Why You’ve Got Your Art Business Backwards

If you are running your business by reacting, rather than being proactive, you might find out the hard way what not to do.




You might have your art business backwards if you:

Guess about your customers.

Have you entered the marketplace hoping to find out whether your work will sell or not because you haven’t got a clue? If you don’t have a target customer in mind when you are designing and creating your line, you may miss the mark.

Knowing your audience means that you can price, package, market and plan for successful presentation of your work to those customers. Understand who your line will appeal to and why they should buy from you. Then you can tell your story so that it appeals to the customer you want to attract, and make those important connections that lead to sales.

Pick a price and hope it works.

Do you know for sure that your prices are correct, and that they are profitable for you – or are you flying by the seat of your pants? Many artists make up prices based on how they feel about their art (a big mistake), or price low because they fear rejection.

Use a pricing formula to develop your price structure and make sure that you are making money from your sales. Finding out that you are losing money with every sale is bad news that you don’t need.

Apply to shows randomly.

If your criteria for applying to shows is that there is space available, stop right there. The best way to know if an art fair or festival is to do some research first. Walk the show to get a first-hand look at exhibitors, the crowd and the work that is displayed.

If you can’t do that, ask other artists for their experience, or check sites like Art Fair Insiders for reviews. Doing the wrong shows can kill your motivation and end up making you feel like a failure. Plan upfront to apply to the right venues and understand why you are doing so.


Need guidance in your own small business? Check out ABI’s consulting services to give you mentoring, feedback and help keep you on track and growing.


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