Episode 234 – New Markets for Artists / Your Budget

Your Budget

Let’s say you want to spend $30 a month, which is pretty low to begin with. That’s about a dollar a day. The way it works is that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. You can even decide how much you want to pay. Let’s say you decide to pay 10 cents a click. You may get a notice saying that is too low, but let’s imagine the amount of 10 cents per click is accepted. Every time someone clicks your ad, you will be charged 10 cents. If ten people click your ad in a day, your ad will not run until the next day begins because you just spent your dollar a day limit. Because you’re paying for that click, you want to be sure that your first page looks really good and gets the response you’re after, like a phone call or a purchase or a new e-newsletter subscriber. If you increase your budget to $60 a month, you could potentially have twice as many people clicking on your ad. But if you only want to pay 10 cents, you may not get any clicks at all, because other artists are competing with you for the top spot and they can drive up the price; if they are willing to pay 50 cents or more, Google will show their ads first.

One way to get around guessing how much to pay for a click is to make it automatic. That means Google will determine the best rate for you to pay so that you will be competitive, usually somewhere between 75 cents and a dollar. That may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t. If you are paying $60 a month for your ad, you could get 60–80 clicks for that amount. If those clicks generate one sale, you will probably be doing well. Google offers support for all aspects of AdWords, so don’t be intimidated or overwhelmed. It’s as simple as filling out forms and following directions.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 233 – New Markets for Artists / Your Ad Campaign

Your Ad Campaign

The elements of an ad campaign are the design of your ad, the amount you want to pay, and the keywords you will use, meaning the words that people will have to type when performing a search for your ad to pop up. This may sound a bit complicated, but it really isn’t once you get going. When you make the ad, you’ll write a few very short lines to get people to click on it. I just Googled “contemporary artist” and this came up first in the ads on the right hand side of the screen: “Thomas McKnight ORIGINALS paintings, prints and more for less. Official site for Thomas McKnight.” The ad links to an artist’s website, the first page of which shows one of his images, with a list of the prints he has for sale right below it, along with prices and his phone number. The site is well made and answers any questions you might have about his art. He has clearly made a successful business out of selling his works and, based on the information on the site as well as his professional presentation, it looks like he’s doing well. It turns out that he is not far from where I performed the search, and that is not a coincidence.

Location  Targeting

You see, when you write your ad, which should look something like Mr. McKnight’s, you can also decide  where  you want people to see it. For example, he is probably trying to reach people within a certain radius of his studio. But in your campaign data, which you’ll enter when making your ad, you can also use criteria other than location, like what words should make your ad pop up when typed into a search engine. This is not something you master right away; it is something you adjust and manipulate over time, until you are getting what you want (effective click-through) for the least amount of money.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 232 – New Markets for Artists / Advertising Your Art on the Web

Chapter 5

Advertising Your Art on the Web

The main outlets for promoting artwork have always been magazines and other print publications that are read by collectors, but Google AdWords represents a new wave in advertising. The way it works is that you first decide what you want to advertise. If you’re an artist, you’ll probably want to advertise your website. The product you’re trying to sell is your art, but you are promoting your website so that people will visit it. When you’ve gotten people to visit your site, you have to think carefully about what you want them to do there. Most advertisers want people to sign up for their mailing list, and that’s a good idea. (In chapter 14 we talk about how to create a mailing list.) But you may want to do something different. Perhaps you want people to buy a print or comment on your art. Whatever it is that you want people to do, you can make it happen by getting them to visit your website.

Placing an Ad with Google

To begin the process of placing an ad with Google you can simply read about it by searching for AdWords online. Google makes it easy for you by offering a phone number you can call to discuss your ad with a live person who will walk you through the whole thing. If that service is no longer available at the time you are reading this book, there will be a tutorial that shows you how to get started.

The first thing you need to determine is how much you want to spend. You can spend a dollar a day, or more; it’s up to you, and you can change it or cancel it at any time. The way people will find your ad is through the words they type into search for something, for example, your name, or “art for sale,” or something similar. What you are doing is setting up a campaign for your ad.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 231 – New Markets for Artists / Sincerity in Marketing

Sincerity

As I continued to talk with my friend about social networking, I told him about HootSuite and how he could spend a small amount of time each day on it, or even just one hour a week, by scheduling all his tweets in advance announcing specials he would be offering at his store. In response to this he said, “That sounds kind of bullshitty.” When I asked what he meant, he said, “Well, when people are tweeting and updating their pages, you assume they are actually doing it, but if you schedule all these things in advance, it’s kind of false.”

This is an interesting opinion, and it’s one that you might share. Is it somehow disingenuous if you schedule a message to go out at a certain time instead of always typing it in at the moment? I think there are several ways to interpret his statement. He may be saying this out of fear because he feels it will be too difficult to learn. It may be another excuse not to get into online marketing and social networking. The fear of getting too involved could certainly be an issue as well. Finally, he might be saying this because it upsets his own Internet experience; he can no longer know whether people are posting things in the moment or just scheduling all their posts in advance.

No matter what the reason for my friend’s reaction, I do not see composing posts in advance as somehow insincere. If I am scheduling a tweet (which I do) and I am talking about an exhibition I saw that I loved or a new work of art I have made, I am being honest in what I’m saying. I could schedule posts like that all week long, and still be truthful. In fact,  I am really just making announcements. The only aspect of social networking that requires that you interact in real time is “liking” or commenting on someone else’s post. This is when you have to contribute to the community by interacting with people in real time and investing the moment you have as you type on the keyboard.

A Warning

Everyone has a different reaction to the thought of getting involved with social media tools like Facebook and Twitter and using them for the first time. These reactions are often age related, because people in their teens through their late twenties are very tech savvy (or at least that’s how people over thirty think of them). Children, on the other hand, are not so much tech savvy as fearless. Digital media and smartphones can be used by toddlers and young children are becoming very familiar with the concepts of poking  around on a touch screen to write, download, play, and do research. That gives the newest generation a head start, not because they are smarter, but because they are learning about these technologies earlier in life, when they are not intimidated  by them.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 230– New Markets for Artists / Daily Work

Daily Work

You should make it part of your daily social networking routine to look at the work of friends and other artists as well as any institutions that have Facebook pages and comment on what they post. You can spend as little as fifteen minutes a day on this, but it makes all the difference in the world. When other people—including those associated with major institutions— see that you like their post or comment, they will remember who you are and will be inclined to comment on what you are doing. This is essential because through it you are becoming part of a community, and you must contribute to that community if you expect others to appreciate your posts.

Programs like HootSuite can help you to do much more than just easily post a message across platforms and organize your social media accounts. They can also send out tweets and messages that you compose in advance, and they can send them out on a scheduled basis.

Is It Cool and Authentic?

Recently, a friend of mine was opening a small store and we were talking about advertising his business. I told him that it was essential that he have not only a Facebook page, but at least a Twitter account and foursquare account as well. When I elaborated, he said, “You’re making me feel old”—and he is in his early thirties.

This is something you may be feeling if you’re over thirty, because most of this is new to you, but let’s look at that statement for a minute. Why was I making him feel old? Because he wasn’t familiar with online promotion and he felt that it would take him a while to learn it, so he was resisting evolution and change. Of course that is very natural and it’s understandable. People have the same reaction to smartphones, but in spite of the learning curve, I see older people tapping away on their smartphones every day. If you want to become fluent in social media, you can. It’s really not that hard, but you have to have the will to do it. You also have to realize that you’re not alone, and there’s a lot of support out there for you in the form of books and videos.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 229 – New Markets for Artists / eBay

eBay

By now, everyone is familiar with eBay, a huge, largely auction-based marketplace where many artists have sold their work. In general, when an artist sells his or her work at an auction like Sotheby’s or Christie’s, their market value is established. Similarly, if you sell work regularly on eBay, it will increase in value over time.

For example, let’s say you put up a small drawing or painting and it sells for $50 at first. As long as your art continues to sell for about the same amount, that value is being established as what people will generally pay. But if you keep selling your art on eBay, week after week for a year or more, you will see the prices rise slightly, especially if you are promoting your artwork on your blog and Facebook. When the prices rise, you are establishing real value for your work. You will read more about artists who have done exactly that in chapter 6.

Putting Everything Together: Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and More

Perhaps all of this sounds overwhelming—as it probably should—but there are ways to simplify all of the social networking you’ll need to do to promote yourself and your art effectively. One way is to hire someone. That person is called a social media manager, and this is one of the fastest growing jobs right now. Because small businesses everywhere are realizing that the phone book and traditional ads are not cutting it anymore, they are hiring social media experts to do all their tweeting, blogging, and Facebook status updates. That is an option for you; however, you could easily do it all yourself using a central hub, which I will explain in a moment. Another option is to become a social media manager yourself. You could make a good part-time income or even take it on full time. I will explain this as well.

Dashboards

The way to bring it all together is through a central system, or dashboard. That means that all your social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, WordPress or Tumblr, and more—can be controlled through one, easy-to-use program. The program that I use is called HootSuite, but there are others, like Tweetdeck. What these programs do is organize all of your social platforms, simply and elegantly. If you use HootSuite, which at the moment has more tools that TweetDeck, you will be able to manage all of your platforms by logging into them all at once. Then you have several choices. You can send a tweet just once, about your art or an upcoming show, for example, and it will automatically appear on every other platform with the touch of a button. That way you do not have to spend time looking at each one; you just enter an update or a new image you made and it goes out everywhere. That saves you lots of time, so that after under thirty minutes, not only will you have updated all your sites, you’ll have also poked around and “liked” other people’s comments or made your own comments. It is called social networking for a reason, so you have to remember that it’s not all about you; it’s about the community you are in. Just as you like to receive comments on your updates and new images, so do other people. If you comment on their posts in a way that shows a sincere interest in them, they will take an interest in you as well. This is what the new online community is all about, and it has fundamentally changed the way products are marketed. It is now a give and take that people want, a way to give and get feedback on everything from travel photos to their latest interests  and passions.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 228 – New Markets for Artists / YouTube, Vimeo, and Video-Sharing Websites

YouTube, Vimeo, and Video-Sharing Websites

Video can and should be a part of how you communicate with the world about your art. This can take many forms, so you do not have to be a video artist to take advantage of this medium. A YouTube channel is easy to create, and it’s free, so I suggest you sign up for one today. If you are already doing this, fantastic; if not, it’s as easy as creating a Facebook or Twitter account. Once you do that, you can easily make and upload a video. You can use a phone camera or a small consumer digital camera.

Video Studio Tour

An easy way to get started is to give a tour of your studio. This makes it easy, because you do not have to be in front of the camera. Just turn it on and spend three minutes or so walking around your studio and talking about it. Tell people a little bit about what they are seeing; if something is recent or in pro- gress, talk about it. Be as quirky as you like, be relaxed, be as you are. There is no need to perform here or do anything that is not your style, so just talk and, if possible, be enthusiastic.

If you take this approach, you can probably see how you could make a video almost every week. These videos could be posted on your Facebook account as well as your Twitter account and blog. Everyone loves videos, and not only will it get responses, it’s very much like a studio visit. So take advantage of this powerful medium and begin making videos and sharing them. You can shoot videos of almost anything, so there’s no need to limit yourself to studio tours. You can make a video of a place that inspires you, or a time-lapse  sequence that shows an artwork being made, or anything else that relates to your art.

Consistency

The key is to be consistent in your video production when possible; a good goal to set for yourself would be to create one video or more a week, keeping them under three minutes each. You  don’t want to make videos that are too long because people will get bored and impatient. In this new, fast-paced world of online communications, video is the quickest way to communicate a lot of information, but it also has to be brief to have an impact. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but it also makes it easier for you if you concentrate on making something quick and easy as opposed to a more elaborate production that could take a week or more to produce. The value of video is huge and social media gurus talk about   it all the time as one of the best ways to reach your audience. I know that when I want to learn something about a new program or anything computer related, I really don’t want to read a long text about it, or even a fairly short one; I would rather watch a video tutorial by a nonprofessional who narrates while clicking around their computer screen explaining what they are doing. I learn very fast that way, as do most people, because it is visual and easy to  understand.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 227 – New Markets for Artists / LinkedIn

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking site, and you should consider adding it to your list of social media tools, because it has a slightly different function that sets it apart. Originally, it was intended for businesspeople trying to meet others in their fields. It works in a way that is similar to Facebook; you begin by entering information that is related to your work and, like Facebook, LinkedIn has the power to lead to introductions to curators and others who can help you. The concept of LinkedIn is that you describe your business and then, as you become friends with others, you become connected to their networks, and the concept of seven degrees of separation to almost anyone comes into play.

For example, let’s say I had a show at the Whitney Museum of American Art (which I did) and that one of the curators at the museum accepted my invitation to be connected on LinkedIn. Now, I could go to my LinkedIn profile, and look through all the curators’ connections. I may see people there that I want to meet. Instead of just writing to them, LinkedIn requires that I ask for an introduction. That means my friend who  is a curator at the museum has to send a note to introduce me to them, and LinkedIn makes that process very easy. For the serious artist who wants to make connections the way  a businessperson does, this is a great resource, and it’s one that you should not be without.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 226 – New Markets for Artists / WordPress

WordPress

There are many blog services out there, but the best ones as of this writing are WordPress and Tumblr. The reason for the great success of WordPress, a relatively new blogging site, is that it can be used to create so much more than a standard blog because it includes plug-ins for adding all kinds of features to your blog. This makes it very dynamic and allows you to change the look and feel of your blog as well as its functionality. You can easily integrate it with other social platforms so that whatever you write on your blog appears on those sites as well. There are new features being added constantly, which explains why it is one of the most popular blogging sites out there.

Why do you need a blog? For several reasons: You can use it to put up new images of your work with descriptions of what you are doing, you can use it to connect with other bloggers, and it can take the place of a web page by giving you the ability to update all of your artwork. Also, if you like writing, it can help you get the attention of a publisher, and  if you attract enough followers, you can even earn a living with it by selling advertising space on your blog. You might feel like keeping a blog is overwhelming or unnecessary, but it’s one of the most important elements of your social media arsenal, as it has the ability to create conversations and build interest. In chapter 2, I talk about artists who make a living using eBay, and a blog can play an important role in driving up your eBay sales.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 225 – New Markets for Artists / Artists on Foursquare and Swarm

Artists on Foursquare and Swarm

But how will you, an artist, use this platform? In several ways. To begin with, you can enter your own location, and it doesn’t cost anything. Let’s say you want to put your studio on there. You simply enter the information and a name, probably your own, as the name of the studio. Then you can check in there regularly. Every time you check in to your studio, you have the option of telling your friends on Facebook with one click. That means foursquare creates a post on your Facebook wall with a little map showing where you are. You can make a comment too, like “Working on my giant robot sculpture  today,” which should get you a few comments. As you continue to do this, more and more people will remember where your studio is. As the owner, you can announce parties, post pictures, and create events. Also, when you visit a gallery or another artist’s studio, you can comment on it and people will see where you have been.

The term “social networking” is appropriate for foursquare because you are not just talking about your studio but other studios as well. If you comment on a show in a gallery or a museum, a map of those spots will pop up on your Facebook wall along with your comments, and others will comment back, so the community grows because of interests shared by artists, collectors, and friends. It’s like a game in a sense, but with the added value of helping you publicize your exhibits and your studio, which in turn can drive sales of your artwork up by increasing visits to your studio and creating a stronger community to support you.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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