Episode 268 – New Markets for Artists / Printers

Printers

The reason you need to talk to a printer is because you need to know how much you have to sell a print for in order to make money. Assume the consultant will take fifty percent of your retail price. To determine the price of your work, factor in printing and domestic shipping costs plus the half of the total that will be going to a consultant. When asked how much a print is, you should know the answer offhand and the profit margin you stand to make from that sale.

Follow Up

Follow up is very important, which is another reason why you don’t want to contact people you haven’t researched. After emailing everyone on your list, you should send follow up emails every two weeks to reiterate the sentiments of your first email, and, if applicable, let them know that you have a new image to show them. You are building relationships with people who like to see that you are serious and professional about your work. They want to see that you are a consistent and reliable business partner. Oftentimes, consultants are going from project to project, one week at a hospital or a corporate lobby, another week at a hotel, and by maintaining regular correspondence, you will sometimes catch them in the middle of a project your work is suited for.

New Images, Constant Communication

It is also helpful to call your list of art consutants once a month to say that you have been sending them emails of your portfolio, and want to know if the consultant is looking for any particular kind of art at the moment. Getting to know the consultant and their preferences is key because that personal connection will make you and your work stand out that much more when the consultant begins selecting work for new projects.

As you foster these relationships you will find that you get more sales, and that momentum can steadily grow. It’s time to created another list of fifty consultants and repeat the process. Before long, you will have a dozen or more contacts buying art from you on a regular basis, providing you a steady stream of income. Once you have reached this plateau, you can consider consulting for other artists.

Becoming a Consultant Yourself

Since you now have the contacts and understand the system, you also have friends in your artist network, and they may be interested in selling prints. Barbara Markoff wrote a book that is an excellent resource on how to be an art consultant and run your own business. It is easier than you think once you establish yourself. As a last word on dealing with art consultants, if you are asked to pay to be represented, do not do it. No consultant should ask for money up front. If they do, refuse to work with them. Keep in mind, you are an entrepreneur starting a small business, and you need to use your head and make smart business decisions.

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 266 – New Markets for Artists / What You Need to Begin

What You Need to Begin

To become an art consultant you need three things: Your images must be online so they can be easily seen, you need professional contacts, and you should have prices ready for prints. Most important are the contact information of the art consultants you want to work with. I would suggest you begin by searching Google for the art consultants in your area. There are several in major cities, but you can also find them scattered across the United States and the rest of the world. I regularly publish an updated list of art consultants on my newsletter which is available through my website, yourartmentor.com.

Reputable  Consultants

When you are searching for consultants, look at their websites first so you can determine if they sell other artists’ work to other institutions—this is the kind of consultant you want. You don’t want consultants looking for private clients to build art collections. Take your time and build a good list. Once you have fifty names you are ready to begin.

How to Contact Consultants

You can start by sending them a brief, professional email. Do not attach images to your messages because mail programs might automatically flag your email as junk mail, and some people are hesitant to open large attachments from unknown senders because of computer viruses. When I receive image attachments they are usually so large that in order to see them in their entirety I have to download them to my desktop and open them up again. This is an inconvenience that can be easily avoided by simply providing a link to your images in the body of your email, rather than sending attachments.

Make a Simple Link

The link should direct them to a page where all your images are neatly displayed. Be sure not to send a link that goes to a home page that requires additional clicks to get to your images. Even if you are not a web page designer, there are several easy ways to send direct links. If you have a Gmail account, you can also log in and use Picasa, which is a photo sharing site like Flickr that is run by Google. Photo sharing sites allow you to upload and share your images very easily. Once you upload images to Picasa or Flickr, you can then send a link to a particular group of images or an album of photographs.

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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