Finding a Niche Market for your Art

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 Finding that perfect niche market to sell you art is not difficult as long as you are willing to do some soul searching along with thorough research.  Following that you have to be willing to actually implement actions and there is always a certain amount of trial and error involved with this. 

 For best results, approach finding your niche market in a professional and methodical manner and most importantly, record in writing the answers to the questions below. You can then use this information to formulate an overall plan per step 6. 

  1. 1. What is your purpose?

Think about what is the purpose of your artwork.  Most people need and want to make money — obviously. But beyond that, what do you want to achieve with your art?  Do you want to cheer people up, or get across a strong message to wake them up?  Or maybe you can see how all the coffee shops in your city can benefit from your cool coffee inspired doodlings and paintings, and you can expand this to every coffee house across the country.

Being that art is a form of communication, it has to have a purpose. Whether it is functional or emotional, subtle or in your face, it is there to do something. Find out what your art does and what do you want it to communicate? Establishing this will guide you in finding your niche.

2. What is my style?

Do you paint abstract or in the realism style?  Perhaps you love to paint impressionistic works or create digital fantasy illustrations? Or maybe you have a totally new unique style that you want to unleash upon the world?

Whichever that style is, you can be certain there are people to whom it will resonate with. And they are your niche market, the buyers you are looking for. Even if there are thousands of other artists painting in your style–or general style at least–realize you have something unique to offer, and there are always venues to offer it if you look hard enough. For example, look for galleries,  community markets or on-line art forums that share your style values, or on-line blogs, forums, or art magazines that promote that same style-niche in addition to the message of your work.

3. What is your medium?

As mentioned above, just doing “your art” is too broad of a niche, so working in a specific media that you love is part of finding your niche. While the results of each artist could drastically differ from others, you will always have your own artistic uniqueness. However, breaking down the broad subject of “art”, a sculptor is not in the same niche as a print maker, and a watercolorist usually does not compete with the oil painter. If you are a potter, making clay sculptures, it is difficult to be part of art shows or websites that only show photographs and 2D art. It would be better to show your art at a craft or potters’ show which will attract pottery lovers.

  1. 4. What is your subject matter?

As an artist you will see yourself drawn to specific subject matters. Some things will capture your attention and have more of an emotional impact on you than others. Think about childhood memories or places you love exploring or intriguing human forms or features. It does not matter really what it is, your subject matter will talk to many others, as it talks to you. And that is where your niche lies. Even if the viewers will not be able to express it in words, your image will be worth all the words in the world for them.

  1. 5. Who is your niche public?

So now the question becomes, where to you find your niche public?  Start by thinking where people with the values, emotions, and life experience that match with your art, can be found.  For example if you paint religious based images, you might want to present your art in churches or art shows of relatively religious areas. If your photographs depict animals in the wild, you might find your market at events and fairs which have an environmental or wildlife theme.

This is just the start.  Finding the public requires research as well as plenty of  trial and error along the way. Start with finding other artists who are doing what you want to do successfully. Look and see what they are doing and note down tips from there.

In many cases, you won’t know if something does not work until you try it.  Another question you can ask is: “Who’s got my money?” Today with the internet, it is much easier to figure this out.  You also have to look at what existing forums such as websites, blogs, and social media platforms are available where your niche public will be visiting. There are ads on Facebook, along others, that specifically target your public. Today it is vital to take into account the SEO aspects of your niche market. There are numerous on-line tools that show you what key words people are searching for relating to your niche.

  1. 6. Formulate an overall plan

As the popular adage by Benjamin Franklin goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”  Remember that a crudely written plan that has doable actions which are  actually executed is a thousand times better than the most detailed and elaborate plan which is never put into action.

Over to you and good luck with finding that perfect niche!

Leisa