Original art is, most of the time, necessarily, expensive.
And that’s OK. You have to charge what you need to charge to be profitable. But in this age of online marketing, it will greatly increase your marketing and sales efforts if you offer works at multiple price points. You should strive to have something to sell in three main categories: inexpensive, mid-range, and expensive.
This might look like the following:
$100 – $500: small field studies, sketches and demos
$500- $2,000: small to medium studio pieces
$2,000 – $5,000 medium to large masterpieces
Or maybe you can’t afford to go that low with your small originals. You could do something more like the following:
$100 – $500: Print on Demand offerings*
$500 – $2,000 Limited edition prints and small sketches
As you become better known, and your art becomes more sought after, you can adjust the price points and even add higher price points.
Having multiple price points is important for you to maximize your sales, achieve sovereignty as an artist and, importantly, to have an entry point for people to get started with your work. You can adjust the idea to your own unique situation but think things through so that you can offer something at each price point.
The most important price point is the inexpensive one ($100-$500 range in our example).
This is the price point with the least resistance. It serves as an entry point for new collectors and it serves as impulse buys for past collectors. You can sell $100-$500 pieces off social media fairly easily. You’ll often have people DM you and purchase right from your social media post. Send them a payment link and your sale is completed. (Note – social media platforms sometimes don’t like it when you include price information in your captions and, if you do so, some platforms will reduce the reach of that post. A better way to include price info with your post is to post a video of the art work where you narrate a voice-over track that explains a bit about the piece and you can, in your audio, give the price and payment instructions.)
If you develop “1,000 true fans” (and you’ll have more than 1,000 followers on social media if you follow the ideas in The Sovereign Artist), you could easily sell ten pieces a month in this lowest price range. That alone would be $1,000 – $5,000 a month.
This multiple price point strategy is one reason, in the Sovereign Artist Era, you are better positioned than an art gallery to build a collector base and sell more of your art work. Galleries aren’t generally interested in the art works that fall in the inexpensive price point. They aren’t going to spend time marketing your open edition prints or small sketches. They can’t afford to.
But collectors love those inexpensive pieces. Quick example: I commissioned a portrait of my wife a few years ago, and, as part of the process, the artist did four small sketches of her in different poses to help us visualize the different directions he could go with the final portrait. And while I love the finished painting, in many ways, I enjoy the small sketches even more. They hang next to my desk and I enjoy them every day.
This strategy of “luring” fans in with small, inexpensive pieces and then, over time, helping them “graduate” to your more expensive works, is the best strategy to build your collector list. And, ironically, it’s not the strategy art galleries use! And that’s why, if you follow this process, you can sell more art than any gallery is likely to ever sell for you.
Until next time, please remember that Fortune Favors the Bold Brush.