I talk a lot about how to sell art. Referrals, hands down, are the easiest way to sell art. You can very likely prove this to yourself if you do what I suggest that each of my artist coaching students do. Keep track of how they found each of their collectors.
Some of the ways that collectors find their way to me is through events, press, annrea.com, or by seeing my prints and wanting an original.
What is the very top marketing strategy? Referrals. How do I know that?
Because each year when I update my company’s business plan I crunch the numbers and I determine exactly how many collectors each strategy yielded.
Why do I do this? Because this is the only way I can know what marketing strategies to focus on in the coming year.
- Collectors who arrive through annrea.com, site are wonderful. Because they can collect when I’m sleeping and I may have never even met them.
- Press is fantastic too. In fact it’s the best form of advertising and it’s free. It also conveys credibility and gives collectors confidence. But I can’t guarantee that this strategy will be consistent. And marketing is like breathing. It has to be consistent.
- Events can be very effective because I’m meeting prospective collectors face to face when celebration is in the air. But again, they’re not always consistent.
- Referrals are not only are the most effective marketing strategy, they are the very easiest and they are free.
Think about it. When someone refers you to a business aren’t you much more likely to buy? Don’t you just have more confidence in doing business? Don’t you take less time to make up your mind? I know I do.
I’ve often already made up my mind to buy when I have a referral. I’m just going in to confirm my decision. So that’s what you want to cultivate.
How do you get referrals? That’s easy. Ask. Here’s what I actually say…
“I don’t advertise. So most of my business comes from people just like you. Can you think of one or two other people like you who might also like what I have to offer?”
Notice I didn’t say, “Can you think of some people?” No. I gave them a very specific assignment. I asked for one or two prospects. If I leave the number vague their thinking will follow suit.
So just ask. Ask every single collector or prospect. Ask when you have established a rapport. Ask during the sale or after, just ask.
That’s all there is to it. No advertising budget required.