5 Reasons You'll Maximize Profit at Art Fairs by Having Your Own Online Art Gallery
Art fairs are an awesome way to meet a lot of potential customers in a short period of time, but they can be a rocky footing to base an entire art business on.
Because while some fairs will be awesome (you sell a nice stack of prints and collect a bunch of email addresses), others will be less so (you sell a print or two, but don't end up breaking even on your tent fee).
And still others may turn out to be a complete bust: the attendees are looking more for "craft-y" items than fine art, no one buys anything from you, and, for good measure, it rains.
Our point is this: art shows are hit-or-miss, and this uncertainty can be a major problem for professional artists.
For one, it's just flat out stressful. But even more importantly, it's very difficult to build a successful business without consistency.
Consistency is a major game-changer for any entrepreneur, and it's attainable for fine artists and photographers, too, if they take the right approach to selling art.
And now we come to the crux of this post: we believe artists can generate higher, consistent profit from their art fairs by having their own robust online art gallery.
Why? Here's five reasons:
1. You'll Earn More Sales After the Show
Most artists report seeing a traffic increase to their website for about one week after exhibiting at a fair.
This is the time you need to strike.
There are two main ways to make more sales directly after a show:
1. Send an attractive, time-sensitive offer via email to the people who made a purchase at the show.
2. Send an attractive, time-sensitive offer via email to the people who didn't make a purchase, but left you their email address.
Both of these strategies work, but they are dependent on you having a proper art gallery website.
To maximize your sales after the show, you need to give these potential customers the proper art-buying experience. A website that is built to sell art, and has little to no friction (moments where a buyer has a question they can't find an answer to).
Here are just a small sampling of the questions a proper art gallery website will answer for your visitors:
- What's the difference between fine art paper and photo paper?
- Is 20"x20" too small for the space above my couch?
- Will this piece look right with my wall color?
- What the heck does "gallery wrapped" mean?
- How do I show this to my spouse before I purchase it?
Any one of these questions could easily prevent a potential customer from following through with a purchase.
Give them the right experience, answer their questions through your well-built website, and more will make a purchase.
2. You'll Build Your Longterm Audience
99 out of 100 potential art buyers (people who like your art and would be interested in owning some) are not ready to buy the first time they meet you and see your art.
You can try to build a business on the 1%, or you can have a strategy that addresses all 100 of them.
With this in mind, your goal at an art fair is not only to sell your work, but to make connections with those 99 people who are likely to become your customers weeks, months, or years down the line – if you capture their interest now.
To do that, you need to get their email address. Then you're able to contact them in the future and you can begin the process of romance marketing where you set yourself up to get a sale down the road.
Throughout this romance marketing process, you'll be sending them to your website often. Like in the previous example, these visitors will also have questions like "How will this 24"x30" piece look in a bedroom setting with a grey wall color?"
The tools and features of your online art gallery will work to close the sale – whether they're buying a week after meeting you at the fair, or a year.
3. You'll Improve Your Return on Investment (ROI)
Every show is an investment of your time and money.
It therefor makes a lot of sense to leverage every bit of revenue you can from them.
When you have a more complete picture of how your art fair activity is driving your overall sales, you can feel more confident in investing MORE of your time and money in bigger and better fairs.
Maybe you'll feel comfortable traveling further than you have before, or paying a higher fee. Wringing the towel from every fair, and having systems in place to deal with the 99 non-buyers you meet, will allow you to grow quicker than ever.
4. You'll Increase Buyer Confidence and Justify Higher Price Points
Sales happen when a buyer knows, likes, and trusts you.
They'll get to know you at the fair, they'll like your art, but they still may not trust you with their cash or credit card transaction.
This is where a professional, state-of-the-art online art gallery can do wonders.
You could bring a tablet or laptop to your booth to walk hesitant buyers through your website – showing off your Wall Preview Tool and trust badges. Or you could allow them to do the same thing on their own device by scanning your QR Codes.
Demonstrating the technology you've incorporated into your business shows buyers you're established and serious about selling art, and are subsequently likely to be trustworthy as a business entity.
When you complete the know / like / trust qualification, they'll buy.
5. You'll Be Able to Stop Doing Shows (If You Want)
Now, we're not saying shows can't be a lot of fun to do, but at some point, you'll want to be able to have the option of not doing them.
If you just stopped doing shows entirely today, would your sales dramatically slow down or even stop?
If so, you're currently building a short-term business that relies on your constant participation in shows.
No more shows, no more income.
Well, you can't do shows forever.
In order for your art business to have longevity, you need a viable, long-term business.
Building an online art gallery is the ultimate exit strategy. It allows you to sell prints without personally ringing up the order. It allows you to take orders day and night, 365 days a year. It allows you to focus on creating art instead of selling art.
Ultimately, it allows you to build a consistent business that you can pass on to the next generation, should you wish to do so.
Wrapping Up: The Missing Link
"Why do I need an online art gallery? I should just be able to do shows, and make a great living selling art!"
It all comes back to the 99. They are the difference between hit-and-miss, and consistency.
The art gallery website is the missing link that allows you to reach them, stay in touch with them, and eventually sell to them.
We can boil it all down to this: If you make it easier for prospects to buy art from you, they will.
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