Having been a practising artist now for over 20 years, I have much knowledge of how my industry works. I am a commercial girl and over the years I've had to make work that sells in order to carry on. So, if you are wanting to offer out your work to the public for sale, is it better to offer just one or two pieces, the whole kaboodle or just a selection? Read on dear hearts....
In order for the following to make sense, it's important to think about where you are going to offer out your work. I'm assuming that you have some of your channels set out, eg, facebook, insta etc but what about galleries and group exhibitions? Visiting a potential client or have them visit you in your studio/home.
The following advice is for you if you are trying to get your house in order, to maximise your sales potential and gathering all your ducks in line to make that first big impression. You only get one first viewing so let's make the best of it.
I hope it helps, Samantha
So, let's say that you have a new line of work, some new paintings that you want to bring to the notice of your clients. For argument's sake, I'm imagining that you have made 10 or 20 new pieces and you feel strongly about this new collection, you are onto something and the feedback from your tummy is good.
The questions I am now going to ask are...
- Can you make more of these works if they are a hit?
- Can you further the collection by adding to it in order to keep it running? Eg, if you have a lovely collection of landscapes, are you feeling confident that you can keep adding to it? Not necessarily by reproducing what has sold before - furthering means can you keep the nub of your collection and introduce new angles/colours/techniques etc.
- Have you gotten your send-out systems in place? There is nothing worse than having to rummage around for cardboard, etc in order to get them out of the door asap.
- Have you stashed away your original inspirational work? Sketchbooks, photo's etc? I highly suggest keeping them all together, when those first works are sold, you will need them in order to produce more.
If you feel confident in the above points, you are good to go.
Perhaps it will help to set yourself a date. Pick a day (I like Thursdays or Fridays but it's up to you) and think from the outside in. You want people to see your work and be pleased to see it.
How are you going to do it? Facebook launch? Instagram or email letter via a platform like MailChimp? Other options are good old fashioned printed flyers (please only choose this option if you know where you are going to put them - eg, for my dog paintings, I would place them in veterinary surgeries and pet shops locally, please think about this before printing).
Once you have decided the best way to reach the people that you want to see your new work you are ready for the next stage.
Selecting Your Works To Show
You have your 10/20 works that you have made which amount to your new collection of work. Are you going to release just one image of these works? 10? 15 or 2? My suggestion is to show your clients a group of about 6 - 8 images, 6 being a magic number here. At least 4 as a minimum.
To keep it simple, I'll write out the benefits of all.
One or Two Pieces.
If we are talking about printed flyers or an email send out, the danger of only have a couple of peices on show, is that people may well look and think 'that's lovely' but there is nothing further to add to your story. They might read this snippet of your portfolio as being your best, therefore not take the time to visit your website and scout you out further.
One or Two Pieces via social media, facebook, insta, Twitter etc is ok but does not amount to a launch. Use this channels as a bit of a daily diary - something along the lines of "I'm really excited about these new paintings I'm working on, watch this space for more as I'll be bringing you the full collection soon". Social Media is great for teasers and daily interaction but it can fall short in launching a new collection of work unless you really know what it is you are doing on each platform.
4 - 6 works or 6 - 8.
As discussed earlier, my advice is to go for the magic number 6. Use Picmonkey to arrange your works in a beautiful collage along with your name & contact details. It's easy peasey to use, also Canva which is a little more tricky but ace for us creatives in selling our works either online or in person.
Think of your single image post design as a calling card. (I've added in a sample of one of mine below) It's there as a really professional looking statement. Post it up on your website, send it out as an email to your list, share it on social media too. Print some out if you would like to - laminate them (please only if you are hanging outside or it's a waste of plastic) and pin them up places that your clients might visit, this option is vastly underrated. Don't go out of your way to do this but as you go along, you will be surprised at how many you pin up and the feedback that comes from it.
My last point on gathering these 4/6/8 images of your new collection is to state the sizes somewhere small and try to add in at least one picture of your work in its entirety - propped up on a table next to some flowers or something. This gives viewers a sense of the scale of your work.
All & Everything.
Boy, I know it's tempting to do this and I absolutely have in the past sent out emails to my clients with over 20 works on it. Please don't. This proves to confuse your audience and increases the likelihood of them doing nothing. It's nice to have a number of paintings to further your story with. Each week or few days you can post up another, stirring the soup as it were.
Recently, a lady whose opinion I value enormously told me of an experiment one of the big stores did. They laid out two tables of jam at a fair. One had over 100 types of jam, the other only had about 10. The table with only 10 jams on it was chocker with people trying and perusing, the one with over 100 had way less visitors. The feedback was that the visitors to the jam-packed (see what I did there?) were confused, didn't know which ones to try and therefore didn't buy. The proof of the pudding is in the jam.
I wish you well and would love to know how you get on and what you think of my post - would you like more advice? If so, please feel free to moot a subject or something that you've been struggling with - it's likely that many others will be too.
Best wishes & Good Luck with your new collection.
Sample Eflyer as promised.