Art buyers might seem intimidating and self-assured, but they often have as many insecurities about the process as you do. They are sensitive to signals and opinions from you and from others.
It’s your job to reassure them that they are making the right decisions. Without that positive signal from you, they might think they are being tricked instead of treated.
Here are a few things that will scare off your audience and potential fans this Halloween.
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.”
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 . . .
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 when you’re trying to sell your work.
Embrace it. Practice it. Live it.
Stammering when someone asks you about your work.
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 video. Check out Your Artist Talk, an audio program and transcript with Gigi Rosenberg.
Building a website yourself, even though you don’t know anything about code or web usability.
Your website is often the first place people will see your art. It shouldn’t be left to amateurs, and it shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Your site must be a priority.
If people can’t find things easily or encounter slow-loading images, they will leave.
Neglecting your blog for six months.
Your blog is a place for you to gain new followers, but you won’t be attracting anyone if your most recent post was long ago.
A deserted blog is a sad site and no one will return to it. More importantly, it looks as if you have given up and not done a thing since the last post.
Set up a plan to write posts on a consistent basis or ditch the lonely blog.
Continuing to send people to your Twitter account that was last used in 2011.
It’s okay not to use Twitter. You don’t need to tweet. Really.
But please don’t waste people’s time with a link to an inactive account.
Just delete the link.
Likewise, be sure people can find your social media link if you have a strong presence there.
Maintaining a Facebook page that doesn’t have any of your art on it.
Your business page on Facebook is for your business. It’s a place for you to informally engage people who are interested in your art.
If people take the time to click on your business page, they want to see your art – and plenty of it.
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.