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How to Know if Your Art Will Sell

The study of why people do what they do is by no means knew. It is a topic that fascinates many and befuddles just as many. If you were able to know why someone was going to do something and if they actually planned on doing so, selling your art would, or anything for that matter, would become extremely simple and straightforward. Now, we have by no means cracked the code, however, a number of studies have gone into understanding people and their actions. In fact, there are certain factors you can observe to help predict whether someone will follow through on a certain action such as purchasing your art.

Factors to consider

The factors I’m talking about are; Behavioral attitude, subjective norms, and perceived personal control. 

  • Behavioral attitude: That this refers to is how the person feels about the act of purchasing your art. 
  • Subjective Norms: This is referring to is what your consumer believes others will think by owning your product.
  • Perceived personal control: Here your consumer is considering whether they have enough money at their disposal to justify purchasing your art.

These three in conjunction with each other will determine the likelihood of someone following through with an action. The more positive someone feels, how your brand is perceived and their perceived ability to access your product will all play significant roles in this. 

Using this to sell art

Its all well and good to know the existence of these things, but how do you utilize this knowledge and influence your audience to more likely to purchase? For behavioral attitude, the reputation you have built for your art brand will play a major role. The success of your brand is heavily dependant on the community you have built around your brand. By building a strong community and facilitating positive interactions with your audience, they will be more like to have a positive attitude towards your brand.

When it comes to subjective norms, you need to keep in mind your brand equity. As you build up this equity your brand is going to be perceived as not only more valuable by your audience but also those around them (this can be applied to behavioral attitude as well). Aside from brand equity though, you need to seriously consider and understand how the subject of your art is perceived among the industry and the various audiences within it. For example, if you decide to stick to more controversial art, you may deter a lot of people due to any stigmas attached to this. Though this does not mean don’t do it, what it means is that you need to acknowledge this and make sure you’re targetting your product to the right audiences for this type of subject. People may appreciate a nice painting on Instagram, but that doesn’t mean they want to spend the money to hang it on their wall and potentially have to explain it to all their guests.

Perceived personal control, is rather tricky because it is hard to know whether someone will feel like they have the means to make a purchase. When we think about this, we need to consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Someone may not feel like they are able to purchase your art if they haven’t yet filled some previous needs. A way to potentially alleviate this is to make your art more accessible. Original paintings are a great source of income when they sell, but they are often much too expensive for the average audience member. It’ll be hard for them to justify a $600 original painting when they haven’t even bought groceries. Instead, consider ways to make your art more accessible so making the purchase seems within the realm of possibility. This could be anything from an art print to a digital download. Often the aspect of having a piece of artwork is enough, regardless if it is the original or not. 

People oftentimes extremely unpredictable in what they want to do versus what they will do. It is impossible to know 100% how someone will act, and plan accordingly. 

Instead, the best we can do is nudge them towards the decision we would like them to make.

For more like this, check out my previous posts here!