5 Ways You Might be Sabotaging Your Art Sales

If I had a dime for every time I heard someone say, “I’m an artist, not a salesperson”, I’d have at least $10 by now.

If you haven’t lived your life in a sales or customer service position, I can understand where the concept of selling your pieces is overwhelming. That’s why I’ve put together this list of “don’t’s” to help you navigate the consumer waters a little bit easier.

5 Ways you might be sabotaging your art sales Acrylic Pouring 1

Don’t #1: Your online photos are lacking.

If you’re advertising your art on social media and aren’t getting a ton of likes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your art is bad—it might just mean that your art photography isn’t stellar. You don’t have to have a fancy camera to take great pictures of your artwork! Try taking photos of your pieces in natural sunlight by leaning them against a fence post, or a rock. Try to avoid taking photos with the flash on, taking photos that are too dimly lit, or settling for blurry photos. Presentation matters, and to sell your art, you have to photograph it the way you want it to look to your consumer.

Don’t #2: You aren’t responsive.

If you don’t check your emails frequently or don’t answer your phone, you’re not going to make those sales! Everyone lives a busy life, but if you’re trying to sell your artwork (online especially) make sure you’re responding to every email, phone call, Etsy, Facebook and Instagram message you receive. Respond to comments on your posts, even if it’s just an emoji. The point is, engagement matters and if you aren’t responding to your fans, you’re not going to convert them to customers.

Don’t #3: Don’t be shy.

If you’ve gotten a table or booth at a show, be the most personable person there! Engage everyone that walks by your table, even if it’s just a simple “thanks for coming.” Don’t just sit behind your table and hope that customers come to you—get out in front, show customers your pieces and physically place pieces into your customer’s hand if you have something small enough. This method of inviting someone to study the quality of something in their own hands is very successful in motivating them to buy. Let your love of your artwork shine—people want to buy from someone who is passionate about what they do!

Don’t #4: You are selling in the wrong place.

If you are charging $1,000 for a piece, chances are slim that you’re going to do much business at your local craft fair. Finding the right venue for your artwork equates to finding the right consumers for your artwork. Before you decided to show somewhere, think about attending it as a consumer first so you can see if it’s for you.

Don’t #5: You can’t explain your product honestly or accurately.

People want to know what the process behind your art is. You should be able to explain what you use and why you use it; educate yourself on why pouring medium is important, or how color theory impacts the final piece.

Additionally, if someone asks you what materials you used to create a piece, it’s a good idea to be honest. If you used water and craft paint, don’t lie and say that you used Liquitex medium and Golden paints, or say that you used “high end” products. That’s just bad business!

Final Thoughts

It really can be hard to communicate the value of what you make—it’s not always easy talking yourself or your work up! Be approachable, make the first move and be educated about your process, and you’ll start ringing up the sales.

4 thoughts on “5 Ways You Might be Sabotaging Your Art Sales”

  1. Claire Vanfleteren

    I live in Belgium almost on the French border.
    The casting or whatever you call it is not known here and certainly not loved. I can only say that it is innovative.
    People are looking at it with wonder but selling is certainly not possible.
    What should I do with that?

    1. Hello Claire,

      You have used to perfect word to describe Acrylic “pouring” it is very innovative, especially I think to those who have just discovered the technique. It’s exciting and can be vibrant, unpredictable at times but thoroughly addictive. I first discovered the technique last year in Canada at a street market where someone was showing and selling their art. I was blown away with what I saw and read as much as I could about it and sent away for Acrylic Poring ebooks.

      Artists who paint in a conventional style find it hard to accept AP as serious art, but It is known that those artists have always had a snobbish attitude when it comes to other artists“New techniques” to express their artistic side.
      Art is in the eye of the beholder as is beauty! I personally have never been keen on “ painted abstract art” but abstract AP can be the most beautiful creative expressions of chosen and manipulated colour. I have been a “ conventional artist “ for years, but a frustrated one at that as I never feel satisfied with my finished effort, even though others think differently. I’m fairly new to AP but the excitement I feel when I see such beautiful creations from other AP artists makes me want to practice and create my own. What I also like about AP, is that every AP pour is unique, and a one off.
      I have yet to create my own beautiful piece of art through AP, but I know it will happen. Good luck and carry on!


    2. Hi Claire,
      I’ve sold at both art and craft fairs for many years. I’ve sold paintings and I’ve sold salt lamps. What you are selling should match the venue, don’t try to sell art at a craft fair. It always helps to smile at everyone. Also stay busy in your booth by rearranging your work or cleaning the glass on paintings that are framed. The most important part is engage everyone. Tell them how you did something without giving away trade secrets, or tell them why you chose the colors you did and show them other pieces with similar colors. People love to hear how creative individuals do things. Be authentic. The most important thing is do not sit back and look miserable. If your work is good and you are happy with it, it will sell…!
      Good luck,

  2. Thanks for the article! Fyi, the link to why pouring medium is important goes to an article on types of pouring medium.

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