Hey guys. This is Patrick, and welcome to I guess episode
one of the Art Marketing Podcast. The podcast before, we introduced our mission
and vision for the podcast. Today is all about opening the hood and getting
our hands in there and getting dirty. I’ve got just an absolutely fantastic story
to tell you today, fantastic interview with an artist from Canada named Kim Vergil. She’s just got a great story of how the fusion
of online and offline tactics and all the various different hats she wore and some of
the techniques that she used to wrap up the calendar year in 2016 to really achieve some
amazing goals. I love when this story came across my desk
and heard it and really wanted to feature it because A, it’s great to hear it from the
horse’s mouth, so to speak, an artist that actually did the techniques all herself, and
how she just did the work and got this thing done, it’s just a killer story. Without further ado, let’s get right into
the interview and then I’ll join you again on the tail end of the podcast to go over
a few other things. All right, everybody. I’m really fired up to have Kim Vergil joining
me today. Kim, how you doing? I’m doing great. Beautiful sunny day. Beautiful sunny day. Love it. Well, before we get into the techniques and
then exactly what you did, why don’t you tell us briefly what you were able to achieve? I had an exhibition and I was able to achieve
some follow-up after the exhibition. I managed to sell several paintings up to
the value … Original paintings through the website up to the value and through the show
up to the value of about $6000 within one month, the last month of the year, and I was
only a member of the site for about two months at that point anyway. Love it. Let’s get into … Why don’t we, and I can’t
wait to hear how you achieved that incredible feat, but why don’t you tell us who you are
and what you do? Mixed media, abstract, I call it content abstraction
artist, so I mix photography and painting. The creative process inspired by how I understand
we create our night dreams. I’m fascinated by the night dreaming process. I’m a member of the International Association
for the Study of Dreams, and so have really used my understanding and being inspired by
how I understand we create dreams, which is basically a combination of symbolic photography
that we do all day and store in our brains in night, and then when we need a dream, we
throw some emotional energy at it and that creates dream conversations with ourselves. For me, it’s about taking photographs of everything
I see, collaging them in a very un-egocentric way, just letting it be very random, and then
painting on top of that, and then standing back and finding the dream, the hidden dreamscape
or dream scene or dream mood within each piece. They appear to be abstract, but actually they’re
full of content and lots of energy and color. Got it. So you’re basically a mixed media artist,
to sum it up, mixed media artist and you blend photographs and acrylics into original pieces. Do you sell prints as well? Absolutely. I think that’s been one of the great parts
of joining the Art Storefront platform is that I’m able to have a passive income where
I’ve put up high resolution images on my site so that they can be used to produce beautiful
prints. The quality has been outstanding. I’ve had a couple of samples done and seen
the results. It’s cool because one, the prices are very
competitive with places like Ikea and yet you’re getting original art from artists,
local artists and around, but also that it can be any size because the original, let’s
face it, is one size, and if you want something much bigger for a conference room or business
spaces or hotels, or you need something smaller for some of the larger pieces, it gives a
lot of variety in terms of accessibility, in terms of price hit point, and also sizing,
which is cool. Some people want originals, but some people
want prints. I think you’re in a way better position if
you’re selling the combination of both. Before you came on board the platform, did
you have a website before then? If so, where did you host it? I had my own domain name and I was hosted
… I was using a WordPress platform for about the last 10 years. Basically, I looked at my website before as
a calling card. It was like a business card. From what I understood in today’s world in
the last years, you couldn’t basically just hand somebody a business card, you had to
have the business card that linked to your website, and I did, but it had only my work
on it. There was no prices, there was no shopping
cart, that kind of thing. The more I’ve done my research over the years,
I’ve basically never gotten a phone call from it. Basically, from what I’m understanding and
as I’ve been going along in the last few years and following blogs and talking to other artists,
you have to have prices on your website and you have to have a shopping cart now. If you don’t have one, buyers will go somewhere
else that does have one. Art is now for sale online, and to be competitive
I realized I had to go there. It’s just an amazing option to have that on
my site now. Yeah. I think it certainly makes a difference and
I think that’s a perfect segue to get into the various techniques. One thing that people might not be aware of
that don’t listen to the podcast all the time … Yeah, right. Listen all the time. We’re still in the first couple of episodes. Nobody’s listened to it. One of the things that we strongly advocate
is not discounting all the time, but discounting when it’s appropriate to discount, which especially
is the fourth quarter and leading into Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and then Christmas. I love that the first part of this technique
that you did actively do some discounting, but why don’t you set the table for us and
start with your show and then walk us into what you did here? My other site was going down, my domain name
and everything, end of October, so I had bought the Art Storefronts I guess about end of September,
beginning of October, so I had a good month to get my stuff up and running. As I loved in your first podcast about … It
was absolutely not perfect when I launched it, but I had a drop dead date and it had
to be up and I did the best I could, and I’m really glad I did because then it was just
about problem solving and getting the basics more fine-tuned, which I think that’s an ongoing
process. I had an art show coming up at the end of
November, beginning of December, which I’ve heard is a really good time to have shows
for selling for Christmas, so I had that planned. Because of the website, it forced me to work
on my email list which I had promised myself I would do for years but never really realized
the importance of my email list other than sending invitations to shows. I got my email list done through MailChimp
through my site, which was wonderful. I used my email the whole time in October
and November to gather more emails from just shows and things, people that I knew, people
that I didn’t know, and I really worked on that towards the show. I had an email list that I worked on and [inaudible
00:07:57] What size was the email list? Sorry? What size is your email list all in? I think originally when I first started I
was at about 250 and now I’m just under 400. Got it. That’s through some of them definitely from
the website and through just every show I went to, local shows. It’s amazing how generous people are. You tell them, “Look, I’ve got … Will you
share your email and be on my emailing list and I will send you out information about
shows and my work?” And they said yes. I really was able to gather and gather names,
and then also through Art Storefronts [inaudible 00:08:34]. I did the show and at the show my site was
up and running, I did manage to sell three originals at the show, which is really nice. It was only a five day exhibition, by the
way, so that’s not that long, but I was also able to offer prints to people that couldn’t
or weren’t able or weren’t interested in some of the pieces, to offer them varying sizes
or price points. I had that on the laptop at the show, and
so I managed to sell three prints right from the show also, which was unbelievable. Then I think the big, big revelation for me
was I followed the webinar and I’d learnt about doing the follow-up emails after your
event, so for me it was … I called it the exhibition aftershock and I put on a really
big discount, the farthest I wanted to push it, and you guys it was kind of a sample of
Black Friday, after Black Friday kind of thing. I followed the webinar, I sat there for two
hours and I tweaked and tweaked my email, following the instructions. Kim Campbell was doing the picking everything
apart and it was fabulous, and I sent out a follow-up email from my show, and lo and
behold somebody got back to me and said, “I’m so glad you did it. I wasn’t able to get to the show, but I followed
the links, got to your site.” She had bought a painting from me maybe 10
years ago, and said, “I really love your new work,” and she pressed the purchase button
and bought an original, quite big actually, a 30 by 30 piece which is a nice size piece. I ended up saying to her, “Look, you …” And
when we talked I did know her but only remotely as a work colleague through my husband. I said, “Look, you live in Montreal. I’ll come and deliver the piece rather than
ship it to you. How about I bring it by?” The website has a feature … Local delivery, which I love. Sorry? Before you get into the next bit of it, you
had the show, you emailed that entire list ahead of the show, and then the day after
the show you hit them with a serious discount. Can I ask, did the discount expire? If so, what was that period of time? What was the scarcity on it? I did a one-day 24 hours. It was the Friday. My show had finished on the Sunday, and I
waited ’til the Friday after because it was around Black Friday. I was trying to compete with Black Friday,
so I called it the Black Friday Aftershock, I think, sale. It was one day, 40% off, so I really pushed
my limit. Yeah, you did. But I made the timeframe very tight. Got it. The brilliance is the scarcity, right? That’s one of the things that we advocate
so strongly for. I think it’s really difficult for a lot of
people to be willing to take that step and say, “You know what? I am going to put some scarcity on it,” but
it just changes the game. Human beings need to be motivated to take
action and scarcity does such a fantastic job of that. I love that you did that part and got the
sale, and I love even more … Talk about art being the long game. She bought a piece 10 years ago, and just
by emailing your list, which at 400 people is a good size list but it’s not gigantic,
right? No, it’s not. Just by emailing the list and doing that work,
you ended up getting a sale out of it, which is amazing. Great job on that and I think we get a lot
of people that really freak out about the discount thing, especially when it comes to
original artists. They’re like, “I just don’t discount, I don’t
want to discount.” I would just be curious to get your mindset
on how you approached that and potentially got over that hump or decided to be willing
to go all the way to 40%, which is a radical discount for sure. It is. I must say the whole idea of discounting,
very difficult. The whole idea of doing the time scarcity,
like you said, is not. I think artists, we just don’t think that
way. I don’t understand why and I’m learning as
I go and when you see the results, it makes you go, “Oh. That was a kind of outdated thought that maybe
we need to flush.” It was so important. For me, I looked at it, I said, “Okay, if
I’m going to do this, I’m not going to make it a week-long or for a whole month, but if
I give it that one shot deal,” somehow in a way it made it easier that I gave it a short
frame. I thought, “You know what? If that’s what it takes and it works, great,
but I’m not extending myself out too far.” That’s how I got my head around it. The other piece that really helped me in terms
of the 40% was, because I wouldn’t do that all the time, that really is a special case,
but we have to admit as artists, the minute you have your work in a gallery, you are at
50 and what I’m hearing sometimes 60% that you are losing. Right, because of the commissions. Yeah, so I thought, “Well, I am doing this. This is my show. I’m responsible.” I wouldn’t do it all the time because I’m
not trying to overprice my work, but wow, it doesn’t hurt to do it every now and then
and have some great results. It was worth it. It is a mind bend though. You really do have to get there. Oh, for sure it is, but I think that was a
really salient piece of wisdom that you just offered there, which is if you’re going to
sell it in the gallery, you’re taking that haircut anyway, so what difference would it
make? It’s really easy for me because A, I’m not
creating art, I’m just advocating for marketing solutions, to say, “Oh …” I use this line
all the time and I feel like a daft prick sometimes for using it, but it’s like, “Oh
great, you don’t want a discount. Well, great. It’s you and Louis Vuitton.” That’s literally the two brands that don’t
discount. “I’m thrilled that you’re on that level.” I always say, “Let me know where your yacht
is in Saint Tropez and I’ll come see it the next time I’m in town.” But awesome, I think that’s great. We’re definitely going to get further into
discounts on upcoming podcasting episodes, but it’s just … It’s religion, politics,
and discounts in terms of charged subjects with artists. The other thing I’d like to put in there,
Patrick, that’s interesting is that from what I’m understanding is, galleries discount. If a collector is going into a gallery, especially
if they are a returning and returning patron of the gallery, the gallery is going to discount. How it works from what I’m understanding is
that you split the difference. You’re already starting that game, so why
not have it in your control and be generous every now and then to make your product as
tantalizing and accessible every now and then? Yeah. It’s so true. It’s so true. Let’s use that as an opportunity to segue
into the second technique which you did, I loved, and we’ll pick it up. This woman came onto your site, she used the
discount, she bought a piece, and then where did it go from there? Oh, so you were going to hand deliver the
piece. This is where you just exercised this brilliant
move which I can’t believe. I can’t wait for you to tell us about it. Let us know how it went. What was really cool is I called her up, because
on your contact information you have her phone number and everything that they’ve entered,
so I did end up contacting her and saying, “Look, I will deliver the piece for you and
I’ll make you up the difference of what I was charging for delivery.” It was selected as a gift from her to her
husband for his office, so the beautiful piece about our website is because I have selected
to pay the little extra and include “share with a friend” as one of the buttons, as I’m
learning that this is not a single person decision usually. We usually share our homes with people, not
all the time, but when we do, and so therefore it’s often a shared decision about what art. She’d actually showed her husband already
the piece and wanted him to pick which piece he thought would be the one he would like. Because my site has that button, it reported
back to me which pieces she had shared with him in the selection process, so her favorites,
I guess, that she shared with him, and it was four pieces, and so I knew which those
were. I went to deliver the piece, I brought them
along. I thought, “You know what? No pressure. I’ll show her the piece.” I walked into the house with her piece and
she fell in love with it. She told me immediately, “That’s not leaving
the house, it’s staying here. It’s not going to the office,” she loved it
so much. I basically told her, “Listen. I know which pieces you showed him because
of this option on the site and you did share it,” because I don’t see all the pieces people
look at basically. It’s the ones that they have chosen to share. I took that information and I brought all
the pieces she had shared to her house and I said, “Look, I’ve got the other ones in
the car. No pressure, you bought this piece, but sometimes
it’s nice to see a piece in real time, and if you want to swap it or make a decision,”
so she said, “Sure, bring them in.” I brought them all in and she’s immediately
FaceTiming with her husband. She was falling in love with them all and
she says, “Oh my god, I don’t know. I love them all,” and I said, “No pressure. Keep them for the night and talk it over with
your husband.” I said, “Tomorrow I’ll come back and I’ll
help you hang the one that you bought and we’ll figure out what happens with the rest.” And so I did, and the next day I went back
and she says, “Kim, we’re taking them all.” I was dumbfounded. I was blown away. That was four large pieces, 36 by 36 for two
of them, one of them was a 30 by 30 … No, the other two were 30 by 30. That’s a nice size pieces, we’re not talking
little pieces here. That’s amazing. I actually brought another piece along when
I went to hang it to fill the place where I had taken the pieces that I have them on
show as a gallery and a clinic, and I said to her, “Look, I do have another one in the
car that’s not for you, it’s to put back in the hole that I made because you bought these
pieces, but it would really look nice.” I said, “No pressure, you’ve bought four pieces,
but it’s a perfect match.” I said, “Would you like to see it?” And she said, “Yes,” and she ended up buying
the fifth piece. Whoa. Unbelievable. Payday. Yeah, unbelievable. The funny part was is I said to her, “Well,”
I said, “That means that your husband office still doesn’t have artwork, right?” Anyway, it was right before Christmas and
she decided … They were going away and I said, “Let’s talk after Christmas.” The cute part was that the husband pulled
out his mobile telephone and I love that my site is so mobile-friendly, and I said, “Take
a look at this piece because this is the one I have in mind for you for your office,” and
he took a look at it and he says, “Yes. I really like that. Why don’t you bring it by after Christmas?” That was how we left that. Wow. Maybe to give the listener some clarity is
Art Storefronts has this feature, but other websites do too. It’s certainly not limited. Maybe depending on what platform you’re on
you can find it, but it’s a feature where on the product page that’s actually listing
the particular piece of art, you’ve got a button that says, “Send this piece to a friend.” What this woman did, this buyer, she bought
a piece from Kim. As she was doing that she was looking at other
pieces on the website, and she was emailing those pieces to her husband. This is my favorite part of this whole equation
and I really have to affirm you for your business acumen in all of this. I don’t know if you did all of this intentionally,
but the thing that’s amazing is you went from artist with the show to marketer by sending
the email, to the next genius thing that I think you did is you put yourself into salesman
mode by saying, “Hey, I’ll deliver these pieces myself. Let’s cultivate this relationship.” Then you drove to her house with the secret
intel of, “By the way, I know all of the pieces that you sent to your husband because I have
that data,” and then look what the outcome was. You ended up selling five, six pieces, potentially
more. This is from somebody that was on your list
for 10 years. It’s like when you sum up everything that
just took place in that particular sequence, it’s really quite amazing when you think of
it. Offline, online, back to offline, in person. Just the fusion of the online and offline
techniques I think is my favorite part about the whole story. Kim, I think I couldn’t hope to end the podcast
on a better place than where we are right now. Before we go, how can people find you online? What’s the best place they can find you? It’s KimVergil, and that’s V-E-R-G-I-L, dot
com. I’m also on Instagram as Kim Vergil, @KimVergil. That’s kind of fun because all my Instagram
pictures, as I was talking about the dream aspect of my work, all my Instagram photographs
that I take every day of the extraordinary and the mundane end up in my paintings and
I show the process of how … Take the photos, make a collage, then do the painting on top
and then discover the work. That’s a fun way of following, and also Facebook
has Artist Kim Vergil. Got it. Highly encourage you guys to check out her
Instagram. It’s really cool. Kim, thank you so much for being on. We definitely want to have you back on an
upcoming episode. Sounds great. No, this is a great opportunity. I’m learning, I’m learning so much and the
coolest thing is that you can learn something and put it into action immediately and have
some results. Wow. That doesn’t happen in life very often, so
I’m very jived about it. It’s the key. It’s execution speed. Thanks again for coming on, Kim. Pleasure. Take care. Hey guys, Patrick back here with you. How awesome was that story? I want to recap it and point out a few things. Before I do, let’s get the housekeeping out
of the way. For the show notes for this episode, couple
of ways that you can get them. First let’s talk about what I’m going to throw
in there. One, I’ll throw in the links to Kim’s website,
also Kim on Insta, you should check out her art. It’s absolutely amazing. Also, Art Storefronts put together a bunch
of really killer content on this concept of holiday discount email marketing, how you
do it, some insights and subject lines, and how to add in the scarcity and all the rest. It’s timeless stuff too. You can use it for any time you’re discounting,
so I’ll put in all the links of that as well. I’ll throw in some screenshots of the share
this art with a friend feature. It’s hard to visualize these things when you’re
just listening in terms of audio, so I’ll throw in some screenshots and you can see
exactly what that feature looks like. We’ll also throw in and we’ll always throw
in the transcribes. We always get these podcasts transcribed after
the fact and we just combine absolutely everything, the show notes and the transcribe of the podcast
in case you’re someone that just prefers to read, all in one pdf that you can download. All of that you can get just by visiting theartmarketingpodcast.com. Again, AMP, theartmarketingpodcast.com. We also got a fancy shmancy text-in number,
which I personally love. I listen to a tremendous amount of podcasts
and I end up using these features all the time so I demanded that we have it. How that works, you can pull out your phone
and send a text message to the number 44222. Many of you probably haven’t done that before,
you can actually send a text message to as few as six numbers, and so if you were entering
your friend’s number, it would be the area code plus the seven digits, but in this case
you can just do … You text the number to 44222 and the message that you send are the
letters AMPZZZ. Z as in zebra. Again, that’s 44222 and you can just send
the text message AMPZZZ, and then our fancy shmancy system will send you a text message
back and that’ll show you how to get the show notes. We’re going to keep that running throughout
the podcast, so we hope we picked a good key word in the AMPZZZ. Had to play around with that to try to get
something that the iPhones and Android phones wouldn’t auto correct. That’s on the show notes, definitely encourage
you to get those if you want to take a deeper dive on anything that we discussed on the
podcast today. Next, let me pivot to a quick disclaimer. I really don’t want this podcast to be some
rah-rah deal where we’re constantly telling stories about how great people on our platform
are doing, and how awesome it is if you use this software and how much money you’re going
to make and you’re going to take vacations, and when you get out of bed in the morning
the sun is going to rise. We’re not selling snake oil over here nor
do I want to give any false impressions whatsoever. Selling art online is still really hard to
do. Kim has been an artist for years. She’s put in her time and I think if you asked
her, you could be rest assured she would say she’s got the scars to prove it. Becoming a successful artist, it just doesn’t
happen overnight, right? You have to do the work. I don’t want to start out with that rah-rah
story of selling $8000 worth of stuff and oh, it’s so easy. Why aren’t you doing this? Kim’s a talented artist and she’s been at
it a long time. All right, so let’s pivot from the disclaimer
and let’s get into the encouraging bits, right? My personal biggest takeaway from all of this,
this story, was Kim’s brilliance at combining the offline and online parts of selling art
together in a way that … It just completely blew me away. What I think is great about it is I think
it’s absolutely something that most art sellers out there can and should be doing and at least
be thinking about how you can combine the online and the offline into one effort and
to one campaign. If you’ve been following Art Storefronts for
any amount of time, you’ve probably heard us talk about this concept of small wins. To win big, you need to stack a bunch of small
wins together. It’s not an accident, like, “Ooh, wow. I won the lottery.” It is absolutely strategic and it absolutely
comes as a result of stacking these small wins. In this case, she stacked up bunch of those
small wins to the tune of over $8000 in sales. We didn’t address in this podcast, but Kim
told me in addition to what she sold, the one client that we detailed in the story,
she had to go to a doctor’s office where she’s got a bunch of her art hanging. I know that’s a really common thing for artists
to do, whether it’s a coffee shop or a restaurant or whatever. When she went to go rip the originals off
the wall, the doctor’s like, “Hey, what are you doing?” And she ended up making another sale, sold
him a bunch of prints to replace the ones that she’d yanked. I think it’s just amazing, everything that
happened in this situation, and it’s really intentional. Let’s do a brief recap of everything she did
here, and then we’ll finish up the podcast. She had a physical art show, right? That’s an offline activity. She emailed her entire list about the show,
that’s an online activity. By the way, I asked, before I forget, I asked
Kim to send me links to both of the emails that she sent out for this. She sent them in MailChimp so I can just get
URLs that everybody can take a look at, and that’ll be both to announce the show, I’m
curious to see what that email looked like, and then also important, the discount email. Anyway, those will be in the show notes as
well. Let’s restart. She had a physical art show, offline activity. She emailed her entire list about the show,
online activity, and a 400 person list, by the way. How awesome is that? It’s not the size of the list. All it takes is one person to be on it, right? Anyway, she harnessed the power of discounts
and scarcity plus holiday times to email the list a discount, so that’s an online activity. She sold an original piece, online activity. She used the intel that she was able to gather
from her site, which is the share this art with a friend feature, so that was another
online activity. Then we switched to offline again, so she
delivered the paintings in person, that was offline. She intelligently sold the paintings, that
was offline. I think when you look at all of those stacked
up, that’s just a lot of wins. That’s a lot of small wins stacked up together
for the big win. I think that part is so critical, and throughout
this podcast I’m never going to stop talking about the small wins because I so firmly believe
in them. I think it’s everything. We sell software, and when you talk about
selling software, it’s all about the sizzle. In the case of the Art Storefronts software,
what’s the sizzle? When I say that, it’s not the sizzle, it’s
the steak, is kind of the saying, but the sizzle is like there’s the wall preview tool. Everybody’s like, “Oh my gosh, this wall preview
tool is so cool. It’s absolutely what’s getting the job done. If I just had that wall preview tool, I’d
be selling so much art like everyone else.” That’s just not the way that it works. It’s not the way that it works. There are so many artists out there … There’s
so many people out there, period, but so many artists out there that are chasing the next
shiny object. It’s that one feature that’s going to do it
for me. It’s that shiny thing over there, or however
you want to say it. The grass is always greener on the other side. It’s people are constantly looking for silver
bullets, and the reality is there are no silver bullets. There never have been and there never will
be unless you just get really, really, really, really lucky. I think this situation points it out just
so perfectly. It’s like look at all the small wins that
were stacked up. You never know in terms of your software or
your marketing efforts which one of those small wins it’s going to be. This big sale never would’ve happened if she
didn’t send the email, so she did the work. She sent the email. She never would’ve known all of these other
pieces if she didn’t have the piece of software that helped her do that, great, but she wouldn’t
have driven to go hang the painting itself, then she never would’ve been able to leave
those five paintings. The power of small wins. The power of small wins. I think that’s a great place to cap off this
episode. Again, if you’re looking for the show notes
you can go to theartmarketingpodcast.com, you can text the word AMPZZZ to the number
44422, and if you’re enjoying what you’re hearing, I really encourage you to leave us
a review on iTunes. Good, bad, or indifferent, those reviews are
critical to get a podcast going and found and discovered. If you’re enjoying it, I’d love to have you
do that and we’ll see you on the next episode.