Art Marketing Circle III - Element 1
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:
The Stories you tell about yourself and your art
Your Offerings - the mix of products and services you offer
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
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 “Your Offerings” (We’ll be coming back to the stories element in future posts)…..
When you’re first starting out, you’ll probably only have one product - your original art. And again, if you’re first starting out, if you follow our advice on pricing - your prices will most likely be affordable. This is good and normal. When you’re first starting, you don’t want to try to do too many things and overwhelm yourself, and you don’t want to offer too many products and overwhelm your fans.
Over time, as you build your brand and your art is known by more and more people, you can, and should, raise your prices.
At some point, your original art will not be quite so affordable. That’s fine too - your originals should always be the most expensive premium product that you offer. Original art is one of the rarest forms of art that exists after all!
This creates a bit of a conundrum however. Businesses need both premium and entry level products. You need something for people who have just discovered you to purchase that can be purchased impulsively. IN short, you need a range of price points including lower price points.
As your business grows, you may also consider other ways of making money - perhaps you’ll start teaching classes, perhaps you’ll set up a membership site with something like Patreon, perhaps you’ll start offering prints of your art. These things all play into your product mix. Having a diverse product mix is a great way to expand your business because, not only will you be able to offer multiple price points, you’ll be able to profit from originals you’ve done in the past and in some cases be able to generate passive income that doesn’t require additional work from you.
In general, for most artists, your products will be split into two big categories: art and teaching. In other words, you’re either selling your actual artwork or your selling your knowledge of how to make art to other artists.
Here are the types of products you can sell in each category: