Are you stuck wondering how to find buyers for your art? You’re not alone!
I often get asked how to find customers for art, and how to get your work in front of the right people that are going to buy. Here are some tips to help you find the right buyers for your artwork.
A lot of people think that the wider they cast the net, and the more people they speak to, the bigger the chance they have of making sales. That’s not actually true though.
What we need is we need to get our product (and when I say product, I’m talking about art) in front of the right people. We need to get it in front of the right audience. You can have the absolute best product in the world but if you are putting it in front of the wrong people, you will never ever sell it. I’m going to use a really silly example here. Imagine you’re selling skiing equipment, and you’re trying to sell it to people in the Maldives – you’re going to have a really hard time because there’s no snow in the Maldives!
A lot of artists have their product and want to tell everybody about it, but actually they aren’t talking to the right people so it falls completely on deaf ears. It’s important to be clear about who your audience actually is so you can find customers for your art.
In order to find your audience, you need to get really clear on your work and what it is that makes it unique. What is it that makes it appealing? What is the benefit to the customer when they own a piece of your work? Your clients are looing for a solution to their problems. I know what you’re thinking – “hang on a minute, Amanda, I sell art, I don’t solve people’s problems”. But in actual fact you do! You’re a problem solver without even realising it! Some people are looking for peace and tranquillity. If they see a piece of artwork that instils that feeling into them, you’ve solved that problem. Some people are looking for style and quirkiness and to give their home personality. If your art does that you solved that problem. Easy right?
Ask yourself those really deep questions. What is it about my art that people love? What makes it unique? And how does it help people? Once you know that, then go out and research your audience. If you think you don’t have an audience yet, or you’re too new, or don’t have an idea of where to start to find the right buyers for your art, don’t panic.
If you’ve already made sales, the easiest place by far to start is to ask your existing customers. Simply get in touch with them and just say, “can I ask you a few questions? I’m trying to build my art business, I’d love to know, what was it about the piece of art you bought from me that really hit home emotionally?”. Quite often they may say they liked the colour of it, or it fit in with their dining room decor, but try digging a little deeper. If they respond with saying they liked the colour of it, ask how that colour made them feel. Keep drilling down – go subtly though, you don’t want to come across as a sergeant major here!
But you just want to keep drilling down until you get to the real emotion behind the purchase. Perhaps your client was feeling quite flat with life in general, and when they saw your work it made them feel hopeful and full of joy again – that’s the reason they bought the art, not just because it goes with the dining room decor. Interviewing your existing or past customers can be a goldmine of information!
You can also notice clues and breadcrumbs of knowledge on your social media feed. Look at the comments people are leaving on your work. Don’t worry about the emojis or thumbs up because that’s not useful in terms of your customer research, but take note of the actual conversations and comments people leave. Just on that note – if somebody comments and they leave a comment, like, “Oh, I love this piece”, get back to them and ask what is it in particular they were drawn to. This is a great way to start a whole conversation, and conversations ultimately can lead to sales without being too salesy.
So to recap. Get really clear on your art – what is it that people love about it? And what’s the benefit to them? That’s the main thing. Go and find your people, and dig and find those words, those emotionally connected words which are the deep down reason that they’re drawn to your work. Take that information, and you can use it in your future marketing, and that is how you attract the right customers for your art.
There is another part of this equation, which I’ll do another blog post about in the future, but you have to have a great product. You have to have the right audience, so be talking to the right people about your product. And the final piece of the puzzle is the messaging, because you can have a superb product and exactly the right audience but if you’re not communicating about your artwork in the right way, that message will get lost in between you and your ideal customer.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and it will be useful to help you find customers for your art. If you liked this blog post, why not join my free masterclass which will give you 4 simple steps to make money from your art. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram where I share more tips and advice for artists too, and you can also start receiving clear, focussed information on how to build your dream art business direct to your inbox!