Unless you are a world famous artist or your work is in such hot demand, people will not buy your art sight unseen. You need to capture the attention of your customers or prospects, sit them down in front of your art and give them a good reason to buy. In today’s competitive environment there is no shortage of most products and art is no different!
Whether you sell you art only in a gallery setting, only online or a combination of both you need to make sure you stand out in a sea of competition. The strategies you use to drive traffic to your gallery show or online gallery should all have one common goal – Getting Noticed!
Recently I visited the Santa Fe Arts District 1st Friday Artwalk in Denver with two of my fine art photographer friends Jeff Taylor – Uncommon Photography and Zach Singer – Zachary Singer Photography with the purpose in mind of checking out our local art and getting some images for this blog. Denver’s many 1st Friday Artwalks attract thousands of visitors each month and this month was no exception. One of the things I noticed was that some galleries were getting noticed by the crowd and others were not.
Some ideas on getting noticed in a gallery:
- Just hanging up a sign and sitting behind a counter will probably not get you noticed.
- If you have window space then display several types of work – don’t give the idea your offerings are very limited.
- Do a demonstration that is visible from your gallery front – people like places where things are being created.
- Make your space inviting and show your creativity.
- Get out and promote your space and art – pull people in off of the street if you need to.
- Offer some freebees or have a promotion like a contest.
- Invite your friends and customers – people like places with crowds.
- Use social media to communicate with your friends and followers.
- Remember two advertising adages: You can’t put ten pounds of stuff in a five pound bag and You can’t bore people into buying from you.
- Once you get people inside to see your art then make sure they have a Great Experience! In a previous article: Art Marketing – The Gallery Experience some great ideas from my Artrepreneurship students were explored, be sure to check it out.
Some ideas on getting noticed on an online gallery:
Getting noticed on an online gallery presents challenges not found in a traditional in-person gallery situation but it also opens up many new opportunities – in fact a whole world of opportunities. Your first challenge is to make people aware of your online presence and give them a reason to visit you. The second challenge is to make sure that when they take a look at your online gallery they have a reason to stay and ultimately purchase your art.
Making People Aware of Your Online Presence
- Promote your online gallery in all of your art marketing efforts. Be sure to mention your online gallery link in your websites, business cards, advertisements, signs, flyers, public relations efforts and anything else you can think of.
- Work on your search engine strategies so that you will be found by the search engines such as Google. It is not so much about keywords as it is in having great content.
- Consider creating your own blog with a link to your gallery. Guest blogging is also a great way to spread the word about you and your art.
- There are a lot of ways to advertise your gallery on the internet. Online advertising may work for you but take it slowly, have some goals in mind of what you want to accomplish with the advertising and track your results.
- Use your social media channels to drive traffic to your gallery and to get people sharing your work with others. Don’t forget about including links to your online gallery in your social media profiles.
- Include links to your gallery in your email signature.
- Use public relations as a way to get the word out about you and your art and that includes inviting people to visit your online gallery. For more on using public relations you should check out: Art Marketing – Use Public Relations To Build Your Website Traffic Part I .
- When you talk to people about you and your art be sure invite them to visit your online gallery.
Giving People a Reason To Explore Your Online Gallery and Buy Your Art
Once you have people looking at your online gallery give them a reason to stay a while, bookmark your site and ultimately make a purchase.
- Showcase only your best work. There is a fine line between having too many and too little images displayed.
- Make sure that your online images are of the highest of quality. If you need help in preparing your images – get it!
- Be sure to tell a story about you and your art that will interest your target audience.
- Organize your gallery so that your viewers can easily navigate the different types or themes of art you have displayed.
- Provide a description of each piece telling why you created it and what you want the viewer to get out of it – people love a story!
Ok, here are just a few ideas on how to get noticed. If you have some things that have worked for you in getting you and your art noticed I would be interested in hearing from you. Good Luck and Best Wishes!
Neil McKenzie is the author of The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox – How to Start, Run and Market a Successful Arts or Creative Business available in softcover from Barnes & Noble and Amazon and as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He has developed and teaches the course “Artrepreneurship” at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and is also a visiting professor at University College at the University of Denver.
Neil has over 30 years’ experience as a management consultant and marketing executive, working with some of the world’s top brands. Neil is a frequent lecturer to artists and arts organizations, a guest columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine, where he covers the creative sector of the economy, and the author of several articles for Americans for the Arts, a national arts organization. Follow Neil on Twitter: @neilmckenzphoto