(Transcript below in case you prefer to read it)
If you’re a visual artist wondering how to get more recognition for your work, I can help, that’s what I do.
What if there was just one thing you could do right now, for free, that would increase respect for your work from the right people .. well, there’s one thing that keeps coming up almost every time and I’m going to show you it in this video. Think of it as a cool mental switch you can employ right after this video.
So how do you find serious buyers for your art?
Think of it less as a hunt, more of a pheromone. You’re not riding out on horseback with a lasso, capturing people to hard-core sell them your art. You’re putting out a scent and becoming discoverable to those who already want what you’ve got.
Some surprises are lovely.
There are good days when your email pings and it’s a perfect prospect getting in touch to buy, they ‘get’ what you do? They are pre-sold, so you don’t have to sell, you just take their card payment and address so you can send it.
This video shows you how to get good surprises to happen more often so you can feel wanted and legitimately take more time for your art.
It’s available to everyone, regardless of income. And it works no matter how experienced an artist you are.
If social media feels like an uphill struggle for paltry results, most likely this is why.
Have you made one of those sped-up videos showing how you layered a painting? That’s a perfect example of the problem.
If you walked into a car dealership and they told you how they made the car, talked about the skills of the workers. You’d walk. No, you’d run, and you’d tell all your friends about the weird experience you just had. And you’d never set foot in that place again.
What you want to know is how the car feels to drive, does it look good, can you fit in the dog and the shopping? Does it fit into your life? Does it get you where you are going in life (not just, like, to your mums).
So what’s the crucial difference?
When you’re buying a car, you don’t care about how they fitted the spark plugs. You care about you, about your issues and how the car solves them.
That’s selling and it’s the same with art. Buyers don’t really care about your technique, they care about themselves of course. First of all, the art has to move them, speak to them, change something in them, inspire them. No-one’s going to buy art that does nothing for them. Someone said “to inspire people, don’t show them your superpowers, show them theirs”.
And if you move someone, that has value and it’s a point of connection.
And isn’t that the point? Art is about connection. It’s a language, it’s a way to communicate. So if you want recognition as an artist, you need to make that meaningful connection with someone. That moment your heart bursts when you realise you’re talking to your perfect buyer, that they actually get it.
Sure, there will be some practical issues such as whether it matches the sofa and fits above the fireplace, whether they can afford it, whether they like you and want to support you and so on. These are still all about them.
So your communication, whether it’s a real conversation or web page copy or a video script or a social media post, should always be about the person you are communicating with, not about you.
I haven’t talked about my credentials as an artist marketer, or my successes. Let’s just say I learned this technique in the 80s and it’s still incredibly powerful. That’s because in my mind, I have you clearly in my sights, as if I was explaining this one-to-one. In my head as I in reality type, what I type is what I would say to you to explain this crucial technique to help you find your people so you can enjoy success as an artist in your terms.
It’s really easy to talk about ourselves. As an artist especially, you spend all day in your head so that’s what there is to talk about.
Well, maybe today is the day that changes. This is The One Thing that makes a real difference so your art sells more easily and naturally and you gain recognition for your dedication and your insight.
For your next social media post (and everything you communicate from here on), think about your typical buyer, imagine them in front of you, and concentrate on how your work could change their life. (See if that makes a difference to your social media engagement.)
Remember I said I wanted to be moved by art? How? What will be different? Answer that for your prospect in your imagination and roll that out into their life .. what will be the effect of your painting on them? Now. A year from now. In 10 years.
Let me give you an example. I went to the Dali museum in Girona and there was an exhibition of Goya etchings and I was moved by one that you probably know of a demonic figure biting the heads off people and it was the title that moved me (I’m vague on it now, it was a while ago) that had something to do with time. So for me this was time devouring us all. I found that a massive motivator to get on with stuff in my business.
So the effect on me was to instil some urgency, to remind me that we don’t have forever, that stuff needs to be done promptly. I think that was about twenty years ago .. where would I be now if I’d never seen that image?
What is the effect of your painting on your buyer? Does it relax them? Does it motivate or inspire? And how would that roll out in their life? Does it improve their chances of good things happening? Does it make them stronger, more focused on what they believe in, or more relaxed and open? What does it say about them to a visitor to their house? What message does it give to others?
When you think about the effect of a painting in those terms, over the years of its influence, the price becomes insignificant. What’s £2,000, say, compared to all those benefits?
If you’re not sure how to write in terms of benefits, where do you start? How do you open yourself up to this? How do you make this forever change in how you communicate with people?
Ask open questions and listen to your buyers and viewers. Collect what they say. Literally, open up a document and write it all down and work out what it means about them and how you can speak to the need they have revealed.
At your next exhibition ask prospects how the artwork they are looking at makes them feel so they actually make the connection and realise that it does make them feel something.
In my work helping artists to market themselves so they have more impact, so they are heard and listened to, this is the one thing that almost everyone needs to work on. It’s the highest leverage thing, too, it makes the most difference.
I nearly forgot, this is a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) technique too. If you write about your people’s pains and problems and how your art helps, people with those issues stand a chance of finding you. People Google for answers to problems, right? People will share you to others with the same issues .. motivation, finding peace, overcoming grief, appreciating nature .. whatever it is.
If you ask me how to get serious buyers .. this is how. Speak to the problem you solve.
Some artists say “Oh, I don’t bother with any of that, I’m a pure artist.” Yeah, I’ve heard that. But if that’s you, you still provide a service to society. You push boundaries. You exist as an exemplary artist, as inspiration to anyone in a 9-5. You stand for something the world sorely needs. And whether you shrink back from your responsibilities in society, happy to let things burn, or whether you step up .. that’s for you. I’m just opening the door. It’s up to you whether you step through.
Now there’s a lot to this and I can show you more and I’ll get to that but this feels like a neat place to stop.
Once you’re in the habit of talking about your buyer, the next thing to look at is whether your website continues this buyer-focus and .. us marketers talk about conversion. If 1% of visitors to your website buy, and if you do change your focus to your buyers and get more, better quality visitors that’s great, let’s imagine (no promises) you sell twice as much off your website without making any changes to it, without putting in more effort to your marketing but just shifting the focus to your prospect.
But let’s imagine a little more .. what if you also improved your website. What if you improved it enough so that 2% of your website visitors buy something? And even more people sign up to your mailing list.
What will the buzz be like at your next preview?
And how will you feel when you wake up and contemplate the day? A day that’s more likely to present happy surprises. A guilt free, fully justified day in the studio doing what’s right for you and right for your fans.
I’ll do another training video about website improvements but in the meantime, you can switch your communications focus and start enjoying greater influence today using what I’ve shown you in this video.
If this made sense to you or didn’t, if you have a question, I’ll read every comment and hopefully respond if I can, so please do leave a comment if you would like to.
Stay safe, sell art.