This is the time of year when everyone (including me) rolls out their new sales courses and promises that if you just use their simple, proven system that you’ll make a bunch of money.
But here’s the deal: 2023 is probably going to be a weird year.
Let me explain.
In December I wrote about how we’re all seeing the trailing effects of the air slowly being let out of the online art sales bubble generated by the pandemic. There was a massive surge into ecommerce in early 2020 and we’ve now returned to what is essentially a new normal. Slightly more ecommerce than 2019, but not as much as 2020.
We’ve been talking about a recession long enough now that we’re getting real Ross & Rachel vibes. Is this thing happening or not? Are we on a break? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, find an Elder Millenial in your life and ask them.
There’s so many people teaching artists how to sell art that it’s starting to feel a little bit like 99u’s Creative Industrial Bullshit Complex. TAA has been around since 2009 and we’ve helped launch the careers of a lot of artists, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a little skeptical when we claim we can help artists sell art. After all, I’m not an artist – just a marketing guy.
So here’s the deal: instead of relaunching How to Sell Your Art Online 101 (again), we’re scrapping the whole thing and starting over.
What does that mean?
It means we’re not offering a perfectly built, pre-recorded video course.
Instead, I’m building a new group thing.
I’m not calling it a course, or coaching, or community.
It’s a new business thing without a name just yet.
But I imagine it’s going to go something like this:
You: hey, I need help selling my art.
Me: cool. How can I help?
You: …I kinda thought you’d be able to tell me because you have so much experience…
Me: Yeah. Ok. Tell me about your art business. How are you selling your art now? How many sales have you had in the last 6 months, and how much money have you made?
**there’s a few ways your response can go here, so I’m going to throw a few scenarios in here – and yes, they’re heavily abbreviated because it always takes a little back-and-forth to get to this level of clarity**
Artist 1: (counting on their hands) uh…let’s see, I’ve made 4 sales. I made $800 total. I probably shouldn’t sell original art for $200 but I feel bad charging my uncle more.
Artist 2: I had my first solo show and sold 3 original pieces, 2 commissions, and 3 prints. I made $30,000, but I haven’t had a sale in six weeks. I have no idea what to do now.
Artist 3: (with a spreadsheet in front of them) I sold 1200 prints and made $120,000 with a 40% profit margin. I need help figuring out how to sell more prints or sell them at a higher price point. I could also use some help delivering the prints in a way that doesn’t take up so much time.
Me: Thanks for sharing. Here’s what artists typically do in that situation, and here’s what usually happens. Here’s some suggestions on how to make it work for you and also some pitfalls to avoid. Go do these 3 things and let’s check back in two weeks to see what’s going on. Email me if any questions come up. If it’s ok with you, we’re going to put together a group call with a few other artists in situations similar to yours so we can talk about it, share learnings, and help each other out. Sound good?
**big breath. pause**
At least, that’s the way it goes in my head.
The reality is that courses are limited in what they can teach you, and each of these situations could be considered a ‘beginner,’ but each of them have a different business problem to solve. So rather than trying to build a course that could encompass each of these scenarios, I’d like to build a small accountability group.
What will you get?
Here are some things that I can realistically help artists achieve:
- Get your first art sale
- Build a marketing engine that brings in attention and repeat sales
- Learn how to interpret your marketing data to make decisions in your business
- Create an email marketing program that delivers increased sales
- Pick the right technology for your business
- Make a plan for improving your website to generate sales
- Make a plan to improve your social media and generate sales
- Hire people to increase sales and optimize your time (for artists who have revenue they can use to hire people)
Things that we won’t talk about or work on:
- Making better art
- Building your website for you
- Building better back end operations and systems for shipping, packing, or finances
- Solving scaling problems outside of sales & marketing
What will it cost?
In the past we’ve charged $400 for a big group class and $2500 for six weeks of 1:1 coaching. This is going to be in that lower range for groups, depending on how many people sign up and what level of effort your business is going to take from me in order to get going.
How much time will this take?
We’ve had a lot of success with creating programs for artists that include one or two coaching sessions per week that last about an hour, along with access to a group chat. I’m open to doing something different, depending on the needs of the group.
If that’s interesting to you, let me know by replying to this email.
We’ll find a time to have a conversation similar to the one above. Before we have that call, I’ll ask you to fill out a questionnaire that will make that initial conversation easier and faster for both of us.
Disclaimers: I’m not promising I can solve all of your business problems. I’ve sold tens of millions of dollars of art and other products online in my career, so I feel confident in my skills. If I see your situation and think I can’t help you, I’ll tell you.
Fill out the form to apply here.