The sales process is rarely discussed in artist circles. We often think of sales as a single step. Either someone buys your art or they don’t. There’s’ so much more to it. Yet, many of us think of sales as a dirty word, which is a bit ridiculous if we want to grow our businesses and careers. Artists need to adopt a new mindset surrounding sales in order to be successful.
My guest on this episode of The Art Biz is Miriam Schulman, artist and founder of the Inspiration Place, where she helps other artists learn how to profit from their passion or become better artists. Miriam is the author of Artpreneur: The Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Sustainable Living from Your Creativity. In this conversation, Miriam and I review her Artpreneur Sales Playbook and 10-step sales process.
Miriam’s struggle with sales, despite her background in finance. (3:30)
The evolution from general sales and marketing to effective art sales. (6:56)
Curating your valuable contacts list. (9:05)
The importance of mindset in sales success. (12:30)
Developing a confident belief in the value of your art. (14:47)
The first 5 steps of selling your art. (21:05)
Body language, previewing the process, and establishing the decision maker. (27:37)
Sell with stories, not facts, and selling happy endings. (33:10)
Overcoming objections with the right language. (40:07)
Close the sale by asking for it. (42:45)
This Week’s Action
This week’s action has two parts. Part 1 is to download the free chapter of Artpreneur at schulmanart.com/believe.
Part 2 is to write out Miriam’s 10 steps in the sales process and post them somewhere so you’re reminded that it is a process. You need to be invested in the steps of the process in order for it to work.
“Once I started making the connection between sales in general and selling for art and understood that there wasn't a difference, I became a student of marketing and sales, and that has made all the difference.” — Miriam Schulman
“Marketing 101 is investing in human relationships.” — Miriam Schulman
“My art, going out into people’s homes, became ambassadors for me.” — Miriam Schulman
“Mindset is everything. Mindset trumps talent.” — Miriam Schulman
“Overcoming objections is about having compassion for the buyer and knowing where they are coming from.” — Miriam Schulman
About My Guest
Miriam Schulman is an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where she helps other artists learn how to profit from their passion or become better artists. She’s helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. Her art and story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine, What Women Create as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. Schulman’s forthcoming book with HarperCollins Leadership Artpreneur is scheduled to be released on January 31, 2023.
First posted: ArtBizSuccess.com/sales-schulman-podcast
Your Decision Filter: 8 Considerations for Making Decisions for Your Art Business
With host Alyson Stanfield
Read the “almost” full transcript, see featured artists, and leave a comment:
~ 8 CONSIDERATIONS ~
How Human Design has helped me make decisions. (15:07)
~ MENTIONED ~
Please join me in the Art Biz Accelerator coaching group and community: https://artbizaccelerator.com
Human Design resource: https://jovianarchive.com
~ ABOUT ~
Alyson Stanfield is the host of the Art Biz Podcast, founder of Art Biz Success, leader of the Art Biz Connection community of artists, and author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio: The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion.
There are so many ways you can sell your art and so many different avenues for earning money from your talents. I’ve highlighted a wide variety of options for earning money from your art on The Art Biz podcast, but today’s conversation is a first. I’m joined by Katie Hunt, the founder of Proof to Product, to learn more about wholesaling. She has helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of large retailers like Target, Nordstrom, The Container Store, and Starbucks, as well as independent boutiques around the world.
In this episode, Katie shares basic basic information about wholesaling your art. What is it? Who is it for? Who is it not for? What’s the difference between wholesaling and retailing? Where does licensing fit in? Katie is a wealth of information, and generously gives four considerations for wholesaling. And stay with me to the end of our conversation, where Katie reveals the four things she takes into account when making business decisions.
Key differences between wholesaling and retailing. (4:20)
The importance of selling in larger quantities at a lower price in wholesale. (6:53)
How is licensing different than wholesaling? (12:20)
What type of artists are a good fit for wholesaling? (13:41)
Focusing on one revenue stream at a time — before wholesaling. (17:58)
Foundational checkpoint number one — Is your product line strong? (20:20)
Are your sales tools in place? (26:20)
Outreach and marketing — detailing your artwork and your terms and conditions. (29:18)
Step number four — solidifying your operations and systems. (31:07)
Handling criticism and rejection when wholesaling. (32:38)
Paper Camp and other resources for artists considering wholesale. (35:52)
4 considerations Katie bases every decision on. (40:50)
This Week’s Assignment
This week’s assignment has 2 options. Option 1 is to review Katie’s 4 considerations for wholesaling to decide whether or not it’s a direction you want to go. If you want to see those again in a list, visit this episode at artbizpodcast.com. Katie’s format is so straightforward and she is clear that wholesaling isn’t right for everyone. If you know that wholesaling isn’t for you, go for option 2, which is to write out her list of considerations for making business decisions and keep it nearby. Adjust it to your needs and revisit it often to stay on track.
“There are so many ways we can sell our art, and each one requires a different foundation.” — Katie Hunt
“With wholesale, we’re talking about a very different system of the sales process, the marketing process, even the fulfillment process.” — Katie Hunt
“Artists don’t have to wholesale everything they make. They can create a special segment of their product line that is for wholesale.” — Katie Hunt
“Before you take the plunge into wholesaling, you need to know you have an audience.” — Katie Hunt
“The more we experience with the pitching process and putting ourselves, our art and our talents out there, the stronger we become.” — Katie Hunt
About My Guest
Katie Hunt is the founder of Proof to Product, the host of a podcast with the same title, and a business strategist who supports product-based business owners. She has helped thousands of brands get their products on the shelves of large retailers like Target, Nordstrom, The Container Store, and Starbucks, as well as independent boutiques around the world. Katie’s work has been featured in Forbes, New York Times, Entrepreneur as well as dozens of business podcasts. She brings experience, education and a love of learning into her programs. Her strengths lie in connecting people & bringing ideas to life – brainstorming, making a plan and implementing.