Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Annette here from Downunder (Australia)! Hope this finds all my old friends well! I am still in the biz and I see your posts in my email and pop into the site but have turned into a lurker!
However, I need Stateside advice and here is the first place I thought I could ask :) You might recall I'm in a rural area here in Australia and most of my shows are within a few hours, they tend to the small rather than large size, and I've done well. But the combination of an ongoing drought (heading into our 2nd year) reducing spending dramatically in rural areas, AND getting older means I want to pull back on shows (except the very profitable ones or ones I love to do) and increase my online sales. To this end I've been beavering away through 2019 and sales online (via website and facebook) have increased, but are still small compared to in person sales.
While searching for information I came across the "Artist Marketing Formula" which appears to be solely about marketing on facebook for artists/artisans/craftspeople etc. As I already sell through FB I know it can work, and getting a 'playbook' of how to get FB to work for you rather than against you is appealing!
The program is by Dave Emmons from Vermont who makes hanging water gardens (blown glass I believe) and he sounds convincing, but the cost is fairly high at $1000USD ($1600AUD) and I am so resistant to paying for marketing especially when you still have to do it yourself!
So, I would love to know if anyone has done his program / heard of someone who has done the program and what they thought and if it was worth the $$?
Thanks in advance :)
Good, sound advice Connie!
I bought in to one of these kind of programs (not this one) and had high hopes because the "Marketing Coach" had good standing in the art world and really seemed to know the business. All of the advice I got was good, but was really just common sense and more about follow up than anything else. I paid her $1800.00 (U.S.) and she kept her part of it, but some of her advice really cost me. She convinced me to get into high-end shows where booth fees started at $5,000 and went up drastically from there. Add in travel, shipping, etc., and the shows were costing me about $10,000 each, all with the great promise of fantastic sales. I did this for two years (about 4 shows a year). I didn't have the money so I maxed out my credit cards. I advertised in the show magazines and art trade magazines. After ALL of that, I didn't make one single sale. Her pricing advice (insistence, really) was so far out of line that I actually lost sales as a result.
The bottom line in this sort of thing is to not be gullible and 100% trusting, like I was. Personally, I think we already know what to do. It's just common sense. But as artists, we really just don't want to do all the marketing. We want to be in our studios.
I have worked two different art galleries that have great information and in fact, books, that advice artists. I bought both and there is so much more information and doable advice that I recommend them over paying a "coach." If you're interested, I've included links below where you can purchase the books. One of them has a very low cost on-line video class that he teaches, which I've taken and got a lot out of it. He does weekly emails with great advice (free) if you sign up. https://reddotblog.com/ and the website has tons of good advice, again for free.
"Starving to Successful" book by Jason Horejs. You can buy it on amazon:
The other is by Litsa Spanos: "Secrets of the Art World" https://adcfineart.com/pages/secrets-of-the-art-world Again, if you sign up for their free newsletter, she sends out tons of advice and there is also lots of information on their website.
Each book is only about $25.00. I am not affiliated and don't make anything from referring them. This is just advice from one artist to another that has been burned trying to learn.
Thanks Bettie, your experience is why I wasn't able to press the buy now button!! Its a lot of $$ to spend if you don't get much from it - which is why I posted here hoping to speak to someone who has used it and found it good. I did speak to a lady here in Australia who purchased it but has only just started so not the feedback I was hoping for. I am still reading other things as I have all along and will certainly check out the links!
Hello everyone, I wanted to respond to you about David Emmons online course. I have seen a lot of online courses out there on the internet and I have tried many of them. Some has moved the goal post a little, some not so much. Like many, I was too skeptical about his online marketing course. But I had a different goal than many of your readers, I wanted to learn the backend of Facebook, how to reach my fans, how to build a Facebook business page the right way from the ground up, How to make videos and target them to my audience. Also, I wanted to be anywhere in the world and to stay in touch with my fans and still reach new fans and respond to them. Now I can do all of the above and more. David’s teaching/coaching has given me a new perspective on how to reach thousands of people at once. Please don’t get me wrong, I love being out there at art/craft shows selling my photography and have done well over the years. But, I’m building my marketing objectives for the long term and David’s Step by Step Success with Facebook Marketing is really putting me and my photography business on track to accomplish my goals on Facebook.
Hello Annette, I joined David's course before the holidays and can tell you I truly am so excited about it!
I still have a way to go, am working my way through the modules, but I have started to implement his teachings and have already seen many more page likes and traffic. In addition, David's facebook ad instruction encouraged me to "try" and instagram ad as well and I received a commission! The course was an investment for me, but knowing it is for life and will be updated with new information really made sense. He's already added updates to the course since I've joined. AND I think one of the best things about David is he is SO ENCOURAGING! I told another artist it's like getting a motivational coach as well! He truly wants all of his students to succeed. He includes coaching calls and will even make time for a phone call as needed. I've been trying to get my art out in the world for years...and feel I finally have the avenue and support needed to make it happen. All the best to you! Gretchen
Thanks Gretchen and Vincent. Its good to hear such glowing testimonials although I have to question were you asked to do it as you appear to both be brand new members?
Hello Annette, yes, David did send an email. He mentioned that the owner of this community sent him this thread. David said it was interesting because he and the owner had just been discussing doing a Podcast together about selling work online. He asked if we would consider sharing a little about the impact the course has made for us. I have done two other courses by artists and I did learn from each of them, however, I do feel confident in saying (in my experience), David’s enthusiasm is unmatched. As with anything, “we” have to do the work, and there is a lot! But I personally feel I have finally found the avenue, and the support, to make my dream of being a full-time artist a reality! It’s scary, because I know I really have to put myself out there. I’ve heard how people love to meet and get to know the artist. I’m starting to do videos...yikes! We can all watch a video on youtube about how to do Facebook ads, David is so much more. There is also a facebook group for the members and I have found the other artists so willing to support eachother and share things that have worked for them. I believe this will be a game changer for me. You can ask me in six months and see if I was right! ; )
I was not going to chime in for several reasons.
I don't want to alienate Connie as she might have a business relationship with with David Emmons
David was very respectful and obliging when I spoke with him, on the phone.
However as some things are being eluded to here, I'll just give my thoughts.
I am vehemently against dishonesty and disingenuous practices.
A) The emails being received from David, bearing subject lines “I can't stand it anymore; I have a moral obligation to show you this.”
B) The apparent ruse being used by having supposed others, posting on this site, posing as just fellow artists, with great reviews. Said reviews being very carefully scripted marketing. I was hoping you would see that. Genuine unsolicited reviews are far better, for integrity.
I feel it is detrimental to keeping our customers by blasting with continuous emails. A single email, once in a while is acceptable. I have received marketing emails, like the aforementioned, from David at the rate of 12 hours apart. Multiple times.
When I reply to an email, like his, I NEVER use the links in the email. Instead I reply as it was sent. Credibility was further diminished when I replied to the email only to have it be rejected due to: “:: Message rejected for spam or virus content :: “.
Despite what some will claim, when we start flooding our customers with emails, phone calls etc. all it does is become obtrusive and offensive. How many people don't even go through all their email? They filter / screen their email, Facebook, phone calls etc.
As SEO services move harder and harder towards getting your listings to come up first, so do the people at Google, Facebook etc, work at algorithms that thwart such. Google and such have vastly superior resources to do so.
Nothing against marketing.
Plenty against the wrong type of marketing.
Again, Connie is great. Nothing wrong with her working with a marketing entity. We don't pay for this site. Without such the site would not exist.
David was receptive and professional in our phone conversation. His product may or may not be very good. I make no claims of this.