Since we’re headed to Artexpo New York this week, I thought it would be a great time to reveal a few secrets about how to show your work so that people who enter your booth, gallery, or website feel not only moved by your work but compelled to buy it.
Here are just 5 easy things you can do to show off your artwork to turn art "viewers" into buyers:
1. Make sure ALL of your pieces represent your “signature style”—the one style you absolutely want to be recognized for.
What does this mean? That means your work is recognizable and distinct. It means you have selected the pieces that truly represent who you are and what you’re trying to achieve as an artist. (I’ll be discussing this more in depth at my Seminar on April 23rd at Artexpo New York. If you’re attending the expo, be sure to attend my session to learn more. I’ll also be talking more about this at my Success Summit in June.)
2. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart).
I can’t tell you how put off I am when I walk in a booth or gallery, or even when I click on a website, and there is TOO MUCH going on. You want your spaces to breathe. You want people to have room to explore and take in the experience. Do not overload your customers and clients. Curate your collection. Leave lots of empty space. Keep it clean, simple, and sleek.
Here is a shot from our AENY booth last year. We worked with our artist to create a beautiful, clean display. The large work on weights the wall to the right side, but is balanced with three smaller works.
Show Tip: If you are showing works on canvas, be sure to either to have the edges painted or framed for a professional presentation and to be taken more seriously by buyers.
3. Ditch the art speak and meaningless jargon.
You’re not impressing anyone. Trust me. Talk to people who are coming into your booth or gallery like you would a friend. Greet them. Ask them how they’re doing. Assess if they’re just “browsing” or serious buyers. Serve them. Help them. Answer questions directly, and don’t try to be something you’re not. (I’ll be sharing more in-depth questions about how to qualify buyers to make sales at the Success Summit). There is no need to hide behind pretentious and hifalutin airs.
Here we are at Spectrum Miami 2016 discussing with interested buyers about the artist's work and process. We keep it simple by learning about the client and finding relatable talking points to discuss with them. It worked because the interested buyers became owners of the beautiful work.
4. Don’t do all the talking. Listen.
People will tell you how to speak to them. If they’re dropping industry terms and have a grasp of it, respond in kind. Let your customers tell you what they’re interested in, and what they need help with. Don’t assume anything. Don’t size people up by the way they talk or the way they dress. It’s not only rude, it’s a huge mistake.
5. Be prepared.
Have all your prices ready, labels made which include the title of the work, price, and size. Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure your work is priced to sell. That means you’ve done your homework. You know where your work stands competitively. (I go in depth on this topic in my book Secrets of the Art World.) You never want to go into a show without a price. You need to know what your work is worth. You set the prices. If you don’t, you’ll be letting your customers do that for you, and you’ll regret it in the long run.
If you’re in New York, be sure to stop by our booth in the center aisle and say hello! I’d love to see you and catch up!