Can You Figure Out How To Sell More Art With Free Guides or Cheap Classes?

How To Sell Art?


Artist, Lucy Chen
Sydney, Australia

Ann Rea: Okay. So here I am with Lucy Chen. I’m Ann Rea from San Francisco, California and Lucy, you’re in Australia.

Lucy Chen: Yes, in Sydney

Ann Rea: In Sydney. And so I have students all around the world, which is really exciting because they bring all these interesting perspectives. But the reason I have decided to have a little ‘hangout’ with Lucy is just because she sent me this email, which I’m going to read and then I’m going to ask Lucy some questions. And so Lucy saw me originally on Creative Live and she sent me this email recently that said: “I feel the reason that some people postpone their signup to the Making Art Making Money Program is they think they can figure it out on their own and if they follow all your free stuff (and there is tons) and the resources that I recommend”. And that’s true, I do give away a lot of stuff and Lucy goes on to say, “That’s what I thought. And that’s what Jenna (also a new student from Australia who just enrolled) and my other study partners thought but people don’t know how much more depth there is in the program and in what you have to offer us as a student of the program. Your knowledge, experience and insight is so vast and deep, even though you’re giving away so much free stuff, there’s so much, much more. I wish there was a way to have people on the borderline know and just jump in rather than wait”. So first of all, thank you so much. That’s very kind words, but they’re are obviously very true to you.

QUESTION: So you’re trying to figure all this stuff on, you know, you probably learned a lot with the free stuff, but what was one big difference between trying to figure it out on your own and being in the making art, making money semester was one difference.

Lucy Chen: One very big difference for me is, before I started the program I thought if people ever buy my art it’s like they are doing me a big favor. Thank you. You know, finding someone who likes my art enough to buy it. Because I wasn’t clear on what kind of value that I would provide people. But since I started the program, the very powerful thing is; before you kind of go ‘what do I have the urge to create? And it doesn’t come through because you are not clear on what it is. So when people buy your art it’s “Oh, thank you” But now I know what kind of valid I provide to these people. It’s just like we are on the same level now. It’s like a value exchange and I don’t feel like they are doing me a favor. I still appreciate it, but I don’t feel people are doing me a favor buying my art because I am providing value to them too. It’s very empowering.

Ann Rea: That’s huge. That’s so big. ‘Cause it is an equal exchange of value. Your’re exchanging with one another on an equal plane. That is a big, big takeaway right there. Oh my gosh.

Lucy Chen: Yes. It’s very big. I can’t even tell you how much of a game changer that is for me because emotionally and even spiritually it’s so empowering instead of disempowering and making you feel small, you just feel great. I’m not so eager to please just anyone who is interested in my art anymore.

Ann Rea: Good! That’s my big hope for artists is like if I had to say from a very broad perspective, my big hope for artists is that my students learn to take back their power.

Lucy Chen: Yes, when you are clear on what value you can provide, when your are clear on your Why and your Mission, it’s so much bigger than you. There’s no way you can feel small anymore.

Ann Rea: Oh, that’s awesome.

Lucy Chen: It’s very empowering Ann, thank you for that.

Ann Rea: You’re very welcome. That makes me feel fantastic just to see how that’s impacted you.

QUESTION: So give me one, give me another example of how it’s different trying to figure it out on your own with the free stuff versus being in the program. What’s one other way that was different?

Lucy Chen: I think what you give to us in the program is so very different than everything else that’s out there. There are some other people who focus on building a business for artists and also a lot more on just building an online business or building your audience, but what you provide is so very different.

QUESTION: How is it different?

Lucy Chen: There’s so much depth in coming to your Why, your What and your How, the 4-Part Code and that is so important. Like before I had tried to figure out how to build my audience, and find who my target market is, but none of them really made any sense. It was like throwing thoughts randomly…

Ann Rea: Yeah, you can’t do any online marketing until you know that 4-Part Code, right?

Lucy Chen: Yes. And when you see out of people who are successful, they always have a mission bigger than themselves and that’s why they can build a huge audience around that. That’s what the feedback was I got from my artist study partners and other Australian artist who call me and ask me “well should I sign up for the program too?” and from other artists who have done other online courses, and I have done some other online business building courses and even artist subscription support, that kind of things, and it is so different. In your words all the other things without the Why and the What is like putting the cart before the horse. So that didn’t go anywhere.

Ann Rea: Yes. I say that all the time. All the time. There is a process to creating and everything, whether it’s baking a cake or building a house, you can’t start on the roof until you built the foundation and put up the walls. And so online marketing is very powerful, very effective. I use it myself. But if you start with that without building the foundation, oh my gosh, it’s going to be a hot mess and you’re going to waste a lot of time and money.

Lucy Chen: Yes. Yes, it did. It totally did.

Ann Rea: Okay. So one thing is you, you don’t feel like anyone’s doing you a big fat favor anymore. You understand the exchange of value. The other difference is that the 4-Part Code is the foundational core of understanding that other online courses did not present to you. This is what you got here.

QUESTION: What else did you get out of this program so far? (By the way, Lucy is still enrolled. She’s still an active student).

Lucy Chen: Yes, I enrolled about a month and a half ago.

Ann Rea: What’s that?

Lucy Chen: I enrolled about a month and a half ago and I’m getting so much from it and now I have not just hope, now I have faith knowing that I will make it. Before I never had anything to hold onto to, but now I know that it will work.

Ann Rea: Oh, that’s awesome. You know we did an application phone interview a month ago when you applied and I accepted your application and your voice has changed Lucy, you don’t even sound the same.

Lucy Chen: And it’s 4am and I’m already excited.

Ann Rea: Now this is a dedicated student.I had no idea! Thank you so much for getting up so early. Oh my God.

Lucy Chen: You know I was trying to figure out a time, and I got a little bit confused about San Francisco time and Sydney time, and when I got it wrong I was like “oh I got it wrong, but anyway, I’ll just take it as an invitation to get up early”. I have always wanted to get up early and you are enough motivation for me to get up early.

Ann Rea: That’s so nice. Thank you so much. I have two consultants who I work with in Australia and it’s a different day. Not only is it a different time, it’s a different day. So it can be very confusing.

Lucy Chen: Yes it’s very different.

QUESTION: But you still connect with the study partners in North America, right?

Lucy Chen: I talk to 2 study partners in America. I think they are both in the San Francisco time zone, the California on the west coast.

Ann Rea: Yeah. Yeah. Okay.

Lucy Chen: So another thing that I found out that really, really surprised me Ann, really- is you! Like the free stuff you put out that it’s very business oriented because you are teaching others how to do business. You’re not just focused on the art because you have to build a business. I actually found out about you before the Creative Live course I somehow I forget how I exactly found out about you, but I found out about you online, before the Creative Live course and because this course was not a cheap program, and it should not be a cheap program because it is for really dedicated students. And I thought “Well it’s a bit expensive”, so I was following your free stuff and then your Creative Live stuff and then the free webinars. And I thought, “Oh, this woman is very business oriented”, but when I enrolled and started to go through the program and the support you gave to us in the Facebook group, what really, really surprised me so much is that you are such a spiritual person and your knowledge, it’s not just business wise, it’s all rounded. Spirituality, emotional intelligence, it’s just so vast. It’s what really really surprised me. You, you’re not just a business woman telling me how to do business, but it’s everything.

Ann Rea: Well art is life, right? Art mirrors life. And so we as artists have to do life. We have to feel our feelings and express our feelings and we have to be courageous enough to own our truth. And when you own your truth, you own your power. That’s essentially what I want artists to, and this is not for everybody, not everyone is equipped or ready. But I have to say, I am so proud of my students. I’m very proud of the courses that I created. I’m very proud of the Making Art Making Money program and my own success. But the thing I’m most proud of and I did not do this really, is the community within the Making Art Making Money program because I see how you guys support one another. You meet with each other regularly. Some of you are even meeting in person and it just blows away that nasty environment of artists who are jealous of one another and who are competing with one another because the art establishment is forcing artists to compete with one another and I can’t stand it, but we don’t have any of that competition or jealousy. I all I see is support. All I see is openness. And that’s the thing I am most proud of. I think that’s the most powerful thing because when I’m gone, my hope is you’ll all have each other.

Lucy Chen: I don’t hope you’ll be gone. I hope you’ll always be here.

Ann Rea: Well, I hope you will too and that’s why we currently we have the lifetime membership, which you received and eventually it’ll be phased out. So you’re in Lucy, you’re not going anywhere.

Lucy Chen: Yes. Everyone was so active and so carrying in the Facebook group. You provide so much support and it’s always to the point, you don’t go on and on and you are always to the point and you help us and make us think for ourselves instead of giving us the answer. So I really, really love that. Thank you Ann.

Ann Rea: Good. Well, I’m looking forward to when you work through at your own pace, this is all at your own pace. When you’re ready. And you get your knowledge check done when you’re ready and you have your deliverables. I’m looking forward to that. That’s going to be fun. But just pace yourself. That’s the thing. Just pace yourself cause what you’re doing is before you build the house, you’ve got to carefully draw out that blueprint, right? We need to make sure before you start laying down cement you’ve got the blueprint. All right. Well Lucy, I want to thank you again for writing such a lovely message and for encouraging other artists. You benefit from the free stuff, that’s why I give it away, but it is limited. I can only take you so far if I don’t have contact with you and if you don’t have contact with the community, so I really appreciate it. It’s one thing for me to say it because it just sounds like I’m selling this program. It’s a whole nother thing for you to say it and actually explain why it’s so different.

Lucy Chen: Yes. I just really wish… I didn’t have the money to sign up for the program first and I actually got a tax return for almost exact amount in Australian dollars and I was like “that’s the cost of the program!” so I just took it as a sign that I really should go for it. And I hope people listening to this recording, take it as a sign that you really shouldn’t postpone anymore and go for it.

Ann Rea: I believe in those things. I believe that you were divinely guided, and if we are open and we listen it’s very interesting when you set your sight on a goal, when you decide you really want something, all of a sudden people start showing up, resources starts showing up, opportunities start showing up. That didn’t seem to be anywhere around before. But as soon as you commit, when you commit, that’s the thing. You’ve got to commit to the goal. You got to know what the specific goal is and you commit to it. Things will work out, you just have to keep moving. And I see you working you’re moving. So I’m very proud of the work you’ve been doing, Lucy, I’m looking forward to our one on one. And again, I just want to thank you for your time and generously sharing with all these strangers at four o’clock in the morning.

Lucy Chen: Thank you Ann!

Ann Rea

About Ann Rea

Ann Rea is a San Francisco-based artist and the creator of The Making Art Making Money™ program. Her art and business savvy have been featured on ABC, HGTV, Creative Live, The Good Life Project, in the book Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields, by the San Francisco Chronicle, Art Business News, Fortune, and Inc. Magazines. Rea’s artistic talent is commended by her mentor, art icon, Wayne Thiebaud.

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