Course Topics

Each Arts Business Institute workshop contains topics of interest to artists and makers who are launching and building small businesses. We create workshop programs that are customized to the needs of the audience.

Specific course offerings will vary. Here are samples of our most popular sessions:

CREATIVE MARKETING –  The best practices for marketing art are changing every day.  How to find your audience, craft your message, find your niche. Traditional and new methods of marketing; how to make a marketing calendar, and cultivate repeat customers.

WHOLESALE 101 –  This session will debunk the myths of wholesaling and address the questions artists need to ask themselves about product line, production costs, and studio production time for the transition to the wholesale marketplace.

PRICING FOR PROFIT – The price is right – that’s the goal of every artist.  Beyond the simple formula of materials + labor, this session will explore the details of cost of sale and multi-channel strategies that impact and sometimes cause conflict between sales channels.  Learn to create a pricing model that supports all parts of the studio business.

A NEW MARKETPLACE – With the ever-increasing pace of change in our modern world, markets rise and fall, methods of selling are in flux. Artists and makers must learn to face these challenges with knowledge and skills to grow businesses that meet the needs of today’s consumers. Explore current issues and the future of selling art and handmade work.

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT Learn about breadth and depth; design evolution; discontinuing items; your price ceiling; selling in multiples or bundles, cross-selling and popular price points for holiday and special occasions.

WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER A creative visualization experience. Explore the lifestyle, interests, home environment, family relationships and needs of your perfect customer. Learn what makes your customer want (or need) to buy your work.

SUCCESSFUL DISPLAY AND BOOTH DESIGN – Display and lighting can make or break a show or exhibit experience. Booth displays need not cost a fortune—creativity and resourcefulness are what count. You will learn to design a display that complements your brand and work, while being led through the many options of pedestals, shelving, jewelry cases and lighting techniques.

NICHE & SPECIALTY MARKETS – The craft and art show circuit offers plenty of opportunities, but is it the best outlet for long term success and profit?  Explore other industry sectors where your artwork may be valued far above the price you can get at an art fair.

SELLING ART ONLINE – Online sales are increasing exponentially. What are the options for artists? This talk addresses the different types of third party sites available and their purpose, and selling directly from the artist’s own website.

SALES STRATEGIES FOR ARTISTS – How many ways are there to sell your work? Find out about terms, best practices, sales cycles, how to structure the sale, credit approval, consignment, contracts, cross-selling and up-selling. This talk includes detailed information about using sales representatives, selling to specialty stores, jewelry stores, art galleries, museum shops, major retailers.

BUILDING GALLERY RELATIONSHIPS  – Developing a successful relationship with a gallery is a two-way street.  Learn how to migrate your business from consignment to a “Net 30” model. Learn what galleries expect from their artists, and how to make reordering easy for them, and how to leverage your repeat business.  Establish every relationship as a partnership.

TRENDS – How does you follow trends and why is it important? Learn how to identify the hottest current trends, where to look for them and how to implement them into your product line.  Leverage trends to find new customers and grow your business beyond the immediate fashion fad.

THE EFFECTIVE WEBSITE – What type of structure and content makes a compelling website that will draw visitors and convert them to customers? Discover how to put together your portfolio online, use of “in situ” images, blogging, shopping carts and much more.

MULTI-CHANNEL and ONLINE SALES STRATEGIES – Building a brand can be a complicated process when you are selling in multiple niche markets, at galleries, art fairs, and online with Amazon, Etsy or other platforms. Making sure you plan well enough to avoid creating conflicts or cannibalize sales takes a good plan.

GROWING YOUR CREATIVE COMMUNITYWe work your local, state and regional government and economic development agencies to develop simple and affordable plans for economic growth. Main street revitalization doesn’t need to start with a multi-million dollar development plan. Your local creative assets have the resources to draw tourists, create new jobs, create local identity and increase the local tax base.

SHOW SELECTION, PLANNING & BUDGETS  – A safe and sustainable approach to growing any brand from local to nationwide. This topic covers budgeting, union rules, timelines, pre-show and post show contact, and 80 cheapskate booth design tips.

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