Welcome to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads. In this special edition, Eric interviews American business executive, conference speaker, and author Jay Abraham on what artists and galleries should be doing right now to stay in business during the pandemic.
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– The Great Outdoor Painting Challenge TV Show: https://thegreatoutdoorpaintingchallenge.com/casting-call
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– Fine Art Trip to Russia: https://finearttrip.com/2020
FULL TRANSCRIPT of this PleinAir Podcast
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the PleinAir Podcast. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.
Eric Rhoads 00:00
This is episode number 166. Today is a special edition and emergency edition if you will of the Plein Air podcast.
This is the plein air podcast with Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of plein air magazine. In the Plein Air podcast we cover the world of outdoor painting called plein air. The French coined the term, which means open air or outdoors. The French pronounce it plenn air. Others say plein air, no matter how you say it. There is a huge movement of artists around the world who are going outdoors to paint. And this show is about that movement. Now, here’s your host, author, publisher and painter, Eric Rhoads.
Eric Rhoads 00:59
Thank you Jim Kipping, and welcome to the plein air podcast. I’m Eric and I’m sure like me, you’re stuck at home in quarantine. I hope you’re okay. I’ve been working on all kinds of things I could do to help everybody through this. I’ve been doing Facebook live every day and I’ve been doing art instruction videos daily at three o’clock on Facebook Live from the streamline art video page. And we’ve been helping galleries with some profiles to keep them visible, you know, helping our advertisers etc. Anything we can do. We’re sending out some free copies of the magazine to extra people, just all kinds of things to try and help. Today is a departure from the normal plein air podcast. And it’s not about plein air at all. Not really. In reality, it’s about helping artists, plein air shows and galleries. we want to help you survive during this sudden economic downturn. Hopefully this will end soon. So today I’ve got an interview for you with the best marketing mind in the world. His name is Jay Abraham gets 100 k a day For his consulting and he’s a friend of mine he did the foreword to my book, make more money selling your art. And I called Jay and I said, let’s do a video together for the artists. And so I’ve already done a video of Senator…but if you’ve not seen it, you need to hear it. And you need to hear it a couple times anyway because every time I hear it, I hear new things in it. And this will help you try to get through this difficult time because you are running a business, whether you like it or not, if you’re an artist and you are selling your art, you’re running a business. So we’ll get to that in a minute. I should mention that due to coronavirus to the plein air convention has been moved to August the 11th through 14th. In Santa Fe we’re not doing Denver this year. We can’t because we couldn’t get a date. So the 11th through 14 of August and summer it’s the first time we’re doing a summertime convention which means all the school teachers who haven’t been able to come are going to get to come and a lot of people haven’t been able to because of kids that can come make a vacation out of it. And it happens to be peak time. happens to be Indian summer is going on not Indian summer What am I talking about Indian market is going on right when we finished the convention that’s the biggest weekend of the Year in Santa Fe draws lots of people so it’s good time to paint good time to be there good time to see a little extra. And of course Kevin MacPherson has agreed to do the pre convention workshop because the previous one could not make it so that’s really great news. Also, I should tell you the plein air salon which usually gives away it’s awarded the convention has been extended, the competition will continue to go on we’re going to do monthly judging for more monthly prizes and then we will do three more chances to win before the convention and three more competitions if you will. So $15,000 cash is on the line for you are 23 grand in total prizes. And the cover of plein air magazine is stories in the newsletter and so on. So enter before April 30. For the next plein air salon, we have extended it and we will award it at the convention. Anyway, I should also remind you that if you want these daily videos of art instruction, go to streamline art video on Facebook, streamline art video, just follow it and then they will come through automatically when we go live and we’re going to keep doing them as long as we can do them during the quarantine as long as the internet holds up, as long as we’re here. Anyway, let’s get right to this special edition of marketing advice for a crisis like this with Jay Abraham. I’m pleased today to have a really very important guy on the line Jay Abraham who is the hundred thousand dollar a day marketing consultant. He has built many, many businesses and helped billions of dollars worth of businesses help them grow. He’s an author of many books, and I asked Jay, to come on and talk to you about what you might want to do as an artist or as an art gallery. In this moment when we’re all a little questioning about coronavirus, and staying home and What should we do with our businesses? And is the economy going to crash? Jay has lived through four economic disasters and looks at this as opportunity. Jay, welcome.
Jay Abraham 05:10
Thank you, Eric. I’m pleased to be here.
Eric Rhoads 05:13
So Jay, we’re going to try to keep this at about 20 or 30 minutes. And the idea here is what if I’m an artist or I’m an art gallery, and everything has come to a screeching halt? What is the first thing you think I should be doing?
Jay Abraham 05:30
I think you should be strategically recognizing that this is arguably one of the greatest opportunities you will ever have to gain attentive mindshare in a very unusual way. It’s not dissimilar to the fact that art galleries do well in environments where people are stuck in in a captive place for a long time and keep repetitively visiting and and, and getting connected and bonded to the art. I think today, Eric, you’ve got people who are most of their day and lives have been frenetic and basically coming and going and they give a very meager amount of attention to anything and now they’re homebound and yeah, they’re working from home but nobody can say on the phone or on their computer on their, their device for that kind of a long period. They’re going to spend qualitative time getting getting attached to different things. You’ve got this wonderful, wonderful concept called art. Art inspires Art savs Art electrifies exactly what people need. I think today, artists should advertise. They should should offer to get on the phone spend time sharing with anybody interested, you know, their motivation, their background, you know, methodology media they do and they should use this to own mind share in your magazine, for example, you’ve got great collectors, great art investors, great advocates enthusiasts, I can’t imagine. I know it’s a very horrific time. It’s unprecedented. But art as transcended every, you know, every known period in in history, it’s not going to be abandoned now and people need the inspiration and the connection and you can do lots of things. First thing is make yourself available make yourself known don’t stop. Make sure that the beauty majesty, the allurement, that the therapeutic aspects of your art is even more evident and make yourself available to connect with people. I don’t know if that answers a little bit more portrayed.
Eric Rhoads 08:15
You know, I want to probe that just a little bit. That was very good. The The question is gonna be, you know, I’m afraid of the future. I don’t know what the future brings, you know, I, I just need to stop doing what I’m doing. And yet there’s, there’s a sense of momentum that’s lost if they stop. There’s also a sense of opportunity loss. So you and I were talking earlier about this, but just for the benefit of everybody. In the Great Depression, there was a dominant cereal by the name of post which had like a 90% market share. And there was a startup that literally started right at the beginning of the Great Depression. And it was Kellogg’s and they had no market share, and post in their infinite wisdom said, We’re rich, we’re successful. We’re not going to advertise. We’re just going to get through this period of time. Meanwhile, Kellogg took everything they had, and even stuff they probably couldn’t afford. And they put it towards marketing and advertising themselves. And post ignored them and said, You know, we’re big, they’re never going to hurt us. And then, at the end of the Great Depression, Kellogg had the lion’s share of the market, and they’ve never lost it since then. Can you talk about the importance of branding, even if people may or may not be buying at this time the importance of using this as an opportunity to establish their brand?
Jay Abraham 09:44
Well, absolutely. First of all, again, what I said earlier, is, is true. in normal times, you get someone thumbing through and they’re so frenetic. Now, we’re, we’re consciously trying to Focus on various items, issues, activities that are going to give us solace and we are actually forcing ourselves to pay more attention. If you can use this access period, to elevate and preempt yourself against the maddening crowd, you can own that crowd. Certainly when you get back in, you know, into normality or normalcy, but you know, all estimates are even if it’s horrific, it’s going to be, you know, a few months, maybe longer, but if it’s a few months, and during that time, you can establish yourself as a dominant force. You can make yourself more elevated, more, more preemptive more connected, what that means to you when everything shakes out, is very powerful. Honestly, with all sincerity you win and your counterparts will play havoc trying to catch up number one. Number two is, you know it for the modest cost. I don’t know what it costs to advertise in your, in your media, but geez for that modest cause, the ability to own the mind of the market that you’ve already identified, you know, they are serious buyers of art. You know, they are literally people who own art. And you know that there are people who appreciate the intangibles that art represents. And the majority of them I don’t really think are, are going to be totally devoid of the capacity to buy art. They might differ. Maybe an artist will make some arrangements on terms but the point is, you’ve never had that I call us a perfect storm at Yes, it’s crisis. And yes, it’s horrific, but you also have deep, focused attention, and you have the chance to get them to re attend over and over again, not unlike they would. I don’t want to use a cruise ship because it’s got some bad connotations. But a cruise ship sells so much art because they visited they leave they visited they leave, it captivates, they’re in a mindset of opening up their sensory abilities. This is more evident right now than anybody can possibly exist. And I would say if I were an artist, I probably and I’m not saying this to patronize you, Eric, I would double up I might try to negotiate a rate for two ads with you but I double up because I want to make my art so powerfully and positively aunty that I knew that I was going to own the you know the responsiveness of your marketplace which you’ve You’ve kept it you’ve cultivated and you’ve, you’ve you’ve acquired and you’ve organized and you’ve attracted it very expensive. I know what you had to go through to build your, your readership and I know that readership is is Primo great, I would want to abandon it. I want to own it. That’s just the truth.
Eric Rhoads 13:20
During during the 2004 2008 recession, I called an art dealer buddy of mine in New York, and I said, you know what’s happening because I knew he sold expensive art and he dealt with a lot of the people who, who read our magazine, because we have we have over 300 billionaires that read it. And I said, are they have they stopped buying because I was hearing you know, everybody’s gonna stop buying. He said, No, they haven’t stopped buying, he said, but instead of buying $200,000 paintings two or three at a time, they’re buying $50,000 paintings two or three at a time, he said so they’ve reduced but the ones thing that I think a lot of us forget is that people with money, still have money.
Jay Abraham 14:08
You’re right. Well, also you made a point that I was trying to make and I was struggling for a word. Yeah. You can’t get the right word. You have curated your readership. And I don’t think people understand you’re allowing an artist the chance to go in with every human being that we know of, except for a few exceptions in in the United States, certainly, and most of the world are homebound. They are sitting, they have time. They want to escape the complexities of their business. They want therapeutic, you know, you know, a refreshing alternative. You have a chance to connect with them and bond with them now. Is to goodness not trying to capitalize on that the sadness of the times but this is genuinely a situation where adversity is truly opportunity, you’re not going to get that attention, you’re not going to get that attention you’re not going to get that that that fulfillment of sensory need at the depth and the dimension that you can get right now other than if they were locked, you know, for three days in your studio or in your or in your art gallery and you aren’t gonna be able to do that. So this is opportunity honest to goodness strategic opportunity here.
Eric Rhoads 15:41
Yeah, you know, and you’re not necessarily going to reach those people with your social media because unless they’re following you, you know, we all have social media followers, but we we sometimes forget that they’re our friends not necessarily our customers or that every every Facebook post we make only gets sent to 3% To the people who’s watching it. And so and then those people might miss it. I want to tell you a story. And get your comments on this. In 2008, there was an art gallery, I won’t use its name, it’s still in business. It started up when the recession started. And I since had a discussion with the owner of that gallery, who has since sold it. And I said, What were you thinking starting up in 2008? He says, Look, I was a business consultant. I spent my life understanding recessions and I understood the opportunities that I knew the biggest and the best, the biggest galleries would say, we’re hurting. We’re going to cut our marketing budget. And he said, so I started up at that time, he said, seven or eight big galleries stopped advertising entirely. Others reduced the size of their ads. He said, I knew that once they were out of sight, they were out of mind. And once they did that, if I was visible, then I would be able to take those customers he said, so even though they’re all doing less business, you know, I got the 10%, who would would have been buying from this guy and 10% from this lady. And he said, we actually made a lot of money during the recession. And then when it was all over, we had all these collectors, they were in our pocket. And we became huge as a result of it.
Jay Abraham 17:22
Yeah. And Eric, I was thinking because, you know, given the window, and I don’t know what your deadlines are, but they could do some really inventive things. Since everybody now is doing and I was on the phone with some of the people today they’re doing amazing things with video conferencing, you could you could change your ad to invite him to, you know, watch you create or discuss and talk to the artist, you could do things that they would never have the time, the motivation, the need, and the The desire to do in normal times I mean this is such an opportunity to bond and get penetrating and, and pre emptive access if you use the same creativity that you use to forge your, your, you know your media, your your canvas, your your metals, whatever the things that you’re creating and you use it to forge the connection you’re going to make with these collectors that exist within that very well and very hard one curated readership that you’ve, you’ve concentrated for them. Yeah, I really do mean this. It’s in the scope of the rest of their, their artistic life, and they are artistic entrepreneurs after realizes if they create for any reason other than to retain it in their own house. Then they are an artist. Partner an entrepreneur has to be you’re either strategic or you’re reactive. You’re going to be reactive you might as well get out of the field if you’re going to be strategic. capitalize, you know, it’s it’s the the Latin, carp ADM, you have to seize the moment. And it’s a very strategic it’s not. It’s not pie in the sky, if you think about it pragmatically, logically intelligently. You have these very well capable people who can spend their money, who own art, who will continue to own art and these are people that will own art Do they have no place to put it? They might have walls galore, they have collections they rotate. They have art, they put in different places they’ll buy art donated, landed, they’ll leave it in their basement, they’ll leave it in evolved in a in a storage. So utilize this opportunity to bond and connect and use your artists Creativity and channel it more into your entrepreneurial, creative.
Eric Rhoads 20:05
So the same things apply to art galleries, right?
Jay Abraham 20:08
Absolutely. Absolutely. This is their chance to connect at a deeper level. I mean, you know, right now I can’t remember what they calling him. But there are all these parties going on online which are, you know, they’re much more serious. What? Yeah, I mean, I think that galleries can do some wonderful things, including what I just said. You can do, you can do shows you can go into there, the artist studio, you can have the artist basically create you could, you can, you can do three dimensional, if it’s, if it’s, you know, if it’s in metal, if it’s not, if it’s not a canvas, you can do so many things. And the truth of the matter as you said, that you maybe maybe a true collector is going to To reduce the amount they spend per piece, but they’re not going to reduce and in fact, and probably will happen. Most of these people are pretty astute buyers. So they might be astute negotiators. But if they start collecting artists that they weren’t before, even if they try to negotiate a bit with you, when they start collecting you, it’ll have more emotional connection because of what’s going on now to them than if they bought it during normal times. And that theoretically, but but logically, we’ll have them more compelled to want to buy more from you. It’s just logic.
Eric Rhoads 21:43
One foot in the door once you get them as a collector
Jay Abraham 21:45
Yeah and better now because it’s going to have much more meaning to them. I think because of the, the associative time and emotional need they have for therapeutic fulfillment.
Eric Rhoads 21:58
You know, when when I was referring to That other gallery several of the galleries that stopped advertising during the recession actually went out of business. And most of the ones that did not stop stayed in business they had they struggled to stay in business. I’m but talk to me about that aspect if you if you if you just say, Hey, I’ll wait and see what happens what what kind of a rescue putting your business in?
Jay Abraham 22:24
Well, I mean, I was watching at one of the shows on one of the stock market channels today and they were talking about how if, if certain businesses stop restarting is a nightmare. It’s like there’s certain engines you can’t motors you can’t stop. There’s certain vehicles. I don’t mean vehicles like cars, but there’s other things like that. Stop them and start them again is onerous. It’s extraordinarily hard both in in regaining momentum and velocity in resources necessary to create All the positive pressure that’s going to need to start the movement again. It’s just really I mean, again, you have to realize that the world will not totally add, it’s going to come back it may have to be like that. But people will buy art. People who have the resources will continue to buy they may buy differently but if you are there for them and you are top of mind, and you are allowing yourself to connect in deeper and more more inventive ways now than you normally could, in the busy inattentive times that have been the norm up until a few weeks ago and will be the norm again, in a few months this window is, is rare and the cost of of of optimal mining, capitalizing harnessing and dominating right now for two or three months. I mean, I don’t know what I don’t need to know what a page or two pages in your magazine cause I’m just saying I would think that that would be the best strategic investment Art Gallery could make for the rest of their, their viable life because this can be the propellant that can get you more, more indelibly embedded in awareness, your artists more established in the mind your chance to connect them at more, in more ways. I would use this inventively. I would use this creatively I would use this in ways that nobody else does, I might add, my ads be different than just pictorial, but I would really capitalize on this access window and this concentration of attention window and this emotional need to be fulfilled window in ways that I don’t think everyone in the gallery businesses recognizing,
Eric Rhoads 25:06
you know, you and I talked about this, I think we were in Miami together, you were doing a consulting session with us. And you said something about, oftentimes there’s a spark that happens, a business can be in business for 20 or 30 years and going along, and you know, just going through their everyday thing. And then there’s one thing, one event that occurs, that is like a spark that just sets off the rocket and they go highly you and I talked about that in the context of me doing a PBS show. And the idea that this might be that moment where it could be their Spark.
Jay Abraham 25:46
Yeah, absolutely. If you think about it, when everyone else is retreating when everyone else is paralyzed. You have the opportunity to literally take care Not just market share, but but basically, Top of Mind awareness out of, you know, out of the market, you have a chance to take people who normally would probably and I’m not a a psychologist or a neuroscientist, but they probably would spend this much of their time normally focused on art. Now, you have a chance for them to spend not only this amount of time, but back and back and forth and over and over again. And if you are inventive, and it’s not just a single picture, but you say, Hey, we’re doing every day a different, a different show. And you can do shows that you connect now to somebody and somebody, whatever their studio is or their house, you could visit collectors, you can do so many really cool things that will engage even deeper and then that engagement, it’ll do two things. it’ll, it’ll, it’ll establish artists, but it will all also distinguish you in very, very, very unique ways in the mind of that collector because you’re doing stuff that’s interesting, it’s entertaining, it’s enjoyable, it’s stimulating. It’s fascinating. It’s dimensional, and it’s therapeutic.
Eric Rhoads 27:23
Well, Jay, thank you so much. I know all the artists and galleries watching this are are going to get a lot out of it. And I I know that you’re busy, everybody’s calling you for consulting at this time and, and I just want to thank you for spending the time with us today.
Jay Abraham 27:36
I really want to acknowledge I think what you’ve created is such a vital value that will give them direct access. It’s a greatest right this moment, the greatest life you know, lifeblood you, you as a gallery owner can give to A collector that needs you right now they actually need you for for their own, their own great, you know peace of mind take advantage of that. You could mean there’s never been where there’s a one party thought in our lives. We are rewarded in our lives for the amount of problems we solve, and the amount of opportunities we make possible for others. Everyone today is in enormous strife. We are suffering if you can help relieve and and temporarily stop that suffering and turn suffering into joy. And that joy is dimensionally something beyond what your competitors even seek to do and you’re introducing them to experiences and opportunities and and creations That can really transform their mindset their lives. They’re mean it this is just a wonderful opportunity if people grasp it. That’s all I want to say.
Eric Rhoads 29:11
Thank you, Jay.
Jay Abraham 29:13
You’re welcome Eric.
Eric Rhoads 29:14
Well, I hope you found this helpful. Take action. Don’t wait. Thanks again to Jay Abraham for letting me do this and give you some information. A reminder to schedule yourself at the rescheduled plein air convention in August in Santa Fe. You don’t want to miss it. This is the first summertime that we’ve done it usually do it in spring. Come while you can in summertime. And then also make sure you enter the extended plein air salon art competition at pleinairsalon.com. If you’ve not seen my blog, where I talk about life and art and philosophy, it’s called Sunday coffee. And you can find it and subscribe for free at coffeewithEric.com up to about a quarter million readers. I can’t believe that people keep forwarding it to people. I love this. Thank you so much. I really as well. It’s fun doing this, I’m sorry, the circumstances are such that we have to talk about survival. We’re going to get through this. We’ll get through it together. Remember what Jay says, and that is this will have an end. And things probably will get better when the end comes. And so hang in there, be strong, stay secluded. Don’t talk to anybody. Don’t shake hands, get a lot of painting done. And watch for me on Facebook Live and I’ll do things for you. You can follow me on Facebook, Eric Rhoads or on Instagram. And I’d love for you to do that. Now I don’t have Public Accounts on either of them. So I have a limit. But you can still follow even if even though I don’t have a public account, I don’t do a public account because I want to see what the people are doing that are friends with me. So anyway, I’m Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of plein air magazine. Remember, it’s a big world out there. Don’t shake hands with it, but go paint. I’ll see you bye bye.
This has been the plein air podcast with Plein Air magazine’s Eric Rhoads. You can help spread the word about plein air painting by sharing this podcast with your friends. And you can leave a review or subscribe on iTunes. So it comes to you every week. And you can even reach Eric by email Eric at plein air magazine calm. Be sure to pick up our free ebook 240 plein air painting tips by some of America’s top painters. It’s free at pleinairtips.com. Tune in next week for more great interviews. Thanks for listening.