Art Buyers Want To Collect New Works. Will They Find You?
Art buyers, especially collectors, are always on the lookout for new work and new artists. So, how do you as an artist, target art buyers?
I have tied learning more about your target market through the last several posts. This is intentional because knowing who you are helping is the very heart of your business. 🙂 You can never know enough about your blog readers and potential buyers!
You should have your blog completely and securely set up and have the monitoring tools in place. As you generate reports in Google Analytics, you will start to feel a little more relaxed and familiar with the data. You will start to see patterns and areas of your business that you need to work on. Yes, you will always be improving your blog on some level in order to better serve your target audience.
In this post, I will be referring to my infographic from a previous post, Create A Blogging Plan. We are on the last point in Section 3 of the infographic, “Who Needs Your Services?”.
Your Art And Target Market Challenges May Be Different
Most new bloggers understand the concept of how helping people face their challenges or how making their lives easier in some way leads to sales and profits. The challenge is just how do you determine what the challenges and weaknesses are in order to address them? This is especially true in my niche group, artists and creative types.
Depending on what your art is and where you fit in the world of the arts, your target market and its challenges may be different than what I’ll be discussing here. It may be best to just pay attention to the process and mindset more than the “what is for sale.”
For me, when it comes to general wall art, many higher-end art buyers and collectors tend to only buy through galleries and/or dealers. As an artist, you and I both know they would get a better deal if they negotiated directly with us, the artist, right? So, why do these collectors pay more through a gallery or dealer?
Research suggests that higher-end collectors perceive artists as being difficult to do business with. They feel that artists think of their art like “their child” and they don’t want to let it go! Whether this is true of you or not, isn’t really relevant. As long as the art buyer has this perception, you won’t make any sales. Maybe this is alright if higher-end art buyers aren’t your target audience, but it’s still good information to know.
What can you do to dispel this way of thinking with collectors and buyers? How do you break through this wall that stands between you and a sale? What is the advantage of buying direct from you versus a local art dealer or gallery? This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to researching and forming solutions to the challenges of selling art as an artist. You have to put yourself in the place of the art buyer or collector.
Why does a buyer buy a particular piece and how do they buy it? Why does a collector collect? In order to figure this out, you need to go and see what they are saying about their buying trends.
After Doing Research About Online Art Buyers/Collectors…
If you are an artist trying to sell your art online to reach more buyers and collectors, heads up! Through my research on various sites and in various forums I have discovered that art buyers and collectors reached out to dealers and galleries in the past because that was the only way to view and obtain the latest works by their favorite artist. Dealers and galleries would allow a few pieces of work per artist to be available and that was the only way to purchase.
But, now that we have Pinterest, Instagram and Social Media (if you make sure you are visible online), art buyers and collectors can bypass the dealers and the galleries, have more transparency and see an artist’s entire body of work as presented by the artists themselves. By marketing online, the gap between buyers/collectors and seeing what art is available has almost completely diminished.
This works great for buyers and collectors as they are exposed to more art and more artists by just keeping up via social media to see what’s available. This method works great for artists because they don’t have to be represented by a gallery or dealer and pay gallery fees. They also control prices, availability and what markets they want to be available in.
Next I want to share some interesting data about Instagram. If you are on Instagram, just click the image and follow me. I’ll follow you back. Let me know you found me here on my blog. 🙂
Some Interesting Numbers From A Recent Instagram Survey
Surveys are a great way to gain information from your blog visitors, your potential buyers and to gain further insight to what their needs and challenges are.
During my research, I found a survey conducted by Elena Soboleva, a contemporary art Specialist at Artsy. Her job description says that she works works with collectors, manages art fair sales, and develops curatorial programming. She writes about the art market and online trends. This means she’s a good person to follow to help in your research and is credible.
Here is the important information she gleaned from active art buyers and collectors on Instagram:
- The majority of collectors that responded to the survey (55%) collect primarily emerging art. (Good news for us!).
- The other 45% identified themselves as contemporary art collectors.
- Almost half (42%) have 100+ works in their collections.
- The average time they have been collecting is for 9 years.
- A large majority of collectors (73%) believe that Instagram makes the art market more transparent, with many citing that as its key impact.
- 51.5% of surveyed collectors have purchased work from artists they originally discovered through Instagram. These collectors have each acquired almost 5 works on average by artists they found on the app!
She also shared a powerful telling quote from one collector in the survey,
Instagram is best viewed as a marketing tool as opposed to a sales tool. It is great for finding out about an artist’s most recent body of work, or learning of a gallery’s latest exhibition, or getting behind the scenes takes on the inner workings of the art world.” — Instagram Art Collector Survey Respondent.
Through using a survey, Elena Soboleva was able to get direct answer to some of our most pending questions about art buyers. From the research we can learn how are they buying and what they like or do not like about Instagram. To view the entire results from the survey, you can visit her entire Instagram art buyers survey post here.
Do you find this information valuable? It takes work to do the research. The Internet is vast. But the answers you seek are out there if you commit yourself to doing the work and finding them.
By setting up and using Google Analytics and running reports, you will be able to determine where your blog/site traffic is coming from, what your potential buyers like about your site or don’t like (because you will see what pages they are landing on, which pages they exit from and which pages they stay on). It’s almost like being a detective! Clues abound but you have to look for them and understand what they are telling you!
If you just sit back and feel sorry for yourself wondering why you aren’t making any art sales, you will continue to get the results you have been getting. I would venture a guess and say it’s because no one can find you. It’s a numbers game. Make yourself visible to art buyers. You have to put yourself out there, go where your potential clients or customers are and start interacting with them. In our niche, art, you will be connecting with art buyers both online and offline.
The latest painting in your body of work may have you shivering with excitement as you contemplate it fetching a great price and selling fast. But if you don’t have a “following,” you have to get that once-in-a-lifetime painting out in front of as many people as possible. Find which social media platform works best for what it is you are trying to sell.
Do the research and see what others are doing in your local area. See if your research brings you new ideas that seem like a good fit for you. Update your business plan with your new ideas.
I would love to hear what social media platforms are working well for you or aren’t working at all. Please comment so we can all support each other!