Last updated on December 11th, 2019
It’s said, “Art is Freedom. And, artists are the ones who can bend things that most people see as a straight line”. No wonder, artists are equipped with amazing skill sets that help them to create unique and mesmerising artworks. And like any other person, they need to sell their artworks for their living survival. But, for amateurs, who lack in experience to sell art online and business strategies, the marketing and selling aspects become more perplexing for them than their usual understanding. Still, if they follow the basics and right marketing strategies, they can boost their art sales like any other successful artist.
When it comes to selling your art, marketing tactics have changed drastically over a while. During the 19th century, the salons used to be the prime venues for displaying artistic works. In the 20th century, commercial galleries replaced the salons.
Now, in the 21st, the Internet has made the galleries look somewhat obsolete. Today, most art sales are conducted online, which also has helped the art market expands rapidly.
So, in this digital age, freelance artists, including illustrators, hand lettering stylists, and even photographers, can rely on the Internet to sell art online. Yes! They are no longer dependent on physical galleries or art shops to find potential customers.
Instead, an online shop platform can do wonders in selling all kinds of arts to prospective customers. This is because most buyers first visit online platforms to find out artworks for sale and buy online conveniently.
The Study From TEFAF’s Annual Art Market Report States:
i. More than 20% of art sales come from smartphone orders.
ii. Online art sales have increased from $2.75bn to $3.63bn in the last year.
iii. Majority of sales being made in the middle-market range of $1,000 – $50,000 (US)
However, despite the Internet presenting a great sales opportunity, many artists, especially freshers, fail to understand how to sell art online. They do not know how to make substantial earnings from their artworks. A major reason for their failure is their wrong marketing approach.
Therefore, when you are interested to make money online as an artist by selling art on the various online platforms, then make sure to correct the basics of sales and marketing. Treat your art as a product just like there are plenty in any market. To sell, you must have a clear strategy to catch customers’ attention.
Here Is The List Of Tactics That You Should Keep In Mind When You Are Ready To Sell Art Online
01. Know Your Specific Style
Artists are known for their distinctive styles to create memorable artworks. But most fresher artists sometimes are not sure which style to follow or make their style statement. So, they create art randomly. That approach may not be suitable for to sell art online and earning money as a freelancer. Rather, pick a style that you are passionate about.
For example, choosing a particular style for illustration and hand lettering will also help you stay focused on your work and make most of it. Note that the world of illustration and hand-lettering has a plethora of styles.
For instance, in hand-lettering, major styles include sans serif, serif, cursive or script, vintage, gothic – blackletter calligraphy, graffiti, and creative lettering. Then, the sub lettering styles, such as adding some effects, working with shadows, tweaking the perspective, playing with colors, etc. also are prevalent.
Similarly, there are plenty of illustration styles, as well. Pencil illustration, charcoal illustration, pen and ink illustration, and woodcutter illustration are most adopted. Other illustrations created by using watercolors, acrylics, and lithography too are favorites of many artists.
Considering these many styles, you should master only a few of them so that you focus your energy and time. With a specific art style, projecting yourself as an expert artist in that style becomes a lot easier. Remember that customers usually look for brands. Therefore, your style can showcase you as a trustworthy brand amongst art buyers.
02. Open An Online Shop
An online shop is the first basic setup you need to put in place to sell art online. As a fresher, you may not have the resources to start your website as it is expensive to buy a domain, hire a web designer, and then maintaining its functioning at the optimum level.
Therefore, considering your limited resources, open your art shop on an established platform known for selling art. You can approach sites like PrintShop to open your own. This is how to sell your art online using an already established site’s resources.
At PrintShop, opening an art shop is an easy and straightforward process. Just signup and start your shop page immediately. Then, upload your artworks in different categories. You can make money as a fresher by selling your illustrations and hand lettering etc. art under categories like Men’s, Women’s, Kids & Babies, Accessories, Posters, and Home & Living.
So, create your art for men’s and women’s apparel such as t-shirts, hoodies, do phone case illustrations, all types of posters, and upload them on the site to start selling on printshop.
One of the attractions of PrintShop for artists is that this site promotes and markets your art. When you sell your works to a customer, the site also takes the responsibility to deliver the product to the customer’s door. So, as a fresher, the site marketing your art is a great relief for you.
You can focus on creating the art more than diverting your energies on marketing. However, by making additional promotional and marketing on our end, you can boost the sales art shop online.
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03. Research Your Target Audience
But before you find out where to sell your art online, know who is the ideal customer of your artworks? You should find out a precise answer to this question to know more about the potential buyer. After all, a customer interested in illustrations is unlikely to buy hand lettering products.
So, know which businesses mostly use that specific art you create to promote their brands. Take a deeper look into the art market to finger out who more often buy the type of art you create. Identify your target demographics in terms of gender, income, age, location, etc.
Additionally, talk to your fellow artists and ask them about who could be potential buyers to sell art online. So, consider your target audience to make money as a graphic designer or artist.
04. Identify Key Competitors
Competitors are part of any business, and art is no exception to it. Hundreds of artists, freshers, and established ones, compete hard to sell art online. Many of them actively promote and sell in the very art category that you have a passion for.
In your art field, you will encounter direct and indirect competition. Those who sell the same art products as you sell are your direct competitors in the business. Your prospective buyers will compare and evaluate both you and the other sellers to make the right buying decision.
Indirect competition comes from those companies who use similar types of content and use the same keywords as you to become visible to the customers in the search results digitally. Since you sell your art online, know what your indirect competitors are doing to catch the buyers’ attention.
To identify your direct competitors, do extensive market research. Find which artists and companies are selling similar art products. You should also try to take feedback from those who bought your art pieces. They can tell which alternative sellers they usually go to buy art. You should also check social media and online community forums for the art sellers who are your potential competitors.
When finding out the indirect competitors who post similar content as you do to drive customer attention, first do keyword research. This is the best way to know your indirect competitors.
You should take a look at the search ranking for the relevant keywords of your art field and see which sales websites are ranking high. They are your competitors. Then, post content with similar keywords to rank your online shop higher.
05. Set The Prices Right
When you sell art online, make sure that your art prices are just right for the customers. But it is not merely a question of the budget for the prospective buyers. They take into account many other things in making a buying decision.
If the artist is a reputed name and a brand, they can spend more on art. But not many people know you as an artist. Therefore, your art prices must be differently set for the customers to make money online.
However, that does not mean that you should lower your prices too much. A correct way to set the prices is first to calculate your cost of producing the art. You can include the cost of the material, such as colors, brush, and other materials. Then, on this base price, add your profit margin to get the minimum price at which you should be selling. Do not sell your art below this price as it is not profitable.
Try your hand also in some price deduction tactics. For example, you offer discounts by first raising the prices and then lowering them by offering discounts. Also, offer a wide range of affordable prices to the customers for different art pieces in various categories. That way, you give customers a variety of purchasing options in terms of prices.
06. Create An Attractive Portfolio
Buyers first want to go through an artist’s portfolio. You have two ways to create a portfolio and make money as a fresher. The first one is to have a dedicated website to display your best artworks and skills.
Many artists have their portfolio sites. But it is an expensive option for a fresher artist. Moreover, as a new artist, a dedicated portfolio website is not essential at this stage.
The second option is to get a free online portfolio page at a reputed site. There are websites where you can create your portfolio page to showcase your artworks. Designhill is one such leading marketplace where artists and designers put their best works on display for potential buyers.
All you need to do is to sign up as a designer with this site to create your dedicated portfolio page. Display your best works in different categories. Do not forget to tell about yourself as an artist in the About page of the site. You can put the art pieces you want to sell in the On Sale section of the portfolio page.
Most importantly, get recommendations from your satisfied clients and include those in the Testimonial section. The prospective buyers will thoroughly scan the portfolio page before buying your art and your services.
07. Know How To Network
In the world of art, the importance of networking is well recognized to sell art online. Some of the artists who get customers all the time are the ones who are the masters of networking. But it is not just about socializing.
More than that, it is about sharing your artistic style, vision, and discussing your skills and artworks with people and experts in detail. In this way, you sell yourself as an artist.
For a fresher, networking may be a little intimidating due to inexperience in this field. But as you proceed further and learn from your mistakes. Just keep faith in your art and skill. Share your passion honestly with people who matter.
08. Send Emails To Drive Customers
Email marketing has proved its worth for driving customers to businesses. You should first gather email addresses of people, such as your friends and neighbors. When you go to an art exhibition, get business cards of prospective buyers to access their emails. After you have a substantial list of email addresses, send them email messages regarding your artworks.
Create personalized email messages so that the readers can relate to your art and visit your portfolio or another art site. You should lure them to your site by offering attractive discounts on prices. Also, inform them whenever you add new work to your portfolio to sell art online.
09. Use Social Media For Art Promotion
No business can do well without considering social media for marketing. New artists are today well versed with the use of social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use these platforms to promote and market your art and skills.
But know that social channels are networking tools that are designed to help you manage your existing clients. You should talk more about your art on Twitter and Facebook as well as Instagram, which is an image-based platform.
These basics should guide you to prepare well before you think of putting your art for sale in the market. Remember that the online approach of marketing is different than when selling offline. So, create your online specific marketing strategies to find customers.
An artist who is starting new in the art market is often directionless when it comes to making an earning by selling artworks online. To sell art online, a new artist first determines which art style is salable. Then, research the target market and customers to create art specifically for them.
Open an online shop at a reputed site such as PrintShop, create a portfolio, and make good use of social media to promote your art and drive customers to your shop.