As professional artists we have to be in it for the long game because to sell art is a speculative business. We need to build our audience, get to know gallerists, join artists’ clubs, attend art events and learn the many skills required for successful marketing strategies.
We build up an art loving audience by identifying our perfect buyer and go to the places where they go – on and offline. We get to know them individually, ask questions, find out what they like and why and we make friends. We value these relationships. We reach out to them with our valuable content. We communicate regularly with them about our art. We let them know we sell our art.
We create an email template and send it out regularly, sharing it on social media. We let our followers know about our art news and what we’ve created. We allow our audience a glimpse inside our world, we give them things they value, we share our knowledge and tips. We link to where we sell our art and where to read longer articles on our website. My art newsletter sign up.
We create professional profiles that deliver the type of content that our audience expects to see from us. We engage on social media in an authentic way, finding our brand tone (I tend to be real, friendly, professional and a bit cheeky). We build our online presence by being consistent, sharing posts on relevant topics and by communicating clearly – we punctuate and use spell check! We choose a social media platform that we enjoy using as our main focus and then we use something like Buffer to automatically post to other platforms, so we can reach out to art lovers on their preferred platform. We use relevant hashtags, so we can reach people who share the same interests. We link back to our own website to bring traffic to our art portfolio or we link to our art newsletter sign up page, to gain more dedicated followers. Follow me on: Instagram Twitter Facebook
We find beautiful buildings to exhibit in, where our artwork can be videoed and photographed looking Instagram worthy. We seek establishments that have a mailing list, that host regular events, that have a ready made audience or passing trade. We find places that have security or has someone there, so we don’t have to be in attendance the whole time. We make sure we get a month duration for the show because it takes a lot of energy to pull together an exhibition. We team up with other artists and pool our audiences for exhibitions, that way our audiences benefit from experiencing more varied art and they are more likely to be prepared to purchase something they like. Also, artists by their very nature are art lovers and they often collect art themselves. We hang our art at home and change it around often and invite people over. We give art talks to give a deeper understanding of our art and we collect stories about how our art is received.
Art studio visits
We invite art lovers into our art studio. It’s a privilege to be invited to see where the magic happens. It might seem a little mundane to some of us but to other artists and non artist alike, it’s fascinating. I love seeing where other artists produce their artwork. Our audience will also get to see pieces that they may not get to see otherwise. We take the time to set up the camera to make time-lapses when we’re making, so people can get an insight of the varying stages of how the art was made.
We invest in our own website, with a personalised domain name that is easy to say and we can send it out a link. We possibly have our own web shop too or we upload our art to a commercial gallery web shop where we pay commission on sales. We learn and use SEO, so our artwork is easily searchable on Google. We take high quality photographs of our art and create interior mock ups, so that art lovers find it easier to imagine what it would look like in their space. We take self portraits standing next to our art, to give scale and so that people can judge the colours better. We let people know what we look like. We publish personal stories about the inspiration behind our art.
Every sale starts with a conversation, so we say, “Hello” and take it from there. Often art collectors want a piece from each local artist they know. They know they will buy from us eventually, so we can trust it will happen – they just need time to connect with something we’ve made. We put a little goody bag in with every sale – maybe a personal note, a sticker and a postcard. We learn how to package our artwork for safe transit, making sure we reinforce the corners with plenty of cardboard.
We love to see photos of what our art looks like when it finds its home.
Thank you for reading and while you are here, please feel free to browse my art.