I just got my copy of Darren Hardy’s new book – both print and audio – The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster.  As I sat painting a new collection for my trip to Atlanta next month, I attached the external disk drive (Oh Apple!  WHY did you get rid of disk drives??) and listened while I worked.

I’m sure I will listen to this content and read the book several times over.  I’m only through the first few chapters but there is GOLD in this content!

One thing that stuck out was a discussion about a genie in a lantern.  Darren Hardy suggests that you have found a lazy genie – no three wishes for you but just ONE area that he will help you with in your business.  He then goes through options and why he thinks they would be  good or bad.

His conclusion:  Ask for amazing sales and marketing.

Success in Biz - Darren Hardy

Hardy suggests that the success of a business is based 10% on the merit of the product (art, in our case) and 90% on the sales and marketing.

Wow!  I’ve said it before and will certainly say it again – it isn’t the best art that makes it on products in art licensing, because maybe no one knows about the best art.

The art that is chosen is the best fit based on a few criteria:

  • The known options (this is where sales and marketing is key!)
  • The opinions of the decision makers about which options are most likely to sell the products (there are ALWAYS several choices that will do the job)

Once those two filters have been applied, other factors come into play.

  • The relationship with the agent or artist – are they easy to work with and do they come through on time or early?
  • Does the art or artist have a proven track record of sales?
  • Coin toss. (I don’t have confirmation on this one but I think it’s often a factor…)

In art licensing, royalties are usually split 50/50 if an artist works with an agent.  The artist does the creative work, the agent does the sales, marketing and contract negotiations.  Can you imagine if they read this book and decided they should get 90%? ?  It won’t happen because there simply isn’t enough money in a deal to make the artist create if they only get 10%.

This concept is, however, good food for thought when you think about your business.  Whether you are doing your own sales and marketing or have or are looking for an agent, consider the importance of GOOD and CONSISTENT sales and marketing efforts.  Your success has more to do with how well you market yourself and your art than the art itself.  This will upset many.  It will make others feel a little more hopeful.  It should make those looking for agents ask that many more questions and check referrals that much more closely.

You aren’t actually in business if you aren’t selling – or licensing – something.

Here’s to your creative success!

– Tara Reed

P.S.  Want some help with the sales and marketing side of things or help finding an agent?  I have some ebooks to help!

How to Find, Interact and Work with Manufacturers Who License Art (to do sales and marketing yourself)

How to Find an Art Licensing Agent (how to find someone to do it for you)

And if trade shows are part of your marketing plan, the newly released Art Licensing Trade Show Success Secrets is what you need!