5 Pieces of Advice for Marketing Your Online Art Business

by Emily on August 23, 2018

in Articles

The art world is a challenging one to make money in. You spend countless hours producing different pieces, but you struggle to sell them for an amount of money that you can live off of so that you can continue to create more work. There’s also the issue of exposure: you probably don’t have the budget for a TV commercial, and local galleries will only get you so far.

This is the digital age, however, and e-commerce is a favorite way to shop. In a time where people are searching for deliverable goods and safe drop shipping suppliers, there have never been more opportunities to find potential customers. If you sell over the internet, you can reach an immense audience, and you can leverage marketing techniques other businesses use every day.

Write a business plan

Like any business, you should have a plan. This plan is subject to change, and you might alter it frequently, but having a fluid one is better than not having one at all. Set goals for yourself and ask questions such as: how much do you expect to earn over the next year? When do you anticipate money coming in the most? How much work do you need to sell to reach those goals, and what will you do during the slow months? When you have a plan, you can react more quickly when things go differently.

Feel free also to conduct a market analysis. Who are your competitors? Artists might find themselves thinking, “Well, every other artist out there,” but if you have a target audience, you can narrow it down. You would never dream of copying someone else’s work, but you can copy their strategies for selling it. Maybe they write blogs, use social media, enter contests, or even make SEO efforts. Find out if whatever is working for them will work for you, too.

Have your own website

While there are platforms out there that allow you to share your work on them, it is wise to have a website dedicated to your brand. Alan Bamberger from ArtBusiness.com says that “free websites and fee-based multi-artist web hosts can also compromise the presentation of your art by placing obtrusive advertisements or links to their companies on your pages. Incentives for visitors to leave your site and go somewhere else are NEVER good. Some of these sites can even compete directly against your site in online searches.”

You do not want to lose valuable traffic, so make sure you have you have your own domain name. Doing so will also establish legitimacy and credibility.

Take advantage of Instagram

You know you need to be on social media, but figuring out Facebook and Twitter is tricky. However, Instagram is ideal for artists. Not only can you post almost full-screen images of your work, but you can also make your page “shoppable,” enabling visitors to purchase pieces directly from your profile.

Remember to post frequently so that people are incentivized to follow you. Not everyone will be a customer—just fans—but they are essential to your business as well, and they can advocate for you free of charge. The more fans you have, the more popular you become online, and the higher the chances you have of making a sale.

Submit to General Public

The company General Public, founded by actor Portia de Rossi, prints 3D replicas of your paintings. If you submit your art and the company accepts it, they will reproduce copies called synographs, which include the texture of your work instead of turning it into flat poster versions. Purchasing a synograph is as close to buying an original work of art you can get, and artists receive royalties for each sale.

Network

Never forget to network, whether in-person or online. If you meet with collectors, investors, gallery owners, fellow artists, and others, you gain exposure and can win over advocates who will keep you in mind next time someone asks, “Do you know of any talented up-and-coming artists?”

Make yourself available on social media. Many companies respond to comments and questions, so you should do the same. Even if viewers are only fans and are not in a position to purchase your work, it’s good to let them know that you appreciate their kind words, which encourages them to share your art with their peers.

This process differentiates you from creating just another online “museum.” If you connect with people who love what you do, you strengthen your online presence and let visitors know that you see them, too. People often enjoy opportunities to discuss their favorite pieces with creators, and you have a chance to tell them more about your story and what each work means to you.

Art is an integral part of culture, but creators still need to make themselves known. How will you go about selling your work online?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Sajid Akhter August 24, 2018 at 08:32

Hi Emily,

Good post! Networking is very important to expand the horizon and get more reach. Once the visibility is there, people will be able to know about your work. The more people know the more the chances of your sale.

Thanks for sharing, have a good day. 🙂

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