Maria Brophy

HELPING ARTISTS MASTER THE BUSINESS OF ART, ONE STRATEGY AT A TIME


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business of art / Entrepreneur / More Money

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ART INCOME SUBSTANTIALLY – LEARNING NEW TRICKS

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Once you stop learning, you start dying” Albert Einstein

The main question I hear from artists is this:  “How do I make a living with my art?”

One way to find success in the art business, and any business, is to learn from others who have done it before you, and to be open to learning new things.

Understand that there are concepts and strategies that you haven’t even considered yet.

There are things that you know, and then there are things that you don’t know.  And the real magic lies in the things that you don’t know that you don’t know.  

To understand what those things are, you have to be wide open to new ideas.

I’m always learning new business strategies, sales techniques and mindset concepts.  I learn by reading dozens of books each year, taking workshops and online courses, and working with business coaches.

In 2015 I did something a little crazy;  I invested $7,000 in one online course.   I kept the price of it a secret from my husband Drew for about six months.  Every time he asked “how much was that course?”  I’d divert his attention,  “Hey, look at that thing over there….”

Could we afford a $7,000 course?  In 2015, no.  I paid for it on a credit card, taking advantage of their twelve month payment plan.  But I saw it as a crucial investment in our business.

I took the financial risk of buying the course because I was just sick and tired of being financially stuck in place with our business.  I wanted to make more money, and I felt that if I learned a few new tricks from a master business mind, it would help.

The course was called “Six Figure Consulting” by Ramit Sethi, and what I learned from it was this:  How to up-level our art business to work with “high level clients” and charge nearly double for our illustration services.  (I wrote a blog post that shares a little of what I learned, here:  How to Get Strangers to Pay More for Your Art).

It was a crap-shoot, spending that amount of money on a course; there was no guarantee that I’d see a return on it.  But I was motivated to up-level our business, and I knew that I needed help doing it.

I immediately implemented changes after taking that course.   (When you spend that much on a course, you darn well better make changes!)

I learned how to talk to higher-value clients and how to present more professional proposals; within three months, implementing what I learned enabled me to increase our income by more than $25,000 in just those three months, more than enough to pay for the course 3 times.

We continued making changes in how we do business with higher value clients and we are now able to charge more than 15X what we were charging in the past.

BUT THE MOST PROFOUND THING I LEARNED WAS THIS:   There are so many things that I THOUGHT I knew, until I took this course.  And it was an eye-opener for me that I was playing a small game because I just didn’t know what I needed to know.

All too often artists will say they want to get “unstuck” and “work full time” and “increase art sales” but when it comes to investing in learning something new, they don’t.

And I get it, it’s HARD to change what you’re doing.  But if you want to change your reality, you have to change something!

All of the world’s great business men and women have this one thing in common:  they never stop educating themselves.  And thankfully, we have so much information available to us now, that there is no excuse for not learning.

You don’t have to spend a fortune learning new things; there are many affordable workshops and courses that you can take.  And making the decision to open your mind to new ideas is free.   

I challenge you to make the commitment TODAY to learn a new skill, strategy or habit that will move your art business forward.  And if you haven’t done so already, please sign up for my newsletter at the top of this webpage.   In it, I share a lot of my success secrets that will help you up-level your art business, too.

PLEASE share in the comments – what have you learned that up-leveled your art business?  Would love to hear from you!

Maria xxoo

 

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5 Comments HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ART INCOME SUBSTANTIALLY – LEARNING NEW TRICKS

  1. Lori Woodward

    That’s such wonderful news Maria. I have been listening to Ramit for several years. He sure chases the insecurity out of his peeps.

    I’m in the process of learning to charge more for my original work. That takes confidence and a willingness to risk on my part, but if I don’t charge more, I’ll never know if it’s going to work.

    I’ve also been listening to Owen Garret’s online course and he charges a lot for his originals and makes a living by selling framed reproductions of his pencil drawings. Don’t know if you’ve heard of him, but his original pencil drawings sell for over $10K.. because he set it up that way.

    I’m finding that a lot of charging higher prices has more to do with self-confidence than the actual work. I’ve studied art for 30 years and if I ain’t good enough to charge more at this point, I might as well give it up 😉

    Thanks for writing. I’m enjoying and getting a lot from your blog.
    Lori

    Reply
    1. Maria

      Lori, thanks for the comment. Yes, I know Owen and I’ve learned a few things from him as well. But Ramit’s business training takes you to another level!

      I agree with you, the charging of higher prices does take confidence. And I have found that getting older has one good thing about it – our confidence gets stronger as time goes on. And so does our mastery. I suppose it all goes hand-in-hand!

      Thanks for reading. I value your opinion greatly.

      Reply
  2. artMann

    Maria asks, “…what have you learned that up-leveled your art business?”

    Without question, having studied intellectual property law has provided my art-media business with lots of dividends! Thank you mentors!

    Among other things, I understand copyright law (and how to correctly register all my works + affix watermarks + embed metadata), trademark/patent laws, fair use, stock & licensing, how to draft agreements, and how negotiate deals (always a work in progress+ always learning!), how to contact infringers/unlicensed users and PUSH them to settle quickly without going to trial.

    I’m SHOCKED that so many artists lack business+ copyright 101 basics. No wonder so many are never able to jump to the next art level.

    BEFORE you go to art, photo, film, or journalism schools, get some accounting/business/marketing training: How much to charge/license your art?!

    After your business training, go to law school: How to protect your art and not get ripped off with one-sided BS licensing deals!

    Once you complete your business + legal training, NOW you’re “qualified” to go to art, photo, film, or journalism schools!

    Reply

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