Neil McKenzie - Fine Artist

Neil McKenzie

Centennial, CO - United States

 
 
 

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Neil McKenzie

Centennial, CO - United States

Neil McKenzie - Fine Artist

Member Since:

April 15th, 2013

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19

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About Neil McKenzie

Neil McKenzie is the author of The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox - How to Start, Run and Market a Successful Arts or Creative Business. He has developed and teaches the course “Artrepreneurship” at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Neil has over 30 years’ experience as a management consultant and marketing executive, working with some of the world’s top brands. Neil is a frequent lecturer to artists and arts organizations, a guest columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine, where he covers the creative sector of the economy, and the author of several articles for Americans for the Arts.

The Artist's Business and Marketing ToolBox is available in softcover from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and as an eBook from Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Connect with Neil on Twitter @neilmckenzphoto

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Next to creating your art, the most important function in your art business is marketing. If you are not concerned about marketing then you are more likely just pursuing your passion or engaging in a hobby. If you are looking to grow your brand, expa... 

Typically we think of a business card as something you hand out when you meet somebody. If you create the right card and use the proper marketing strategies you can leverage your business card to be more than just something to leave behind with your... 

My Artrepreneurship students at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State University of Denver are required to prepare their Product List as one of the first steps in developing their business and marketing plans. At first glance this seems eas... 

There is an old sales adage that says “sell the sizzle not the steak”. For most art and creative products there should be a lot of sizzle to talk about. Have you ever noticed that in some restaurants that the kitchen is out in the open or that the wa... 

If you sell your art you are in business! Whether you are just selling your art as a hobby, to make extra income or you are going all out in your art business you need to learn about business. More than likely you went to art school and not business ... 

In working with artists I have seen some very good artist show cards and some which left a lot to be desired. If you are having a show or exhibition of your art work then make sure you make the most of your efforts. Art show cards or postcards are ... 

In working with artists and other creative professionals I find that they are in a wide range of phases with regards to their art businesses. Some are just starting to think about starting an art business while others have a more or less fully develo... 

Today there is no shortage of companies providing any and every product/service and that includes art! In order to stand out in this crowded marketplace it is imperative that you think about your brand experience. A good brand experience will set you... 

“I shot an arrow into the air, It fell to earth, I knew not where…” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Probably not a great marketing strategy! Marketing takes a lot of time, effort and money but you probably already knew that. You need to be as effi... 

One of your goals for the New Year should include a little reflection on what you are good at as well as those areas that need improvement. You strengths help you stand out among the competition and have a lot to do with the overall success of your a... 

Now is a great time to think about all of the opportunities you could discover and take advantage of in the coming year. This year make it a point to find new opportunities for you as an artist and for your art business as well. Knowing what your ... 

One of your goals this year (and for every year as well) should be to come up with ideas and make changes that will help you become more productive and efficient. You have heard the old saying “Time is money”, this applies to your art business as wel... 

One of your goals for the New Year should be to create a budget for your art business. In the linked article I explain why it is important to put together a budget along with a cash flow budget template you can use to create your own budget. Please... 

Word of mouth can be one of your most effective marketing tools and two of the forms it comes in are testimonials and referrals. In an age where most people are sceptical of traditional forms of advertising they have substituted feedback and recomme... 

As 2014 comes to a close now is the time to think about and plan the direction for your art business in the coming year. Good business and marketing planning starts with the formulation of goals for the major functions in your business. In the link... 

One of the things I have finally gotten around to is arranging my inventory which in this case is not paintings or prints but articles. I have indexed four years of articles so that they will be easier explore for my readers. I invite you to check ... 

During the holidays we are exposed to a lot of packaging and the wrapping of gifts. Good packaging can bring out many emotions like anticipation, surprise and delight. Packaging for your art should not be just a holiday activity but one you should ... 

When starting a new art or creative business (or any other business for that matter) you will be faced with choosing a legal form of organization for your company. In fact you may have already made that choice whether you are aware of it or not. T... 

As the holiday season approaches there are a lot opportunities to visit art shows, exhibits, fairs and let’s not forget online art galleries. You may be planning your own show or exhibition for the holidays or possibly adding a holiday theme to your... 

One business model for your art business could be producing and selling a series of prints, photographs, sculptures or multiple copies of any artwork. The advantage of this model is that it allows you to leverage the work or designs you have created... 

Each day we are bombarded with literally thousands of sounds and images in the form of advertisements trying to get us to notice a product or idea and then persuade us to take some form of action – buying a product or supporting an idea or cause. It... 

The reasons for having a website are so that your existing customers can find you and new customers or prospects will be exposed to you and your work. Just like your business, you will need to promote your website to generate traffic or “visits.” ... 

Building Your Artist Website

October 24th, 2014

Today there are a lot of options available to you to build your website and develop a web presence for your art business. You can build a website yourself or have somebody else do it for you. You can also spend a little money to develop an effective... 

In the previous article, Artists – Why You Need a Great Website I took a look at how important it is for you to have a web presence for your art business. In this article I explore some of the things or “elements” that make an effective website and ... 

These days having a good website is more important than ever before. The key word is good! Without a website your customers and prospects may not take you seriously and you may not appear professional. From a marketing perspective an online presenc... 

Artists - Are You A Leader?

October 3rd, 2014

You don’t have to be in the military or in politics to be a leader. Leaders come from all walks of life and the art world is no exception. There are leaders in business, the affairs of a community, promoting a cause or idea as well as leaders in a ... 

You need a space to create your art and to conduct your business. This space could be anywhere from your home to multiple retail locations. The use of your space could vary from just a place to create art to an elaborate facility with studios, ware... 

Whether you produce one of a kind art pieces, commissioned works, limited editions or go full out with mass production you need to manage the production and operations areas of your art business. As an artist you make and create things and in man... 

I recently viewed Jeff Koons being interviewed by Charlie Rose on his show “The Charlie Rose Show”. Jeff Koons is an American artist that his probably most well known for his bigger than life sculpture “Balloon Dog”. He holds the auction record for... 

An important part of running your art business or any business for that matter is to be able to understand your financial statements and use this information to better manage your business. You may get these statements from your accounting system, y... 

The Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 2001 as a way to help you modify the terms of your copyright with a global license. The organization is known for being a leading player in what has become to be known as the “copyleft” m... 

The people you surround yourself with play an important part in the overall success of your art business. The accounting and finance world can be complex and is ever changing so it is important that you get good advice in running your business. As ... 

One thing most successful businesses have in common is that have a mission that defines why they exist, what they hope to accomplish and how they interact with the world around them. For many companies this mission is distilled down into a statement ... 

Competitive advantages are the things that allow a company or organization to outperform its competitors in the marketplace of products, services and even ideas. These advantages can take on many forms from brick and mortar facilities to more intangi... 

Sales Taxes & Compliance For Artists When working with students or people just starting an art business, I ask the question of how many of them have made a sale. Usually several hands are raised. I then ask them how many of them have a sales tax l... 

An important step in developing business and marketing strategies for your art business is to take a look at your competition. Very successful companies focus on their customers but that is not to say they don’t keep an eye open for what the competit... 

The main and best reason to develop a business plan is so that you have a blueprint to run and grow your business. Imagine trying to build a house without plan. If you are starting a new art business, a plan will help you organize your thoughts and h... 

Artists - Meet Henri Fayol

July 11th, 2014

Henri Fayol wasn’t an artist but he was one of the founders of the art of management. He was one of the first to take a look at an organization and come up with some basic principles of management that should be applied to organizations of all types... 

Every business is challenged with making decisions and your art business is no different. Some of the decisions you make may be creative while others are more business related. More often than not these decisions will have financial implications that... 

If you already run an art business or are thinking about starting one then one of the things you will want to get a good grasp of is management. Whether you are a one man show or employ numerous people you are involved in management. As a busines... 

Generally your work is protected by copyright from the time it is created in a fixed form and becomes the property of the author who created the work. A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been ... 

Artists and creative professionals live and thrive in a world of projects. Projects can be large or small, last from weeks to even years and involve only the artist or a multitude of people. Whatever your project, you need to be efficient in managing... 

Every business needs money to operate and grow and your art business is no exception. It is important that you have a basic understanding of the various ways to finance a business that are available. Most artists start(finance) their businesses wit... 

Direct Mail For Artists

May 16th, 2014

Direct mail is often referred to as “junk mail” but if it is used properly it is anything but “junk”. The usage of direct mail has been declining for many years brought on by the recession and a shift towards digital media. There may not be a better ... 

One of the interesting choices you may have as an artist is to join an artist cooperative, especially if you are just starting out. An artist cooperative is an arrangement where you pool your resources with other artists to obtain studio space and po... 

In these still challenging economic times it is more important than ever to provide world class service. The old adage that keeping an existing customer is a lot cheaper than getting a new one rings even truer today. In a world of endless phone men... 

Ok, at some point in time you may outgrow your studio and need to secure a new creative space. If you are serious about your art and art business, then it is likely you are going to be spending a lot of time working in your creative space. Choose you... 

Ok, you have probably seen them and if you have the proper app you may have even scanned one using your mobile phone. QR codes or 2D barcodes are like product barcodes on packaging where a series of lines or squares (in this case) represent informat... 

Ok, if you are starting your art business you need a good business name. One that resonates with your customers and prospects and one that supports your brand. Your business name says a lot about you – literally! Your business name should be uniqu... 

Ok, one of your goals this year (and for every year as well) should be to come up with ideas and make changes that will help you become more productive and efficient. You have heard the old saying “Time is money”, this applies to your art business a... 

Ok, your brand is one of the most important things in your art business and it will have a large impact on your overall business success. One thing about your brand is that other people will define it, so it’s imperative that you develop and manage i... 

Ok, marketing takes a lot of time, effort and money but you probably already knew that. You need to be as efficient as possible in marketing “the what and to who you offer your art”. Target marketing is matching up the right products with the right... 

Ok, whether you are already using online social networks to promote your art business or you are just thinking about it, one of your goals should be to take a look at how you are using social your social networks. In this article we will take a look ... 

Ok, an important part of running your art business is to be able to understand your financial statements. You may get these statements from your accounting system, your accountant, bookkeeper or even on your phone! In the linked article I am going ... 

Ok, every business needs a budget – your art or creative business is no different. A budget for your business is sometimes called a cash flow budget or cash flow projection. Typically a cash flow budget covers a 12 month period and is updated over ti... 

Ok, Once you have decided to advertise your art business, chosen the appropriate media to run your ad, and decided on the key elements in the ad you are ready to design and place your advertisement. In this article we will take a look at making sure... 

OK, one of your goals for this year should be to take a look at your advertisements and look for ways to make them more effective. Creating an effective ad is more than just having eye catching graphics or a great headline - It is having the right e... 

OK, one of your goals for this year should be to take a look at where you are advertising your art business and make changes to suit your goals, strategies and budgets. Are there places where you should be advertising? Advertising is where you pay... 

OK, one of your goals this year should be to start a program to get testimonials and referrals for you and your art business. Testimonials and referrals can be a powerful tool to help you build your brand and sell more art. A testimonial is either... 

OK, I want you to think about all of the opportunities you could discover and take advantage in the coming year. This year make it a point to find new opportunities for you as an artist and for your art business as well. Knowing what your opportun... 

OK, one of your goals for 2014 should include a little reflection on what you are good at as well as those areas that need improvement. You strengths help you stand out among the competition and have a lot to do with the overall success of your art b... 

OK, with the New Year just getting started, now is a good time to think about your art and business goals for the year(s) ahead. You may have goals that are creative in nature or goals that are more in the realm of business and marketing. Most like... 

Ok, this isn’t the most exciting art business topic but it is something you need to pay attention to. Your records may be electronic or simply paper receipts - these are the kind of things that need to be organized and managed so you can have timely ... 

Make sure you know what you are getting into before signing an agreement with an art gallery. In the previous article, Galleries, Shows, and Other Opportunities to Show Your Work I took a look at a variety of options to show and exhibit your work. In... 

Today there are many opportunities for artists to show and share their work – you just need to be creative! Before you embark on choosing a venue to show your work you need to answer one simple question – “Is my customer likely to visit the venue eit... 

Twitter can be a great tool to help you sell your art but don't overlook all of the great connections you can build and the things you can learn. In this article I will explore some ideas on who you should be following on Twitter, who you should... 

I must admit that when I first heard about Twitter, I didn’t get it… What was I supposed to do with these short 140 character messages and possibly of what value could they be? In the several years that I have been using Twitter it has become my favo... 

I find the use of social media among artists and other creative business people to be all over the board. Some are quite proficient at using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn as well as other social sites, some have a presence and really don’... 

Artists Need A Business Plan

November 15th, 2013

If you are serious about selling art and having a successful art business then you need a business plan! Every business needs a plan including businesses in the arts! A plan will help you organize your business and give it a much better chance to s... 

Networking is one of most important activities your business must perform. Whether your art business consists of only you or you have others in your organization, networking is a must to grow your brand. You’ve heard the saying “It’s not what you... 

You have seen them – pictures of people on their websites, social networking sites, brochures and business cards. It is important that the images of you that you post on social media, your websites and other marketing materials support your brand. Th... 

If you are an artist, photographer or other creative entrepreneur you ARE involved in the world of intellectual property whether you know it or not. Intellectual property deals with the things that are created and gives them certain rights and protec... 

If you are following this series of articles on the basics of Art Marketing you already know that a traditional way to describe marketing is called the Four P’s. The Four P’s are: Product, Price, Place (Distribution) and Promotion. In this article we... 

Financing Your Next Big Project

October 11th, 2013

Maybe you have been thinking about starting a new project that will take a fair amount of time, require substantial financial resources and has a social component such as public education, student lectures, non-profit exhibitions or studio tours. One... 

Most people spend more time planning their vacations that they do their businesses and in many cases even their lives - and artists are no exception! To be successful in business you need to know the answer to one of the most basic questions of busi... 

One of the assignments I give my Artrepreneurship students at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State University of Denver is to view the video on PBS Frontline entitled Digital Nation. I encourage you watch this video as the ideas and trends... 

Branding Brand and Marketing

September 20th, 2013

Brand is usually associated with the marketing world. For some the definition of brand means your logo or logo type. Today brand has come to encompass much more than marketing to include your product or service, the quality you provide, how you treat... 

If you sell your art you are in business! Whether you are just selling your art as a hobby, to make extra income or you are going all out in your art business you need to learn about business. More than likely you went to art school and not business ... 

Unless you are a world famous artist or your work is in such hot demand, people will not buy your art sight unseen. You need to capture the attention of your customers or prospects, sit them down in front of your art and give them a good reason to b... 

Art Marketing – The Place Part of the 4P’s – Direct Marketing If you put two marketing experts in a room and ask them what is the definition of direct marketing they will likely give you twelve different answers! A short definition of direct marke... 

If you are following this series of articles on the basics of Art Marketing you already know that a traditional way to describe marketing is called the Four P’s. The Four P’s are: Product, Price, Place (Distribution) and Promotion. In this article we... 

Art Marketing – Your Gallery Experience OK, if you are reading this you probably already have an online presence on Fine Art America. One of your major challenges in marketing your art is to drive traffic to your online gallery. Your next challe... 

If you are following this series of articles on the basics of Art Marketing you already know that a traditional way to describe marketing is called the Four P’s. The Four P’s are: Product, Price, Place (Distribution) and Promotion. In the first ar... 

Pricing your art is about more than just supply and demand. There are many factors that affect what one is willing to pay for any product including art. Understanding these factors will help you in setting prices that are appropriate for your marke... 

If you are following this series of articles on the basics of Art Marketing you already know that a traditional way to describe marketing is called the Four P’s. The Four P’s are: Product, Price, Place (Distribution) and Promotion. In this article we... 

Next to creating your art, the most important function in your art business is marketing. If you are not concerned about marketing then you are more likely just pursuing your passion or engaging in a hobby. If you are looking to grow your brand, expa... 

It takes more than just having a website, online gallery or gallery show to get more people experiencing your art and ultimately buying from you! In the first part of this series Art Marketing – Use Public Relations To Build Your Website Traffic Par... 

In the first part of this series Art Marketing Use Public Relations To Build Your Website Traffic Part I we took a look at what public relations is and why it is important to growing your art business. It takes more than just having a website, online... 

Every artist or creative professional should be using some form of public relations to build their business and personal brand. It takes more than just having a website or online gallery to get more people experiencing your art and ultimately buying ... 

When working with artists I find that most don’t use one of the easiest tools to take a pulse of the market, check up on their competition and grow their business – talking to their customers! Good organizations are in continuous contact with their c... 

Social media can be a powerful tool for artists to show and sell their work if it is done right. It takes more than having a bunch of friends or followers to connect with the right audience who regularly visit your site and in the end buy your art. ... 

Most everything you do in your art business goes into your brand experience - from creating your art, marketing and sales, to follow up and customer service. Your brand experience exists as you interact with customers and prospects both in the real ... 

You can learn a lot about selling and marketing your art by looking at how other types of businesses sell and market their products. OK, so selling art is not exactly like selling potato chips but they have more similarities than you might think. Wh... 

There is an old sales adage that says “sell the sizzle not the steak”. For most art and creative products there should be a lot of sizzle to talk about. Have you ever noticed that in some restaurants that the kitchen is out in the open or that the wa... 

In working with artists I have seen some very good artist show cards and some which left a lot to be desired. If you are having a show or exhibition of your art work then make sure you make the most of your efforts. Art show cards or postcards are ... 

Running an art business is in many respects just like running any other type of business. There are some basics things you need to make sure that you have covered. In working with artists and other creative professionals I find that they are in a... 

Every artist should have a business card. You need a good business card and I put emphasis on “Good”! I have met many artisans in casual situations and even at art fairs who don’t have a business card. Not only do they miss out on future sales they... 

Elevator Speech for Artists - What's Your Story? Like all business people, artists need an effective introduction when they meet people. Some people call it an Elevator Speech, others call it a 60 Second Commercial – I would like you to start thi...