Skip to main content

money & life

Make Money Making Art

Lesson 13 of 20

Elements of Selling

Ann Rea

Make Money Making Art

Ann Rea

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

13. Elements of Selling

Lesson Info

Elements of Selling

We're going to go into one of my favorite topics the luxury market so let's face it, art is a luxury, you know, it's not like buying a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas it's a luxury and so what does that mean? That means the luxury market is very important for us to understand and I'm talking about there's two tiers of the luxury market there's the affluent and there's the wealthy and really there's the one percent now why is this important? Because the fact is at least the united states the divide between the haves and have nots continues to widen even procter and gamble, who sells you your toothpaste and your toilet paper? They recognize this and they're creating luxury brands to appeal to where the money is shifting so it's important really important to understand this no matter where you are in your pricing, you need to understand the luxury market and the way the luxury market behaves what they value is different from the general market. Um and so I'm going to reveal some of the ...

elements of the luxury market, which I am a student of I've been a member of the san francisco luxury market counsel for a number of years, and I take a lot of notes and actually just met with an author is going to dio I was so inspired by his book former harvard harvard professor of psychology and he's written several books on the affluent and I am hopefully I'm going to just spell some myths about who the wealthy are and who the affluent are I think what often springs to mind is paris hilton that's not what the that's not that's not what they look like that's not how they behave that's a very small percentage of the wealthy very small he'd be surprised you be pleasantly surprised actually so here are the elements of the luxury market they're important for you to understand as artists there are many aspects of behaviors of electricity trends, but this is what's important for you to understand and I think you're going to actually be able to really connect with some of the things that they're interested in authenticity. The luxury market is interested in authenticity so they're a no b s crowd they can see right through it they tend to be sold to a lot and so a lot of their connections a lot of the way that they make decisions about purchases come by way of referrals, so if your authentic you're going to be more trustworthy right, you try to sell them, they're gonna smell it if they're smart, sharp people that do their research so authenticity is important isn't it refreshing? And what have I been teaching in the first segment about right it's about authenticity passion I've also been talking to you about passion you know passions and fake it's riel that's what you feel it it's really where what are you what are your values what what has been the most painful time in your life what has been the most joyful time in your life that's passion and that's what they're interested in connection they're people too I mean I'm assuming is anyone here wealthy is anyone here a member of the one percent okay so not yet I am working on it um connection there people they would connect I know your story cheryl about the inspiration for that line of copper etched jewelry was really a way for me to connect with you I connected with your creative process I connected with your inspiration I connected with you right so you guys know how to do that you know how to do that that that right spoke okay here's the other thing they like to have what no one else has come into question here because it's really interesting hello friends it's just pop this in saying I'm the ninety nine percent should I be targeting the one percent that to them feels like selling out now that's a big issue for you I know well why tell us hello friends please tell us why but that's their that's their scent remember that guy I believe the definition of selling out is not taking responsibility for your own success and I believe the definition of selling out is to create an enterprise that's not grounded in your values and has no purposeful mission what does that have to dio with selling to someone who's part of the ninety nine percent the sixty eight percent or their one percent what does it matter if they even answer? I'm really keen to hear it but that's my definition of selling out is surrendering yes, I could ask about tribe then are you saying like well a lot of this will depend on what you're if you have a campaign oil on campus where you have piece of work on paper the price point but are you saying that you have to your tribe is going to be part of that one percent I hope so. I mean you you want to target the went because look e yeah, listen affluent the definition of affluent is about one hundred thousand dollars right doesn't go very far in san francisco. Okay, that puts it in perspective then there's there's there's wealthy uh this is that this is bottom line you don't need art it's a luxury to buy art don't kid yourself it's not it's a luxury so who's going to buy it the luxury market right? I mean you might have some things that are of lower price point I do you could buy a note card for me for seven dollars all right, you don't obviously don't have to be part of the one percent or the affluent to buy my note cards but I don't want to sell a bunch of note cards when it go I want to sell that most expensive offering that I have, which is the experience of art that's what I really want to sell and the night maintained price points from here to here so that more more people can access it but this is the one I really want to sell us where I make most money that makes sense okay? Because it feels like I'm supporting the one percent and as an artist that is challenging did the bamboos coming says yes, I'm wondering that too is my tri part of the one percent I don't know I don't know his try don't know enough about him. My point is teo understand that ultimately they taught the thiss affluent market is going to have more disposable income then you know what income is disposable but they're going to have more income, more reserves to buy art then the person who um you know is it a middle class individual that's just reality that's your business you're in so if it's if it's shaving with you, then you really got a look at that and do some soul searching and why is that? Why is that an issue and that's very personal I'm not making a judgment, I'm just saying this the fax art is a luxury you son is doing exactly what they just said they're saying this is a personal struggle for them because they want their work to be more meaningful, but by selling that one percent of the luxury items that's where they're feeling, they're losing that maybe the integrity of what they're doing. Well, see, I find it disconnected. What they're saying? Why is it somehow less meaningful? If someone who has a lot more money than someone else spice it, why is it less? Why is what they what they created, what they created, regardless of who buys it? It don't matter if you sell one painting for a million in the next painting you can sell for somebody to lower because you've made your number for years, I actually do like I mentioned before I create I have a number of price points, so depending on where you're at, let me let me clarify this have a number of price points. You could buy a note card for me for seven dollars, you don't have to be a member of the luxury market in order to do that, and then I have my experience of art program, which is much more obviously. What do I do? I don't want to sell a bunch of note cards or do I want to sell my highest price offering? I'm going to focus my attention here and I'm gonna have all of these other price points available for everybody else but this is the one I want to sell you know I love selling these in between I sold cem prince actually yesterday online of ceo and silicon valley but some large scale prints online and you know she I didn't want to spend what it was gonna cost for an original oil painting so this is this is this is a conversation about a relationship with money and a judgment around it that's my opinion and I'm really getting a whiff of what they're saying but I would just encourage them tio ask yourself what is your relationship with money? Do you think it's bad to be wealthy and five two six three has highlighted probably the most famous artists in the world right now banksy he doesn't make a penny it's completely he tells it for the passion whatever that's great but hey has his other the other ways that he makes his income he makes money oh yes I know but from the public's you know the art that he tells sorry yes I misconstrue appear right he makes plenty of money and plenty of money make money from him yeah oh yeah right and that's why I remember what I say I say this in my book you know if you have a unique talent and you have something to say to the world you have to make art you have something to say you have to make art if you want to be heard you have to sell art anyways there will be a secret what is your judgment around money? Do you have a judgment around money? Um just take a look at that it's neutral it's congealed precise congealed energy it's neutral it's what you do with it it feeds a lot of hungry people right? It drills dams have wells it's it closed people and it adorns people it's whatever it is wherever your values lie that's going to determine how you use your money one thing about the luxury market it's really interesting to know is there the more they're more charitable not just with their money and their tax deductions because they're looking for tax deductions actually volunteering their time serving on boards they tend to percentage wise tend to do a lot more volunteering a lot more charity work but what's your what was your notion of what the wealthier like the other thing about the wealthy in the united states I'm talking about the united states there's the bric countries that's another tier of luxury I'm not going to go into that they tend to be more conspicuous consumers then the wealthy in the united states, but another aspect of the wealthy in united states is, I think it's ninety eight percent of them grew up middle class. I grew up middle aged, middle class family, so you have a lot more in common than you may think with the people who are, quote unquote wealthy, at least in united states, you're not that different. You gonna you gonna let how much money they have in their bank account versus how much money you have in your bank account? Define the difference between you? I think that shallow get to know those people don't make a judgment about them. I've met wonderful people who've accomplished great things not just in their companies, but in their medical practices and in their charitable work. One of my collectors is a physician here in san francisco, is she is she has championed this nonprofit organization for years, it's amazing woman she happens to be wealthy, too, because she worked her butt off. So you gotta look at that or, you know, don't do it. You've got reluctance around making money. I don't go into that in this course, I'll touch on it, but I don't really I can't resolve it for you in this course does it make sense? All right wanna make sure I'm making sense, alright, bespoke so does anyone know what that means? Okay great yes made for them made for them exactly so you can command a higher price point they're also building more connection when you make something that's custom do you charge more for custom works of jewelry? Yes, I do. How much more do you mind percentagewise would you tell us that's an interest I've never figured out the percentage I just have a fee structure you have a fee structure that's how you handle it but you're going to charge more for that, right? Yes um primarily because it takes a lot more of my time to design and create a custom piece. Okay, okay. Um vernon you give private voice lessons, right? So if someone comes to one of your gospel singalongs they pay one price correct? Yeah, usually. And if they one individual attention on their unique developing their unique voice today pay more anymore they pay a lot more percentage wise. How much more do they pay? Well, um probably seventy five percent more seventy five percent more. Okay, so that's, why that's important understanding that you can charge more for the situation? Yes, you recommended like, is there an ideal percentage of what it should be? You get to make the rules, you're the boss it's entirely up to you it's goes back to our defining the rules you want to play by that we we talked about yesterday you define your own rules it's no good me telling you what I do because that may or may not feel fair to you right? Some people offer a refund refund some people say no I'm not going to offer you a refund not fair right? So you have to define that oh you have it in terms of the luxury market is there so people yeah well I used tio have commissions the same prices, my regular work and then I added there's a ten percent fee I'm considering moving it up to twenty five percent just because the demand is still there it's overwhelmingly higher for commissions than it is for a regular painting and I'm just so let's stop right there isn't it interesting? So that's why it's on the list you're got a higher demand for commission paintings than you do existing paintings yeah, so we can take advantage of that right? And my my fear is maybe moving it up to twenty five percent or fifty percent will that drop off so that's why I'm choosing I guess small, smart just it raised the prices incrementally and test the market and see if that has them shy away or not okay yeah okay somebody else raise their hand? Yes it was going to ask is there a difference between bespoke and commissioned work no it's the same same thing. Yeah commissioned work meaning you've created something, especially for that person. Um and it could be it could just be the a version of something right could be I'd like that necklace can I have it? And you know he's with thes m afis beads versus buying what she already has prepared an inventory going tol make cheryl work's going to charge you for right? I'm pointing this out because this is this is something that interests of interest to the luxury market so take advantage of it they have they're willing to pay they're willing to pay for something special they and depending on their level of wealth will pay more. I went the mercedes that no one has or I wanted to because there's really quite a tear of wealth and quite a tear of what they'll pay. Um, does anyone have any questions about this one? Make sure you follow what this what I'm talking about here it's really key because this is not a luxury the luxury markets, not something that's typically talked about much in marketing, but if you're an artist, you really have to understand the luxury market tell another thing about the luxury market is their values changed at least united states their values changed after the recession and they became less interested in conspicuous consumption so a lot of um uh angel investors and um those sorts in silicon valley suddenly driving a prius and ditching their maserati I knew one who did just that actually he was driving a prius and then the economic conditions improved and he went and got himself a luxury cars like I'm sticking this prius but he felt self conscious about his wealth and um so he went and got a prius so conspicuous consumption not as now in the brick countries that's not the case if you look at very wealthy well the luxury market in china or india conspicuous consumption brand is huge they went to show a brand and um meaning and connection became more important to the luxury market here in the united states and you guys know how to do that right if you're coming from your mission and your values just just I mean doesn't have okay tara, I'll just take you for example, right? You had your body of work doing photography of florals, right? Not that it didn't have meaning not that it wasn't beautiful and not that it wasn't important it wass but what you're proposing to do now which one has more potential meaning to others the ladder right right you got that? You got number five check oh, good okay backstage access does anyone venture a guess as to what this means? Exclusivity partly yeah exclusivity exclusivity speaks more to number four uh, okay, direct access, direct access to the to the creator. So if you may be a chance to see behind the curtain chance to see the process, to meet the artist, you know, let's, just go to a concert and you've got enough money. You could get backstage passes either you know someone or you've paid enough that you're allowed to go backstage. There's a big premium that's charged to let people go backstage. People love meeting the artist. We're just really, you know, interesting people value. They didn't get rich, uh, by accident, they still want good value. See, you cannot over inflate your prices because they're smart and he'll smell it. There could do a lot of research, they'll go through your entire website. I'm just to tell you my experience of my wealthy, wealthier collectors, they'll read every word, they'll have all their research done, and they will be ready to go. Um now some people are a bit intimidated by these stronger personalities or people who are just they may don't even have stronger personalities might just actually, you're just intimidated because they're wealthier than you and you feel shaky, they're fine and they're actually nice and they're actually approachable, but occasionally you get someone who's, you know, obviously very decisive. They're more decisive but if I had to make a generalisation about their personality their much more decisive when that's the good news because you're not doing a lot of song and dance about whether or not they're going to buy something they pull out their black american express card has no limit and the deal is done once they make up their mind um and that saves a lot of time ah lot of time so what's important again it's just remember ninety about ninety eight percent of the uh luxury market in the united states came from the middle class in the united states so if you came from middle class or even poor whatever that is then you have a lot in common already you probably shared they have a lot of middle class values one thing that's not on this list which really I should put it on this list is another thing that's very important to them besides charity is family and remember kate bradley who does the portrait's of children she is leveraging this she's helping them celebrate their family by actually celebrating and honoring their children family is very, very important so if you're aware of that then man you're perfect for that right? You can help them satisfy you help them satisfied this is this does this give you atleast to some understanding of who how the wealthy behave? They're not that different people first of all they tend to be decisive they tend to do a lot of research one of the things that I d'oh this is just so that I could take creative control and I can also some of the you know, a lot of a lot of my collectors airmail teo so what I do is I make them complete an application if they want an experience of art they need to complete an application it's just a form with their name and stuff on it it's like that's all it is but also what I do is I have frequently asked questions document in the application indicates they signed that they've read my frequently asked questions because I don't want any surprises and I don't want that and I don't want them turning the tables on me so I've said I've established my rules like we did in day one I've put those rules in the frequently asked questions document and then when I give an application to the collector it indicates that they have indeed read my frequently asked questions which means they understand my business terms so we're not gonna have an argument later right and also sets a different tone am I coming from scarcity are looking for a permission if I make you fill out an application so use that one it's just called an application it's really easy it's about you taking control I mean I think that's another underlying message I hope that I hope that I have by teaching this course and they're doing the work I do is that I hope helpfully empowering you I hope I hope that I'm helping you recognize that you are already powerful and that you just need to take the reins a little more maybe in some instances okay, yes to me that this control and the responsibility are actually, uh intertwined so they are, you know, talk about more about that why do you say that? What makes you notice that, um, it's? Because you're being responsible for your success, right? And that is part of your success it's huge. Is that necessarily? I mean, this is intellectual property, so it it's a continuum of control and responsibility that work in concert with each other, right? Right? Yeah. And you've done that incredibly well. I've pored over your entire web, which one I have through all of them okay, and end your students so that and and that was a running theme that you you're the ceo. Oh, I'm so glad to hear that. So you saw that in my students websites too? Um well, I thought, I mean, for in yours it was the most strong right course um so today I really enjoyed that perspective you're the boss, you're the boss of you and you're the boss of your yeah if you remember when grammy dan came on for the group hello in the morning way asked him how he introduced I asked him how he introduces himself now and I think the first thing he said was ceo and he is the ceo he is his company is incorporated so see so funny I had a graphic designer who I heard to design my logo in my business card and he said well what do you want your title to be and I said um artists and ceo and he said oh you can't put ceo and I said that's my legal title of the legal name of my company what are you talking about and he was giving me some push back I'm like yeah you're putting my title on my card that is what I am I am the ceo what's your problem not that you have not that you get to decide what my title is but what is your problem with that? You know it sounds to business and I said I'm running a business that I have a business card what the hack what is this disconnect it goes back to my story of wayne tebow right I asked him how am I going to do this you want me to paint for a living you think it's great you think it's just painful time what was his answer does anyone remember what he said I'm not a businessman oh yes you are yes you are celebrate it it's wonderful it's a wonderful creative pursuit to be in business so thank you I am the ceo and what you don't know because joo's all right let's go on to our next section but I am not sure we'll throw in something here just curious from my own perspective I've known ceos of one person cos on their so definite about being called ceo and everything and sometimes it can make you look quite ridiculous brain s o I mean do you think that I'm making a point with so I'm making a very deliberate point so I push it in particular so that someone like tara will pick up on it because it's frankly it's the opposite of how most artists feel you don't feel empowered that makes perfect sense I'm just saying you know situations you'll see a one person that's why it's so important to you it's actually your legal definition of your that's actually that that is the legal definition when you file your taxes which I just did my corporate taxes I had to put my name and I had to put my title my title is ceo so it's not is it it's not just for show it's actually just the truth that makes us yeah yeah I was going to say for me like actually having founder on the cart was like really like wow making a file I like actually like take it in like, oh, I guess I owe, you know, it's really about embodying the your yourword like you say you're saying that because it's you because you are saying it and I think that's the really powerful thing about your word is so powerful that when you say it and then you start embody, you may not believe it at first when I first started doing it, yeah, and then as I started actually getting in my vocabulary, I started going yeah, that's what I do and then you really get and then it actually makes you more confident exactly exactly yes, that's what I wanted to say, who would you rather deal with? Someone who's more confident for someone who's I don't know what I'm doing right? You're going to move over to the next person who's like, hey, this is who I am and what I'm doing exactly yeah, that also then distinguishes you between you do believe in what you're doing in your conference or I just want to be called a ceo that's different? I'm not advocating that exactly. I'm not keen on taking away that's the insecurity, right? The people keep saying that you're on someone who's saying they're, you know they're not only yeah that's a really good distinction mary mortham yeah, exactly and now I mean, vernon, now that you call yourself the founder on your business card, don't you feel like you really taking on the mantle of entrepreneurship now it's like in a different way it's night and day it's like yeah it's like and I don't have any excuses there's no there's, no chatter, which is what you want, which is what you destroy when you actually take on the mantle like it's like, you know, being president united states he wasn't but now he is and now that's right instantly well, you have to, like, be president this speaks directly to james value proposition right here the power of words like the term starving artist I mean, what does that do to you? Right it's terrible it's fundamentally disrespectful prejudice that injures people and that's why I want to eradicate it, or at least I want to challenge it. I don't want it to be there's nothing more insulting than me calling artsy fartsy, who like that you've been called artsy fartsy manning, but it is it's really like police it's just, you know, so this is back to jane's value proposition that words are powerful, you know you can't control the meaning that other people attached to those words what's important is what is the meaning that you have attached to those words

Class Description

Do you want to sell your art, without selling out?

Join nationally-noted painter Ann Rea for a comprehensive introduction to the sequential process that you’ll need to build a fine art enterprise.

During this course, Ann will be teaching you how to create value above and beyond your art.

You’ll learn how to define your mission and how to create a "Blue Ocean Strategy" that serves a target market and eliminates the competition.

Rather than pursue a "career" within the scarcity and permission-based art establishment, Ann will teach you how to take the reins and build a creative enterprise.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

50 Step Action Plan

Selling Art Without Selling Out

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

No more starving artist paradigm!! I LOVE this class SO much and I am only on Segment 5. So generous, so thoughtful. I am a career coach and I help analytical professional women who miss their creative side bridge the gap into discovering a career they really love, so I am taking this class to continue to help support their journey and be able to more clearly articulate the path ahead of them no matter their creative medium. (Though I work primarily with mindset vs strategy.) I am putting so many pieces of the puzzle together. I have been a student of business for a long while, but never thought about ART that way - particularly as solving a problem. Ann says: "Make it about THEM, when you make it about them, it becomes about YOU" -- I can't quite put my finger on it, but it FEELS like what she is talking about is tapping into the collective oneness. That idea of what do "WE" want to create? VS a "selfless" persona which is what it seems MOST people make that mean (ie "how can I chameleon myself to what I *think* people around me want so that I can make money?"). OR, being so AFRAID of being a chameleon, that we aren't open to SEE how what we want to create actually meets what others want. We just have to be open to the connection, and then take responsibility for articulating it. Ann articulates this in a way I only intuitively knew before. So I just want to thank Ann for the thoughtfulness she put into your process and for sharing it, and being a leader of the revolution. It only makes my commitment and confidence to my career path and passion. This is possible for anyone who is brave enough to step into the journey. This further proves the point, and helps you FEEL it -- the only thing between you and your dreams is you (and that is the GREAT news!)

Peggy Collins

I found this course exciting, inspiring, enlivening, informative, and so much more. Ann Rea is a natural teacher who knows how to keep her topic interesting. Her interactions with the students were fascinating and quite helpful because I could apply their situations to my own. I only wish there had been more time for online questions to have been answered. I bought the course because it kind of reminded me of a good movie...there were so many gems that it was hard to take it all in during one viewing. A+ for Ann!

a Creativelive Student

No doubt about it, this was by far the most brilliant and engaging business program for artists that I have ever witnessed! Thank you so much for all the work that everyone put into it, and especially to Ann. I was amazed at her energy and passion, this made the entire course very enjoyable as well as hopeful as to our future possibilities. It felt like drinking from a fire hose at times, but since I bought the course (best investment ever!), I will be able to return to it over and over as the plan evolves. Thanks again to all involved, you have no idea how valuable this experience was to me changer! THANK YOU!