- by Barney Davey
There are many ways to find art collectors.
Almost any artist can use these ideas without spending lots of money. Learning how to make just a few of these suggestions work for you will help you to sell more art and put your career on firm ground.
Of course, like anything worth having, these ideas will take some effort or investment. To get the best results, you have to put your time in order to understand what will work for you and then in setting up your business to act on them routinely.
Conditions Make This the Best Time to Act.
Home buying, home loan refi rates, consumer confidence and the stock market are the best in years. This is the time start making new plans to get your career trajectory pointing up. As they say in the stock market, you’re looking for the hockey stick pattern on the growth chart.
Here’s your list of 36 Ways to Find Art Collectors on the Cheap:
I know they’re going to help you. You just need to believe and act with smarts, passion, and persistence. Please add your suggestions in the comments. I’d especially love to learn if one of these suggestions takes wings for you.
- Ask a family member to buy or introduce you to someone who might buy your work, or help your career in some other way.
- Ask a friend or colleague to buy or introduce you to someone who might buy your art, or help your career in some other way.
- Befriend an interior decorator.
- Seek influencers. You know who they are; the ones people always go to for advice.
- Write an op-ed column for your local newspaper.
- Give a talk at an upscale 55+ housing development.
- Put art on consignment in alternative spaces, e.g., salons, spas.
- Pitch all the furniture stores in your area.
- Paint your car. Turn it into an art car.
- Alternatively, do a wild vehicle wrap on your car. (Okay, not cheap, but could be fantastic!)
- Buy list of potential collectors and send them a series of targeted postcards.
- Get listed in every local phone book and local directory on and offline.
- Go to Chamber of Commerce social meetings. (The boring business meetings are not worth it.)
- Become a shooter in a local charity, especially arts related ones.
- Start a Meetup group to visit local galleries or wineries.
- Never leave home or studio without promotional materials or at least business cards. You never know when you’ll meet your next collector prospect.
- Rehearse your answer to the ubiquitous question, “What do you do?” Know how to follow up with more comments about your business. Be excited.
- Learn to take great interest in new people you meet. They will return the favor.
- Create a portfolio using Magcloud.com to use as a gift to highly targeted prospects. Bluntly put, most artists would be fools not use this service. You can order 20 copies of a 25-page 8.25″ x 10.75″ glossy portfolio for just over $100 shipped in the U.S. Give them out selectively as gifts to encourage referrals, or impress top prospects.
- Practice asking for referrals. Learn how you can reciprocate to make it powerful
- Arrange interviews with local radio hosts on a relevant subject you’ve studied, e.g., the benefit of the 1930s WPA arts projects and how it relates to today.
- Send a personal thank you to everyone who shows an interest, buys your work, or does a favor for you.
- Get the email address of everyone you meet. Send them a note and offer to put them on your mailing list with a chance to get an advanced purchase discount on your next new print or free quarterly drawing for a print.
- Host an hors d’ oeuvres, wine and art party at someone else’s home or office.
- Have an e-commerce means of selling your art that you control fully, i.e., sell directly from your Web site or blog.
- Start a newsletter about art/cultural events in your area. Get every email address you can get. Be relentless. Become the go-to person who knows the local/regional arts scene.
- Rent an empty retail space and have an “art happening” with other artists and musicians.
- Let your imagination run free and do something you would never do. For instance, cold call a local business to show them your art. If you have prints, offer them as business gifts.
- Find those talented people who are not interior design professionals, but who always seem to be helping others with working on their home decorating.
- Pitch ideas for stories or decorating or other themes involving your art to local morning TV talk shows. Do you have any idea how many people they need to book each week to keep the content fresh and audience interested?
- Be interesting. Learn to tell some art-related stories. Talk about how Picasso was eccentric or anecdotes about artists you admire and why.
- Learn to talk about how you come up with ideas for your art and how it makes you think and feel to produce the result.
- Don’t be shy about asking someone to buy. Often they need to be reassured it is a good suggestion and are waiting for you to lead the sale for them.
- Get local picture framers to carry your work and recommend it.
- Have an annual party for collectors and friends.
- Do something interesting, or charitable, or both and publicize in as many ways as possible.
Learn to be your own best agent and marketer.
No one can talk about your art the way you do. No one can be as passionate about your art as you are. Get connected and transfer how you feel to your collectors. Build a collector base one person at a time and you set a rock solid foundation for lasting art career success.
Any artist can use one or more of these ways to find art collectors and turn it into a career changing action.
You have the power and capability to be the captain and steward of your art career. You can decide you are going to pursue lofty, achievable goals. There is no limit to the amount of good one turned on person can make happen.