Art Marketing Circle III - Product Element 3
We’re continuing our members-only series outlining our Circles of Art Marketing framework. If you’re a new member, or missed what we covered previously, I recommend you catch up on the series at the following links:
Alright, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at Art Marketing Circle III - Turning Your Art into a Saleable Product…
When you decide you want to sell your art, everything changes. Prior to that decision, you are creating solely because you have the insatiable hunger to create. You are feeding your soul. You are making the world better, from your perspective, because you are making yourself better. As I said before, an artist cannot serve two masters, so you must serve your soul first, before you sell your art, so that you have no inner conflict.
Once you decide to sell your art, however, you walk a fine line. You must, in short, turn your offering which consists of you, your art and the stories and context in which you talk about all of it into a product, without losing your focus on your own vision and your own inspiration.
Now, to sell art, it’s of critical importance that your art is inspired and that there is something of you in it that makes it unique. And if you’ve done your work properly in the previous circle (Art Marketing Circle II - Your Art), you’ve already nailed that aspect.
In addition to you unique art however, there are five business elements that you must think through to turn your art into a product:
Your Offerings - the mix of products and services you offer (covered here)
Reputational Power - The reputation you build up via magic interactions with people
The Category or niche that you mostly work within
The Price you charge for your art
The Stories you tell about yourself and your art
Nail these five elements and you will give yourself a huge tailwind when you start offering your art for sale.
Today we’re going to dive in and look specifically at “Category…..”
Focus is necessary if you want to make a living selling your work. You’ll have a tough time creating financial success by trying to be known as “the artist who does everything.” - Maria Brophy
Do you know the name of the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean?
Sure you do, it was Charles Lindberg.
Do you know the name of the second person?
You may not think you know, but actually, you do.
It was Amelia Earhart.
But you know her from another category: The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
The Law of the Category
Owning a category is an important marketing concept for you to understand. Being the second person to fly across the Atlantic isn't memorable. But being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic is.
There is a theory in marketing, originally put forward by Al Ries in his seminal book, Positioning, that the most successful companies or brands succeed primarily due to becoming the dominant brand in a particular category of product.
What do you think of when I say the word "Cola?”
My bet is Coca-Cola.
And what about "Internet Search?"
I'm 100% sure you thought of Google.
What about "Tablet?"
I'd guess that you thought of "iPad"
Owning a Category of Art
The more I ponder this idea, the more I conclude that it's even more important for visual artists than "regular" brands…..
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