13 Truths About Marketing Your Art

1. No one can promote your art more effectively than you. No one knows it better than you and no one cares about your success more than you.
2. If you don't believe it can happen, it won't.

Heidi Lowe Gallery
Gallerist and jewelry artist Heidi Lowe gets quite animated talking with Debby Williams about the exhibition schedule at her Rehoboth Beach, Delaware gallery.

3. You have 24 hours in a day – same as everyone else on the planet, including World leaders, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and other artists. How you choose to use your precious time is up to you.
4. You need to learn to work smarter, not harder. Get help. Get organized. Establish trusted systems to help your business run smoothly.
5. Planning your day ahead of time will increase your productivity exponentially.
6. Planning your year will rock your world.
7. I share rules all the time, but the truth is that there are no rules. There used to be rules. But the rules for selling your art are changing every day. Make it up!
8. The more people you meet, the more people there are to buy your art. Ergo, get out there meet more people. The people you know are the most valuable asset for your success.
9. You can't do it alone. No one has ever achieved a high level of success on their own. You need support systems to prop you up and keep you going.
10. Seeing art online is not the same as experiencing it in person.
11. If people don't see your art, they won't buy it. Get your art out of the studio and in front of potential buyers!
12. You can't do it all. Learn to say “No, that's not for me.” You have to prioritize.
13. Follow-through is everything. You can have the best art, the best ideas, and the best intentions in the world, but none of it matters if they remain incomplete.

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15 thoughts on “13 Truths About Marketing Your Art”

  1. What a great recap! It reads like a to do list in re-evaluating/writing my marketing campaign:
    1) I have not hired a publicist, so I wear that hat too. E-mail contacts with press release for my new book, AWAKE.
    2) Add another mantra/affirmation to my work flow.
    3) Add a task item to that 2 hr window on Thursdays when I usually just sit around.
    4) Reach out to _____ and share my plan to market new work and seek advice.
    5) Give that note-making software a 30 day trial run.
    6) Set new 3, 6, 12 month goals.
    7) Press delete.
    8) Follow-up and RSVP for the think tank.
    9) Do something nice for the boyfriend and say thank you.
    10) Complete NAA’s 2012 app
    11) see #10
    12) Am I rushing the Refuge photos? Evaluate for next year’s entry.
    13) Complete today’s task list. I can do it!
    And, on a related note. I’m going today for a session with Heidi Lowe to design and create a ring. It is very exciting to be able to work 1 on 1 with an artist in this way. Alyson, was this from your visit in April?

  2. after taking lots of marketing e-courses and reading lots of articles on line about it, for me the truth about marketing is i have to do what feels right for me. just because twitter exists doesn’t mean i have to be on it! i have to agree fully that getting your art out in front of people is one of the best (and most fun) ways to sell!

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Absolutely correct, Kathryn. You can’t do everything, so pick and choose what feels best to you.

  3. I will add some nuts and bolts, call another artist who is going to the bank on a steady basis. Have a talk about the mechanics of being successful.
    Send real mail often, illustrate the letter an envelope, always carry your post cards with you, take people to you exhibition before it ends, ask a owner of your work to have a home show for you, call the press by phone and ask for a profile, put a good hook on the story, make copies of any press and write letters on same, raise money by selling art futures, have a BOGO sale,get a profile in general interest magazine, write stuff down.
    Mo ‘ Later.

  4. To reinforce your “Get out of the studio!” cheer, I wanted to report that I joined our local Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce this past January ($95/yr. & $25/lunch/month) and have gotten great interest, a few sales and lots of support.
    I have never been a part of an organization that is so full of energy and everyone understands that we are there to support each other — $$ and otherwise. I also love that it is a business organization and not an art organization. In addition, at every meeting we get up and give our 30 second elevator speech — what a great thing and boy, did I have to practice. :~)
    Now, I need to expand some more. Thanks Alyson!

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Great job, Carol! I used to belong to the CWCC in Denver – ages ago. I think they had just started. It was a good experience for me.

  5. Monica Carter Tagore

    All great points, especially the first and last. You’ve got to be your own champion, cheerleader, and advocate. If you aren’t excited about what you’ve created, nobody else will be. And really, why should they be?
    And follow-through is the key. Lots of us have ideas, but we never quite get around to executing them. So that’s all they remain: ideas. One way to increase your follow- through is to take a step back. Decide on ONE thing you will do that will advance your work, career, art, etc. And tackle that ONE thing. Even if ten other exciting ideas come along before you finish tackling that one idea, don’t commit to those others. Just get the ONE done. You’ll feel an amazing sense of pride, accomplishment, and confidence when it’s done. And that one completed thing can spur you to get other things done.

  6. Pingback: Repair the Leaks in Your Marketing — Art Biz Blog

  7. This is a great list. I posted it to facebook for my other artist friends. The one that has helped me the most in my life, is setting yearly goals for my art business. I’ve done that for the past two years and it really has helped me stay focused and be accountable to myself. Good tips as always Alyson!

  8. Thank you for your insights Alyson. It’s so valuable to realize that you have to love your art and be able to do whatever you need to in order to promote it. Luckily, if you love what you do you, it will be a less difficult process because you’re just promoting your amazing self.

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