Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Van Gogh Marketing Syndrome Can Kill Your Business

Vincent Van Gogh was an artistic genius. His work is an inspiration to artists and coveted by art fanciers. He was a superb artist. He challenged the norms and created powerful art. Van Gogh was unique. He was a master of his craft. He was a prolific artist. Today many of his paintings sell for millions of dollars. However, he was a failure as a business owner.

If you fancy yourself an expert, a genius, or a Van Gogh of your field – wake up before you’re dead. Don’t base your business model on Van Gogh. Don’t get lost in your art. Van Gogh believed that his magnificent art would sell itself. He didn’t like to sell. He didn’t believe in marketing. Look at what happened to him. He died a penniless man.

Today Van Gogh’s art sells for millions of dollars. However he never saw a penny of that money. Poor man, he died a pauper. His tale is one sad example of a financial disaster. And it’s one from which you can learn. A business that neglects selling and marketing will soon be out of business.

If you consider yourself a professional, technical expert or artist, learn from the mistakes of Van Gogh – quickly – if you want to grow your business. When I research and work with these folks I often find that their business is suffering because they are reluctant and uniformed in marketing their business. They mistakenly believe that being good at their craft is enough. Poor fools.

During his lifetime Van Gogh was not appreciated for his work. Apparently he sold only one painting while he was alive – and the purchase was secretly made by his brother. His brother bought the painting to encourage Vincent. As the story is told, it had the opposite result. When Vincent Van Gogh discovered his brother’s well-intentioned deception – Vincent was angry and became more depressed. He probably blamed everyone else and failed to realize that like it or not he needed to improve his marketing and selling.Instead of being encouraged by his brother’s support, Vincent Van Gogh was more depressed at the lack of public appreciation for his art. Sometimes those who care about you will encourage you because they believe that is what you need. Maybe what you really need is to be told the truth. You need to improve your marketing.If you are in business for public adoration, get out of the business fast. Because, public appreciation comes and goes. And media appreciation is most fickle. One day you are the rose – the next day you are the thorn or plant food.Vincent Van Gogh never realized that he was first a business owner. He didn’t understand that his number one job was to sell his art. His number two job was to market his value. His number three job was to paint. That’s a tough lesson for creative artists to understand. Be clear on your job priorities in your business.Now he is dead and his paintings sell for millions of dollars. Don't let your business fall victim to the Van Gogh Syndrome. Don’t cut off your ear or wait for your death to be your greatest marketing event. Make more money while you are alive by learning how to market and sell better. Don’t count on the art to sell itself.

If you want to paid to paint you first need to market and sell your art.

©George Torok is the co-author of the national bestseller, Secrets of Power Marketing. The book is published in seven countries. Get your free copy of “50 Power Marketing Ideas” at Find more marketing tips and insights at To arrange for George Torok to speak to your next business meeting or conference call 905-335-1997


Monday, July 04, 2011


Publish and you will prosper.
Writing and publishing your words can be an effective way to market yourself. These days it is so easy publish. You don’t need to write a book to be published. It could be as easy as publishing articles on your blog, FaceBook or the article directory sites.

Publish to position yourself as an expert.
Even though it is so easy to publish – many are still unpublished. That means we respect those who are published. Being published suggests that you have expertise. That might mean knowledge, experience or simply opinion. The three of those together qualify you as an expert. Consider that there are very few experts who are unpublished.

Publish to enhance your perceived value.
The ability to write is a valued skill. In order to be published you must first develop your writing skills. If you are published we assume that you have the writing skills. If you have the writing skills but aren’t published then no one knows or appreciates your skill.

Publish to generate leads.
Write and publish enough and you will receive business leads for your service. The more informed you appear, the more practical you sound and the more controversial you seem – the more likely you will generate real business leads with your writing.

Publish to provide additional value to your clients.
Help your clients better understand your product, your service and how those can them. The extra clarification, tips and idea will be appreciated as follow-up added value. Send them the links or print and send hard copy via snail mail.

Publish to think about and explore new ideas and perspectives.
The more you write and publish – the more you will be forced to explore new ideas and add substance to them. In fact a wonderful way to improve your understanding of your topic is simply to write about it. You will need to understand the concepts better to put them into print. If you want to trigger your brain for new articles, just start asking yourself probing questions about the topic.

Go ahead – write and publish.

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Published on Article Ezines