While inflation rates rise and markets falter, the art market continues to boom. After COVID, fairs are taking place again, art lovers can travel, and exhibitions are being visited. However, Corona and the rapid digitalization have contributed to a rapid change in the art market. The requirements of buyers have changed, as well as the opportunities to find and address buyers. The business is now more international and digital. The rapid change is overwhelming as well as promising!
What marketing channels are interesting and relevant for galleries and art dealers? What are the biggest challenges? The Marketing Report of the company Hubspot for the year 2023 shows:
The biggest challenges that companies worldwide will face in 2023 are generating traffic and leads.
What does that mean?
Reaching as many people as possible and generating their data or information so that they can be contacted and, ideally, “converted” into customers.
Lead generation can be done in two ways: digitally or analogously.
Digitally, by directing people to one’s own website through ads on Google, social media, or through digital clippings (interviews, reports). Ideally, to a page that matches the ad or clipping in content. And where the visitor is then visibly invited to leave their contact information (name and email).
Analogously, one should try to generate contact information at every opportunity where one encounters potential art enthusiasts.
By asking the conversation partner for their business card at events or fairs, which is the classic way. Or by laying out a list at the opening.
But this is not the most sophisticated way of generating leads: who voluntarily signs up for a list that is lying around somewhere in the room? Is someone keeping an eye on that happening?
Have you ever tried to station a colleague at the entrance of the gallery who welcomes every visitor and, as a condition for entry, enters their contact information directly into the gallery’s database? Via laptop or iPad? The visitor can even do it himself. He should click the checkbox to receive the newsletter, too. Win Win! This is already such a common practice at many events, so why shouldn’t you adopt this procedure for lead generation for your gallery?
I highly recommend brainstorming as a team for half an hour, identifying “lead generation opportunities”. And thinking about how to react in each situation or opportunity to achieve the goal of getting the data of the respective person.
What approach is convincing and charming?
So that it sounds like a real opportunity? “We have a pre-event in two weeks in a small setting and I would love to invite you.” “Do you already know our limited special editions? We only sell them to our customer base. I would be happy to add you to our database so that you automatically receive an email when there is a limited edition again.”
Keep brainstorming, there are so many convincing arguments.
This is just a brief overview of the possibilities that exist for lead generation. They are diverse and it is very worthwhile to always keep in mind that contacts in the art market form the basis of your business model.
Art is a product that you don’t buy en passant, some customers take years before they finally buy a piece from you. So make sure that customers are always reminded that you exist!
I once worked with a German Gallerist: I had met her at a lecture she gave about the local art scene. She had a noticable regional accent, spoke very personally and was so enthusiastic and cheerful, that she infected the whole audience with her good mood. Pretty uncommon behavior one can say, knowing that the art scene thrives on coolness and restraint. Nevertheless, this woman holds a doctorate in art history and has invaluable experience in the market. And I adored her for he behavior from the first moment.
What I’m trying to tell you with that story?
It can be the little things that make you stick out from the crowd. And that will make your personal brand.
Why is personal branding important at all?
Personal branding has become an increasingly important aspect of success in the art market. With so many talented artists vying for attention, it’s essential to have a strong and distinctive personal brand that sets you apart from the competition. And this does not only apply to artists, but to art dealers and art gallerists, too.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is the practice of creating a unique image and reputation for yourself that sets you apart from others. It’s a way of defining who you are, what you stand for, and what you offer to the world. In the context of the art market, personal branding can set a more personal tone to your social media and other channels you communicate through with your customers. And help build a more personal and binding relationship with your customers.
Additionally: in context of artists is essential because it helps yo to build a loyal following of collectors and fans who are interested in their work.
Do I need to be big on Instagram or Social Media to be a personal brand?
Well, that is a tough question to answer and I struggle with it everyday. Why? Because even though I love Social Media and follow numbers of people whose feeds I can relate with… I myself am not an outgoing person. And prefer to portray other people instead of seeing me on a photo. But, because I am new to the art world and not yet connected as well as I wish I would be, I know I have to make an effort in connecting and building trust.
And there’s no better way than doing through Social Media.
The good news is: Building up a Social Media account is no rocket science. It’s persistency, patience and staying on the ball.
In the beginning, no one will see what you do – hence, it doesn’t matter if your posts are perfect. The key is to do at least one little story or one post everyday, or at least 5 days a week. Then you will get more and more attention and you will get used to using the network, too. It will become a habit. And that’s the key to success.
I will talk about social media in another post more detailed.
If you are well connected in the art world and have other channels where you can underline your personal brand, that’s just fine. You will not necessarily need to build up an Instagram account. It is always better to do both because you will definitely get more attention, but if you lack time or staff, better focus on building up the marketing channel that already works well. A newsletter for example can be a very powerful tool for that. And cooperations or PR.
What are the benefits of personal branding?
There are many benefits to developing a strong personal brand Here are just a few:
1 Increased visibility
By developing a strong personal brand, you’ll increase your visibility in the art market. This will help you to attract new collectors and fans, and to build a reputation as a successful and influential artist.
Personal branding allows you to differentiate yourself from other artists in the market. By defining your unique value proposition and creating a distinctive visual identity, you’ll stand out in a crowded market and attract collectors who are interested in what you have to offer.
3 Increased credibility
A strong personal brand can also increase your credibility as an artist. By communicating your values and expertise consistently, you’ll build a reputation as an authority in your field.
4 Increased sales
Ultimately, personal branding can lead to increased sales for your artwork. By building a loyal following of collectors and fans, you’ll have a ready market for your work and be able to command higher prices.
How to develop a personal brand?
Here are some steps you can take to develop your personal brand in the art market:
1 Define your unique value proposition
Your unique value proposition is what sets you apart from others. It could be the artists you represent, the form of art you represent, the way you curate exhibitions, the way you host events. Whatever it is, you need to define it clearly and communicate it consistently to your audience. This will help you to stand out in a crowded market and attract collectors who are interested in what you have to offer.
2 Create a distinctive visual identity
Your visual identity is an essential part of your personal brand. It includes everything from your logo to your website design to the way you present your products, hence the artworks. Your visual identity should be consistent across all of your online and offline platforms, so that people can recognize your work and associate it with your brand.
3 Build a strong online presence
In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential. As mentioned above, this includes having a website, social media profiles, and an email list. Your online presence should be consistent with your visual identity and unique value proposition, and should be regularly updated with new content.
4 Engage with your audience
Engaging with your audience is key to building a strong personal brand. This means responding to comments on social media, attending events where you can meet collectors and art people in person. By building relationships with your audience, you’ll create a loyal following that will help you to achieve success in the art market.
5 Be consistent
Consistency is crucial when it comes to personal branding. You need to be consistent in everything you do, from your visual identity to your messaging to your online presence. This will help to establish your brand and make it memorable for your audience.