Last updated on December 11th, 2019
You may be a well-trained artist with skill sets to create unique art pieces; but, that doesn’t qualify you to be an awesome seller. Being a new artist, it becomes difficult to sell your art in the market and make huge profits. Sometimes, selling becomes a big puzzle. Therefore, if you are pondering on how to make money as an artist, then you need to master the art of selling by putting the basics of marketing and promotion altogether.
Many artists start their online shops with enthusiasm. In the beginning, they are quite confident that their artworks are top creative pieces that will sell without much effort.
However, soon they hit the reality that buyers are harder to find, then selling for them becomes a big puzzle. This ultimately results in frustration for the talented artists when their sales are not picking up. If the artist is home-based and aspires to make it big as a freelancer, the frustration sets in earlier.
What should you do?
To escape from such a situation, a better approach is to learn at least some basics of marketing, promoting, and selling. You don’t need to do an MBA to master this selling art. All you need to do is to understand the basics of current marketing trends and follow them religiously.
Hundreds of new and experienced artists are already selling their art online. They are your direct competitors. This should prompt you to first build a marketing strategy to reach out to a target audience of your art. Once that is in place, the rest of the marketing becomes a lot easier to implement.
What should keep you focussed is that many new artists are earning well by selling art online. For instance, they start selling on PrintShop offered by Designhill and make money online. In the same manner, you need to be part of online art selling platforms, follow some marketing tactics and keep yourself updated with current online marketing trends.
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Follow These Crucial Tips When Thinking About How To Make Money As An Artist
01. Find Your Creative Niche
The first step to take for making money as an artist is, to be honest with what you are actually good at. The art field is vast and not every artist has an interest in creating everything.
For instance, you have good hands in creating those classy letters, which we know as the art of hand lettering. If that is your core interest, then spending too much time on illustration or graphic designing, or painting is not advisable.
Most artists are known for their one core interest and activity in their field. They are successful also in terms of earning money because they focused on their main interest and spent time sparingly on other artistic expressions just for curiosity.
Tips To Find Your Creative Niche
i. Know Your Style
First, be aware of your own style of creating art pieces. Which style do you naturally link with often? Are you more interested in creating geometric patterns, or is it the line art that attracts you more? Also, make sure that you are passionate about the art and style you wish to pursue.
ii. Have Passion
You should be enjoying the whole creative process, which is a condition to go on working and earning money.
iii. Find Out Your Motivation
What is your motivation behind creating an art piece? If you can answer this question precisely, it will help you position well in the art market.
02. Know Your Target Audience
One of the key considerations for how to make money as an artist is knowing your audience. They are the people whom you will be selling your creative works. They are your potential buyers. But, you must first have some insight into who they are, what are their behavior, what they like, what are their interests and so on.
A little bit of research about your audience can help you know more about their varied backgrounds. This implies that the art you are creating may have some cultural references. So, people belonging to that culture maybe your target customers. You will then reach out to those people more to sell your works.
So, the target audience may be a broader one such as for graphic design works such as logos, websites, brochures, etc. Such an audience may be specific to the industry from where you will get the clients.
But you can also narrow down your target customers to your Instagram followers. Or, you can decide to sell your works only to the people who are on your email list. You can choose the audience depending on your skill sets as well.
03. Reach Out To Potential Customers With Emails
Email marketing is not only cost-effective and well within the small budget of most beginner artists but also a potent tool to drive customers. However, you should plan your email campaign well to get the best results. First, collect email addresses of potential customers of your artworks. You can do it in a number of ways.
You can ask visitors to get your newsletter, tutorials, or whitepaper, etc on different aspects of art free by signing in and giving you their email addresses. Also, create subscription forms and place them on the strategic places on your website.
Consider These Points While Creating Your Email Marketing Campaign
i. Do Not Force Yourself
Remember that an email campaign is not about pushing your artwork to the subscribers. So, when you use this medium to create ways to make money, do not force your artworks on the recipients of your emails by directly asking to buy your work.
Instead, first, introduce yourself humbly in your welcome email series. Once they are familiar with who you are, you can start sending more content about your skill, the latest pieces you created, discounts, etc.
ii. Write A Catchy Subject Line
A subject line give the reader an idea of what the email is all about. It should be catchy and informative. When the subscriber checks the Inbox, your email should be opened and not deleted. The aim here is to entice the subscriber when checking the Inbox.
So, keep the line limited to only 20 characters. You can use the tool like SubjectLine.com to make sure that your email doesn’t fall into the SPAM category. The tool provides you the score that helps you to create the better subject lines. Your ideal score should always be more than 80.
iii. Personalize Your Content
Avoid writing your email message in a mechanized language. Rather than making it seem as if it is for all, make the message specially personalize for that particular subscriber. So, address the subscriber by the first name and write in a friendly language. Also, write something relevant and useful for the reader.
iv. Keep The Message Short
No one has all the time to read an email. Therefore, write something that they can finish reading in around 11 seconds, which is an average email reading time reported by different surveys.
v. Include A CTA Button
Do not forget to incorporate a clear call to action such as ‘I want to buy’ or ‘Buy Now’ at the end of the email message.
04. Network With The Art Community
Networking is crucial to engage people with what you do. One of the basics of how to make money as an artist, when you are a beginner, is to join various groups of artists. You can do so in several ways.
Here Are Some Tips
i. Help Others
This is a proven tip. If you wish to build a great network of fellow artists, then start helping them. You should create relationships by interacting with them to generate goodwill for yourself. They will then help you in meeting your career goals. Meet other artists very often and support them. You can meet them in association meetings and even online forums.
ii. Introduce Yourself Impressively
Whenever other artists want to know about what you do, make sure that your introduction is powerful and impressive. That is the first impression you should leave on them. If they are interested, they will surely contact you later to know more about you.
iii. Do Not Sell But Connect
When building a connection with artists or potential customers, avoid giving the impression that you are desperate to sell your work. Instead, build true relationships and connections with them. Enquire about them and their interests, etc. Just try to engage them with your talks and knowledge.
iv. Get Their Business Cards
Business cards are important to build a network. Collect the cards of other artists and clients. Then, follow up by sending an email to them. Mention the context of the meeting in your message, and request for a future meeting. Also, do not forget to bring your own business cards as well to such meetings and hand it out to them.
05. Sell At The Right Price
Another thing to keep in mind when thinking about how to make money as an artist is the right prices. The right level of art price is not always the same for every artist. But there are some basics to follow here as well. Know that the price should be profitable but at the same time not so high that it discourages customers from buying.
Follow These Tips To Set The Prices Right
i. Compare Prices Of Other Artists
Before setting the prices, research to know how other artists have priced their similar artworks. That will give you a fair idea of where to place your art piece in terms of price. But compare the other artists’ works which are similar in medium, style, size, color, etc. Do not ignore the artist’s experience and geographical location.
ii. Keep The Price Same
If you are selling an art piece from two or more platforms, online or offline, keep the same price. This fills customers with confidence and trust in your works.
iii. Consider Your Profit Margin
When you set the price, calculate how much money, material, and time you spent in creating the art. Then, add how much you want to earn a profit from it. The sum total of what should be the right price of the artwork.
iv. Avoid Underselling
Often, new artists place their artwork prices way lower than they deserved to get. By selling at such low prices, you can sell but not earn a profit, which is so crucial to building a design career.
v. Stand By The Price
Once you have set the prices carefully, stand by it. Sometimes, the firm prices also speak a lot about your confidence in your work and customers like that characteristic of an artist. It’s better to be aware of your products’ cost price and margin beforehand and know how to price your products.
06. Build Social Media Presence
In today’s world, no business can survive for long without building a sizable social media presence. Even big business houses use social platforms to announce their developments. So, social media is a key tool when thinking about how to make money as an artist online.
Many social media platforms are available today for reaching out to the target audience. But three of them stand out for artists. These are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Instagram is mainly a visual medium and very little text. You should post great quality pictures of your art pieces on Instagram along with its description. This channel is one of the best to sell art quickly to your limited audience who are your followers of the account. If they like, they will contact you to buy it. Just post pictures of your art and the buyers will message you if they need to buy.
When on Twitter, share images of your artworks along with relevant information. But engage them with your content. Remember that tweets with the images will get you more click-throughs and retweets. Make sure that you tweet at the right time of the day to sell your art.
Generally, it is believed that on the weekends, engagement with brands is much higher than on other days. You should also retweet other artists’ content and get yourselves involved in hashtags. Try to share the art industry news as well.
As far as Facebook is a concern, to make money as a designer or artist, post useful content for fellow artists so that it offers real value. As an artist such as an illustrator, post as many cool images as you can of your works.
Know that sharing of images is the way to get more click-throughs, engagement, and interactions. You can also create your own community of art lovers to place your new art pieces before them for their comments.
07. Sell On PrintShop
One of the best ways to make money online by selling your art is to start your shop on PrintShop. This is a site owned by the leading marketplace Designhill, which brings its expertise and experience in making the shop useful to the artists and graphic designers. They can display their latest or old art prices in the shop and start selling straight away.
Just sign in to have your own shop started on PrintShop. Amongst the key advantages for the artists is that they are saved from the worries of marketing their art. The site takes the responsibility of marketing. But you need to promote your skill and art pieces as much as you can on different platforms to increase your reach in the art market.
08. Earn From Design Contests
As a freelance artist, another effective way to make money online is to participate in various design contests. Designhill runs hundreds of contests for designers and artists. These contests are from business owners who need visual identities such as logos, brochures, business cards, hand letterings, illustrations, etc. In this way, you can always keep yourself busy as there is plenty of work available.
Know that every design contest comes with enticing prize money. Even with a few contests wins in a month, you can surely earn nicely as an extra source of money. Also, these contests give you a chance to test your skills and prove yourself.
Another thing to note here is that many business owners like to work with talented designers. So, chances are that they find you from a contest and then invite you to work on a one-to-one project. This becomes your additional source of income as a freelance artist.
09. Create Videos
There is no doubt that video marketing is amongst the most result-oriented tools to drive customers. Today, people have videos first in mind when they think about how to make money as an artist. Most people from a variety of professions have their own YouTube channel to share their experience and tips. That is the way to promote your self as an expert artist in your niche. After your audience has trust in your abilities, many of them can be turned into your buyers of art.
Here Are Some Tips To Make Video Marketing Work For Artists
i. Target Your Audience
Make sure that your every video is aimed at the niche market and audience. You should make videos that show how to create art or that gives tips regarding an issue. You can also review art products or have interviews of artists done on your channel.
ii. Create A Catchy Video Title
It will entice viewers for clicking on your video link. You should use keywords also in your title so that the video ranks higher on search results. Keywords are important for video optimization.
iii. Avoid Making Lengthy Videos
Do not make videos that consume a lot of viewing time as people have little patience these days to stay glued to one point. So, keep the video length to 5 minutes or less. Such short videos are viewed the most.
iv. Do Not Forget To Brand Yourself
Make sure that you speak about your artworks, skills, experience, and what you are doing nowadays in your videos. Take your artist name and brand and logo, if any, in videos so that people keep that in mind.
v. Make Your Own YouTube Channel
Start your own YouTube channel to promote yourself as an artist and it is one of the best ways to make money. As your channel grows in the number of subscribers and viewers, you earn money from advertisements on your channel. But most importantly, you can create your profile and link it back to your website.
vi. Promote Your Video
To earn money as an artist from video marketing, promote your video channel aggressively on social media like Facebook and Twitter as well.
So, these are the key things you should consider how to make money as an artist when you are still starting out. Focus on each of the points to engage your audience with your art pieces and skill to get more of them sold at an attractive price.
For an aspiring artist who has started new in the art market, selling even a few artworks becomes extremely difficult. Therefore, instead of resting on your skills as an artist, it would be good to pay heed to some marketing tactics as well.
When looking at how to make money as an artist, you must consider some proven strategies to increase your reach amongst target buyers of your art. So, consider your own art style and specialization, your market, set the right prices, use social media, email marketing, and video marketing to your advantage for selling art at profitable prices.