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Sales Funnels – a brief introduction for artists

As I’ve been progressively learning to sell and market my art, I’ve seen various ideas from my “previous lives” as a scientist and entrepreneur translated into art marketing.   One very important idea for any kind of sales and marketing is the “sales funnel”.


A Typical proposed Sales Funnel

A lot of the sales and marketing advice for artists can be found on the internet.   if you sketched out a sales funnel for most of the “how to sell your art” advice I’ve seen, the funnel would look something like this:

sales funnel
The typical “how to Sell Your Art” Sales Funnel found all over the Art Advice web. You’ve seen this time and again in different forms. It’s everywhere. But is it accurate? Is it useful?


The idea is pretty simple.  There are a whole lot of people in the world.  Your sales funnel starts at the big end, where the stuff gets poured in.  Into the funnel go the people who are interested in your art and who respond well to your art.  Now that there are people circling around the wide mouth of the sales funnel, the next step is to try to “engage” them.  Keep them interested in your art and practice.  Some of those people may move on  to make inquiries, check prices and show some serious interest in buying something.  And then – magic happens! you sell some Art – to a total stranger.

The key to using and benefiting from Sales Funnels is to:

  1. Use the sales funnel as a tool or mind map to structure and understand your market research.
  2. Next devise and test specific strategies that target different parts of the funnel.
  3. Measure and test how well those strategies worked.
  4. Finally try a few experiments to enhance progress through the funnel at key points.


I realize this is high level and may seem vague.  However every artist’s specific strategies and funnel will be a little bit different.  We have to start somewhere.  Introducing the funnel as a concept will let me use it in future posts on Art Marketing.

So think about your sales funnel(s).  How has this concept worked for you in art fairs, alternative exhibit spaces, online networking, other situations?  Then please comment and share your insights.

Think about this model, when it has and has not worked for you, and what YOUR sales funnel would really look like.


What has your experience been?  Please bring the conversation!