As artists, we create something that is unique and special and it’s our obligation to share it with the world. Our art needs us to be able to sell it. It needs you to help it get out there. So here are 5 questions that all artists should be asking themselves when marketing their art.
Do you know why people buy your art?
You are not in the art business. You say that you are in the art business, but in reality, you are in an emotional business. Your art is merely a vehicle for an emotional experience for yourself and others. We transform emotion into a temporal and physical medium, that’s what we really do.
There’s a reason why people buy your art. It moves them, stirs their emotions and makes them think and feel. They up-sell you and they keep coming back because of an emotional experience. Every single purchase of your art that happens is an emotional decision. Our job as artists is to get better at understanding the emotional benefit that people get from our art.
One of our Artist Transformation School graduates, Sara Catena, realized that she is a happiness catalyst. Her art creates the emotion of happiness in her customers. Sure, they like the style of her work, but they come back and buy her art because of the positive emotion that they experience. Since coming to that conclusion, Sara has made happiness her brand and her art business has grown because of this acknowledgement.
Are you marketing the heart, not the art?
Once you know what emotions and reactions your art generate, you need to start telling everyone about it. Focus less on talking about the product and instead start talking about the benefit and value of your art.
How do you and your art actually benefit people’s lives? How does it stretch their minds? How does it open their hearts? There are emotional and intellectual benefits that come from you as an artist and from your artwork. People think and feel differently now because of you and your art.
If you start learning about the impact of your art, you will have marketing language that will do more for you. This is called value-based language. The answer to why people spend their time and their money with you is the key to value-based language. They value you and your art, and that is enough for them to spend their time and their money on you. It’s your job to figure out why, and then just start using those words.
Are you looking at your art from the outside?
One of the best ways to find out what impact your art has on other people is simply by asking them. Many artists I speak to say they can’t sell their own art, but they could sell someone else’s. Why? Because you’re on the outside when you’re selling someone else’s work, you can look at it from a distance and say what you like about it and why.
You have to be on the outside to sell. It’s possible to sell from the inside, but it’s a lot harder. If you are on the inside, you know too much and you tend to talk about it as a product with benefits. When you’re on the outside, you’re talking about what it’s like for people to engage with your art.
The challenge is how to explore the outside world to sell your art. Start by asking your friends, your fans, and even your customers what impact your art has on them.
Are you telling people the right story?
Art is personal and in selling our art we are often selling ourselves. We all have our own story to share but sometimes we aren’t always telling the right version of it.
Think about the story you tell others about yourself. What impression are you giving to your friends, family and
Many artists that I talk to tell a story of not having the things they need, such as money, time and connections. I hear it over and over and over again from artists that I coach. This negative story is what’s killing their future. By repeating it they are only perpetuating it.
Instead, it’s time to try and rewrite your story with a different focus. If you want to have more resources, tell yourself and others a story of achievement. Tell a story about your dream, your goals, your art, and your determination. As artists, it is never a question of resources; it is always a question of resourcefulness.
Pay particular attention to the story that is holding you back or keeping you stuck. See that it is a story. You can choose to stop telling the story or you can create a new one that will inspire you and others.
Are you selling correctly?
Sometimes we can be so excited to start selling what we’ve made and sharing it with the world, that we forget to think about who we’re selling it to. Or we’re so desperate to make a sale that we start to ‘push’. When this happens it’s time to step back and think not about pushing people to buy your art, but pulling them into your world and making them want to purchase something of yours.
Have an imaginary chat with your ideal client. Think about what questions you should ask them. Questions such as:
“What are your biggest obstacles to saying yes to my offer?”
“What is the best time to reach out to you?”
“What would make you fall instantly in love with the thing that I’m offering?”
Then write down your answers. Look over what you’ve got and decide which ones give you the most bang for your energy and then go for it. Have that conversation with your ideal client in your mind and you can sell the right way. In this way, you’re really sharing, not selling.
If you are able to answer the 5 questions above, then you will be better equipped to start marketing your art to the people who want to experience it. Your art is great, but it needs your marketing skills and passion to share and sell it.
Are you ready to take your art practice to the next level? Are you willing to take responsibility for your own success? Then now is the moment to do something about it. We are offering a FREE Strategy Call with a professional bonafide artist business coach valued at $175 to help clarify your vision, discover any obstacles in your way and invigorate the energy around your art practice.