May 7 2012 Sara
ArtWeb’s blog series on art and money
Hello! We hope you enjoyed Part 1 in the ‘Art and Money’ series, looking at pricing your artwork. Over the next few months we’ll be looking at some of the issues to do with selling your work online, inlcuding generating traffic to your site, funding options, marketing & networking, and maintaining your success. With a focus on selling online, we’ll be talking to artists who are successfully making money through their art, getting feedback from the buyers of art, and giving you first hand advice on what can at first seem a daunting topic!
This issue is all about generating traffic and sales.
- How can you effectively drive visitors to your site?
- How can you turn those visitors into buyers?
- How do other artists do it?
Driving Traffic: Marketing yourself online
One of the best things about today’s digital world, is that the Internet has made it possible to market yourself to a potentially limitless audience. It cuts out the middleman, and allows you to have total control over your online presence. Online communications are effective, fast and cheap… But remember, the more you put into online marketing, the more you’ll get out of it! Below are some useful ways to market your work effectively online:
You might remember we wrote an article a few months ago about how to use social media effectively, in order to drive traffic to your website. Here are some further tips, keeping in mind the focus on selling…
- Post regularly, and link it to new work that you’ve uploaded. In all of your posts, try and think cleverly about how your Tweet or update could relate to your work
- Talk about recent or large sales on your Twitter account – this will create a buzz and generate a curiosity about your work. People are often more inclined to buy something if they hear other people are buying it!
- Use your individuality. Do you have an original technique that helps create your paintings? Do you have a crazy story about how you ended up becoming a photographer? Sharing these things will shape your background story, and allow people to feel more connected to you and your work.
- Create a Facebook page, and expand your audience even further. Remember, the ArtWeb Facebook app actually enables you to sell through Facebook, making it even easier for your fans to become buyers!
- Keep your ears open: While using your individual voice is important, it’s also essential that keep the look out for any opportunities from other people. Seen a tweet saying ‘looking for a new print for my office’? It could be the perfect time for you to reply!
We previously featured an article on how blogging can be an extremely useful tool – read it here. Below we’ve summed up why blogging can be great for drawing potential buyers to your site!
- You’ll be surprised at the increase in online visibility and your audience by having a regularly updated blog
- Having a blog means you are inviting feedback and conversation, and in turn generating interest
- Creating a community around your blog will build further interest in your website
- Allowing people to read about your work and the process behind it will help people feel like they are getting to know the artist behind the work. This creates a personality that people are even more likely to remember and associate with your work, and hopefully encourage others to look at your site!
- Having a platform that openly encourages feedback, will enable you to learn about who your buyers are and establish why certain work sells better than others
- Comment on other relevant blogs, and build networks with fellow artist bloggers. You can link back to your blog, and all of their readers will see it!
See your website as an online studio
At the heart of your online presence is your personal website. It’s important to make sure this element isn’t forgotten about while you get carried away with Tweeting or blogging!
- Really use your website to it’s maximum potential, and update it regularly. Even if you haven’t made any new work, a switch around once in a while can make it feel like a fresh and exciting place to visit
- Here’s a great idea: Curate a monthly themed exhibition on your homepage. For example, perhaps you’ve created a series of paintings over the years that incorporate visuals of the sea. It could be nice to collate all of these works and group them as slideshow, for example, on your home page. This would help to keep your website exciting, whilst highlighting specific work that you are keen to sell!
- Seeing as online there isn’t a physical person (as in a real gallery) for buyers to direct their questions, you need to make sure all of the information is clear and obvious, to avoid putting people off. See our previous blog post on Making it Clear for some further advice on this.
So tell me! How can I turn visitors into buyers?
One of the most important factors in ensuring a high proportion of visitors end up as buyers, is ensuring you are getting the right visitors! Here are some tips on how to do this:
- Throughout your blog, Twitter and Facebook activity, make sure you are always being true to yourself and your work. This way, the people reading will be the ones interested in your process and story, and are more likely to visit your site in the mindset of buying!
- Keep your online activity regular! Even if you aren’t making new work, keep up the buzz and talk about other creative activities you do. Perhaps you’re a photographer who holds workshops every fortnight? Talking about this could make your blog more searchable by people interested in photography, and therefore interested in buying your work.
- Make sure you set out some clear terms and conditions. Members of artweb can easiliy generate a terms and conditions page using our template terms here… and here’s an example of the completed terms on Mary Stubberfeld’s website!
(Mary Stubberfield -terms and conditions page)
- Have a variety of pricing/sizing options: see part 1 on pricing your artwork
- Make sure all your work is priced, and if possible has a “Buy Now” button or some sort of online payment link, so visitors can order your work online
- For selling online, research shows that having a your own picture (mug shot) helps reassure visitors in that it increases buyer confidence and the number of online sales. Here’s an example from jewellery designer Wendy Kemp:
- For some further advice, there’s a great e-book written by Chris Guillebeau called ’The Unconventional Guide to Art and Money’. You can buy it here!
How do other artists do it?
Jewellery designers Abby Hook and Wendy Kemp both use online marketing to their advantage, and believe the key to their success is through social media and regular email newsletters:
I am very active on line. I am constantly looking for new ways to raise my public profile on line and drive traffic to my site, you name it I have tried it! I find the two most effective ways are through social network sites and with a customer mailing list (via email). You have to be seen and you have to post often, keep people interested with new product, promotions and general chit chat. The single, most important thing you can do though, is update your site often (at least twice a week), give people a reason to keep coming back, post new pictures of your work, events you are attending, galleries you are exhibiting in, anything to keep your website fresh and up to date.
View Abby’s website here!
As far as marketing goes, I add every buyer to my mailing list and ask everyone who enquires about my work if they would like to join my mailing list, at the beginning of each month I send out an email newsletter with images and links to gift ideas on my website. As well as reminding people you are there, it is also a good idea to have something new for each month. I have often waited until the beginning of the month to launch a new collection or some kind of special offer. If you had a print made you could offer a ‘print of the month’.
See Wendy’s jewellery designs on her website: http://www.wendykempjewellery.co.uk/
We hope this has helped you think about how you can improve traffic to your site, and in turn generate more sales. We’ll be back soon with advice on how to secure funding for the creation of your art. See you in a month’s time!
Want to see the rest of the Art and Money series? Here are the links: