Reach Your Specific Goal for Art Sales

Everyone knows that goals are important for career and business success. So we write them out, post them on the wall and hope they come true. If you want to get real about your goals–REALLY real–you’ll take the time to figure out how you’re going to do it.

As a start, break down your goal in order to see what it means to your production schedule and quality of life. In today’s Art Marketing Action newsletter, I use this example as a specific goal:

I will be selling $50,000 worth of art each year by January 1, 2009.

So . . . January 1, 2009 is just 2.5 years away. If this were your goal, you would set other milestones in between:

I will be selling $30,000 worth of art each year by January 1, 2007.
I will be selling $40,000 worth of art each year by January 1, 2008.

Then, take each of those dollar figures and figure out what you have to sell in order to attain your goal. (Notice this is “worth of art” not what you netted.) For instance, to sell $50,000 worth of art, you might have to sell:

four 60 x 48 inch canvases @ $8,000 each = $32,000
five 24 x 36 inch canvases @ $4,000 each = $20,000

You should also figure in sales of any giclees, notecards, or works on paper. If you’re a jeweler, how many earrings, necklaces, pendants, brooches, and bracelets does that mean?

Ask yourself:
Does this goal challenge me?
Is it doable? (Can I create that much work?)
Do I believe in it?

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5 thoughts on “Reach Your Specific Goal for Art Sales”

  1. Fantastic post I have been doing this for the last few days I suggest putting each goal on a large index card and then writing the ideas of how to get to each goal on each. You can add a “to do list” to each one too so you can check off your tasks. Then as each goal gets accomplished or revised add new ones and retire the old to the back of the file.

  2. As a software engineer that specializes in writing requirements for very large software projects I’ve adopted a similiar approach for my artwork. In software the “requirements” must be “testable” very much in the same way that art “goals” must be “measureable”. I’ve adopted an approach for my art goals that are similar to how I write requirements for software projects. I wrote a long post about it on my blog a while back – you can check it out here:

  3. New Work and Inspiration

    More Details about my Goals

    Yesterday I made a comment that I keep my master list of goals in an excel spreadsheet. I got a few questions about how I go about doing this and in the past I promised some people I would write in more detail about my goals, so here is that long ove…

  4. I am all about making goals – But the art market has been very unsteady these past few years (seven years to be exact). I don’t know if I can make monetary goals that I have no control over. I learned long ago to make an open ended, or on-going to-do list. At the end of the day or week if I did not accomplish all the things on my list I had the tendency to feel like a constant failure. It is depressing. As an artist, some years I have made $30,000 – $40,000 – other years (most recently) I can spend more time on marketing, etc, work 12-14 hour work days – well into the wee hours and then barely make above poverty level. Sometime I have to take part time jobs to get through the rough patches. I am tired. Sometimes I even think about quitting being an artist. So if I make a goal of $50,000 by such and such date and repeatedly fall flat on my face – is there some point when you throw in the towel and call it quits? Thoughts?

  5. I’ve found that goals are important for me (“Don’t expect to get anywhere unless you know where you’re going.”) to get me on my way. However, just as important as the goals, are the objectives or what steps are you going to take to hit that goal. Many times I’ve stumbled because I didn’t really plan out and think through what it would actually take to get there. Also, when I make goals, money isn’t the one and only. I’ve also got Production, and Marketing goals, too. Now I just need to refine my style/purpose/statement. Might be time to take a class!

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