How Does a Pandemic Change Art Marketing?
What Happens to Art Marketing in a Pandemic?
Without question, nothing is the same since Covid-19 reared its ugly head. And many things are changed forever measurably. Whatever life looks like in the post-pandemic world, it is sure to be vastly different. It’s all so confusing because there are so many questions that no one can answer.
Will business turn to normal? Will we resume shaking hands and hugging people? Will we feel comfortable in close quarters with hundreds or thousands of others? Will we wince anytime someone around us coughs or sneezes? Will we have our jobs, businesses, and incomes back? Can we keep our kids safe in school? Can we age and move into a nursing home without worrying we are trapped? Will we have trust that our government, politicians, and leaders can keep us safe?
No Political Debates Here
I’m not making a political statement here. You have your opinion already and likely are not interested in mine if we disagree. There shouldn’t be any politics in a pandemic anyway. Short of World War III, there is no more urgent reason to rise above politics and make decisions, popular or not, based on the public good. Unfortunately, things were too fractured before Covid-19 hit the global community like a freight train into a semi stuck on the tracks.
The things we know for sure is Covid is potent, highly contagious, and currently has no enemies. There is no vaccine or therapeutics to stop it. We’re hoping for a Hail Mary solution by the end of the year, but you can’t make plans on that outcome. I hope I’m wrong, but I think under the best outcome that we will be well into 2021 before there is a common belief that the danger has passed. We must be prepared for things to go longer.
History doesn’t support a shortened timeframe on a medical cure for viruses. We all want to be optimistic, but you have to prepare for the possibility that it could be a long time before the coronavirus is not stalking us with deadly efficiency. To do otherwise is to put yourself in harm’s way unnecessarily. It’s a viable possibility that you can’t ignore.
It’s Bigger Than You
If you were only betting on your health, you still are putting a strain on the healthcare system if you get Covid because you were cavalier about how it operates. The thing is, if you get the virus, there is a nearly 100% chance you give it to others. You put your family, friends, and co-workers at risk when you are infected. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want it on my conscience that I was willfully ignorant or selfish and, as a result, passed the virus to others who trusted me to be smart and vigilant.
No one wants a shutdown because it causes a second equally painful financial pandemic. Finding a balance between keeping our economy alive or killing or putting people into dire health circumstances and overwhelming our healthcare system is like threading a camel through the eye of a needle. It seems damn near impossible. But we have to try.
Is It As Real and Bad As It Is Billed?
It’s challenging to fight or believe in an enemy you can’t see. It’s troublesome to be afraid of some virus when all around you, it has little or no effect on you or your family. If that’s the case, you’re lucky… for now. Covid is coming for you, for me, and for everyone we know. It respects nothing, fears no one, and rides on the air we breathe.
With most states easing or lifting shutdown orders, we can only hope the deaths and new case numbers will stop rising or rise slowly. We trust people will stay vigilant and guard themselves when at work or in public. That’s because Covid just keeps relentlessly reproducing in one human after another. No matter of wishful thinking changes how it operates.
Given That Scenario, Is It Worth Talking about Marketing Art in a Pandemic?
I say yes, it is for many reasons. It is real that millions are out of work and hurting big time financially—a bit over 10% of the population as of this writing in mid-May 2020. That’s a horrible human tragedy that is impossible to comprehend unless you are on a line waiting for food. But among the other 90% of the population, there is activity.
Buying is cautious, but it’s real and it’s happening every day. There is no reason not to be a part of keeping the economy going by selling art. You’re buying supplies, frames, materials, advertising, and more to get your work sold. Every little thing you do circulates money into the economy. As such, it’s not a selfish or irrational thing to do to sell some art now.
We need the economy open, and until we defeat Covid, we must mitigate against it as best we can. It’s more than common courtesy to wear a mask in public and to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. As simple as it seems, besides staying home, it’s the best way to cut down unnecessary transmission of Covid from those who are asymptomatic, which could easily be you.
Back to Art Marketing Now
Let’s go back to art marketing in the current situation. There is plenty of evidence that people are still buying art. I think people may have new motivation to purchase art now. They want to support the local economy. They want to add cheer, or beauty, or something mystically powerful to their homes or place of business. They might be more motivated to buy art from you if you add a charitable component to the purchase. For instance, you pledge ten percent of all proceeds go to such organizations as these:
You’ve Got Two Choices and Both Work
You can look at art marketing in a pandemic in two ways. The first is you commit to finding ways to get your work to market now. The second is you are not ready for selling your art for whatever reason until Covid-19 is history.
There is no poor choice here. It is a decision only you can make. I can’t assess blame for doing one over the other. The good news is the process is relatively the same no matter your choice. That’s because selling art is always the same. It takes awareness, interest, desire, and finally, action to make it happen.
If you want to sell art now, you’ll want to make some plans and take actions of your own to move potential buyers from becoming aware of your craft through to buying your art. If you are hesitant to think you are ready to sell art now, you can work on the first steps. That is, how do you make people aware of your art? And how do you present your art in such a way that makes it desirable?
People’s Minds Are Open Even During a Shutdown
The world, as we used to know it, is shut down in many ways now, but people are still open to learning about new things. Many are eager to have something take their minds off the constant drumbeat of shocking and scary news. Many have more time on their hands since Covid came to town. There is a void of time and interest you can fill with your art.
You don’t have to feel like you are trying to take advantage of a bad situation to sell your art. The truth is you are like everyone else. You want things to return to normal soon, and in the meantime, you are doing what you can to make things as normal as before.
The Secret Successful Artists Know
Successful artists share a secret. They know that their collectors buy the artist as much as they buy the art. They can see how their relationship with collectors, including digital connections, influences buying decisions. Whether one, two, or three degrees of separation, the perceptions patrons have about the artist affects the sale positively.
I Can Help You
The Art Marketing Mastery course is designed to train artists on how to identify and connect with their top prospects. I’ve put it on sale at the lowest price ever as a way to help you sell art now or to get ready to sell art in the post-Covid period that can’t come soon enough.
Even with this crazy low price, you still get admittance to the private Facebook group where you can ask questions and other smart, experienced artists, and I will do our best to help you.
PS. Without bragging, I will tell you the advice I’ve given in the private Art Marketing Mastery Facebook group is priceless. Whether it was a suggestion that helped to sell an artwork or information to avoid a dicey situation, hundreds of artists in the group have benefited from having access to me. I hope you will become one, too. Here’s an example.