5 Strategies for Selling Art Online
How much time do you spend making art versus marketing your art? I remember a while ago, my husband said to me, you should be spending 50% of your time marketing. I am pretty sure my response to that wasn’t exactly smiles, but here I am a few years later, reluctantly putting my hand up to say - he was right!
Unfortunately art doesn’t sell itself, once you’ve finished a painting there is more work to be done to make sure that piece ends up in the hands of a buyer.
The good news is that we live in a world where marketing doesn’t have to be tricky or expensive. Artists can now reach audiences all over the world using social media platforms and email marketing.
But where do you start? Well, you start simple, you choose a strategy and you do it well. Here are five to choose from:
1. A Painting a Day
Strategy: Share a painting each day on Instagram or Facebook for a specific time frame (e.g. 30 days) and ask followers to comment SOLD to buy the painting.
If you want to generate excitement on your social media and introduces your work to new collectors - this is the strategy for you. The down-side is that it requires time and discipline to follow it through. Mind you, cultivating discipline and focus is going to have a tremendous knock-on effect on other aspects of your creative life, so all-in-all I would say that this strategy is brilliant. Just make sure you are organised!
2. Product of the Month
Strategy: Highlight a product by offering a special deal on that product for the month e.g. print, series or painting of the month.
This is a great way to direct attention to an area that you want your audience to take notice of e.g. a new product or perhaps a product that you want to reintroduce your audience to.
3. A Special Collection
Strategy: Create a series of work and release all the pieces on a specific date as a collection.
What I love about this strategy is that your creative flow doesn’t get interrupted by marketing activities. You can focus on developing your work and then when the pieces are finished, turn your attention to the marketing tasks such as coming up with titles, photographing the work, listing it on your website, promoting it on social media etc. With this strategy you build anticipation in your audience and encourage multiple purchases as your buyers will have several pieces to choose from.
4. VIP Event
Strategy: Treat your newsletter subscribers (yes, you should have a newsletter) and offer them the opportunity to preview your work and buy before you open up sales to the general public.
I am a big fan of list building. My email list is the most valuable audience I have! With this strategy you can grow your email list and build connections and loyalty with your collectors.
5. Flash Sale
Strategy: Offer a fantastic deal with a very limited time frame - e.g. a 48 hour sale.
The key with a flash sale is to make it an enticing offer and to get the message out quickly across all of your platforms. Yep, this is the sale that you want to shout from the rooftops and announce several times on all of your marketing channels. Flash sales work well when tied in with seasonal events e.g. Mother’s Day, Christmas etc and can be a way to tap into those times when people are most likely to be buying. You can also time a flash sale (or any of these strategies) to help boost a month when sales are lower than expected.
The key with all these strategies is planning and execution. You are better off doing only one of these and doing it really well rather than trying to do them all and coming up short.
So with that said, keep is simple, pick one and run with it!