Selling Custom Portrait Art 🎨 Art Business Plan

If you are thinking about starting an art portrait business from home,

watch this video first, I'm going to break down your business plan will talk about challenges.

You should look out for how to stand out amongst other artists how you should do pricing

and so much more so stay tuned.

Hey, my name is Mei Pak.

And I help makers artists

and designers make a consistent income from selling their handmade products online.

So first let's define a portrait business a portrait business is you creating art.

That's a portrait of someone else the portraits can come and lots of different varieties,

right you could do oil painting watercolor pencil sketches line drawings,

you could really get creative here the biggest appeal of a portrait

business is that it can be a really good money earner.

People love anything personalized to them people love their family and friends,

they love their pets and they will pay top dollar to get you really nice personalized gift

and this isn't just another Trend people have and will always want stuff that's personalized.

However, there are some challenges to

look out for when you're thinking of starting a portrait business the first

one and I think the biggest one is by nature portraits are custom right?

You can't sell someone else's portrait to lots of other people.

You're going to be creating a portrait for each person as they ask it.

So there's a lot of complications that come with that.

There is a burden of communication with the client.

They may be very picky. They may be difficult to work with

and all of those are things that are going to come with a business

but you need to be really specific about telling people exactly

what they're getting like for instance.

If you do line drawing portraits that are really just a sketch.

You need to be super clear to people you're getting a sketch not a 30-hour Failed portrait.

So the descriptions are important

and also your policies need to be really well thought out

because of you spend 20 hours working on a portrait

and the customer change their mind or they're not going to pay for it.

You're the one who's out that money.

So it's really important that you set yourself

up for Success here protect yourself with your administrative systems.

Another challenge is if you're making larger portraits,

you're going to want to make sure that you have your shipping

and your packaging really under control so that people are receiving their Products well delivered.

This is really different from The Challenge of let's say making a crocheted

hat where you can just wrap it in some tissue paper

and put it in a bag.

One of the other biggest challenges is you're going to start

seeing stiff competition from digital art.

So digital art is Art that's created from a photo

or from a template using a computer to manipulate the image right now.

There's a lot of people taking a photograph

and using a filter to make pretty dang good looking portraits.

For a very cheap because the computer is doing it.

So you are going to see a lot of competition from very low price point shops

and you're going to need to make sure that you set yourself apart,

which we'll talk about in this video. So in a crowded Marketplace like portraits,

it's really important that your shop establishes a niche

and has a clear message about the kinds of portraits that you do even something just like watercolor

portraits is sort of too broad to differentiate yourself from your competitors,

so it's not And to help so I'm just going to come up with a few ideas

for portraits off the top of my head.

Maybe you only do portraits in shades of green super crazy

and Brilliant at the same time or some other color palette,

like maybe all of your people are in rainbows.

That's one way to establish a niche.

It can be as simple as that. You don't have to reinvent the wheel too much.

Maybe you draw people with funny hats.

Maybe all your portraits are in the style of a 60's pop art.

Art may be old school. Ron asan's paintings or in a certain style of a certain historical artist.

Whatever. Your Niche is. You need to take some time to develop your Niche.

So it's consistent and clear and that will make all of your marketing easier.

So now you've narrowed down your product ideas

and you figured out your Niche the next step is to think about how you can stand up.

There are lots of ways you can stand out and just like picking a niche.

You don't have to be better than everyone else in every aspect of your business

you just need Be different in one way from the next guy.

It doesn't even have to be how your product is different,

but it can be your values as a business or your packaging.

Now. I don't recommend competing on time or price.

You don't want to be the person selling the cheapest portrait because at the end of the day,

you're going to be bone tired after knocking out 12 portraits in a day.

What you want is for someone to look at your art and go.

Oh that's so-and-so's when you become recognizable.

You've done your job in this department. Take your time.

With this this is not meant to be an overnight process.

It will take time to figure out what makes you different.

Now. Let's talk about pricing. You need to earn enough money if you want to stay in business,

so don't under charge yourself most artists don't charge enough.

So pay attention here. It's going to take some calculations,

especially for a business like a portrait business where each piece can be time-consuming

and you want to be sure your price correctly here.

Check out my pricing video here where I go into the details about how You should

be pricing your products based on the amount of time.

It takes in the material costs.

But on top of that you also need to build in time

for all the steps of the process including client Communications,

which are a big part of what goes into creating your portraits,

right? You might spend an hour making the sketch

and another our going back and forth exchanging emails with your customer.

So you need to account for that

and don't forget about the time it takes to make revisions if that's something you offer.

In terms of pricing strategy, it can be pretty hard to charge

significantly more than your competitors,

unfortunately. And so if you came up with a price that just doesn't match well with the market

and you're way above the price that everyone else is offering then you need to think

about how you can offer your product in a different way.

And this is where the work we did before to figure out how your different can be really helpful.

So let's say you're doing sketches and you need to charge $50 for a sketch,

but everyone else is charging $30.

Right. Maybe you can add these super cool hologram vinyl bits to your portrait.

It might only cost an extra dollar

but it elevates the entire product to where people would want to pay $50 for this portrait.

Those are the sorts of different ideas that you need to get flowing

so that your pricing and the product

and the customer can all come together there needs to be alignment with everything.

We just talked about if you want to be successful and make money now,

let's talk about marketing your You're going to need a great collection of photographs

for your items.

Obviously, you're creating made-to-order items. You can't show someone in advance

what their portraits going to look like,

but you can have a good library of photos that shows people

what all good portrait looks like you could do before

and after photos to show new customers how you turn someone's

photograph into a cool art drawing of them.

Your photos are your biggest asset

when it comes to marketing since it's your only way to communicate what you do.

So make sure you spend the time. Sting in your photos,

it would be worthwhile doing some media outreach

and influencer marketing and reach out to some people who

might be your ideal customers on social media.

Make sure they have a large

and engaged following and offer to make them a portrait

for free in exchange for photo

or video assets and maybe even a mention on their Instagram feed or stories in the beginning.

You don't need a lot of customers start with just

a few and use them as guinea pigs to perfect your systems and service processes.

Maybe there's a way you can automate

or make more efficient the first few steps of getting started like directing

people to a link on your website where they can fill in a form

and upload their photos and where you can explain your process and turn around times to them.

So they know what to expect without having to do this manually

for every customer because this is such a service heavy type of business model.

It's important that you automate as much as possible.

Otherwise, you're going to be spending a lot of your time doing

tasks that don't directly affect your bottom line.

Because you also probably charge a higher price for your services.

You can totally do well starting

small and promoting your business in forums like on

Reddit or in Facebook groups where your ideal customers hang out at you of

course don't want to be promoting yourself all the time,

but build relationships with people be of service and be helpful.

And when the topic comes up, you can talk about your business your

business will also benefit a ton from word of mouth.

So make sure you give your customers an exceptional experience.

From start to finish and they'll tell all their friends about you besides that

media outreach is also a great way to Market your products

and get the word out there about what you do.

You can reach out to magazines

or big websites like BuzzFeed

or Huffington Post and connect with writers who cover gift guide roundups,

especially over special occasions throughout the year like Mother's Day Father's Day and Christmas.

Your portraits will totally be good for anniversaries and weddings and birthdays as well.

So you can definitely promote yourself all year round.

I have a video here that walks you step-by-step how to do media outreach.

You can find a lot of success quickly as well with Facebook ads if you have the budget for that.

I did a live stream recently where I talked about the power of Facebook ads

and how my husband and I started a new personalized art print business less than a year ago.

And it's already making $55,000 in sales per month.