by Carolyn Edlund
People buy art for emotional reasons, because they enjoy and want to live with it. But art can also provide a solution to their needs.
We know that buying art and handmade items falls into the “good feelings” category. But that is not the only reason to make a purchase. Start thinking of ways that your work can provide a solution for your customers as well. Do a little brainstorming and identify how you can fill their needs. That gives them another reason to buy, and may be the catalyst for a sale.
Examples of ways to provide a solution:
- Do you offer very special gifts that are out of the ordinary and speak volumes about the giver?
- Does your art work perfectly as a focal point or accent piece in a home or office space?
- Does your portraiture help a family to memorialize a loved one?
- Can you drop ship a gift wrapped item directly to a recipient?
- Do you make heirloom pieces that can be passed down through generations?
- Can you create a custom made piece of furniture to fit into a particular space in a room?
- Does your handmade jewelry go easily from day into evening, providing a solution for a busy executive who needs versatility?
- Do you make functional tableware that is not only beautiful but practical for everyday use?
Consider your target customer carefully to identify how they think, and what they perceive to be a problem or a need. If you have a niche in the bridal market for example, you know that brides need gifts for their bridesmaids, memorable jewelry for the wedding, the perfect floral arrangements, and even something blue. Work on providing solutions for the people most likely to buy from you.
If you design around the needs of your customers, or if you can identify how what you already make fills a need that they have, you can use those as selling points when speaking to prospective customers.
When you offer tiered pricing, you can enhance your list of solutions to give greater value to the buyer. Can you deliver the work? Install it? Add a Certificate of Authenticity? Write a personal note as the artist for a special recipient? Meet with the client to discuss a special commission just for them? All of these services are things your collectors will truly appreciate and never forget. If their budget can accommodate higher tiers, or if they can justify the extra cost because it’s that important to them, you have made a sale.
Create sales collateral that shares your solution
Once you have identified the ways that you already offer solutions, or the ways that you can provide them, incorporate that information into your marketing and sales collateral. Tell your customer how you solve their problem or meet their needs. You can do this by mentioning features and benefits, or by sharing testimonials from other collectors.
Combine those solutions with emotional reasons to buy, and you will have created effective copy to use when marketing your art. Use the questions below to begin the process of writing about why people both love and need your art.
- What do people especially enjoy about your work?
- How have you added value to your work through small touches or special elements?
- What solutions can your work provide for your customers?
- Why do people need what you make?