It’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Local Business Saturday this week. This time of the year is probably when one of the best opportunities to sell your work emerges, yet most artists don’t know how to take advantage of it. Some of them may even feel guilty about promoting sales at this time. For those of you who feel guilty about telling friends, past customers, family and acquaintances “Hey, consider buying from me when selecting Holiday gifts”, let’s consider a few things. Do you know what the 80/20 Rule is? Well it says that 80% of money spent locally stays in circulation locally. By promoting the idea of other buying your art, you are contributing to the health of your neighborhood! When someone buys art from you, they provide you funds which you in return spend on groceries, rent, clothing and other stuff (which hopefully you also spent in a local business!)

Taxes such as sales tax spent with you supports local infrastructure, police, fire and schools, stay with the community when spent in local businesses. The Tax Policy Center: (click here for the entire article), says that “Local governments received transfers from both the federal and state governments equal to about one-seventh of total revenue; from their own sources, they collected about $700 billion, or 17 percent of all government revenue.” When your friends and family buy from you they are helping to return money to their local economy, so you should feel no hesitation in pointing out to them that you are a resource for gifts!

Spending money locally shows pride in your community culture and local products. As a person who lives in the area Imageyou are more apt to locally recirculate money spent with you on your art in the form of purchases from other local business, thus supporting the local work force. When you give some of that money to local charities, even if it’s just the local boy or girl scout troop, or maybe the local food bank you are keeping money spent with you in movement. It’s a monetary loop that keeps people working to make the goods they and others purchase.

“I’m an artist, not a business person”, you shout. Well, I hate to break this to you, but anyone who wants to sell art is in business. According to Wikipedia, “a business (also known as enterprise or firm) is an organization or person engaged in the trade or sale of goods, services, or both to consumers”. Q.E.D. Business is NOT a dirty word. Businesses allow us as consumers to buy food, clothes, and gas. It allows us to find a place to live (real estate sales and rentals), and most likely it employs a lot of us who are not fortunate enough to be able to make a living selling our art. There is that word “sell” again.

Local Business Can Support Local Artists

  • Local business can provide a mutual support base by being willing to allow artists to display their work for sale in their stores and offices. The artist will come in to see their art and most likely buy something from the business. The artist will also promote the business by telling their sphere of friends and family about having art in display in the business and urging them to come and see it.
  • By allowing artists to promote holiday boutiques, shows, sales and events flyers in their business helps develop a mutual dependency.

Local Artists Offer

What value does the community receive when they purchase art from a local artist rather than from a national chain store?

  • Well-made handcrafted items give a cachet to their office, home and gift giving. When giving gifts it shows the buyer not only thought enough of the person receiving the gift to take into account that person’s personal tastes, but took the time to check the gift out carefully.
  • Buying art from local artists gives the opportunity for a personal experience one-on-one with the artist.
  • The buyer has an opportunity to develop a personal and professional relationship with the artist.
  • Art is individually created unique, versatile item. Why buy something indistinguishable from what everyone else is buying?

What Local Artists Can Do to Promote Art Sales:

  • Remind past clients, friends, and family, church and organization members that they are a resource for buying holiday gifts.
  • Offer items for sale as “Christmas specials”.
  • A bonus or discount off a future purchase if the buyer refers another buyer who actually purchases art. This type of promotion is done all the time in other industries; it is sometimes called a “referral commission’. No money is actually paid until the other buyer makes his/her purchase and mentions the name (or brings in a coupon) of the referring buyer.
  • Adapt some art into small affordable reproductions (cards, small prints, puzzles, ornaments, cups, etc.) for sale at a holiday boutique or Studio Open House.

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