It’s time to rethink the phrase “going corporate.”
Why? Because the corporate art market offers immense opportunities for entrepreneurial artists. This avenue has the potential for artists to gain visibility, grow their business, and sell high-dollar art.
But, how do you approach businesses, especially large corporations, and pitch your artwork to them? The thought of it can be extremely daunting.
It doesn’t have to be. Here’s a breakdown of how to approach and sell your art to organizations.
Why Consider the Corporate Market?
Having your art in a boardroom, waiting room, or hotel lobby where people are coming and going is a good way to gain exposure to new audiences. These people may not attend a local gallery opening, but while they are stuck in a meeting or waiting for a client, your piece could catch their eye.
Companies also benefit from having fine art as a talking piece and showcase of their support for the arts. Businesses thrive and enrich their communities when they make connections with the local art market.
Where to Start?
A common misconception about the corporate art market is that you need to be selling to Fortune 500 companies. In fact, thinking locally is a good approach. Look around your city and take note of institutions you frequent that maintain art collections. Inquire if there’s someone in charge of selecting the featured art, and get in touch with the relevant parties.
Depending on the size of the organization, you’ll likely be put in touch with either the owner or curator. Also, consider upping your networking game to get on the radar of local architects and interior designers. Many establishments like to feature local artists, so don’t hesitate to send that introductory email.
One word of caution — make sure to approach these transactions from a business-to-business standpoint. It may be tempting, but don’t accept any deals or trades that aren’t commensurate with the value of your work.
Professionalism is Key
If you’re working directly with a business, showing them that you have a professional approach to sales is essential. This will reassure them that your artwork will be delivered as expected, as well as preventing them from trying to take advantage of you.
Before you approach a prospective corporate client, make sure your website is up to date and that your inventory is current. Businesses often need to see extensive details about pieces, including size, availability, and cost breakdowns for originals and prints.
Using an inventory management system like Artwork Archive makes this step a lot easier and helps make sure you come to the table prepared with all the information needed to make a purchase.
The art business experts at ArtsyShark suggest that you anticipate additional questions and have the answers at your fingertips. Questions about maintenance, hanging, or custom alterations should be priced out and given the forethought to avoid holding up a sale.
Sell to the Right Audience
The art hanging in a pediatrician’s office is likely pretty different than what you’ll find at a local boutique or clothing store. When strategizing prospective customers, consider what aesthetic your art is well suited for and determine from there which companies you will approach.
“When approaching corporations and corporate art consultants, you should be prepared with the benefits your art will have on the work environment,” advises The Artrepreneur Coach. She also suggests thinking about how your work will enhance the company’s mission and presenting it to them in that way.
Your audience will also impact your marketing strategy, so try new marketing tactics to see what connects with each particular audience.
Consider an Art Consultant
One way to make deals in the corporate art world is by hiring an art consultant. Art consultants work by connecting collectors, corporations and artists to find the right piece for a space.
As an artist, working with an art consultant will also help when it comes to ironing out the details of the contract, such as payment, transportation, insurance, and other issues that may come up during the transaction. Bear in mind that they will take a commission as payment for this involvement.
Landing corporate deals can take some time to gain momentum, but the payoff is worth the effort — so start today. Begin by building out your contact list, setting reminders, and organizing your inventory. Artwork Archive offers comprehensive tools for every part of a sale from first contact and communication to negotiating and closing the deal.