Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Finding the Artistic Venue That's Right For You

Excerpted from Advanced Strategies for Marketing Art by Constance Smith (Chapter 3)
Momentum OKC 2013 artwork, photo by Rex Barrett
As you start researching places to sell your work, remember that your main goal is to get your work in front of the public for reviewing. If they don’t see it, they can’t react, nor can they buy. Your first aim should not be a New York gallery—or any gallery, for that matter. If that’s your aim, you’re hoeing a difficult path. (Make a gallery your priority only after you have gained a reputation.)

A target market is the group of people toward whom you will concentrate your sales efforts. Many artists overlook sales opportunities that could be quite profitable to them and think only of getting into a gallery. Artists I am acquainted with who are making a living from the sale of their artwork earn most of their income from sources other than galleries. 

Niche market
Take a notebook and answer the questions below. You will then have a better understanding of the specific people who might like to purchase your artwork, where to find them, and how to attract them. This is your niche market. Don’t be misled to think that the larger the niche market, the more sales you will have. Small is good: Word spreads fast in a small group.
Momentum OKC 2013 artwork, photo by Rex Barrett
Who is attracted to my artwork?
  • Men      Women      Children     All         
  • Marital status
  • Ethnic background
  • Age group 
  • Religion
  • Income level
  • Education level
  • What do they read?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • How can I  get their attention? 
  • What are their reasons for buying my art?            
  • What organizations do they belong to?
  • Specific region of the country to sell to?
  • Describe exactly what I am selling.
  • Define more specifically my target market.
  • Features of my artwork.
  • Benefits to buyer: Can I offer something more, something different, something better than my competitors? 
  • Experience, authority, expertise: Why would someone trust me?
  • How will buying my artwork make the customer’s life better?
  • How can people pay for their purchase (credit card, check, terms)? Will this satisfy my target market?
  • Am I able to produce enough original pieces for potential buyers in my target market?
  • Are there any legal considerations in selling my product to this (or any other) market?
Learn from a more in-depth discussion of artistic venue options at the Artist Survival Kit workshop, “Spaces: An Exploration of Artistic Venues" on Saturday, March 9, 1-4 pm at MAINSITE Contemporary Art Gallery in Norman. More information and registration available at www.ArtistSurvivalKit.org

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