Successful Art Careers | Warm Art Marketing | Part Eight

warm markets If you depend on marketing to strangers before your warm art marketing, you are adding degrees of difficulty to your art marketing efforts.

Are You Working Your Warm Art Marketing?

How much of your art sales come from your warm market? If you don’t know, it’s a sure bet the answer is not much.

If you depend on marketing to strangers to first develop awareness about your art and you, and then build interest and desire to own your work, you are adding degrees of difficulty to your marketing efforts.

Don’t Get Hooked on Marketing Just to Strafrangers

In a post here last January, I coined the word, “Strafranger.” I use it to describe all the friends , followers, likers and other such social media platform terms for describing your digital relationships with people.

Word-of-mouth Trumps Social Media

Don’t get me wrong, I believe there is true value in digital relationships, and know that in some cases they can blossom into actual real, live friendships, business acquaintances, and devoted fans. I just don’t advocate chasing them as your primary source of new business.

Live Your Best Artist's LIfe
Live Your Best Artist’s LIfe

Make Social Media Sales Icing on Your Cake

Social media should be the icing on your art marketing cake

While these kinds of relationships are worth pursuing, I think they should be the icing on your warm art marketing cake. Ask yourself how many people you know among family, friends, acquaintances and personal business contacts.

The average person has somewhere around 250 people in their circle. Yours could be larger or smaller, it doesn’t matter because you can easily expand it.

Thinking deeper about your warm market circle, ask yourself how many own your art. How many in your circle know you are an artist? Among those who do know you are an artist, how many have you given marketing materials and asked them to share with their circle?

An Extensive Warm Art Marketing Plan Makes the Best Art Career Foundation

Warm marketing is not just about who you know, it’s about the people in your circle know, and then extending to your exposure to contacts in the third circle. Exponentially, the numbers are staggering. You only need a fraction of a percent as buyers to sell all the art you can make. If you are persistently marketing to total strangers and online strafrangers without first marketing right in your own backyard, you have put the cart in front of the horse.

In today’s market conditions, you need to be as self-reliant as possible. I can’t think of a better way to lay a solid foundation than to use your contacts in your warm market to help you further your art career. I cover how to go about this with class, integrity and results in my Art Marketing Mastery Workshop.

The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.

P.S. There are some interesting comments on this post. Scroll down to read them. You may need to click the “Comments” link to read them.

Making Successful Art Careers Happen Previous Posts 

  1. Making Successful Art Careers Happen | Part One
  2. Successful Art Careers | How to Make Yours Happen | Part Two
  3. Successful Art Careers | Marketing Art Effectively | Part Three
  4. Successful Art Careers | Grow Where You Are Planted | Part Four
  5. Successful Art Careers | The Curse of Thinking Small | Part Five
  6. Successful Art Careers | Using the Rule of Three | Part Six
  7. Successful Art Careers | Artistic Courage | Part Seven


The Guide to Art-related Careers
Learn about art-related Careers.


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  1. I am a little reluctant to use the tactic described above. The “Warm Marketing” smacks a little too much of the kind of marketing & sales done by Amway and other multi-level marketing companies. People don’t like to be used in this way; I also remember how difficult it was to simply get your friends and family to pass on your marketing materials to their friends and family members. Most of them will take the material and then throw it away.

  2. Hi Gail, I understand your reluctance. However, I know there are honest, ethical ways you can network with your “Warm Market” and maintain your dignity and professionalism.

    While it’s true Amway and other MLM companies use the idea of a warm market, it is an unfair comparison to what I am suggesting. MLM companies are asking their agents to recruit other agents to “buy-in” to some money-making scheme.

    MLMs only work for those who constantly bring on new recruits for their downline. They are pyramid schemes where only a tiny percentage of participants are successful. Many often use high pressure and deceitful practices to lure others into hearing their pitch, or joining, which is shameful. So it’s no wonder their marketing materials get tossed out.

    By contrast, there is no shame for you to ask for help in letting others close to you know that you are an artist who has work to sell. You are not asking them to buy into a business plan, join you in business, buy inventory, or expensive marketing materials.

    All you are doing with your warm marketing is to approach others you know, or who they know for an opportunity to show you art. No hard sell, no pie-in-the-sky b.s. If they say no, that’s it, you simply move on.

    It is a hard job to market your art to total strangers, but it’s something most artists have to do to be successful. Nevertheless, when you successfully market your work to those around you so they know you are a professional artist who has beautiful work to sell, you may find assistance coming to you in ways you cannot imagine without trying.

    Of course, you are not going to get 100% participation by marketing to your warm market. When you approach warm marketing with integrity, authenticity and passion, you will find a much higher rate of sales per contact than any marketing you do to strangers.

    Most artists can’t live on what they sell to their warm markets, but they can build a solid core of loyal collectors and fans whose help will boost their ability to succeed in the art business.

  3. Hi Martha, Thank you for your reply. It sounds like you have found a niche. I urge you to keep thinking about other places and ways to move up into higher prices, if you can. Cheers, Barney

  4. Most of my friends and relatives are low-income. They can’t spend money on art. I find the best way for me is coffee houses, local contests, club shows, and outdoor shows.

  5. I agree with you Barney, using your warm contacts is the way to go, I do digital print reproduction for local artists, and I am always asked how should they go about trying to sell their art, everything I tell them comes from your blog. The first thing I tell them is to use your social media network, your friends and family, they know people you do not. Be sure they all understand you are in the business of selling your artwork.

    It should be a lot easier to explain your art to a friend rather than a stranger. It is a good place to develop your marketing skills. Marketing your artwork is a skill that has to be learned, prove to yourself that you can sell your artwork to you social network and it will be much easiier when you confront strangers.

  6. A good point and one that I need to remember. Truthfully I have a really great warm market already but I seldom utilize it. And as far as beating people over the head with it… I can tell when one of my friends is genuinely interested in my art and spreading the word. If they could care less, fine, I don’t press them, but if someone is always talking about how they love me art, it’s easy to say, “Great! Tell your friends” Most of the time they already have. I also get what you’re saying about the downfalls of social media. Individual, one-on-one interactions are so effective… if you make a post on facebook, how many people actually even see it? I know I’ve made posts about something multiple times, only to talk to somebody who said they never even heard about it. So if you know there’s someone who is potentially interested, don’t leave it up to chance that they’ll notice, just talk to them. Well anyway I’m totally new to this but it’s all very fascinating and I really appreciate you sharing your wisdom on the matter!

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