Do you know what boils my goat?
People who add me to group messages without getting my consent first. And then, start sending info without an introduction.
300 art images
Some kind of YouTube video
A tiny image of an invitation graphic that is unreadable on the phone.
Ask yourself how effective it is when you get sales calls on your phone from telemarketers? How much do you listen to some person with a megaphone yelling out deals on a street corner? These are the kinds of people who toss out their offers into the world, mud on the wall, and hoping something will stick.
That’s not how you sell anything; that’s how you piss off what could very well have been your ideal target market.
Look, there are so many schools of thought on whether you should cold message, cold email or cold call anyone. Done right, they can be very effective. They are, mostly, done wrong.
How about we skip annoying potential customers or clients and let them decide to come to you instead? Inbound leads is where the magic is.
Yes, that’s a business term but if you sell your art, you have a business so get comfortable with it.
The first path to success when you’re looking to work with attraction (i.e. inbound leads) marketing is making sure you’re in front of the right audience. Without fail, every artist I’ve connected with has an audience of… other artists.
Now I love artists. I’m an artist. Being connected to colleagues is a good thing. Let’s just lay that down here. BUT other artists are SHIT customers.
Think about it, if you’re an artist who is producing work, odds are you have inventory lying around. Your walls are probably covered in your own art, or art you’ve gotten through trades. You could probably put up enough art to hide your walls entirely. So what are the odds of you buying more art?
Plus, if you’re like so many artists, you aren’t making enough money on your work anyway. You have a few sales here and there, enough to catch up a bill or two, buy some food and you’re back to where you were before. Odds are your budget isn’t going to stretch to buying someone else’s art.
If you’re connecting on Facebook, you have a limit of five thousand friends. Don’t fill that priceless audience space with people who aren’t going to buy your work! Define your target market and go out and connect with those people.
Think of it this way: you can’t sell meat to vegans. They simply won’t buy, and in fact will be completely repulsed. Go sell your meat to meat eaters.
Next up in attraction marketing, make it easy for people to get to know, like and trust you. This means you need to curate your posts. You should be online as a business, having a clear message anyone can read.
You lose your audience if you post political stuff, I don’t care which side you’re on it’s a turn off. If you post hate, and I’ve seen a lot, you’re going to find your audience will remove themselves completely.
You lose your audience if you post religious stuff. Or fear stuff. How many kidnappings or animal abuse posts will someone tolerate before they block you? For me, it’s one. ONE post seen and I hit block.
Posting inspirational quotes and pick me ups. Seems good, right? It shows you’re deep, smart and connected.
WRONG! They clutter your feed up. When I connect with artists and look at their posts, it’s often so hard to find their art among the clutter posts. And what most people don’t realise is how common these posts are. I see every inspirational post so often repeated that they instantly become tired cliches. If I see them, and am tired of them, odds are your audience is too.
Finally, you want to invite people into your world. This means share works in progress, talk about where you get your inspiration from. When you’re excited about something going right… share, share, share!
Non creatives are curious about what makes artists tick. They love seeing how the sausage is made. They want to feel invited in.
You absolutely can, and should, curate the content you release to make sure your image is carefully crafted, but sharing is critical. We’re not selling table legs or other mass marketed items. Your audience will buy when they feel a connection to you and the work.
And yes, there’s a bit more involved than just these steps, but I promise you that if your online sales are stalling, it’s because you’re doing one or more of these wrong.
People ARE buying art. The art market is booming more now than it ever has before. You absolutely can tap into it but do so the right way.
And remember… don’t fucking DM me your art, videos or other things that boil my goat. The poor thing has been cooked enough.
Paula Mould is a fine artist, published author and business coach for Leigh & Paula. They emancipate artists from sitting under the doctrine of the gatekeepers who keep them chained to a life of failure and starvation. She also swears, mostly on purpose.
Their book, Sell MORE Art is now available on Amazon worldwide.