The best customers are not just the ones who buy your artwork once, they are the ones who will continue to buy your artwork for years to come. But, how do you reach more of these die-hard customers if you do not know who they are yet?
Reaching the right collectors at the right time is key to the success of any business. As a professional artist, finding your ideal customer is key to effectively promoting your work. Here are three steps to finding your ideal customer — and keeping them.
Visualize Your Ideal Customer
For most artists, a customer who pays is already an ideal customer. However, without a targeted approach, your sales efforts are left unguided. This is why creating a customer persona, a tactic most sales and marketing professionals frequently use, is essential to your business growth. Because, after all, you are your own sales and marketing team.
A buyer persona is a fictional customer you create using what you know about your previous buyers and your best guesses. You will most likely have more than one, depending on the variety of customers you have.
Get specific here. What is their name? Where do they live? What do they do for work? What about for fun? How much money do they make? What do they read? How much education do they have? The more details, the better.
If you are active on social media already, take a look at the insights about your followers. Is there a trend? Are they mostly women? What age are they? Most social media platforms have insights as part of their business account — take advantage of it.
Create a persona that matches that trend closely. Kevan Lee, Director of Marketing at Buffer, shared a great guide to creating buyer personas on their blog.
Cultivate Personal Connections to Your Artwork
Now that you have an image of your ideal customer, how do you connect with them and attract more?
Start by making real connections with your buyers. You might not care if people personally like you or not, but connections mean more than just a sale. These interactions lead to repeat purchases. Plus, these are the fans that will often praise and spread the word about you and stick around in those times when your creativity slumps.
Connect with your customers by sharing things about your inspirations and creative process or things going on in your world. If you have done a good job in creating your ideal customer, the content you share should align with the things they would be interested in. In many cases, this customer may have many similarities to you, so think about things that would interest you.
Luckily, the internet makes connecting with your customers easy. Stay up to date with your social media and engage online with your customers. Find out what social media outlets your buyer persona prefers and connect with them there.
Don't Try to Be Everything, To Everyone
By creating a strong and consistent brand for yourself, you will become recognizable to your buyers and stand out from your competition. Part of having a strong brand is having a consistent look and feel to your website, materials, and social media posts. People like familiarity and will be more likely to connect with you if they know what to expect. This does not mean your creativity and work can't have variety, but try to promote them in a similar fashion and style.
The main point here is to not try to sell your artwork to everyone. If you try and sell to everyone, you waste your energy and time on a large group of people who may never be in the place to buy your artwork, no matter how great you are. Focus on your buyer persona, do the work to reach them, and stay on their radar.
If you are still struggling to build a strong fanbase, take a look at the ways you can turn your new customers into loyal customers.