|24 hour clock by Paulo Uccello|
The question is What proportion of your art time do you spend on marketing?
You can find the new opinion poll in the right hand column (just above "For Your Information"). It closes at the end of the month and the results will be published on 30th November.
Read on to find out more about:
- why marketing is important right now
- how to count time spent on marketing art
Why is marketing important right now?
Some artists are doing OK right now - but not everybody is.
The double dip recession is beginning to bite. It's not as dramatic a change as in 2008 - however it's not going to get a lot better quickly either. The general expectation is that the pain being experienced this time around is going to be around for a long time.
People are losing their jobs and their homes. People are not spending as much as they used to - and they're typically spending it on different things and in different places. Galleries are closing. Art sales are dropping.
The research findings confirm what artists and those who work with them know experientially – that most artists struggle to make ends meet financially and that this struggle is even more pronounced in tough economic times. The study also confirmed our observation that artists are remarkably resourceful in crafting their work lives and creative in responding to the ebbs and flows of opportunity.Artists and the Recession Survey ResultsThere's an awful lot of concern being expressed by some artists at the moment about the way their income is being badly affected by the double dip recession, gallery closures, people not buying etc. It's prompting lots of artists who sell their art and need to maintain their income from art to rethink the way they market their art.
That involves asking questions - such as
- Can I improve on how I market my art at present?
- Are there new outlets which I need to try?
- Are there new strategies which I could employ?
- Are there new people I need to meet?
- Should I spend more time on improving relationships with people buying my art?
How much time should be spent on marketing art?
Very often artists do not start out with any sort of business or retail background. Hence much of what they do is learned by copying others - who in turn may not know the best or most effective way to market and retail their art.
Very few artists have any experience of how much time and money is invested in marketing in other areas of the economy - except maybe for the TV and online adverts!
There are also some very good business advisers for artists around. One thing they typically have in common is a view that artists who manage their time effectively are more likely to prosper in the long run.
However, even if you have got better at managing your time, there still remains the big questions about
- how much time should I spend on my art?
- Do you just count the studio time?
- Do you count all the time covering every aspect of your artistic endeavours? and.......
- What proportion of my art time should be spent on marketing my art?
It's almost as if the time spent on marketing art is being counted as negligible or valueless.
That's not the way it's viewed in other areas of economic activity. I therefore think it would be interesting to try and develop some sort of baseline about how much time artists spend on marketing art.
Making A Mark Opinion Poll November 2011
I've been trying to think how best to run a poll which looks at how much time spend on marketing art. Obviously everybody spends a variable amount of time. Also, getting feedback this time will enable a better question and an improved poll next time.
So I've decided to look at it from the perspective of the proportion of time allocated to art you spend on marketing your art as opposed to creating art.
The question is simple. What to count towards "marketing time" is a bit more complex. Below are some suggestions about the activities which count towards marketing art.
What proportion of your art time do you spend on marketing?
- less than 10%
- more than 50%
It would also be interesting to hear - via comments on this post - whether artists are spending MORE OR LESS TIME on marketing their art compared to 5 years ago (in 2006).
For the purpose of allocating time, marketing art includes essentially the "4Ps":
product - the features and appearance of your art. So this includes time spent on matting, framing , photographing and packaging your art. Basically all the physical aspects of your art (over and above the painting or whatever) which make your art a positive experience for the buyer.
price - how much customers are prepared to pay. This includes time spent on
- research on pricing generally (eg attending exhibitions)
- updating your own priced art in the marketplace
- communicating with customers/galleries on price and billing for income due
- finding places to sell your art (B&M and online)
- maintain site and/or relationship with those selling your art
- the development and maintenance of contacts with art galleries
- the development and maintenance of third party art sites selling your work
- the development and maintenance of all websites, blogs and ecommerce/auction websites used to sell your art
- communicating and maintaining relationships with collectors
- newsletters of more general interest,
- blogging and other social media contacts such as Facebook and Twitter
- entering artwork in art society exhibitions
- additional time spent on a special artwork produced with a view to getting into a prestigious exhibition or winning a prize (ie this is a promotional tool not just art for sale)
- development of content of your artist statement and resume
- identifying and targeting prospects for your art
- correspondence associated with a sale
I'm currently developing a new site which will have Time Management Tips for Artists - which I hope to publish by the end of the month.
If you've written or read a great blog post or article about this topic please leave a comment and a link below.
- Making A Mark
- Outstanding performance - a talent or 10000 hours of practice?
- Marketing 101 for Artists - an introduction - outlines the function and nature of marketing
- Results of "How do you price your art?" - comments on approaches which factor in the time spent on making art
- "Making their Mark" - an audit of visual artists
- What happens to Artists in a recession?
- New York Times - A Survey Shows Pain of Recession for Artists
- Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC) - Artists and the Recession Survey Results (Download Artists And the Economic Recession Survey: A Summary of Findings- May 2010.)
- The Making A Mark Poll - Resources for Artists - one site which links to other Making A Mark Polls. Check out how you relate to the responses of other artists.