Reprinted with Permission by Renée Phillips - If you visit the more than 120 articles I’ve written for you on this website you’ll probably find thousands of sales tips for artists. In the interest of saving you time, I like to occasionally offer bite-size morsels of information with links to further reading. This article includes 10 of The Best Sales Tips for Artists. You may want to pour yourself a cup of tea and relax as you devour them and their related articles, or save this page to return again.
Help Your Customers Visualize a Purchase
If you want to sell art directly to art buyers you must have an in situ page on your website where you post high-quality, accurate images of your art installed in homes, offices, public spaces, hospitals, etc. Potential buyers want to be able to visualize your art in their own interiors relative to scale, balance, color, and other elements.
Begin Your Holiday Art Marketing in September
Don’t wait until November to scramble for last minute holiday art sales. Start by announcing in your email newsletter and social media campaign how your art makes great holiday gifts. Every week or so send an email showing special holiday pieces that may be ordered in advance, especially if you do commission works of art or sell limited edition prints.
You might want to write an art blog post about it or create a separate Holiday Art Ideas page on your website.
Add Details of Your Artwork
If you have a lot of detail or interesting texture in your art that isn’t easily interpreted in your full-scale images, add details of your artwork in your gallery or portfolio section of your website and also on social media. Otherwise, what might be some of the best features of your art may go unnoticed.
If you’re a 3-D artist, don’t forget to supply various views of your artwork.
Consider adding a short video that includes close-up views of your artwork.
Keep Sold Art on Your Website
Don’t remove “sold” work in your online gallery. Identify it as “sold” and mention any other useful information. For example, if you do commissions supply a link to your commissions’ page or F.A.Q.
Informing visitors that your work is selling is a good thing! In fact, psychologically, when the potential buyer sees your sold works of art they will feel more confident in making a purchase and their interest and respect for you and your art will increase.
Beneath your sold piece, you could add a description, such as “The original painting has been sold. It is in the collection of Advent Corp. Limited edition prints of this painting are available. Please visit my limited edition prints page for details.”
Exceed Your Customers’ Expectations
Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? It tells us that 20 percent of your clients will bring you 80 percent of your business. So, if you’re smart you’ll pay close attention to that 20 percent. In fact, you’ll be wise to treat them with “white glove service”.
Look for ways to build customer loyalty from the very beginning of your relationship. Offer to hand-deliver the work, give them written instructions on how to care for the art, offer a reduction on their next art purchase, and remember them on their birthdays and anniversaries.
Keep Your Credentials Up to Date
Few things are worse than having outdated About / Biography / Resume / CV / Pages. It’s important to show off your most recent career achievements. It’s also a good idea to add future events such as upcoming scheduled exhibitions. Also, provide prominent links to this important page on all other pages and your art blog.
And, if you have an Artist’s Statement page remember to update it to reflect your current creative process.
Set Up an F.A.Q. Page on Your Website
Time is a precious and valuable commodity for both you and your potential buyer. Anticipating your customers’ questions will be much appreciated. They’ll know you take the extra effort when you address their inquiries on your F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions) page.
Answers about shipping procedures and costs, turnaround time for commissions, your procedure for working with galleries, agents, and art consultants, are all very helpful. Also, invite visitors to send you questions via email that you could add to the page.
Seek New Venues to Multiply Sales
Don’t get stuck in a rut by only trying to sell in one market niche. Vary your outlets and venues. Many artists have sold their art through a range of different locales such as cafes, doctor’s waiting rooms, furniture stores, hotel lobbies and yoga studios. Or they have connected with interior designers and art consultants for increasing sales. Furthermore, one fast-growing field is the healthcare art market which includes not only hospitals but also medical treatment centers, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, and more.
Learn About Advertising on Social Media
Have you considered advertising on social media but want to be sure you don’t waste time and money? Well, Hootsuite has created a short and informative video that will help you develop a great advertising plan to help you reach your objectives. You’ll learn the best practices for setting up a social ads campaign, from researching your audience and choosing a campaign type, to crafting engaging visuals and copy.
Hootsuite is the world’s leading social media management platform with over 15 million users — including me — and 800+ of the world’s Fortune 1000 companies. Watch their video here “Best Practices for Setting Up Social Ads Campaigns”: https://youtu.be/jpsbCJGGS_U
Update Your “New Work” Page
If you have a “New Work” section on your website, make sure you update this page often. “New Work” should be taken literally and your visitors should expect to see the page revised at least every few months and the “Old Work” moved to another page. It’s good to let potential art buyers know you are continuously producing art. That’s the sign of a true professional artist.
Also, a “New Work” page gives visitors more reason to see what new art they can add to their existing collection and they’ll visit more often. After you update the page post, an announcement on social media and in an email newsletter inviting them to visit the page. The link to the original article post here: https://renee-phillips.com/10-of-the-best-sales-tips-for-artists/.
Renée Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach, helps artists achieve their fullest potential in consultations and coaching. She offers art-business articles and e-Books on www.renee-phillips.com. As founder/director of Manhattan Arts International, www.manhattanarts.com, she promotes artists in curated art programs and online exhibitions. She is also the founder/editor of The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS, www.healing-power-of-art.org. Renée is a member of the prestigious International Association of Art Critics. She lives in New York, NY.
I was recently asked by Renée Phillips, Director of the Manhattan Arts International, and the Curator of her successful The Healing Power of ART Exhibition, to be a Guest Judge and to provide a special award from the artists who were juried into this art exhibition.
I chose J. Michael Williams' landscape photography as my special award-winning artist due to his nuanced view of landscapes, the outdoors and nature.
His landscape photography provides an intimate voyeuristic vision of nature, rather than a large-scale panorama which is more common in today’s landscapes.
A floating leaf, a moss-covered rock, and a gentle waterfall evoke a closeness to nature and an appreciation for God’s creations. The foreground of his images and their separate details are key to the overall frame that he invites the viewer to inspect.
Though J. Michael Williams’s artworks appear to be simple everyday landscapes, they hold subtle details which delight the eye of the observer.
Below are his artist statement and 5 of his images of his beautiful landscape and nature photography.
Michael Williams’s Statement:
Michael Williams’s is a nature and landscape photographer living in Central New Jersey. Mike started doing photography in his early teens.
Using his grandfather's enlarger, trays, and safelight, he set up a darkroom and learned to do his own B&W developing. In high school, he photographed events for the school newspaper and discovered a love for photographing landscapes and architecture on a trip to Italy. Over the years since that time, Mike has continued to develop his skills as a photographer.
He is retired from a career in pharmaceutical research and able to devote more time to his photography. Mike now does exclusively digital photography and primarily makes landscape and nature images.
He works to give the viewer the sense that they are standing before the scene as he saw it. Mike’s images are recognized for their serene peaceful nature and have been selected for the healing art programs of several New Jersey hospitals and clinics.
His work has also appeared in juried exhibitions and New Jersey galleries including the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council Gallery in Newton, the Marie L. Matthews Gallery in Princeton, the 70 South and the Atrium Galleries in Morristown.
Michael Williams states this about his journey as a landscape photographer, “The challenge for a photographer is to breathe life into a two-dimensional image – to make it appear to the viewer that the original scene is before them. It is through the skillful use of light, contrast, color, and composition that an image takes on depth and dimension allowing the viewer to experience the emotion that compelled the photographer to make the image. I strive to create images that allow me to revisit places I found moving or peaceful, mysterious or enchanting. I want to feel that I could reach into the image and touch the leaves or feel the water rushing by. I am glad to be able to share these experiences through my photography.”
His website can be found here: www.jmwilliamsphotography.com
Also, please look and explore Renée’s wonderful The Healing Power of ART Exhibition.
Manhattan Arts International has been presenting “The Healing Power of ART” exhibitions for more than 17 years. “We believe that art has the power to heal, inspire, provoke, challenge and offer hope. It holds the power to ignite the flame in our hearts and transform our minds.”
This year’s theme is “Inspiring The Positive”: Art that serves as a catalyst for healing and raises awareness for positive change.
By Renée Phillips, Guest Blogger -Have you ever wondered why some artists seem to attract loyal collectors that follow them everywhere and buy multiple works of art? When you take a closer look at their behavior you may discover it’s not that they were born to be salespeople. Instead, these artists may be amiable individuals who have learned to practice the art of customer service. They have integrated a simple basic rule I highly recommend you follow: Treat all potential and existing art buyers like royalty. Give them the V.I.P. treatment.
Practicing excellent customer relations may be one of the most essential components when selling art. According to an American Express report in 2011, 70% of American consumers were willing to pay 13% more with businesses they believed to provide excellent customer service than those that didn’t. These statistics may explain why some artists succeed in making sales while equally talented artists fail.
In this article, I offer several suggestions to make selling art with a focus on customer service an enjoyable, creative and rewarding experience.
Treat Potential Buyers Like V.I.P.s
I can recall attending many artists’ opening receptions in New York when I’ve been escorted to a separate private room off the main exhibition space. In this room, Champagne is served in crystal glasses and I’m in the company of other art writers and collectors. It’s obvious the artist has taken the extra step to accommodate special guests. While this opportunity offers us the opportunity to meet other leaders in the art and business community we remember this experience and are motivated to become loyal followers.
Try this yourself at your next exhibition. If you don’t have a separate room, consider holding a preview V.I.P. party for your favorite collectors an hour before your show opens to the general public. Or, invite them to your private studio a few days in advance of the exhibition for a preview of your latest works. This step may lead to pre-exhibition sales and those impressive red dots on the artwork. Don’t forget to write on your invitation “Please Attend A V.I.P. Art Event”.
Offer Your Buyers The “White Glove” Treatment
You probably had the experience of purchasing an expensive piece of furniture and received the “White Glove” delivery service. As you recall that fond memory, consider adopting the same luxurious treatment when interacting with your art buyers. Show every person or business that purchases your art how grateful you are by going the extra mile.
You could offer to hand deliver your large works of art to the buyers’ homes or offices. With this service, you might include your assistance in selecting the right location. Demonstrate your knowledge of proper art hanging and design techniques and provide instructions on how to care for your art.
On this visit, you may discover other areas in their homes or offices that could use your art, so the visit may lead to future art sales.
Perhaps consider taking your buyer to the framer with your work to help them select the right frame that will match their décor.
Give Art Buyers Unexpected Perks
Maintain a record of your customers’ birthdays and other special occasions. Send them a special gift such as a box of printed note cards, one of your art books, a calendar or print -- featuring your artwork -- with a personalized note. Choose the appropriate gift in proportion to the amount the buyer has paid for your art.
You don’t need a royal budget to treat others like royalty. It’s often the small heartfelt gestures that are most meaningful. For example, if you know your collectors’ favorite snack or beverage, have them ready to offer when they come for a studio visit. Or, make a follow-up phone call and/or email to the buyer after your sale to see how they are enjoying their artwork.
How Can You Go The Extra Mile?
Most acts of courtesy require little more than your sincere desire to express kindness to others who are important in your life and your art business. I encourage you to use your creativity and imagination to “go the extra mile” and shower these individuals with authentic appreciation.
When you focus on ways to show how much you value your customers, before, during and after the sale, you’ll go a long way in strengthening your relationships. You’ll be rewarded with a solid base of customers and a prosperous career.
Renée Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach, helps artists achieve their fullest potential in consultations and coaching. She offers art-business articles and e-Books on www.renee-phillips.com. As founder/director of Manhattan Arts International, www.manhattanarts.com, she promotes artists in curated art programs and online exhibitions. She is also the founder/editor of The Healing Power of ART & ARTISTS, www.healing-power-of-art.org.