The Art Biz ep. 140: A Sales Process for Artists with Miriam Schulman

Why do we, in the art world, often think that sales is a dirty word?

Heck, it’s not just in the art world. Many of us associate sales with something unseemly.

And, yet, we have to do it. If we want to make money, we need to learn to sell—especially when we own our own businesses, as artists do.

©Miriam Schulman
©Miriam Schulman, Spector String Trio. Watercolor on Paper, 50"x26"

My guest for this episode is Miriam Schulman. Miriam is an artist founder of The Inspiration Place, where she helps other artists learn how to profit from their passion or become better artists. She is also the author of Artpreneur: The Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Sustainable Living from Your Creativity, scheduled for release on January 31, 2023.

Artpreneur covers a lot of topics, but I wanted to talk with Miriam about the sales process because it’s rarely discussed in artist circles. 

We often think of sales as a single step. Either someone buys your art or they don’t.

There's so much more that goes into making a sale. It's a process.

And as I said at the beginning, sales can be considered a dirty word in some circles. I get that because I come from an art history and museum background where we didn’t have to deal with sales. But Alyson in 2023 knows that it’s ridiculous to consider sales a dirty word if we want to grow our businesses and careers.

We have to adopt a new mindset around sales in order to be successful, and we have to understand what is involved.

In this conversation, Miriam and I review her Artpreneur Sales Playbook and 10-step sales process.

Listen

📄 This Week's Action

This week’s action has two parts.  Part 1 is to download the free chapter of Artpreneur.

Part 2 is to write out Miriam’s 10 steps in the sales process and post them somewhere so you’re reminded that it is a process. You need to be invested in the steps of the process in order for it to work.

Check out the Art Biz Accelerator

for busy artists who like knowing there is someone nearby to help

Highlights

  • Miriam’s struggle with sales, despite her background in finance. (3:30)
  • The evolution from general sales and marketing to effective art sales. (6:56)
  • Curating your valuable contacts list. (9:05)
  • The importance of mindset in sales success. (12:30)
  • Developing a confident belief in the value of your art. (14:47)
  • The first 5 steps of selling your art. (21:05)
  • Body language, previewing the process, and establishing the decision maker. (27:37)
  • Sell with stories, not facts, and selling happy endings. (33:10)
  • Overcoming objections with the right language. (40:07)
  • Close the sale by asking for it. (42:45)
Miriam Schulman
Miriam working in her studio. Image by Stacey Nadal.

Mentioned

Miriam Schulman Quotes

“Once I started making the connection between sales in general and selling for art and understood that there wasn't a difference, I became a student of marketing and sales, and that has made all the difference.” 

“Marketing 101 is investing in human relationships.” 

“My art, going out into people’s homes, became ambassadors for me.” 

“Mindset is everything. Mindset trumps talent.” 

“Overcoming objections is about having compassion for the buyer and knowing where they are coming from.” 

Related Episodes

Miriam talks with me about starting and building her podcast in episode 34.

About My Guest

Miriam Schulman is an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where she helps other artists learn how to profit from their passion or become better artists. She’s helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. Her art and story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine, What Women Create as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. Schulman’s forthcoming book with HarperCollins Leadership, Artpreneur, is scheduled to be released on January 31, 2023.

Follow Miriam on Instagram: @schulmanart

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1 thought on “The Art Biz ep. 140: A Sales Process for Artists with Miriam Schulman”

  1. I completely resonated with the idea that buyers are often evaluating their own self worth as they make a decision on buying art. I had a conversation around this with a fellow emerging artist just yesterday. My friend feels like there’s an uphill battle to convince customers to invest in purchasing originals from living artist. However, I think the act if buying art is an act of self-care! The customers are investing in themselves by being able to see a piece of art they love every day! It’s like owning other luxury goods – one doesn’t need the designer handbag, watch, or car, but they like the feeling that comes with having it!

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