by Carolyn Edlund
If you’re not cultivating your local market, you may be missing out.
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1. Surveys show that 70% of sales are local. Even if you consider your market to be national or global, it’s likely that you also have huge local and regional opportunities. Don’t miss out on what is happening in your own backyard.
2. Local selling means you can meet face to face, which is the best way to build customer relationships.
3. If your art is all about regional scenes, industries, landmarks, people, customs or culture, you are in a niche that demands you make your mark on a local basis.
4. There are many local opportunities for artists and makers. These include fairs, festivals, gallery exhibitions, pop up shops, open studios, art walks, show house tours, and even farmers markets.
5. Exhibiting at local art shows and festivals requires less travel time and is often less expensive to attend.
6. It’s easy to restock local shows from your studio as work sells.
7. Staying within your region gives you the ability to schedule regular live events. Contact your local email list to build awareness and excitement for your next appearance.
8. Do you take commissions? Meet with local clients in person to discuss a perfect piece of art just for them.
9. Becoming known as a local artist is easier than competing for attention in the national marketplace. By virtue of being an artist, you are already interesting to others. The fact that you are an artist in the local community is even better.
10. Being part of a local art community puts you in a position to collaborate with other local artists on projects of all types. This helps to publicize everyone involved.
11. Marketing to a local audience can be quite effective since you know the people, culture, likes/dislikes, and history. This allows you to tailor your messaging as a community member yourself and connect with those who will enjoy your work.
12. Cultivating a local audience puts you in a perfect position to offer live classes or even mentorship to other artists.
Become a Local Celebrity
13. Contact the local and regional press, who are always looking for stories. Artists are a perfect fit for reporters and editors who are focused on human interest and people of note in the area.
14. As you become more prominently known as a local artist, you may be invited to speak, curate or jury a local competition or judge a show. This only increases your exposure.
15. Offer demonstrations in your studio for locals to watch and appreciate. As others learn more about your technique and understand the complexity of your work, you will acquire customers.
16. Pursue local speaking opportunities and make artist appearances. This may range from a small group of interested art lovers to a talk at a gallery showing your work. Or, set up your own talk and invite people you to know to get more deeply acquainted with your work.
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17. Join local committees, boards or influential groups that place you in a position of authority. Then, get to know decision makers, leaders or government officials in your area. As an artist, you will be easily remembered. That can lead to projects, referrals and sales.
Grow Your Collector Base
18. Invite interested people you meet at local events to your studio for a private sale later.
19. Run an invitational Open Studio event and offer a VIP collector preview.
20. Invite friends and acquaintances to attend your events and ask them to bring others who may be interested. This brings you a built-in warm audience of potential customers.
21. When you sell at an event or through your studio, offer free installation to local customers. Then, show up to hang or place your work. Don’t forget to have more art in the trunk of your car; it’s a perfect opportunity to make another sale.
22. Being invited into a collector’s home is a perfect way to deepen that personal relationship and friendship that you wish to cultivate.
23. Repeat sales are important when growing an art business, and it’s easier to stay in touch with existing collectors on a local basis.
Connect with Local Businesses
24. If you consign with a local gallery, you can easily keep an eye on your work. Simply walking into the gallery lets you know if your work is displayed and how stock is moving.
25. Meet with local galleries or retailers for consignment or wholesale. If you get a yes, arrange trunk shows or artist appearances to enhance your presence in their store.
26. If your work reflects the culture of your area, you may be a perfect fit for a show at a local museum.
27. Contact local interior designers or art consultants, building managers and curators to place your work in collections, homes, and offices. Sit down with them in person, or invite them to your studio for a look at your inventory and capabilities.
28. Work with local home stagers, getting your art into homes for sale in your area. Your work may sell with the house!
29. Attend local business networking events to connect with other professionals in your area. You may be the only artist there, which helps you stand out. It also puts you in a position to become a “go to” person when art is needed in a space or for an event.
30. Corporations often buy local art for their offices, to prove they support the community and are willing to invest in it. Local artists also have opportunities to display their work in airports, restaurants and window displays.
Drive Local Traffic to Your Art Website
Artists who take advantage of local opportunities sell in person, but getting website traffic from local visitors is also essential. Our new online course Why You Need Local Traffic & How to Get It teaches specific strategies to attract potential customers from your area.
The course is self-paced and includes 2.5 hours of video, written content and a resource list. It functions as a standalone course retailing for $50, and is also available as a module in our larger $250 Master Course Drive Massive Traffic to Your Art Website.
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