by Carolyn Edlund
Will being an authority or expert in what you do sell your art? Not by itself. Your customers buy pretty much what they are interested in, and what they like.
But art buyers also like to feel that they are buying from a professional, who is recognized at being really good at what they do. Establishing your authority will make most potential customers take you more seriously, and it will build credibility. Share this on your website, in your marketing efforts and even in conversations when appropriate.
What gives the impression of credibility?
- Being a teacher or speaker in your field of art
- Long term experience as an artist
- Having written a book on the field of your expertise
- Your educational background and training
- That you have invented a process or a technique that is all your own
- Your website has a highly professional presentation
- That you are a leader in professional associations
- A long history of exhibitions
- A list of your work that is included in corporate or museum collections
- You have been interviewed by the press
- Your materials include testimonials from satisfied collectors
- Articles that you have written on topics in your expertise
- A large social media following
- Ability to speak confidently about your work, technique and inspiration
- That your work is related to a cause, especially when you are a leader in that cause
- A background where you have acted as a curator, an advisor, a jury member or board member
On the other hand, you can undermine yourself, even inadvertently, which may lead potential customers to become confused, or wonder if you are serious. These include:
- Hesitancy to call yourself an artist
- Lack of preparation when speaking about yourself in front of customers
- A blog that is abandoned, making it look like you may even be out of business
- Incomplete or bare bones website
- Poorly taken images of your work
- Inconsistency in your body of work
- Inconsistent social media presence
Most every artist falls somewhere between these two extremes. What evidence of authority do you have in your favor? Make a list of plusses that you can use in your own marketing materials and in-person presentation that will help you gain credibility.
Photo credit: The Arts Business Institute. Find out more about Kathy King’s jewelry here.