Saturday, April 16, 2016


I'm no pro... Not yet. And while I have professional experience in sales and marketing I, myself, am just trying to get into the art game. BUT let me offer you this truth. Do NOT, under ANY, circumstance under value yourself. I know what you are thinking! I need to get my name out there. I want to make some money doing what I love!

Well these are true, but in the right context. But if you goal is to be a professional artist the idea of under valuing your work isn't a spring board into fame success and high paying jobs, and I'll explain why. So lets start here with...

(keep reading)

1. "Low paying work is a good way to advertise my Brand!"

Okay so there are some truths to this... sometimes. This I'm sure this will become a reoccurring theme, but if you don't value yourself no one else will! If I pay ten or even 20 buck for an avatar pic whats that even mean to me? Maybe I keep it on for a week or a day, but 20 bucks? That's a sneeze, that's a couple happy meals, a few trips to Starbucks. It isn't a big emotional investment for the person getting the product. So typically it isn't going to be something they want to brag about and show off. Just like how you don't go around showing your happy meals off and your Starbucks lattes. BUT when a person spends their hard earned money on your work... all that changes. They wear it with pride! they HOPE people ask about it because it took them hard work to get it. Your work becomes a symbol or how special and fortunate the person that bought it is instead of cheap temporary amusement.

Now on rare occupations there will be people with a large following (and I'll go into why that's rare later) who will purchase your work and tell other about it. The issue here is that once they find out they'll come expecting the same quality at the same price points, and that is VERY dangerous because you can get stuck there or risk losing those followers when you DO up your price points.

In my opinion (And you can't tell by looking around here unfortunately) is to just make personal art and put it out there for the world to see. Consistently post you art work where you clients looks for art. Create value with your personal work such that when you communicate it with your audience and make stuff so great people just want to share it and retweet it and show their mom. You don't need to sell anything in order to get your name out there you just need to add value to and then tell everyone your name.

And OF COURSE, give aways. Once your do have a small fan base giveaways are a great way to add value to your brand increase brand loyalty and get your product in the hands of people who may not be able to afford the prices you absolutely should be charging. (PLEASE at least 10 an hour guys... please) BUT don't go over board on giveaways or they will have a negetive effect on the value of your brand people won't buy and will wait for giveaways if they happen to frequently.


1. Sales. Market lower pricing as a "sale" This is a GREAT way to add value and a time pressure for people who like your work but are on the fence about it. but because it is normally high cost it will still give that feeling of "I worked hard to get it".
2. Target big names. Ask people just big enough that they can barely hear your voice to do work for them at low cost or free in exchange for promotion, or just so you can say "I've done this for So and so". ! Its a way to get your name out there AND a way to add a lot of value to you and your brand that is low cost to you. (instead of doing it for 20 dollars for little to no exposure, doing the same amount of work for thousands of views) And heck people I've done free art for I'm good friends with now even after they blown up, so that's another plus too!
3. If your goal is word of mouth FORGET MONEY! Just create art for yourself expect the best from yourself and share it literally with everyone you run into.
4. Giveaways! They add Value to your brand by making it exclusive (only the winner out of X amount of people get the product)

Recap part one:

  • If you don't value it your customers won't.
  • If you value your work more they will value it more.
  • If you sell high quality work at low cost that will slowly become your brand identity, and that's awful.
  • Sharing your personal work is a great way to get attention without devaluing your brand.
  • ALWAYS claim high value even when you sell at lower prices.
  • Use your time wisely, invest that time into people who will help you grow.
  • Share your personal work with EVERYONE
  • Take advantage of giveaways

2. "I NEED to make some money doing what I love!"

There are better ways to make money... than....
Art by: Johanna Spink

Here... take this picture to the left as an example. Click it, open it up take a good long look!  How much time do you think goes into this? Maybe 5 or 6 hours, but it is traditional so I don't know maybe 20 or lets go big 50 hours to finish? I don't do traditional paint

Materials? I don't know 20 bucks, lets go higher and say 100 dollars total for the paint and a nice high end canvas to paint on.

So what do you charge? gotta at LEAST get a little above minimum wage right? So 10 an amount puts us at 500 plus 100 for materials. So the artist should AT LEAST be asking 600 for this piece and come out of it with 500 in profit. That ain't bad for a few days of work...

Well Ladies and Gents, that artist doesn't think that way!
Check her out here

Her name is Johanna Spink. She is asking for 5000+ dollars STARTING for ANY work she does. I literally just typed in portrait artist in google. and clicked the first link, and then the first name in the list and got Ms. Spink. She is good... but is she 5000 dollar good? ABSOLUTELY! And so are you! But it has so little to do with the art itself and so much more with the value behind it!
If Ms Spink gets 1 job every month, and I bet you she is at the VERY least, she is making 60,000 a year in gross income, and I'm coming back around to the point here.

High value doesn't mean people won't buy your work, sure fewer people will, BUT as proven by Ms. Spink here people will. charging 20 dollars a piece working around the clock you could never make 5000 in a month. But the higher you value yourself the less you have to work to make money , and since you have to work less you don't need as many jobs.

20$ per job / 5000$ = 250 jobs!
50$ per job / 5000$ = 100 jobs
75$ per job / 5000$ = 67 Jobs!
100$ per job / 5000$ = 50 jobs!
250$ per job / 5000$ = 20 jobs!!!

So this is where the salesman in me comes in. Selling people is not easy.... and its is illegal! Heh. Jokes. But seriously though selling people on a product at a glance is hard to do. Selling 5 people on your art or 10 people or 100 people is exponentially harder! BUT... if you value yourself you don't have to get tons and ton of jobs to make a living, every time you double your price you half the amount of work you need to do to reach your goals.

And then there is the other side of this. What kind of person do you think would spend 5000 MINIMUM on a piece of art? Do you think they'll snap a pic and have it as their avatar for a week? Or is that picture going to be a badge of honor that they pass down for through generations? Do you think they'll just hurry by it when they invite friends over or will they steer any conversation they have to this piece of art and name drop the artist? Do you think that kind of person would spend 20 dollars on your art work? And then I segway to....

The big names! These guys typically value themselves, instead of a Honda they buy a Ferrari. Instead of McDonald's they go to some steak house and drop 300 on a meal with half of the portions! THOSE ARE THE CLIENTS YOU WANT! Because they value your work and will brag about it, and when they brag people listen.


1. Just ask for more money, the more money you ask for the more you'll make, the more people will value your work, and the less jobs you need to do. In the crowd of 20 dollar jobs there are likely half that would be willing to pay more twice as much and come out of the experience feeling even better about the product.
2. Big prices attract people big names. Just like how there is a whole world of people who wouldn't be caught dead eating at McDonald's (like me, lol... well no, not really :(... I'm making myself sad) there are those people who wouldn't waste there time on that happy meal of a price point, but would jump at the chance to pay 10 times more.

Part 2 Recap

  • I use really long winded examples to prove simple ideas sometimes
  • "Great Artist" and "Value" is very much dependent on the price tag.
  • The more you charge per job the less work you need to do to reach your end goal.
  • I think I told a slavery job, but I'm black so I think its okay.
  • Big name clients look for and expect big name prices.
  • You want big name clients...
So, those are major points i wanted to cover here. I hope it article was helpful and informative and you can come away with some tips and ideas you can put into practice with your brand no mater hoe big or small. Leave comments and questions down below or hit me up on twitter.

 As always guys God Bless. Be safe. Stay fresh!
-James B. McCauley

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