When marketing art, artists often fail at their ability to sell from the studio. There seems to be an underlying tension between collectors and artists when collectors are buying art from an artist.
Collectors have expressed a concern that artists tend to present problems that are not faced in galleries. For artists who do not have gallery representation, here are seven steps to marketing art like an expert.
When greeting potential buyers make them feel comfortable and welcome. You should have printed materials readily available about your bio, exhibition history or other relevant information. Take the time to show the buyer, what they want to see and talk about how you created the work of art. You could also have a TV screen showing your portfolio, previous exhibitions etc.
Talk to your buyers about you and your art, and why you do what you do. Avoid lecturing the buyer and do not become argumentative. However, if your buyer truly expresses an interest in having a conversation you should engage them as an artist not a salesperson.
Arrange your studio in such a manner that you have a location expressly reserved for the finished works of art. Trying to arrange this section of your studio to appear as a gallery will make buyers more comfortable in viewing your art. Keep in mind that traditionally many buyers/collectors are accustomed to seeing the finished works of art in a sterile environment. Remember you are marketing art and if your showroom space is cluttered and dimly lit it will be very difficult for potential buyer to truly assess your work of art.
Sell buyers what they are interested in not what you are interested in. This is a mistake by many artists when marketing art, they presume they know what the buyers looking for however the buyer may be interested in older works of art or something entirely different than what you envisioned for them. Remember, it’s their money, so allow them to buy what they want or are interested in, rather than forcing your views on them.
Try to sell to buyers with a wide range of budgets. Even if buyers clearly have a modest or low-budget, if somebody has expressed interest in your art try and sell to them. The more opportunities you have for others to see your art the more opportunities you will have to sell additional pieces of art.
Pre-price all of your work before allowing buyers to see it. This is where many artists go wrong when marketing art, by trying to price their art on the fly. This often leads to different prices between competing buyers. The downside to this is in many cases; buyers may talk to each other and find out that you’re offering different prices to different individuals. If you are wishy-washy about the price of your art you can expect it to rub off on buyers, and they too will be wishy-washy about whether to buy your art or not.
One of the key principles to marketing art from your studio is to have regular business hours. Even if you can only open your studio, for one or two hours a week to allow buyers the opportunity to view and purchase your art this should be clearly posted.
Follow these seven art marketing time and find success.