As we move into summer, this is probably as good time as any to re-evaluate your market, how you sell (or want to) your prints. Alyson Stanfield over at ArtBizBlog.com, recently sent me a post she had written entitled, “28 Questions for when your art isn’t selling.” With her permission I have adapted some of those questions to fit our photography model, if there is one. When your work sold well in the past and is no longer selling or selling at a slower pace, it’s time to re-evaluate. A single move in the wrong direction can be the reason for slow sales.
Sometimes, we get a little bored with our work, even if it is selling. We get tired of looking at the same image printed in the same manner, framed in the same way. It may not hurt to expand your process a little bit. you can continue with the same process for older works, but it could be a great time to shake it up a bit. Do something completely different and see what happens.
• Do you get the word out early and often? Do you change the delivery method or the time/day the messages or invitations were sent?
• Do you post to your social media profiles?
• Do you write about your art in a way that engages potential collectors?
• Do you advertise? Which outlet, if any, was effective?
• Do you put out stacks of postcards or rack cards? Do you post flyers?
• Do you send out a press release?
This is a good area in which to continue your “expansion.” Instead of sending out your “same old,” get really creative with the new work you are doing. Instead of a whisper, shout it out! Tell the world! Use USPS, Facebook, your email list, etc., and introduce them “to something entirely new from the studio of you.”
• Do you use a combination of email and snail mail to stay in touch? Are you only in touch when you want to sell something?
• Are you talking with people at the openings or in person about your work? Do you ask them what they like?
• Are you creating special events for your VIP collectors?
When you are fortunate enough to participate in a show, are you the one who is over in the corner, hoping that no one comes near you. You may wish that the gallerist does the talking for you. Well, in my experience you are the best person to sell your work. Would-be collectors and experienced collectors alike appreciate a conversation with the artist. They want to know what it took for you to create a particular piece. You may get tired discussing the same piece over and over, but have you ever thought what is like for musicians to have to play the same song over and over. It may be boring to you, but there is always someone out there new to your world of creativity. Treat them with respect, get the cards and notices out there, and never tire of selling your self, as well as your work. If you do, unfortunately, you may be in the wrong business.