Guest Blogger: Gary Peters
How I Sold 10 Pieces of Art and Covered the Costs for 10 More
Trying to find a way for your artwork to at least pay for itself–especially if you've only ever sold a couple of pieces–is a challenge we all face.
So I created the One-for-You, One-for-Me Offer to fix this. Using it I’ve to been able to cover my material costs, engage with my supporters, get finished work into people's homes and still have art to exhibit and sell.
You can do the same.
Here's How It Works
The idea is simple. If one of your supporters pays the material costs for you to make two new works of art, she gets one (at a very affordable price) and you get to keep the other.
How to Make This Idea Work for You
1. Work out your material costs.
How much does it cost to make two pieces of work? One way to find out is to look at your receipts from the previous year and see how much you spent on materials. Divide this by how many works you made and you have a rough idea.
2. Find out what postal costs will be.
Sending art through the post, especially overseas, can be expensive. I purposely kept my work small to make postage easier. As for any import duties, you can make it clear the onus is on the recipient, not you.
Add the material costs and the postal costs together and can estimate the price of your offer.
3. Get clear on your offer.
Once you have an idea of your costs, add them together to get your offer price. If your material costs are $110 and your postal costs are $55 then your offer may look something like this:
The One-for-You, One-for Me Offer
You can receive one of my new works by covering
the cost of materials for me to make two new pieces of art.
After I've made them I'll choose one of the works for you
and pop it in the post. That one's for you, and the other is for me.
4. Prepare before you launch your offer.
I decided to launch my offer exclusively to my weekly newsletter readers–in order to thank them their subscription and because they already have an interest in my work.
You can do the same. And if you haven’t got a newsletter start one today! It’s valuable in so many ways.
You’ll also need to set up a Web page from which you can receive payments. I used PayPal so I could accept credit cards with no costs upfront–there’s a fee if you make a sale. It’s secure and relatively simple to set up and use.
5. Launch your offer.
Once you’ve got your list and have a trusting relationship with your supporters you’re good to launch. Don’t worry too much about the size of your list (I only had 50 people on mine).
Tease your offer over a couple of weeks before you launch it. Aim to get people intrigued and interested. First briefly mention you’re working on something special. Follow this a week later with a more detailed explanation of your offer and include the launch date. At this point you can give people an indication of the price. For example, It’ll be less than $500.
Finally, send the launch email. Clearly explain the offer as described under #3 so people know what they’re signing up for. Include the actual price and direct your reader to your website page where they can pay you. Be prepared for people asking about paying in installments or making payments directly to your bank account. Have an invoice ready to send them with your bank details and all will be sweet.
6. Follow up and ship.
Once people have signed up you’ve obviously got to make the work and ship it! And don’t forget to follow up with your supporters while you’re making the work. It’s good to keep them involved and let them know how things are going.
From my list of 50 people, ten signed up for my offer, and that included a good friend paying me double to make him a diptych.
Starting work on the new pieces while knowing my material costs are covered has been great, as is knowing that half of the pieces already have homes to go to. And speaking with the people who signed up, they’re as excited as I am about this project.
Hopefully your supporters will be as excited about your One-for-You, One-for Me Offer!
Guest blogger Gary Peters creates intuitive, colorful paintings in which he explores and reveals a variety of changing places and spaces. He's also interested in discovering new business models for artists and has created a free, more detailed, One for You Report you to download.