More Articles

The Value of Art In Situ

The Pain and Power of Tough Criticism

How to Build Profitable Relationships with Galleries

New Technologies for the Studio Artist

A Distinctive Body of Work

How I Got My Art Placed on TV and Movie Sets

Video Marketing & Artists: A Match Made in Heaven

Tips for Promoting Your Art on Instagram

Selling Art in the Wholesale Marketplace

What Do You Want as an Artist?

Is Your Art Priced Correctly?

Boost Your Art Marketing with Printed Materials

Collection Strategies for Artists

Problems Getting Paid? How to Never Get Stiffed Again

What’s Going Right with Your Art Business?

How Artists are Using 3D Printing

Goals Matter: Pointers for a Productive Year

How to Create Successful Art Events

Social Media Tips from Lori McNee

Why You Fail to Sell Your Art at Festivals and Fairs

My Studio Mascot

Move Towards Your Destination

What Your Customers Can Teach You

Collaborating on Art? Why You Need a Contract

Connecting with a Niche Market

Increase Your Art Sales by Making an Emotional Connection

Will Your Great Idea Translate into a Great Business?

How to Balance Art & Life

Give Yourself a Promotion

4 Ways Booth Signage can Draw a Crowd

Secrets of a Successful Open Studio

The Thrills of Networking Within A Local Artist Community

Partner with Your Galleries to Sell More Art

The Artist Doesn’t Always Know Best

Protect Yourself from Art Scams

Put Your Business Cards Away

How to Deal with those Dreaded Shipping Costs

Luck vs. Opportunity

How to Get Accepted by the Press

Artists are Entrepreneurs

How to Promote and Sell Art on Instagram

Playing Up

Is Fear Running Your Art Business?

What I Learned by being a Gallery Owner

How to Get Rejected by the Press

Art with a Healing Touch

Art and the Struggle with Depression

Are You at a Loss for Words?

Avoid these 7 Mistakes when Photographing Art

How a Hard Look at Business Changed an Artist's Life

7 Reasons Why Your Art Marketing Isn’t Working

What to Do when your Show is Slow

Working Smarter to Sell Your Art

Top Tips for a Successful Open Studio

What's the Back Story on Your Art?

10 Free Ways Artists Can Get Publicity

Selling Art with Confidence

The Power of Repeat Sales

6 Ways to Sabotage Your Art Business

5 Steps to Gaining Referral Business

It's Not All About the Money

Consistency is Key to Making Art Sales

Should You Quit Your Day Job?

6 Display Tips to Increase Your Art Sales

Making a Profit with Your Art

What Blue-Chip Galleries Can Teach Us About Social Media Networking

Artists Need A Business Plan

Your Greatest Asset in Finding Gallery Representation

Hiding Away


The Personal Touch

Sell Your Art into the Corporate Market

Tell Your Story, Sell More Art

The Price is Right

Confessions of a Professional Art Gallery Closer

How to Create Raving Fans by Telling the Story of Your Art

Burnout & Its (Sometimes Surprising) Consequences

How to Get Into A Gallery, and Succeed With A Gallery

The Power of Persistence

Build a Budget for Success: How I Tripled My Income in 2 Weeks

Learning to Sell Art: Investing in Yourself

Top Traits of Successful Artists

What Makes Art Remarkable?

Working for Free

The Evolution (and Re-Evolution) of An Art Business

Ann Rea: Artist, Entrepreneur, Instant Success

How Do You Know When It’s Time To Become An Artist?

8 Ways to Improve Your Online Portfolio

Artists, Do You Need an Agent?

The Power of Consultative Selling

How to Make Your Customers Fall in Love with You

Artist Housing Projects

The Pinterest Guide to Selling Art Online

Artists Who Sell: How to Write a Killer Sales Page (and why)

The 5 Biggest Mistakes that Artists Make on Their Blogs and How You Can Avoid Them

Business Plans for Artists: Here, I Did It for You!

How to Write An Artist's Statement That Doesn't Suck

How to Make Your Art Stand Out Online?

10 Strategies to Improve Your Art Sales

Social Sharing on Artist Websites & Online Galleries

Why Artists Should Avoid Gallery Representation

5 Art Pricing Lessons I Learned the Hard Way

How to Research Your Online Art Market

The Crowdfunding Guide for Artists: Part 1

12 Things all Starving Artists Believe

Personal Branding for Artists

How Paula Manning Lewis Has Sold More Than 30,000 Pieces of Art

How to Build An Art Business While Working a Day Job

Painting Terms

Mixing Colors

The Benefits of Buying Art Online

Beginning Your Journey as an Artist

Art for Art's Sake

The Power of Repeat Sales


Create ongoing income through repeat sales to existing customers and grow your business.

Sell Your Art. Rinse. Repeat.

Perhaps you run a production studio and ship your work regularly to wholesale accounts. Or, you might be cultivating collectors of your original art, encouraging them to purchase more as time goes by for themselves or as gifts. No matter the situation, making repeat sales is a powerful use of leverage to grow your business.

It isn't easy to land new customers. Usually it's a numbers game. You have to reach out to many people who may be interested in your work, narrow down your hot prospects, and close the sale whenever you can. This process takes time, money and energy – which does not diminish over time when all of your customers are new.

Selling to existing customers is easier; it takes less investment from you. Repeat customers are already fans. They know you and they like your art. You have created a trusting relationship by delivering work that pleases them. So of course you don't have the resistance that you must always face with new potential customers.

Those repeat customers are not only perfect prospects for more sales, but they can provide testimonials for you, and refer you to others, thus giving you "warm leads."

You may not be selling to your existing customers again right away, but that doesn't mean that you don't stay in touch. In fact, you should be reaching out regularly so they remember you, and when they are ready to make future art purchases, your name comes to mind.

In your business planning, be sure to create a marketing calendar that includes ongoing communication with your existing customers. I've seen case after case where artists simply don't consider their existing customers to be a priority – thus losing out on what may be one of their biggest sources of income!

Use these strategies to grow sales from your existing customer base:

Give excellent customer service. Thank your customer for their purchase; over-deliver on their expectations. And in your communications, mention that you appreciate them becoming a "collector" of your work. Set the stage right away for future contact and also future sales.

Stay in touch. Ever notice that when you make an online purchase, the company keeps in touch? That's because they understand the power of repeat sales. You can do the same thing, too. You don't have to harass your customers – just send them occasional, but regular emails and direct mail, and invite them to connect on social media - to let them know you are still around, and that your art is still wonderful and available.

Create new work. As you continue to produce in the studio, share this with your customer base. Who doesn't love to see what is new and exciting? Bring your newest art to the attention of people who already appreciate you.

Present work that is a fit for your customer. Keep track of the type of work your customers purchase. Then, you are in a position to suggest similar work, perhaps the next piece in a series that you are creating. When you customize your contact, it gets noticed. Write an individual email that relates to your customer's last purchase and invite them to see what else you have. Most people love the fact that they "know the artist" and are happy to hear from you.

Ask for referrals. Let all your collectors know that much of your business is referral driven. Then, politely ask your good customers if they know of anyone else who would appreciate your art. There are a lot of strategies to drive referral business, which will give you even more existing customers to sell to again!

Carolyn EdlundThis article is courtesy of
Carolyn Edlund, founder of Artsy Shark, is a business writer, speaker and consultant for artists. She is the Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute, presenting at art business workshops throughout the United States. Carolyn works with artists every day in strategy sessions designed to help them structure their businesses, set and reach their goals. Find out more about scheduling your own business consultation with Carolyn here: window