Wednesday, October 28, 2009

To Market...To Market.

Ok...here's what I'm thinking....

Judging from the e-mails I receive every week from artists and want-to-be-artists from all over the country, I would have to say that marketing is a big concern for many. Marketing, productivity, creating a signature look...all that good stuff. There is the creative side to this business and there is the business side to this business. Mostly you just want to know how did I go from that first gallery or shop that carried my work to being in 50 shops, 3 catalogs, 2 museums, thousands of private collections and dozens of magazines and newspapers? Marketing...baby...marketing. And you can't market unless you are fearless. Wanna know how to do that? Market fearlessly?

Obviously one blog can't cover all that marketing your work entails.....Marketing begins in your studio with the basic concept of your work, it's appeal, your ability to produce in series...your ability to see the big picture of where this work fits in with what is out there. I am surprised by how many artists don't understand the need to work in series, especially if you have your sights set on galleries. Lots to cover there...

As a matter of fact there is a BIG difference in the work you produce for stores and the work you produce for galleries and how each is approached. There is an etiquette involved in dealing with galleries for sure, just as there is an etiquette involved in presenting yourself to newspapers and magazines. PR is a whole 'nother story. I owned my own PR business when I lived in LA. I got ya covered on the PR stuff.

On and on and on...soooo much. But these are things that need to be conquered if you are ever going to make your living as an artist. I am a "working artist." That is...I do this full time. The operative word is WORK. This is a business and it is WORK. Lovely, gratifying work...but work nonetheless.

So in my first workshop at my new studio house a few weeks ago, we had a great discussion about finding your way through this business of art. I realized after our question and answer period that I had a lot I could share with you and share with you I shall. Why would I keep this to myself? I'm gonna give it up to you.

I am writing the text for it now, but in a few weeks I will begin filming a new workshop series called The Marketing Mindset. And you know what... as much as it is knowing certain things...it is a mindset. There are definitely psychological aspects to fearless marketing. Hmmm...maybe I should call it Fearless Marketing. So many decisions to be made as you begin to market something. My plan is to have it up in December (so you can ask for it for Christmas) but more importantly so you can start 2010 with some fresh ideas and some new tools in your marketing tool belt.

So let me know what YOU want me to be sure and cover in this workshop. Leave your comments below with your thoughts and marketing concerns and I'll see what I can do to incorporate them into the series.

I teach because I want to make a difference in the lives of artists. I am an artist because I want to make a difference in the world. The world will never know about you unless you know how to market what you do.

Added 1/1/2009... I'm not one for wasting time. The site is up in its pre-videos form. Take a peek. Here.

24 comments:

Eileen said...

YAY! I am really looking forward to getting this one, KC! I hope you will include things like social networking, getting your name out there and known to the public, marketing on a shoestring (we're all starving artists, you know!), pricing, etc. Can't wait!

Eileen

alteredbits said...

you are an amazing genius. i so can't wait!

Randi said...

It sounds interesting for sure. I've always wondered why one artist is super popular while someone else who is just as talented (or even more so) isn't. My questions would be, do you HAVE to travel to market your work or can you do it all on the internet,and how to set prices on your work.

Welcome to Yaya Chique! said...

Great post sweetie! I am thankful now that my parents made me get my degree in Marketing and not art! People ask me the same question all the time---how did you make art as a living? Hummmm...about 80% of my time on my business techinques (marketing, PR, etc) and the other 20% actually making the art! :)

love ya...xo...deb

Lee W - The Way I See It said...

Can't wait for yor insight. I really like the topics you already mentioned; like signature look, selling, etc.

Venita said...

What a great post! Thank you. I would love to know about licensing your work. And how to get into multiple stores/galleries. I look forward to the new workshop.

Tana said...

I've got the same question as Randi! How can one artist be soooo popular (i.e., get such high prices for their art), and another artist making VERY similar things, though not quite identical, is only able to get a fraction of that price?

JoAnnA Pierotti said...

This will be wonderful KC! I have so much to learn from you. This will be a great investment for anyone wanting to take their art to new levels. I know I do.
xo
joanna

Charlene said...

KC I think we all need help with this & it is super that you are going to put this together. THANK YOU! I think the best thing is to start BASIC! I know when you have been in this business & have done it for yourself there is so much that you just "know" & don't really think about but, for most of us we are just starting to think about this & so much of the basic's are new to us.

KC Willis said...

Thanks everyone! Great comments and ideas. I will cover them all. And yes, I agree with Charlene...this will start with the basics. Some of you will already know these things, but I will approach the workshop as though I am starting with the ABC's. Lots to share. Keep talking to me!

Michelle (Shell) May said...

Fantastic! I'm so looking forward to this!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

You're sure to be spot on with marketing; it's something that gets everyone's attention yet for so many people, it's a weak area.

Rebecca said...

Hey!
It all sounds great! Glad you decided to go with this... Like I said most artists are so right brained they just don't get the business end of it and if they do - they are like me and just plain don't like it! But you my dear are inspirational and if anyone can get someone to do what goes against them - you are the one :) Ha (I meant that in a positive way)
Love ya
Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Dear KC, What a fabulous idea!! I'll be first to sign up for advice! I would love guidance on promoting my work, how to get customers for custom pieces, how to package and ship my work.
Due to the economy, 4 of the 5 galleries in my town have closed. So I would like info on online marketing and selling too.
You are such a wonderful teacher! Thanks so much!Warm wishes, Bonnie

Jacquie Stone said...

Love it! Want it! Need it! Suggestions: How to present to a gallery, a retail shop, wholesale, and any other venue. Also, maybe a listing of all or some of the ways you can sell your art besides the typical ways!

Thanks KC, can't wait!!!!
Love ya,
Quie

Jacquie Stone said...

Oooo! How bout blog traffic, getting it and keeping it!
Quie

Taste it -you know you want to, at luxurycardstore.com said...

This infomation can be useful if it is "actionable" Too often I have had info from gurus that give a great "overview", but no actual step by step. If you can give us "here's what you do, here's the phone number or email and this is what you say when you get them on the phone or in the email, then I'm all over it. Also the insider's list of what NOT to say or do would be the cherry on top. I look forward to what you have to offer!

KC Willis said...

I will give you an overview AND step by step to a certain degree. Everyone has their own style. I will not be giving you a script. I will be giving you the skinny on what I did and will help inspire and motivate you. I'll give you advice on what to say in an e-mail or phone call and I agree about the all important what NOT to say. A bit much though to think that I would hand out e-mails and phone numbers. There would be hundreds. Everyone will have a different target audience. You will have to do your own research of galleries and shops that are right for you..and I will give you ideas. Other than that I think this could be the workshop you've been looking for! :-)

Susan said...

This is really going to be a great workshop KC!! Looking forward to you giving us ideas that help us move forward in our marketing. I don't expect you to give us phone numbers and e-mail addresses. That's what people hire a marketing/PR company for. No workshop will do that for you. See you on-line!

Taste it -you know you want to, at luxurycardstore.com said...

Perhaps I should clarify what I meant by phone numbers/email addresses. For example: some gurus would say something like "you should use a search engine to find things on the internet." That's a generality. A better way of putting it would be "To find different things on the internet I have used Yahoo.com, MSN.com, but MY favorite is Google.com. These are just some examples of what I did, but there are many others that may work better for you." I never expected names and addresses of galleries, boutiques and/or museums, as that would be way too much to expect. I simply meant to give us "actionable" information. I'm sure whatever info you give will be more than adequate ;)

Are you curious about me? said...

Hello KC
All of these wonderful ideas that you and everyone else have come up with all sounds amazing but, will they or could they work in the UK?

By the sound of it I shall have to be brave and face all my demons, how scary is that, can't wait for your next installment.

Many thanks for this wonderful post, I'm excited about what I might be able to achieve.

Julie

KC Willis said...

Thanks for the clarification on the phone#'s etc. I appreciate that. It did sound like you wanted phone numbers. :-) I will certainly be specific about things. You will be surprised at all I will share. And Julie...I'm sure there will be a few ideas that will be geared more toward the US market, because that's what I know, BUT much of this will be useful to you as it will deal with the art market in general and the attitudes and artist must have to survive. You can adapt it to your country. PLUS the site I am building for this is a mini-social networking site, so you will be able to post questions on the discussion board and while I will certainly answer them, others in the workshop can answer them too. So you will get the benefit of what everyone has experienced and I have no doubt we will have a contingent from the UK! Thanks all.

KC Willis said...

Check out www.marketingmindset.ning.com!

GypsyNurse said...

i am still posting and praying!!!

hehehhee

xoxo

cat