other things you should do around the first of each year:
Thank, Remind, Renew and Build
Mail a postcard to everyone on your contact list — anyone
who has expressed interest in your work (galleries, friends, previous
• Thank them for their support of your work
in the past.
• Remind them of your upcoming events /
gallery exhibitions or even a new piece (you can put a photograph
on your post card).
• Digital prints of postcards are quite inexpensive, for
a list up over 1,000, you can order post cards online at many
online print shops for as little as $99. For smaller lists, say
100 or 200 pieces, contact your local copy shop for economical
digitally printed cards.
• Renew interest in your work by placing
your work into an online gallery on your website (or online photo
album or blog services available at many big web sites like Yahoo).
• Build a Relationship
A blog, short for weblog, is a great way to place photos of your
work, or discuss creative work in progress. You can share your blog's
URL with your clients, friends, family and galleries you've exhibited
at in the past. It's easy to set up at most of the free blogging
services (blogspot is a favorite), and supports posts of photos
and text about your work.
BACK TO TOP
BACK TO PREVIOUS