Fourteen Commandments for Fine Art Photography Marketing

The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.
David Ogilvy

Introduction
Marketing is a challenge for most photographers. This is because it has very little to do with creating art. Many artists abhor marketing their work. Most have never studied marketing. I know. I was one of those artists. When I started selling my work I believed that marketing was putting a price tag on my work. No, cross that, because at first I did not even use price tags! Just deciding what price to charge for my work was was I considered to be marketing.

My early attempts at selling my work were rather disappointing to say the least. The lack of sales forced me to change my mind. I realized I had to study marketing or die trying to make a living as an artist. I did, and to make a long story short I became financially successful selling my work, making a six figure income only two years after taking the decision to embrace marketing.

In 2011 I published a book titled Marketing Fine Art Photography in which I detail how to market your fine art photography successfully and profitably. I wrote this book to save you from having to go through the tribulations I went through early in my career. The goal was to save you from having to attend the school of hard knocks, an institution whose door is better left unopened.

About this essay
The goal of this essay is not to repeat what I say in my book. The book is over 300 pages long and has 23 chapters so doing so would not be doable in a web essay anyways. Instead, the goal of this essay is to introduce you to some of the fundamental concepts of marketing. I selected 14 that I consider to be the most important. There are more, but those are a good start. The goal is also to get you interested in reading my book. The money you will spend buying it will be a minor expense compared to how much more money you will make if you do what I say in the book. Does this sound like a sales pitch?  You bet it does!  I am asking for the sale and if you wonder why you need to go directly to paragraph number 7.

About the 14 commandments below
Each of the 14 paragraphs below consist of a title followed by a short statement, usually one or two sentences long. The reason for these brief statements is to keep this essay interesting and to the point. If the information I am presenting here is not for you, then reading these will not have taken much of your time. If, on the other hand, you like the materials presented here and want to learn more about each of the 14 aspects of marketing listed below, then you need to purchase and read my book. Each of these points, and much more, are addressed in detail in my book, together with examples, photographs and more.

1 – Sell quality, not quantity
Art is a luxury, not a commodity. Luxury items are sold on the basis of quality, not on the basis of quantity.

2 – Don’t sell on the basis of price, sell on the basis of uniqueness
To achieve this you will need to work hard at developing a personal style that is unique to you.

3 – Don’t be faceless: show yourself
At shows, be present in your booth. On the web, show a shoulder-up portrait of yourself on your website, on your artist statement, on your Facebook page and everywhere else you have a presence and sell your work.

4 – Increase your prices regularly
Everything increases in price and therefore so do your expenses. If you don’t increase your prices you eventually reduce your income.

5 – Don’t be passive:  take charge of your business
Enforce your policies and don’t try to be all things to all people.

6 – Think like a business owner
Think like a business owner, not like an employee. Business owners are responsible risk takers.

7 – Ask for the Sale
Don’t let potential customers walk away without trying to close the sale. The least often asked question in sales is ‘do you want to purchase this product or service?’ Make it your most often asked question!

8 – Know your audience
You are not selling to a faceless crowd, you are selling to people who like you and your work. Learn who they are and know why they like what you do.

9 – Sell emotion
Sell emotions, not gear and technique. People purchase photographs for emotional reasons, not logical reasons. Print size, camera used, printer, ink paper, etc. do not sell photographs. Beauty, emotional impact, meaningfulness and other emotional reasons do.

10 – Never stop marketing
Market when business is great and market when business is poor!

11 – Believe in Yourself
Believe that you can. Whether you believe you can do it, or whether you believe you cannot do it, you are correct!

12 – Show what you want to sell
You sell what you show. Therefore show what you want to sell. You can’t show all the photographs you have taken, so you will need to make a selection!

13 – Offer packages
Packages always outsell a la carte. This means that a package price for 3 or more photographs, for example, will sell better than 3 single photographs. You can offer packages of photographs in any quantity from 2 to 10 or more.

14 – Attend my Marketing and Business success seminar
You can’t re-invent the wheel.  Well, let me restate that: you can try to reinvent the wheel, but what’s the point?  It has already been invented and it is best to use the one that’s already there.  Can you improve on it?  Sure, but you must have one first!

The ‘wheel’ in this instance are the techniques used to sell fine art photography successfully.  These are techniques I use (I am successful in case you don’t know me).  Not the techniques unsuccessful photographers use.

There a lot more unsuccessful fine art photographers than successful fine art photographers.  A lot more!

How do you know who is successful and who isn’t?  Look at prices and regularity of sales.  I sell fine art photographs at high prices and I do so on a constant basis, meaning I have regular, high-priced sales.

Why is that the key to success?  Because in fine art you make more money by charging more for your artwork.  You don’t make more money by charging low prices and making up the loss on volume.  That’s what unsuccessful photographers believe and try to do.  It does not work because there is no volume.

Selling art is a low volume business!  What happens if you lower your prices is you make less money, that’s all.  And because prices define how good you are (meaning people decide how good you are based on your prices), you lose most of the interested buyers.  They want quality and you don’t have it in their eyes.  Even though your work may be great, your prices say that it is not good.

So how do you ask high prices, get people to pay them, and get people tobuy from you regularly?  Not easy heh?  You may have tried so you know how hard it is.  The answer fits in 3 words: attend my seminar.  I’ll teach you how.  Here is the link to the description and registration information:

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com/Workshop-Marketing.html

I even have a special offer to entice you to attend. Just keep in mind that by attending you are doing yourself a favor by giving yourself the keys to success. Of course I appreciate your business, but I will continue to do great whether you attend or not.  What matters is your well-being, not mine.  Do yourself a favor, make yourself a gift, and join me in learning how to outdo all the unsuccessful photographers out there.

15 – Buy my book

If you can’t make it to the seminar buy my book Marketing Fine Art Photography  because it expands on the concepts presented here. It is totally outdated compared to the seminar, and it won’t give you the techniques that work today, but it is a best seller and it will teach you the basics of success in selling art.  To be truly competitive in today’s economic environment you will need to attend the Seminar, but if you can’t attend for whatever reason this is a start:

Marketing Fine Art Photography by Alain Briot
eBook link
Physical book link

About Alain Briot
I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. I am the author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available as printed books on Amazon.com and as eBooks on my website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about my work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to my Free Monthly Newsletter on my website. To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive 40 free essays in eBook format immediately after subscribing.

I welcome your comments on this essay as well as on my other essays. You can reach me directly by emailing me at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
Get 40 Free eBooks when you sign up for my newsletter on my site

Alain Briot Personal Style Master Class Updates

Alain Briot Personal Style Master Class Updates
Belwo are the most recent updates made available for the Personal Style Master Class.  These updates are available in the Master Class Updates area on my site.  The link to the updates area was emailed to you when you placed your order.

If you do not have the Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD, a detailed description plus a free 20 pages eBook, plus pricing and ordering information are available at this link:  http://beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-DVD-Master-Class-SPO.html

Update #1 – I believe we have entered a new time for art.

Update #2 – Will there be a ‘Part 2’ to the Personal Style Master Class?
This update is in response to questions from Master Class owners about the fact that ‘Part 1’ is present in the title.

Update #3 – Is mastering HDR, texture layering and Instagram enough to create a style?

Update #4 – How long does it take to complete the Personal Style Master Class?

Update #5-  Which photography subjects does the Personal Style Master Class applies to?

If you do not have the Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD, a detailed description together with pricing and ordering information are available at this link:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-DVD-Master-Class-SPO.html 

Alain Briot
Vistancia, Arizona
January 2013
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

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2012 Year-End Summary

2012 Year-End Summary

Introduction
This is a summary of my 2012 photographic activities.  This summary is organized by categories.  I have not offered a year-end summary before so this is something new to me.  I decided to do so this year because I believe it is interesting to take a look back at the most significant ‘happenings’ of 2012.

Print sales
2012 marked an increase in number of print sales over 2011.  Both individual prints and Portfolios went through several price increases in 2012, as we do each year, guaranteeing a continued increase in investment value to collectors of my work.

We decided to increase portfolio prices by $1000 each time a copy is sold.  This caused portfolios to reach their highest price point so far.

Investment value
Our regular price increases mean that all prints, Folios and Portfolios purchases increase in value regularly.  If you purchased a print, a Folio or a Portfolio from us the value of your investment has already increased. If you plan to purchase prints, Folios or Portfolios in the future the value of your investment will increase as well because our prices will continue to increase regularly.

You can see my print prices at this link.

Folios and Portfolios update
Folios and Portfolios are released in Limited Editions of 50 copies only. As of January 2013 only 3 copies of the Navajoland Portfolio remain available. The White Sands Folio sold out and is no longer available.

Folios and Portfolios are available in the Print of the month collection at this link.

Publishing
In 2012 I published the 5th Mastery Workshop on DVD: The Personal Style Master Class workshop on DVD.  This is an important release because this tutorial is completely different than the other 4 mastery DVDs.  It is also part 1 of a 2 part series, with part 2 scheduled for release this year, in 2013.  You can see the Mastery Workshop on DVD series at this link.

I published over 20 essays in 2012 on my website and blog as well as on Luminous-Landscape.com where Michael Reichmann publishes Briot’s View, my monthly column, on Naturephotographers.net where I am a Contributing Writer, on NatureScapes.net where I am  a Contributing Editor and on other websites.  These publications are in addition to the more than 75 essays written for the Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD series.

Consulting
2012 saw a significant increase in demand for my consulting program. So much so that I had to limit how many students I accept in this program to maintain the personalized attention and high standards I set for this program.  Details of my consulting program are available at this link for studio consulting and at this link for phone consulting.

Workshops
All our workshops sold out including the 9th Annual Fine Art Summit which was held in Zion this year. As an aside the first 3 workshops for 2013 are already sold out.  We have not cancelled a single workshop since we started our workshop program 10 years ago.  A full listing of our 2013 workshop program is available at this link.

Teaching Focus
The focus of our 2012 workshop program was Personal Style.  This focus complemented the new Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD and was very popular with our students, many of them working and developing a personal style.

The focus of our 2013 workshop program is Vision.  This new focus builds onto our 2012 focus, Personal Style, while expanding into a wider field of creative exploration.  More information will be available as the year goes on during our workshops, starting with the White Sands Workshop this March.  Stay tuned !

Student Achievements
We saw a noticeable increase in image quality from our students’ work.  Composition is where we saw the most increase.  Print quality is still one of the most challenging aspects of fine art photography.

A record number of students completed personal photography projects in 2012.  These include folios, portfolios, eBooks and self published books.  A number of these projects were completed in the context of my consulting program.  Many were started during our workshops and seminars.

Students in Business
A record number of students started selling their work in 2012.  At a recent show in Scottsdale, Arizona 3 of my students were selling their work at the same show.  Besides Arizona, our students are also selling their work in many states and countries.

This is no doubt due to the popularity of my book Marketing Fine Art Photography.  Each time I check the book listing on Amazon.com, it is in the top 10 books on Professional Photography.  Sales of the eBook version, which is available only on my website, also rank high.  It is also due to the support I provide through my Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD, my 1 on 1 consulting program and my Advanced Marketing Seminar which took place in Spring 2012.  This seminar was organized at our Country Club, Blackstone, in Peoria, Arizona and it was a wonderful event.

About Alain Briot
Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing. Alain is the author of Mastering Landscape Photography. Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available on as printed books Amazon.com and as eBooks on Alain’s website at this link: http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

You can find more information about Alain’s work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to Alain’s Free Monthly Newsletter on his website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will receive information on downloading the table of contents, plus over 40 free essays by Alain, immediately after subscribing. Alain welcomes your comments on this essay as well as on his other essays available. You can reach Alain directly by emailing him at alain@beautiful-landscape.com.

Alain Briot
Vistancia, Arizona
January 2013


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