You don’t have to do a lot of high-tech Internet marketing to sell your art.
One of my readers’ favorite stories in I’d Rather Be in the Studio! is the recount of how Karen Bubb was able to travel to China by selling shares of her trip. She not only made enough money to cover her costs, she also engaged a lot of people in the process. (See Action 14 in the book for all of the details.)
What’s so surprising is that Karen did this the old-fashioned way: with very little help from the Internet. Karen didn’t even have a website, wasn’t blogging, and Twitter and Facebook weren’t on the scene in 2004. (She still doesn’t have a website or Facebook page, which is why I’m not linking to her here.)
Karen sold 225 shares @ $32/share by using her mailing list, which was comprised of her friends and family in Boise, Idaho.
Karen’s idea was so interesting that a newspaper picked up on it, which brought in shareholders that were previously unknown to her.
My sister-in-law, Shelly Lewis Stanfield, is a painter who lives in Oklahoma City. Since 2007, Shelly has sold more than 300 paintings.
Shelly has a website, but she doesn’t have a blog, doesn’t use Twitter, and doesn’t have a business page on Facebook. She has some gallery representation, but the galleries sell little compared to what Shelly sells on her own.
Get this: Shelly has sold most of her art by having exhibits at restaurants and by contributing art to fundraisers for organizations that get 20-25% of the proceeds.
Shelly would tell you there’s no magic formula.
She has sold most of her art by using her mailing list. She encourages the people she knows to attend the restaurant openings and visit the restaurant while the work is up.
Her preferred method of contact? Postcards. She sends one or two at a time to individuals on her mailing list for a personal touch.
And no, Shelly has never asked me for any help or advice. Honest. She’s done this all on her own – fearlessly. Shelly succeeds because she’s out there pounding the pavement, not just the computer keys.
If you’re not embracing email, blogs, and social media, follow the example of Shelly and Karen. You can do amazing things with traditional marketing.