Having spent twenty years within the gallery enterprise, I’ve seen each kind of purchaser. I’ve labored with celebrities, enterprise folks, the retired, the younger, the previous and all the things between. In previous posts, I’ve inspired you to deal with each contact as a possible collector – you by no means know when somebody you least anticipate will flip right into a purchaser. If you’ve been promoting artwork for any size of time, you’ve actually established a base of collectors from many walks of life.

After some time, nonetheless, you most likely started to note patterns amongst your consumers. You might discover that almost all of your consumers are of a sure age, that many work in a selected discipline, or come from a sure area. Eventually, you would possibly even begin to really feel which you could spot a purchaser from a distance primarily based in your expertise with previous consumers.

I’d warning you to watch out about this. It’s nice to offer somebody who suits the profile of your consumers care and a focus, however in the event you aren’t cautious, you would possibly develop a prejudice towards individuals who don’t match this profile. This might lead you to overlook out on gross sales to those that are exterior that profile since you don’t put your full efforts into partaking them.


With that warning out of the best way, I’d encourage you to spend a while analyzing your previous consumers to see in the event you can discern widespread traits amongst your consumers. Understanding who your purchaser is will show you how to higher goal your artwork advertising and marketing efforts to achieve them. If you already know who your purchaser is, you can be higher in a position to place your artwork in galleries or different venues the place your purchaser can see your work. You will likely be higher in a position to say the precise issues about your work in your artist’s assertion to enchantment to the customer’s sensibilities. You will have the ability to worth your work in a method that can suit your purchaser’s price range.

To the extent that you’re ready, attempt to reply the next questions on your consumers:

  • Age?
  • Professional background?
  • Residence location?
  • Gender?
  • Are your consumers placing the work of their house or enterprise?

So how do you get this data? You don’t wish to come throughout as an interrogator as you’re employed together with your shoppers, however by partaking them in good dialog and asking a number of questions you can begin to tease out these particulars. Questions are extremely helpful – they not solely offer you details about your purchaser, they show you how to interact at a deeper degree with the customer.

Prospecting for Information When You Are Not in Direct Contact With the Buyer

What if you’re promoting your work by galleries and never having direct interplay with consumers? Train your galleries to get this data for you by asking them concerning the consumers.

“I know you can’t share the clients’ contact information,” you would possibly say, “but tell me a little bit about them, where are they from? Did they mention their professions? Where is my piece going to be displayed?”

If you wish to dive just a little deeper and you’ve got the shopper’s house deal with, you can too use a website like Zillow.com to find the approximate worth  of the shopper’s house and the way lengthy they’ve been there. Again, you wish to train your greatest judgement right here. I’m not suggesting that you just attempt to invade your shopper’s privateness, however understanding the house worth (utilizing public paperwork) may also help you in your future advertising and marketing efforts in the event you determine, for instance, to do a direct mailing marketing campaign.

In the tip, all of this analysis will show you how to higher serve your clients, and higher place your artwork in entrance of those that are most definitely concerned about it.

I acquired an electronic mail from an artist who not too long ago went by this strategy of analyzing her clientele. I requested her permission to share her findings right here so that you could be see what she found by spending a while attending to know her shoppers.

MY COLLECTORS: A PROFILE

Prompted by an article I had learn, I regarded again at my artwork sale data to seek out out what kind of individual had been shopping for my work. Did they have something in widespread?

I discovered that my patrons have been often married ladies or married {couples}, most with stable upper-middle incomes and conventional houses, in upscale rural or suburban areas. The nice majority have been native, residing inside 50 miles of my house, the place I preserve a studio/gallery. I used to be additionally promoting work to a husband or spouse who was shopping for the work for his or her partner, usually as a shock as a result of the partner had had a possibility to see and admire the work beforehand in individual. The majority of my collectors have bought a couple of paintings from me. Most of my collectors have been identified to me earlier than they purchased a portray.

These consumers had a variety of publicity to artwork, and most have been within the early levels of being bitten by the “collector bug,” fairly than being seasoned collectors. In numerous instances, I had bought work to individuals who had by no means bought an authentic paintings earlier than, and their pleasure at doing so was extraordinarily rewarding. Nearly all of these first-time consumers returned to buy further items from me.

These collectors valued what I’ve to supply, which is fairly priced work, in a variety of sizes which are nonetheless sufficiently small to suit into the wall areas supplied by most conventional houses, executed in a unfastened however nonetheless representational type that emphasizes floor texture and the person stroke. My collectors have all the time commented on and appreciated my framing, which they say suits seamlessly into their houses and is most frequently a easy and unadorned gold body setting off the piece.

Some of my collectors have beloved my watercolors and others my oils, and though they are inclined to go along with their choice in repeat purchases, there are situations of crossover. The subject material they select is of curiosity: my plein air panorama work painted whereas touring and through plein air competitors occasions is very often bought by an area purchaser from that location as a result of the scenes will likely be acquainted. A well-executed panorama of a remembered, beloved location can even set off a purchase order from a purchaser, in addition to a portray of a selected topic akin to skipjacks or horse racing for individuals who comply with what I do in these areas. Those who buy watercolors could also be drawn to nonetheless lifes or florals, which I usually paint in watercolor and far more hardly ever in oil. Those who like watercolors often have a robust choice for the medium, and so can even hunt down panorama topics.

Rather than seeing the big selection of collectors I had anticipated to seek out, I noticed a sample of patrons who have been most frequently feminine, married, of their 50’s and 60’s, nicely established financially, and who leaned to the normal of their tastes. Although I knew many ladies consumers to be married, the feminine purchasers usually felt assured of their selections and not using a seek the advice of with their partner, whereas this was a lot much less usually true when males made the purchases—these purchases have been extra usually made as a pair, or as a present preselected by the spouse.

Prepared by Claudia Brookes: claudiabrookes.com

Have you analyzed your clients? If so, what did you be taught? Share your ideas and response to this text within the feedback beneath.