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Welcome to the Smart Art Marketing Pro group discussion forum.  This forum allows members to ask questions, leave comments and suggestions.  Please take part in these group discussions by responding below.

Comments

  1. Gary Bolyer says:

    Hi everyone. Please leave your comments here.

  2. Greg Phelps says:

    Hi Gary. I just purchased your online marketing book. and also signed up for Smart Art Marketing Pro.

    1. when I get to my account I don’t see anything that redirects me to the marketing instructions.

    2. I am in the final stages of an ecommerce site for my photographic art. After reading the 1st chapter of your online marketing book I see I have made a few mistakes.
    Should I incorporate the art blog you talk about into the ecommerce site or should it be totally separate on wordpress.

    All for now. looking forward to making some $

    • Gary Bolyer says:

      Hi Greg,

      Thanks for signing up for Smart Art Marketing Pro.

      First, you need to confrim your subscription to the Smart Art Marketing Pro newsletter. You have been sent a confirmation email. Open this email and confrim that you want to subscribe to the newsletter. You will get a newsletter each time new information is available in your Smart Art Marketing Pro account page.

      Second, your Smart Art Marketing Pro Account page will have new content dripped in each week. The lessons are dripped in so that you are not overwhelmed with the course study and get too much information too fast. If for some reason you do not subscribe to the newsletter, just check back to your account page each week for the new lessons.

      In order for me to answer your question about your photography website, I will need to take a look at it. Please send me the link and I will give you a full review of your site and what direction I think you should take. This review is included with your Smart Art Marketing Pro subscription. There is no additonal charge for this.

  3. Hi Gary. My Fine Art Web Site has made it to the stage where we have to post shipping costs.
    I currently offer my photography in 6 sizes and three presentations.
    Do I need to buy all the shipping materials then print one of each and mount it or matt it. then package it and weigh it so I can put the shipping cost on line or is there an easier way.

    Greg

    • Gary Bolyer says:

      Hi Greg,
      Thanks for your comments. There are several ways to go when it comes to shipping. I am going to tell you what I have learned about this over the years, and then make suggestions to you based on that.

      First suggestion, you might want to consider offering free shipping. This is what I do now. It’s a fantastic selling point online. People love free shipping and they are really drawn to ads that say this about your products. I tweet this constantly on Twitter that I have giclee prints that ship free worldwide. Again, it makes a great headline for social media and ads.

      Free shipping works best for you if you do NOT frame, mat, or put your art under glass. You sell photographs and I would suggest that you simply sell just the photos and nothing else. This makes shipping extremely easy on you and much less complicated. Let the buyers frame and mat the photos on their end once they receive them. All you have to do then is just put the photographs between heavy cardboard and slide into an envelope. This is very easy for you and low cost to mail. And you pass this low cost on to your customer.

      If you opt to frame and mat your items, then it becomes more complex. You have to make sure the packaging is sturdy enough to survive the shipping process. This can take a lot of time and cost of materials for you to wrap something up in this fashion. I did this in the beginning and then learned the hard way that it was not cost efficient and didn’t work for me. I was spending a lot of time wrapping each item to be mailed. This lowered my overall productivity as I had to hire additional people to help me do the shipping. And when you have to hire people like this, you have to pay them by the hour. So figure a handling charge into your shipping costs that will cover time spent wrapping a framed item, even if it’s just you doing the wrapping.

      As far as figuring the cost of each item, you will need one item with its shipping boxes and components. Get yourself a postal scale (they have them at Walmart). Stack the items on the scale and weigh them. You will be charging by the pound for shipping. Go to the U.S. Post Office website and there you can find how much to charge per pound. You can also create an account on the Post Office website that will allow you to print professional looking shipping labels with barcodes(You will need the peel and stick shipping labels which you can also get at Walmart). On your U.S. Post Office website account, you will just enter the person’s shipping address, the weight of the item, etc. You can pay for the shipping through the website and print out your label. You can also schedule a free pickup from the Post Office on this site as well. So it makes shipping very easy as you do not have to go to the Post Office at all.

      I hope this helps with your shipping ideas. Again, shipping can be a little tricky. That’s why I decided years ago to simplify and just offer free shipping. I price my original art and art prints high enough to absorb the cost of doing business this way.

      Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns,
      Gary

  4. the Free shipping idea is very attractive. Especially since I will be shipping pieces up to 40 inches X 60 inches. I can put them in a sturdy mailing tube and ship for very little. smaller sizes can be handled as you suggest.

    However, quite a few of my images are on canvas. I would think this would be problematical for my customer to have them stretched once the receive them.

    Also, does it degrade your ability to get top prices for your work if I just sell the print without any mounting or matting.

    Currently I don’t offer framing, but I do either, matt, or mount flush on a 1.5 inch thick museum mount, or sell a gallery wrap print.

    greg

    • Gary Bolyer says:

      The mailing tube for larger photographs is best as you suggest. The post office has these tubes in several sizes. They are free and they will ship them to you directly to your studio for free.

      For stretched canvas, I suggest that you wrap them as securely as possible. As long as you don’t frame them, they ship very easily and at low cost. You can still offer free shipping on these, as this is what I do. Again, the post office has a large selection of boxes of all sizes. You may find some that work for you. Look for them on the post office website. All of this is free and shipped to you for free.

      The problems in shipping come not from the weight of the stretched canvas and stretcher bars, as usually this is very light. The problems come from heavy wooden frames and mats, and glass. All of this adds lots of weight and lots of headache to the whole process. Heavier items are much more likely to get damaged, as I have had many items like this broken in shipment. I learned this in the beginning when I was trying to ship framed items.

      I suggest that you don’t take canvases off the stretcher bars. Most people don’t know how to properly stretch a canvas. And even artists who are experts can never seem to restretch a canvas and make it look the way it did before the stretcher bars were removed. So never do that.

      Selling art without the frame does not and should not devalue the artwork itself. If you market yourself properly, your work will be perceive as having high value, with or without the frame. The frame is incidental.

  5. Marie K Godwin says:

    Hi Gary!
    Maybe I’m a wee bit impatient? But I don’t see any of the marketing course, only the intro’s.
    When will I be able to see the actual course?
    Thanks
    Marie

    • Gary Bolyer says:

      Hi Marie, A new lesson is scheduled to appear for you each week. You will receive an email that will remind and alert you that a new lesson is available for you to read. Just go to your main account page each week and you will see the new lesson appear below the previous ones.

  6. Gary Bolyer says:

    Thanks Megan. Glad to have you as a new member. Will be in touch.

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