Selling Art Today - The Old & New 5-Step Formula
My name is Ann Rea.
I’m an artist just like you and I’m also a mentor to about 23 different types of emerging and established artists from 20 countries and counting.
And I want to break down that old, tired, ineffective five-step formula that the scarcity and permission based art establishment has handed us for years.
Number one, they insist that we create a body of work.
Well, that’s fine. But creating a body of work and just hoping that it will somehow sell. That’s not gonna happen. And you already know that.
But that’s the first step they give us. Keep creating this body of work and then another body of work and then another body of work and then another body of work.
Step number two, they ask us to write an artist statement.
I don’t know about you but I find artists’ statements as painful to read as they are to write.
I mean, they’re just so full of self-involved art speak.
It’s really hard to get through them.
And here’s the thing about artist statements. Collectors can’t understand what the heck you’re talking about?
Step number three, they tell us to “show” our art.
Well, that’s really hard right now when art galleries are closed or are going to be closing permanently.
Showing your art in a physical space is not the same objective as selling your art.
So, the other thing you need to consider is showing your art requires somebody else’s permission being granted to you.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to sell your art.
The fourth thing we’re told to do is to sell ourselves.
I mean I don’t know about you but I’m not for sale and the whole idea of selling myself is so cringeworthy and really, let’s think about this.
The only people who are for sale are prostitutes and that’s why artists will even say “I feel like I’m prostituting myself.”
To wait and hope to be discovered.
Well, I don’t know about you but I did not want to be ruled by the tyranny of hope.
I wanted to take action and sell my art.
Waiting and hoping is completely nonproductive and the years pass by quickly.
And final step is to repeat all these steps that didn’t freakin’ work in the first place.
Let’s talk about the new five-step formula for selling your art.
And this is a five-step formula that has been proven and it definitely works within the “new normal”.
It starts with this. It starts with the artist finding their Why, knowing who they are, knowing what they stand for and knowing what they stand against.
Now, why is that so critically important?
Because you, as an artist, like you’re literally the factory and you’re not selling goods or services.
Your product is actually emotion.
Step number two is to share your mission.
Based on your Why, you form a mission and you dedicate yourself to it. And it is greater than you.
And by sharing a mission, you see that your art and then your offer has purpose.
It has meaning. And it inspires people. And it ignites emotion.
Step number three is to create clear value above and beyond your art.
Now the old formula has artists, you know, just like competing with one another.
I don’t know about you but I didn’t want to do that.
I wanted to just differentiate myself from the other talented artists by creating clear value above and beyond the art, so I didn’t have to compete with them anymore.
Step number four is selling your art. Now think about this.
Think of the steps that you have to take to show your art.
Well, they’re very different than the steps you have to take to sell your art.
But that’s what we really want, right? There is nothing more affirming.
There’s nothing more validating than selling your art.
I mean, I don’t know about you but it makes me want to make more art.
Step number five is cultivating referrals.
But you have to know how to ask for them in a way that is natural.
It doesn’t feel pushy, doesn’t feel sleazy, and this is critically important because referrals can generate over 80% more sales on average where you keep 100% of the money.
Now imagine if you took those 5 steps in the new formula and you rinsed and repeated those five steps.
What’s going to happen?
We can tell you what happens. Your confidence increases.
Your focus increases.
And you are never at a loss for inspiration.
Because you have a mission that’s greater than you.
You know who you are, what you stand for, and you know what you stand against.