Plant the Seeds of Growth Right Where You Are...

I was reading Barney Davey’s wise words of advice today and thought I would share some with you…
I have just added some excerpts of the article to keep the post short..
As always I appreciate your wonderful comments and feedback as it enables me to decide whether I should continue to write the journal

Davey believes in growing your art buying public right where you live and wonders how many of you tell your friends and family when you have new work to sell..

“Have you supplied them with postcards, sales sheets, or other art marketing materials to give to others? In your professional circle, how many contacts have bought your art?
How many professionals do you use in your life? Do your doctor, your lawyer, your CPA, and bookkeeper own your art? Have you shown them your art? Do your friends, family or professional relationships regularly refer prospects to you?
You have people all around you who might buy your art, or they might know someone who will buy your art. If you practice, you can learn genuinely to ask these potential buyers and centers of influence to buy your art or refer you to prospects that will

He strongly feels that if you are successful at this level you will create a solid foundation for “more extensive marketing efforts”…you don’t need a large budget for this as most can be done by email these days…
When I started to show my work online I created and mailed out an online newsletter to friends and family to keep them up to date on new work, shows, and news in general
…see sample below..

First Issue of Arts and Letters

Even if you have a FB page a newsletter can be even more attractive with copies of your images and a more comprehensive story, without the distraction of other FB posts…
You can include a record of your sales, keeping it private just for family and friends, announce shows, discounts on RB etc. (although the latter might work best in special announcements)

One revolutionary piece of advice, well for me anyway, Davey gives, is to ditch the business card…he calls them “20th Century appendages. They are a classic way for someone to blow you off. Stop using them”. Never provide any material that does not have a call to action.
Instead he says use postcards, sale sheets or brochures with a reason to contact you. It could be for commission work, or for free shipping, free local delivery and hanging, a special price or discounted framing.
I can see where he’s coming from…I have really nice business cards…they are miniatures of my paintings and people snatch them out of my hands like bread to the hungry, gleefully going through the pile and walking away with fistfuls…once the supply I have are used up I won’t create anymore quite like them

His last piece of advice is to never rely on prospects to call you…get a commitment from them as to when you can call, keep the promise and send thank you notes with reminders after the meeting…if you can’t do these routine marketing tasks, get someone to do them for you

“Most often the difference in wealth between two equally talented artists is one runs circles around the other when it comes to marketing and selling. Do not let fear, misperceptions or inaction sabotage your future

Marketing at the local level is very important…letting the people around you, in your neighbourhood and local services helps you to build confidence in your marketing skills and as Davey says make "ardent and long-lived fans" Janis…Source B Davey Art Print

Do you market at your local level? how did you go about it and what level of success have you had?
My Ipad has been invaluable in showing my RB portfolio to people in my neighbourhood, are you using your Iphone or Ipad in the same way?


  • evon ski
    evon skiabout 2 years ago

    Thank you SO much for this one janis. I loved it and i will do this. I have not really pursued marketing my work but I am at a point of working to that end now. This was timely for me. As always appreciate your generous heart of sharing such useful and pertinate info. XX

  • You’re very welcome Yvonca…I’m really glad you found the information helpful and thanks so much for providing some feedback…without that I would have no idea if it was worthwhile writing the article..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Anita Inverarity
    Anita Inverarityabout 2 years ago

    wonderful article janis- i do some of these things but maybe not enough, being housebound a lot of the time means i dont come into contact with my social circles so much so tools like fb have been very good for me, many original sales have came through friends of friends finding me there and becoming a new contact, and so word of mouth locally then spreads. i do a monthly newsletter to showcase new works and exhibitions and send that by email to friends and previous buyers. the business card point was of interest as i have never got round to doing one, can never decide on a design so then i move on and yes i have realised it isn’t necessary to have one and the more i think on it the more i find the idea of one slightly cheesy to hand out. at a recent fair i did give away free postcards which i got done very cheaply so all in all about the same price as business cards, i put a sticky on the back of each one detailing my coming exhibitions for the next 3 months, my contact details and rb store address- they all went really quickly and next time i do a run i’ll do a different postcard with up to date info on the back i think rather than bother with business cards………….reading this i might need to think of something similar to give to friends to hand out too, thats a nice idea, lots of good ideas here. i find with fb, twitter and such i try not to bombard with anything more. having avoided an iphone for this long i also see the advantage of having one to show people your work on if that conversation should arise, maybe i’ll need to admit defeat and get with the phone thing. Good one Janis, i think people will find a lot of value in this one, to see what works for them.

  • You seem to have it all in hand Anita…the business card is something that is still done here…people ask for your contact info and you give them your card…I also have brochures that fold in three, cards, that stand up on their own etc., but my business cards are like paintings and each one is different and people started to collect them like kids used to collect cigarette future I will only do the stand up cards…they are like paintings too but not so grab able ..
    Yes this post is more for sharing information, less for delving into the psyche of the artist and his world..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Cindy Schnackel
    Cindy Schnackelabout 2 years ago

    Just got an iphone, and will certainly make use of it that way. My husband already was with his, and some of his coworkers have bought my work. Most of my buyers are local, (except for RB prints which are all over)! But it is branching out. I kind of know who I should give a few cards, and who will just throw them away. I use Face Book, wear tees with my art and web address on them sometimes, and whenever the discussion turns to “What do you do?” I have my business cards to give out. Networking locally has helped. I had a couple of very good connections from years ago, who, upon realizing I’d moved back to AZ and was doing my art full time, turned out to be really helpful.

  • Looks likely ou’re doing all the right things Cindy…I find the IPad great for showing my RB portfolio as the screen is so big…my physiotherapist has been scouring my gallery here for gifts and my dental technician has my cards on her all helps…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Mark Wade
    Mark Wadeabout 2 years ago

    Clang! Winner!

  • Something for everyone..I am a department store…glad this one found favour with you.. :))

    – © Janis Zroback

  • © Linda Callaghan
    © Linda Callaghanabout 2 years ago
    I do not have an iphone or ipad as yet Janis…maybe I will receive one as a present :) we will see ……I am finding this year has been very good with increasing contacts by spreading the word through my solo show, facebook page and also in the community eg at shows etc. I also find having my art contact details at the end of each email I send is another way…I will definitely think about a newsletter in the New Year …and when I am ready to open I will pop an ad in our local ’what’s on’ section…it all helps!! thanks for the article Janis…
  • If you have a choice the iPad is the best bet as it’s a good size even the mini has a good size screen, but of course the iPhone can go in a pocket or purse and the screen is pretty good for showing images too..
    I don’t wait for gifts as I think these items are a necessary part of a marketing strategy…I have both an iPad and a Smart phone…the phone is always with me and if I get to talking about art, and people want to see what I do I can show them…sending them to the site never works as they forget all about it when they get home..the iPad I take with me if I know I am going to be sitting and waiting anywhere like a doctors office, or a plane or train…
    You have done well with your show…lots of contacts there..did the gallery give you a contact list of those who bought your work? You could keep the buyers up to date on your newest work..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • © Linda Callaghan
    © Linda Callaghanabout 2 years ago

    oh was also approched by a local boutique (with a good reputation) to display some cards and small paintings at their shop…and still have some at the gallery where I held my some cards are selling rather well….marketing is important indeed and the more we get out there the better for sales…

  • Make sure you have a well written contract with them and keep a list of what you’re giving them to sell…the contract should specify their percentage, how often they pay you, and what they do with unsold work…they should return them to you and not put them on sale…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • emmajb
    emmajbabout 2 years ago

    Using the iPad is a great idea! Although the biggest problem for me would still be chronic shyness :) . I hope you will continue writing the journal, I always check to see if you have written something new!!

  • I’m glad you like my journal posts, but it’s only when I get feedback like this that I know posting them is worthwhile…thanks so much..
    Re shyness…if you start with family and friends, it’s much easier..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • © Pauline Wherrell
    © Pauline Wher...about 2 years ago

    Great advice Janis! I do what I can to promote myself locally and am more successful at that than online but there are great tips I hadn’t considered so thank you – you really do help us all so much with your journals!

  • You are welcome Pauline…I am so glad you find the journals helpful and thanks so much for letting me know…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Robin King
    Robin Kingabout 2 years ago

    Good ideas!
    For those who can implement them, they should be very useful. Business cards do seem very 20th-century. And personal outreach by the artist sounds like a terrific way to become known.

    I don’t/won’t have a network of people with disposable incomes. No phone or tablet/pad, either. And the last time — 2 weeks ago — I showed a painting to someone he scheduled my eye surgery, stat. Not the result I was hoping for! LOL!!!!

    But I have nascent plans for the new year.

  • For those in business cards are still the way it’s done here…I know that after meetings my husband comes home with a handful…also at art shows they are still handed out or available for prospective buyers…we are still old school here in many ways and I must say I like it..however I am not going to do the same cards as before, so the ones that are gone will now become collectors items…ha…
    Come back and share your plans when they’re ready…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Sarah Vernon
    Sarah Vernonabout 2 years ago

    Very useful. Thank you, Janis.

  • You’re very welcome…thanks so much..

    – © Janis Zroback