Why Selling Art is a Lot Like Dating -The Most Important Marketing Tool for Artists

Are you losing customers by “asking them to marry you on the first date?” Find out how to successfully market your art with my favorite marketing tool. (Plus: it’s free)

Katie Davidson

A UX designer with roots in digital marketing.

You’ve already built a stunning professional website and it’s an absolute breeze for your customers to purchase a custom work from you. You’re posting regularly on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, but you’re not making any sales. 

Unfortunately, I see this happen all the time to artists. They put tons of work into their marketing efforts, but their work isn’t paying off.

The truth is 92% of first-time website visitors aren’t there to buy. (Source)

92% of website visitors aren't there to buy

The first time I heard that stat, I wanted to cry in a corner. I focused all my attention on getting more and more traffic to my website so that I could increase the number of visitors to my website, but even with a healthy amount of traffic, I wasn’t seeing better results. Finally, I figured out a better way. 92% of FIRST-TIME website visitors aren’t there to buy, but what if you can get those visitors to come back to your website?

In marketing, categorize potential customers into three broad categories:

Cold, Warm, and Hot Leads

The warmer a lead is, the more likely they are to purchase from you.

Will you marry me? Why selling your art is a lot like dating

Why selling your art is a lot like dating

Will you marry me?

If you ask someone to marry you on the first date… they’re going to think you’re a little crazy. Selling art, especially originals or expensive works is a lot like proposing marriage. It’s a big commitment.

In order to get married you:

  1. Go on a first date
  2. Get to know each other
  3. Ask the big question

(Marriage has never sounded so romantic… right?)

Selling art is the same, you need to:

  1. Make a good first impression
  2. Stay visible to your potential customer
  3. Sell them your art

In my experience, the part artists struggle with the most is bringing customers, and potential customers back so you can “get to know each other.” In marketing, we call the strategy of bringing customers back to your website “retargeting.”

So, what’s the easiest way to bring customers back?

By getting their email address!

The great thing about this is you can compliment your real-world interactions at art fairs or shows with your online efforts. Maybe a customer first sees your work in a gallery – if you’ve collected their email address, you have the chance to enter the “get to know you” phase.

I’ve created a free email marketing for artists guide.

Get your Free Email Marketing for Artists workbook

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