- by Barney Davey
The return of optimism improves your prospects for selling art now.
Maybe you have seen the changes, or maybe not. Your awareness and opportunity may depend on where you live, or how you manage your business. What is crucial now is you take steps to be in line for your share.
Five reasons selling art opportunities are improving:
- Real Estate Rallies With Bidding Wars – a Friday, April 25 story on ABC National News showed home prices rising and the return of bidding wars on residential real estate. We have not seen this in eight years. This only happens when confidence and optimism are trending upward. This will open doors for you and set the stage for you to sell more art. Whether it is new homeowners, movers, or those enjoying growing home equity, your chances to sell more art now are increasing.
- In its February issue, Art World News magazine gave a glowing report for the 2014 West Coast Art and Frame Show. Here’s what it had to say, “The West Coast Art & Frame Expo in Las Vegas in January was one of the best trade-only shows from a business perspective since the dawn of the recession.” Both art and picture framing exhibitors quoted in the article offered encouraging observations about the show. Many said the show was the best in recent memory.
- The 35th Annual ArtExpo New York was according to a number of returning exhibitors, best in recent years. This show, along with the WCAF Show, is an industry bellwether. When they succeed, it bodes well for the entire art industry. The return of the previously shuttered Decor magazine as a digital publication sends another signal publishing companies are investing in media and have confidence advertisers will support them.
- An AP wire story reports US Consumer Confidence Jumps to 9-Month High – U.S. consumer confidence surged in April, approaching the highest level since the recession began in 2007 as Americans reported greater optimism about their financial situation and the economy. The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment rose to 84.1 in April from 80 in March. That’s just a point below the 85.1 reached last July, which was the highest in nearly seven years. Americans have cut back on debt and benefited from steady hiring and rising stock and home prices. Just 28 percent said this month that their finances were getting worse, down from 37 percent in March and the lowest level since April 2007.
- My friend and fellow podcasting partner, Jason Horejs is optimistic about sales in his Scottsdale, Arizona Xanadu Gallery. Jason’s experience in the art gallery business extends two decades. However, it is more than his considerable experience that gives his opinions weight; it is also due to his pragmatic business practices and keen insights on the economics of the retail art scene that inform his perspective.
Now is the right to review your art business from top to bottom.
Here are some questions to ponder:
- Is your work selling when you get enough exposure to it? If not, you may want to rethink your approach and examine why your work is not selling.
- Are you working on refreshing your art creation thoughts and processes?
- Have you added new tweaks or bold changes to what you are offering collectors and galleries?
- What kind of marketing are you doing? Have you changed things up or reviewed what is working and what is not?
- Are you satisfied with the marketing practices you currently have in place?
- Is your website modern in design and content? When is the last time you brushed up your website?
- Are you doing enough with social media, blogging, and email marketing?
- How much importance are you putting on networking and local marketing?
- Have you reviewed and updated your marketing strategy? Do you have a marketing strategy?
- Are you properly allocating your time to get the most critical tasks completed?
- Do you plan your work in the studio and in your business?
Planning, strategizing, and executing marketing moves are usually difficult to achieve at first. It requires discipline that is sometimes not easy to mobilize, especially when you work most hours in a solitary manner. It is easy to slip into destructive habits, to allow the negative energy of others affect, resulting in you losing sight of keeping the main thing the main thing.
Here is the truth about the starving artist myth.
Your success is determined just as much by your drive, ambition and effective marketing as it is by your creativity. Many artists don’t like hearing this news. They like to think if they produce the best art they can that avid collectors will line up to get their work. This kind of unrealistic dreaming has ruined many a potentially highly profitable art career.
No artist today needs to starve. That’s a silly not even romantic notion. Starving is starving and it sucks. A well fed artist has the energy to do great things with her or his art. You can’t expect great things if you don’t work to make them happen. Success is about taking smart actions at the right time, then rinse, lather and repeat.
No one will or can do this for you.
You have to be the custodian of your art career and all the different ingredients that make the difference between failure, mediocrity and remarkable success. It has to come from your vision, dedication and consistent actions focused on the right things at the right time. While you eventually may employ people to carry out your business practices, they will only be as excited about your success and getting things done as you are.
Successful art marketing is an ongoing process.
If you want people to buy your art, you continually need to remind your best prospects you have art they should buy. This takes time and smart marketing. It cannot happen any other way.
All artists have limited resources. This means you have to choose wisely what to do, and you have to work hard at staying the course once you have a plan. Further, you must consistently measure and test your results. It is the only way you will ever know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em for the marketing strategies you use. When it comes to art marketing, your time and resources are too precious to waste.
Visualize your success.
If you are in the early stages of your career, unless you are exceptionally fortunate, you probably have to balance completing the tasks of making art and marketing art on your own. If this is the case, you need to have a goal to work as hard and fast as possible to get yourself to the point you can outsource as much of the non-creative parts of your art business as you can or wish.
Visualizing now that you will have employees will help you think strategically about how that will work out for your business. Part of this requires learning to let go. Learning to let someone else do a less important job 80% as well as you could have done is the only way you can free more time to work on the high dollar generating parts of your art business.
Learn to trust your system.
Another crucial ingredient to you growing success is in discovering how to trust in your business plan. Trust is the only thing that will allow you to spend on employees and marketing. If you are afraid of failure, are too tight with your dollars, and are unwilling to share responsibilities with others, you will not meet your potential.
Reimagine your art career starting now.
It is a long and exhausting haul to think you are going to manage all aspects of your art business for decades to come. There is a better and more effective way to earn a living as an artist. Begin now to get your marketing, your time, and your resources under disciplined control. Find the time to make a long-range plan for your success with an appointment with yourself to review it regularly.
Doing these things will boost your motivation and guide your commitment to help you stay on track. You deserve to be successful. When you believe that in your heart and take actions to back up your belief, you put yourself on the path to your greatest art career success.
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