This is part of the series Selling Your Art in the Modern Economy (intro). Read the previous ones to get the full picture: part 1 Get Personal, part 2 Website, part 3 Email, part 4 Target Market, and part 5 Outreach.
I’m in the grocery store the other day with my list – I always carry a list or inevitably I’ll forget something vital. And I see these candied pecans. I’ve been wanting to snack healthier and pecans are my favorite nut.
They weren’t on the list, but I bought them anyway.
Because food is a necessity. I know they’ll get eaten and it feels worth my money to buy food items that look enticing.
I’m sure you can relate to grocery shopping and picking up something that wasn’t on your list just because it looked good.
THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE ASSUME SHOPPING FOR ART IS LIKE SHOPPING FOR GROCERIES.
People view art’s place in their lives very differently from how they view groceries’ place in their lives.
If you give someone the choice that they can either live without new food for a month or live without new art for a month, it’s pretty obvious they’re going to skip the art and make sure their bellies are full.
So approaching selling your art the same way people sell necessities like groceries, appliances, or cleaning supplies is a huge mistake.
You can’t expect people to buy art from you just because they saw it and liked it.
Honestly, it does happen. I’ve bought art like that before. But it doesn’t happen often enough to make a fulltime income for an artist.
YOU HAVE TO GIVE PEOPLE A REASON TO BUY YOUR ART RIGHT NOW.
Otherwise, they’ll talk about buying it and think about buying it and say, “Oh I’ll do that when a little extra money comes in.” or “Oh, that will be a great birthday gift for myself.”
They’ll give themselves a reason why it would be ok – in the future.
It’s rare that they’ll give themselves a reason why it would be ok right now.
It’s usually something they want to do someday. And they truly believe they will. But then they don’t.
If you give them a reason why buying the art now would be better, they’ll buy.
It’s not that they’re against buying the art. They just need a nudge. They need you to justify it for them.
THIS IS WHERE LAUNCHING YOUR ART COMES IN.
“Launch” is just a scary term for creating some extra buzz when you’ve got something new available.
For instance, I just had a client “launch” a new collection of paintings. She wrote a number of emails and social media posts and contacted a bunch of media outlets. She got some buzz going so that it felt more important and people would want to be a part of the beginning of that collection.
She also talked a lot about how many pieces were left, making it clear that if you want an original you’ll have to act fast or someone else will buy it first and then it’s gone.
There’s a lot more to launching that makes it work well, like preparing people for the launch and building the emotional connection, but the main concept is just creating a lot of attention so people want to be a part of the hubbub.
You may even want to try a primarily pre-selling launch like I described on Marketing Creativity a while back.
Launching, instead of just telling your followers out of the blue that you have something available for sale and then never speaking of it again, will absolutely guarantee you more sales if you’ve been doing all the work from the previous parts of this series.
So your action task this week is to write a plan for launching your next piece, print, or collection with more pizazz. To help you out, I’ve got a free launch outline for you.
This is part of the series Selling Your Art in the Modern Economy. To get the full picture, make sure you read the introduction, part 1 get personal, part 2 Website, part 3 Email, part 4 Target Market, and part 5 Outreach.