If you had the chance to ask me just one question about your art business + career, what would that question be?
I bet I can guess.
Over the last two years that I’ve led the Artist Entrepreneur Network AND answered questions on my #AskCatherine live Q&A sessions, the most common question I’ve gotten from members is “Where do I find buyers for my art?”
I’ve also seen countless posts like…
“My friends love my art, but none of them want to buy it!”
“Are there still people out there who buy art?”
Although the art market is considered to be one of the least transparent industries out there, I can tell you that it’s still a growing one… especially online!
That’s right! According to the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2017 “...the online art market has continued to grow strongly (up 15% to $3.75 billion) against the backdrop of a slowly-increasing global art market.”
So what does this mean for artists (like you) who want to build their brand and sell their art online?
Well, again, like this report says, the opportunities are endless because the trend of selling online is still in its infancy.
“Okay,” I hear you saying. “It’s great that the online art industry is growing and all, but that doesn’t help me get buyers!”
Actually, it does.
Knowing that the online art market is in good shape means that the opportunities are out there – but it’s up to you to grab them!
So if there are buyers out there (and there are), where do you find them?
Or better yet, how do you help them find you?
Here are a few pointers:
First, get rid of the belief that there are no buyers out there.
I know it’s hard, I know you feel like you’ve tried it all. But believe me, that defeated attitude will get you nowhere. As long as you keep believing that you can’t and won’t find buyers, it won’t happen. Period.
Instead of looking for proof that no one is buying, look for proof that artists are selling their work. Once you shift your mindset, you’ll find positive reinforcement everywhere. Write down the success stories you find and be inspired by them to set your own goals.
Second, identify who your ideal collector is and start connecting.
I see artists promoting their art to other artists far too often, especially on social media. Sharing, learning, and getting support from other artists is very important, but the truth remains – other artists aren’t your buyers.
What separates successful from unsuccessful artists is the ability to get laser focused on who your ideal client is and developing a strategy to reach that client. If you want to focus your energy on online sales, this applies more than ever!
The internet is oversaturated with images and information. If you want to reach new buyers, you need to be very clear on who your art is and isn’t for. With that in mind, you will stand out and make meaningful connections.
Third, follow up and follow through.
You can’t leave sales up to chance. Everyone is busy, and “buying art” is rarely on top of a person’s to-do list.
That’s why you need to consistently be visible, engage, and follow up with potential leads who have demonstrated interest in your work. Selling starts by building meaningful relationships – even online!
Whether you are playing with the high rollers or just have your own small online store, it doesn’t matter. The quality of your relationships and your capacity to demonstrate that you have valuable work to offer on a consistent basis will differentiate you from the pack.
Finally, it’s still about the art.
I know I keep encouraging you to approach your art business with a strong entrepreneurial mindset – that is my job! But one mistake I see too many artists make is spending too much time on the business side of things, and they stop creating art altogether!
Remember, you are not in the business of blogging, or vlogging, or tweaking websites. You are an ARTIST! Your art and your voice are really what is going to attract buyers – not only to know you, but to like and trust you.
Don’t forget why you started doing this in the first place!
I’d love to hear from you: what actions will you take to connect with buyers this week? Tell me about it in the comments below!
I can’t stress enough that there are buyers out there and that it’s your willingness to let go of your limiting beliefs and show up every day in your art business that makes the difference.
Believe me, I’ve seen it happen firsthand with my clients. I look forward to reading your comments!
Need help creating a simple, yet profitable plan for your art business? Then download my free guide "The Seven Steps You Need to Build a Profitable Art Business + Career" where I help artists develop a strategy to take their career to the next level. Or, connect with over 17,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and get the help you need!