Whenever we hear that we like to dig a bit deeper.
When it comes to execution in the business side of your art…
…the devil really is in the details.
Two main ways to get it wrong:
Poor attention to detail (eg. poorly written email)
Not enough times
If you ONLY fixed one, which do you think is most likely to lead you to success?
It is #2.
Artists that try marketing their work once, or twice, of three times… and then stop…
They don’t understand it is a numbers game.
Now, granted, if you try 100 times and you still don’t get results then there is no glory in repeating what doesn’t work.
You need to change your approach.
But rarely do we see artists get to that point.
More often than not it goes something like this:
1) Send email to an interior designer 2) Refresh your inbox the next 3 days hoping for an answer 3) Feel disappointed or angry for receiving no reply… go back to the studio to make art
Well, no surprise.
Even if you had a perfectly crafted email proposal (which 99% don’t – they write self-centered long winded emails) you are losing out on 80% of success if you stop there.
You must follow up at least 3 times.
And follow up through different channels (social media, phone, etc.)
And repeat that same approach to at least 30 candidates.
Geek Note: “30” is what makes it statistically significant and allows you to make a reasonably confident decision that your approach is not working – there is math behind that number that you can research if interested, or you can just take our word 🙂
Now of course, sending 30 emails to interior designers and hearing crickets is demoralizing. You want to avoid that scenario.
That is why attention to detail matters as well:
who to send it to,
EXACTLY what to say,
and how to follow up.
Meet our student Sieglinde to see what the right success mindset looks and feels like:
Sieglinde trusted our blueprints and executed.
It led her to collaborations, galleries and sales in under six months.
If you watch the video you will see it’s not luck – she was persistent with the right approaches.
As she says… “if I can do it, you can do it too”.
And if you want our help with those elements… then let’s talk.
Here is what will happen when you apply to book a time slot:
> You’ll answer a few brief questions in your application > If you get a seat, we’ll go over your situation and address any blind spots. > At the end of the call, if it’s a fit for us to work together, we’ll share details of what that looks like (only for artists who we’re convinced we can help get results)
Want to receive step by step guidance on how to find interior designers near you?
Want word for word tested emails to propose them to sell your work to their clients?
What’s the fastest way to share your art with 1,000s of new potential buyers?
(Forget the recent media hype — this is not about NFTs 😉 )
We’re talking about connecting with a potential partner — someone who already has an audience that shares your values.
Because that person is already looking for new ideas to share with their audience.
And your artist journey might be the perfect topic for their next post, podcast, or live presentation.
But how will they even find out about you?
Well, you’ll get to create your own opportunities as you develop this one very learnable skill that can open doors where other artists only see walls.
It’s called pitching.
No gymnastics required — just a little practice!
Pitching? Not Like That
If even the word “pitch” gives you a mild sense of impending doom… take a moment to see it in a different light.
We’re not talking about a traditional sales pitch. You make fine art, not vacuum cleaners.
Instead, you’re offering to give relevant content to their audience, for free. And that feels completely different.
When you approach someone with this mindset of giving, with your creative eye out for different ideas, that opportunity becomes a win-win for both of you.
A good email pitch has three parts:
Develop a bond with someone fast so they don´t dismiss you
Offer that person to create value for their audience
Ask if they are interested
See? You are not “asking for a favor”. Instead, you are just giving a helping hand.
Because audience owners (podcast hosts, newsletter writers, Facebook group admins…) are always looking for interesting content to share:
The mythical cultures podcaster is interested in interviewing you on your modern art totems
The nature conservation newsletter writer is interested in featuring your wildlife photography
The psychoanalysis blogger is curious to share the process behind creating your abstract portraits
Instead of being pushy, shouting, trying to stand out among a sea of artists…
… you get featured in front of the audiences who already want to hear from you.
Naturally, after the host asks about your artist views on their topic in front of their audience… then you can calmly let their audience know how to commission artwork from you, get early access to your next prints, or join your art workshop waitlist.
Most artists have not mastered the skill of pitching. So when you do it well, you’ll make a big impression.
And once you start to see results from reaching out in this way, you’ll be inspired to do more of it.
Every step forward is energizing!
If you were in our signature coaching program, you’d have already made your “Dream 100” list (following our research blueprint) of the people you’d love to work with & the people you’d love to promote your work.
And you could borrow our proven word-for-word scripts to approach those dream partners and get featured to their audiences.
In fact, this is how we created our own 30,000-subscriber email list in 12 months — mainly by pitching the right way.
Avoid These Pitching Mistakes
Working with hundreds of artists from all over the world, we’ve seen and heard a lot of pitches that miss the mark.
Here are five things NOT to do when you reach out:
Using “I”, not “you”. Which of these words are you using to start your sentences? Keep the focus on the person you’re reaching out to.
Brick walls of text. If you’re sending email, make it short and readable on a small screen. Bullet points work wonders.
Too many topics. When you first connect with someone, keep it simple. Stay on just one subject at first.
“Love to hear your thoughts.” If you don’t ask a question, don’t expect an answer. Make it easy for them to answer a few very specific questions instead.
Unclear how to reach you. In email, include a signature with all your professional contact information. You can set this up to appear automatically.
Once you’ve steered clear of these common trouble areas, watch out for two more:
Always Follow Up
Whenever your potential partner responds, you’ll want to be ready to continue the conversation.
And if you don’t hear back, check in again — always being mindful that this is an opportunity for them.
Don’t Take Rejection Personally
Many potential partners you reach out to will not be the right fit. Or, it may not be the right moment.
If you hear nothing after respectfully following up a couple of times, just reach out to the next name on your list.
** It doesn’t mean they don’t like your art. ** It doesn’t mean they don’t like you. ** And it is NOT a sign you should give up!
It’s that little entry on your to-do list that never seems to get done.
Because every time you sit down to work on your site, you wind up overwhelmed, with even more to sort out tomorrow than when you started today — and a little baffled by how other artists seem to have this figured out.
(Hint: They probably aren’t doing it all by themselves.)
Credibility and Conversion
Credibility tells your audience that you’re for real.
That you’re serious about your art — and they should take you seriously as an artist.
That you’re ready for the next opportunity.
And you can be trusted.
Conversion means they take the next step in their relationship with you.
This could look like signing up for your private email list,
following you on social media,
or even buying your work directly through your site.
So any word, any image, any design choices…
even your font, your font size, and the URL for your site…
needs to either:
A. increase your credibility, or
B. increase the likelihood that someone will buy or at least connect with you.
If your credibility isn’t great, your conversion will suffer automatically.
You might have an amazing site with a few pieces that confuse your audience.
Let’s look at…
Where It Goes Wrong
So, what should you check on your site that might be costing you future sales?
Here are three pitfalls we see over and over again:
#1. Too many menus
When they click onto your site, your visitors need to be able to find their way around.
“Don’t make me think” — that is their request to you.
But if there are too many places to click, they don’t know where to go.
You should have at most four or five menu options.
And they should be clear — just call your About page “About”, for example.
Not “My Artist Journey” or “Back Story” or anything else clever.
This is where clarity is more important than creativity.
When someone can’t figure out what to do next, they get confused.
And then no matter how much they like your work,
they leave your site — usually never to return.
#2. Unclear how to buy from you
Have you ever visited a website that has exactly what you’re looking for,
only to discover there’s no way to buy it?
You click the photos, but you can’t find out how much it costs.
There’s a contact form that just gives you an error message when you try to load it.
Not to speak of the 7 mandatory fields before you click submit.
And finally you give up in frustration.
If you expect people to buy your work, you need to give them an EASY way.
You don’t have to have a shopping cart right on your site, although that is great.
It could be a link to a third-party site where your work is for sale.
It could even just be a way to contact you for more details.
But make it super easy to understand how they can purchase your work right away.
An age-old question:
Should you list prices for artwork on your website?
If you expect someone to buy a piece then and there, then yes, you must.
(But make sure you don´t undercut your gallery!)
If you don’t expect that, then make it dead simple for someone who is looking at a specific artwork to send you an inquiry then and there.
#3. Outdated or abandoned areas
Your events page talks about what’s coming up this summer… in 2018.
You haven’t updated your artist blog in many months (or years?).
There’s a link to a Twitter account you’ve used maybe twice.
You have past works displayed prominently
….but they’re nothing like your current creations.
Now is the time: Immediately remove anything that isn’t current.
Your website should represent you as an active artist, not a repository.
A note about perfection…
Please, do not spend months (or longer) to build the “perfect” website.
Stuck on choosing the best design?
Pick a layout you like a lot, and go with it. Today.
Is the tech aspect frying your brain?
Use a site builder, or pay someone else to do the setup work.
Waiting until you have time to write new blog posts or take better pictures?
Either do it now, or just remove whatever is out of date.
Struggling with what to say?
Scratch out a draft, then get another set of eyes on what you’re writing.
Ideally, you should have a site that will work for you for the next three to five years
that’s also easy to update as you create new works.
It is time to get “redo my website” off your to-do list.