Pick Up Some Juicy Ways to Find New Buyers
Here are a few things I think nearly any artist can do for free or without spending very much money to find new buyers, generate genuine interest and make more sales. Succeed at a mere handful of these suggestions and watch your business grow.
I’m not saying they don’t take effort or some money, but what successful program doesn’t? Now is neither the time to sit it out or to hope someone will come along and make things magically happen for your career.
- Ask a family member to buy or introduce you to someone who might.
- Ask a friend or colleague to buy or introduce you to someone who might.
- Befriend an interior decorator.
- Seek influencers. You know who they are. The people everyone goes to for advice.
- Write a 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.
- Paint your car into an art car. It’s a showstopper idea that works!
- Do a series of targeted postcards campaign.
- Get listed in every local phone book and local directory… don’t stop there… online directories, too!
- Go to Chamber of Commerce, or other such business social meetings… and be social. Get to know people. Not everyone is a buyer, but all are sources of referrals for you.
- Be involved in a local charity.
- Start a meetup group to visit local galleries or wineries.
- Have an annual party for collectors and friends.
- Never leave home or studio without brochures, postcards, or if nothing else business cards, to show when asked what you do.
- Arrange interviews with local radio hosts on a relevant subject you’ve studied, e.g., the benefit of the WPA arts projects and how it relates to today. Or, how the arts add monetary value to the community. Pick a passion project and promote it.
- Send a personal handwritten thank you on note cards with your art to everyone who shows an interest. Ask them to visit your website, studio, or next show.
- Get the email address of everyone you meet. Send them a note and offer to put them on your mailing list with the 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 events in your area. Get every email address you can get. Be relentless.
- 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… discover the pleasure of amazing yourself with your possibilities once you stop getting in your own way.
- Find and befriend those talented people who are not interior design professionals, but who always seem to be helping others with working on their home.
- 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, Frida Kahlo or Georgia O’Keefe was eccentric and creative beyond belief, or provide 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.
- Get local picture framers to carry your work and recommend it.
Be your own best agent and marketer. No one can talk about your art the way you do.
Do you have a plan to find new buyers? They are all around once you start looking.