Identify a Target Market For Your Art
As with any product it is essential that it has a target audience, the people who will buy your product. Without this target audience your business won't survive. It is vital that you identify your target audience before you start trading. This is called market research.
There are several ways to acquire your potential customer information and the good news is they only really cost time rather than money. It does involve some leg work on your part, but it is a great way to reach out the people that you want to buy your product. Art is a very competitive field, so going that extra mile now will help you to find your niche market. Let's look at how to do your market research:
Competition SurveillanceIf you know of local galleries in your area that sell work similar to yours, visit them. Check out the customers and note their age and approximate income brackets – not always easy with today's fashion, but there are signs such as quality of jewellery, card used to purchase product and, if parked close to the building, their car. This information will help you to price your work. For instance, if you are aiming at young families but price your work for middle age, middle income brackets you won't sell much of your work. Don't just visit one gallery or venue; to get a realistic picture you need to visit many and they won't all be traditional art galleries, try thinking outside the box and visit local craft events too. Once you have established where your target audience buy their artwork, you can arrange to exhibit and sell your work via those outlets too.
QuestionnairesThis method of market research is not for the faint hearted, but you can glean a lot of vital information about your target audience form doing it. You need a good pair of shoes, a waterproof coat, a fixed smile, a thick skin and a set of preset questions. Remember, though, that people are normally in a rush and may be reluctant to talk to you, especially if they think you are trying to sell them something so keep your questions brief and to the point. Work out in advance what it is you want to know from them. I would suggest asking where they buy art products, how much they spend on average and how often they buy. This information is vital to finding out what they spend and where, so that you can hone in on that market with your product.
It is also advisable to have a product sample with you, not easy with a full size painting or item, so try taking some glossy prints of your work, including size and medium for them to visualise the work. Show them to your research subjects and ask them if they like the work, would they buy it. This will help you to judge your target audience's reaction to your work without spending money on a studio and equipment only to find it doesn't sell.