Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Sponsoring other pages with free art, what is the balance?
Artists get asked every week to help other pages, organizations with free art for exchange of free advertising, and tax write offs. Nice idea for the people seeking the sponsorship and for the artist that benefits from the free advertisement. But what is the actual balance, who benefits?
As far as a tax write off, there is no benefit for the artist, they cannot write off the sale value of the work, only the materials. So, spending ten hours to give away a free painting in exchange for a post on a fan page, may not be in balance. Artists need to make money for their efforts. I have given away so much to gain exposure so that I could build a fan base. Yet, in retrospect is this the best way to gain exposure by giving gifts to others so that that they can reap the praise of the free prize? I have yet to ever get any more orders from this type of exposure. I was asked again today to be a prize sponsor for a dog page on Facebook for free exposure. I have to think about the time and effort verses what my $100.00 in advertising on FB will get.
Unfortunately, for the pages that want free prizes - the sponsors value is not in balance with the free advertisement. For, really this is not free. It takes six or more hours to paint a 8x10 portrait. I can post
to thousands upon thousands for free without giving away a painting. Each time I post a painting on my page that is free advertising.
Also, the artist has to think, will this build a long standing relationship, or is this just a grab a prize and run? For 2011, I have to be careful where I give. My focus is on helping local rescues and building a stronger fan base on my page, not someone else's page. I'd much rather give away a prize - painting - for continued viewership right here on my own fan page.
Pam's Watercolor Pet Portraits
It is hard to say no, but as a business owner, I have to think about what is best for the business, and sometimes, charity begins at home. I have given away more paintings than I can count, and I will continue to do so, but I have to think about who I'm helping and why. Building a strong fan base can't be out of balance, there must be some equal return for the prize.