By Guest Blogger, Dan Duhrkoop - As an artist, almost nothing compares to that feeling you get when someone buys your art. It doesn't matter if you make your living selling art, or you just love to create it - that moment when you realize someone else loves your art enough to purchase it forever is an absolute rush.
Of course, for most artists, sales don't happen nearly as often as we'd like. And yet, for anyone trying to take the plunge into that "professional" or "semi-professional" artist category, dependable sales numbers are incredibly important.
So this year at Foliotwist we decided to learn a bit more about how our most successful artists sell their art, in order to find some tips we could pass along to everyone else and here is what we did;
We created a simple survey and sent it out to nearly 200 artists. Roughly 40% replied. After looking over the responses, we found one HUGE, untapped method for increasing sales and it is incredibly simple and even obvious. But many artists never do it or don't do it very often, and as a result, they're leaving a ton of sales on the table.
What is it? Well, let me ask you a question?
Have you ever walked someone through your art website in person?
I'm talking about sitting down with a friend, new acquaintance, or perfect stranger and saying, "Hey, would you like to see some of my art? Let me show you!"
Maybe you've got a phone or tablet that you can use to pull up your website (at Foliotwist, we make our websites work with mobile devices just for that reason). Or maybe it's on that other person's device—either way, there's something incredibly effective about being present and available to discuss your art with the person who's viewing it, right at that moment.
You see, we found something very interesting when we looked at sales numbers among our artists. All but ONE who sold multiple artworks last year had, at some point, directed another person to their website and talked with them during or immediately before the sale occurred.
When we looked at artists who sold 5+ works in the past year, we got an even clearer picture. The large majority of them (over 85%) said half or more of their sales for the entire year came from those kinds of interactions!
In case it helps, the price of the artwork these artists are selling ranges from under $100 to over $2500. So it's not about price (as far as we could tell). It really seems to be just about making that connection with people, and being available to lead them to the "buy now" button on your website, either in-person, or over the phone, or even by email.
In short, we found that our most successful artists were generally more involved in helping the buyer make the purchase.
So that's my challenge, and tip, for every artist looking to increase sales: Can you find ways to personally direct people to your website, and show them artwork they might be interested in? What would happen if you did?
Obviously, your website needs to have a "buy now" button of some kind for the sale to happen but assuming it does, you could potentially double your sales this coming year!
As Wayne Gretzky famously said, "You miss 100% of the shots you never take." So why not take the shot? And if it works for you, tell another artist friend how to do it too. Let's help each other out and get more great art into the world!
Dan Duhrkoop is the editor of EmptyEasel.com, an online resource for artists at every stage in their artistic journey, and the co-founder of Foliotwist, a simple, effective website solution for artists.