Art buyers often have as many insecurities about the process of buying art as you do, which means they are sensitive to the signals you’re sending.
It’s your job to reassure them that they are making the right decisions – and you can do so in very subtle ways without resorting to sales speak.
And it has just as much to do with what you don’t do and say.
Here are seven practices that might be scaring off your audience and potential fans.
1. Being indecisive about prices.
Indecision makes you appear less confident.
Set your prices after you’ve done your homework and be ready to share them in person and online.
If you’re ever pushed for a price that you aren’t certain about, say, “Let me check my list and get back to you. I wouldn’t want to give you the wrong price.”
2. Apologizing for your art.
The apologetic artist who brushes aside compliments about her art is not market-attractive.
I am not in any way condoning arrogance. I’m saying that you need to hold your head up and say “Thank You” when you are given a compliment.
As Julia Child said in Julie & Julia, “Never apologize. No excuses. No explanations.” Along the same lines . . .
3. Playing down the fact that you’re an artist.
Heart surgeons don’t look at the ground and say, “I’m kind of a heart surgeon.” When someone asks what you do, you shouldn’t respond meekly with, “Well, I’m kind of an artist.”
You’re an artist or you’re not. There’s no “kind of” about it.
Embrace it. Practice it. Live it.
4. Stammering when someone asks you about your work.
No one knows your art better than you. When you are given the chance to tell someone about your work, you must be able to speak intelligently. After all, who else would they turn to?
You don’t have to be well versed in all of art history, but you’ve got to know about your work. You should be able to address your materials, subjects, style, and how you fit in your art market.
To gain some vocabulary, read what other artists say about their art and watch them on videos. Plus check out my Magnetic You program that teaches how to speak and write effectively about your work.
5. Having an outdated website.
Your website is often the first place people will see your art. It should be a priority, not an afterthought.
This means it must look like it was created recently rather than 5 or more years ago. And make sure to update the content regularly.
6. Hiding your social media links.
Do you want people to follow you on social media? Then for Pete’s sake make it easy to find your social media links.
It used to be that it was okay for social links to be on only one page – like an About page. But who has time to poke around and find them? Make sure they’re visible on every page of your site.
7. Sending a bulk email after not being in touch with your list for over a year.
As I have shared before, the main purpose of an artist’s newsletter is to keep the list warm.
People signed up for your list because they want to hear from you.
If you don’t send regular(ish) updates, you can’t suddenly expect action from your connections.