Are you a new Artist or Photographer? Having trouble navigating the world of sales and marketing? We have a collection of ideas here to guide you on your path to success.
As time goes by we are increasingly moving into a more digitised environment, and the art world is no exception to this rule.
Many people want to become artists but aren’t sure how to earn a living selling art. Maybe you already consider yourself an artist, but you are having trouble making money with your art. Where you sell your art online depends on what type of art you are selling. There are a wide variety of mediums that art encompasses. From drawing and painting to crafting and woodworking, chances are if you’re doing it, you can sell it and make money online.
Auction houses and private sales are moving online, and even galleries are seeing more than half of their sales happen via websites in some cases. This trend shows no sign of slowing, and online sales are increasing year after year.
Whether you sell reproduced prints, original photographs, high priced paintings, sculpture or you like to see your art printed on apparel, there’s guaranteed to be the perfect place available for you to sell your work online. But, with so many options out there, it’s important to find the right websites for your brand.
Artplode lists all kinds of artwork, from sculptures and paintings to photography and digital art, and they require a $60 flat fee per listing rather than a commission when the piece is sold. So, as long as you manage to sell your artwork, this is a great deal. You can also choose whether you’re happy to cover the cost of shipping on your sold pieces or pass it on to your customers. And, if you’re new to the world of art selling, Artplode can match you with a specialist art consultant who will ensure that you’re targeting the right market and selling your piece for the correct price.
If you already have a strong following, you may just want to sell directly from your own website instead of via a third party vendor. Shopify is a great choice for e-commerce software and is flexible and easy to use. It can also be fully integrated into your website, so customers won’t be able to tell that you’re using Shopify. There’s no limit on the number of products you can list on your site, so you can start small and expand as your following grows.
Art finder (www.artfinder.com)
With offices in London and Miami, Art finder displays work from over 10,000 artists in over 100 countries. Every one of the pieces of art is original, and there are no posters or reproduction prints allowed. In terms of the mediums they’ll accept, a broad range is covered, including collage, printmaking and digital art. This site, which was founded in 2011, is fairly exclusive, and there is a selection process before you are allowed to join. Simply
submit your best work and a supporting statement, and if you’re accepted you can set up your online shop. If you get in, you’ll love the company’s focus on authenticity and community. Art finder goes by the ethos that buying and selling art doesn’t have to be a pompous affair, and they deliver a truly refreshing take on the art market.
Saatchi Art (www.saatchiart.com)
Having the opportunity to sell your art on a website under one of the biggest names in the art world might seem like an impossible feat, but it absolutely isn’t. Their audience is huge, and they have over 1 million followers on social media. Add to that another 1 million people that receive their printed catalogue, and you’ve got a lot of potential eyes on your creations. You can set up a shop for free on the site and can list originals and prints. Pieces listed on the site range from artwork under $500 to one-off pieces priced at over $10,000. The downside is that Saatchi Art will take a pretty significant 35% cut of your sale, but they will arrange a courier to collect your piece and will ship it for you in return for the fee.
Artnet markets itself as a modern way to collect contemporary art, so if you work in that field then this site might be for you. Artnet was founded in 1989 with a mission to improve communication between buyers and sellers of art, and they added their online services in 2008. The company now has the largest database of art sales, so this is a must-have resource for serious artists who want to sell their work for a serious price. Art can be put up for auction on the site with guide prices, for a fresh take on the classic auction house vibe. Potential buyers can also contact dealers and galleries directly, which creates a more human experience than some of the other sites on our list. Artnet also provides useful additional paid services such as the Price Database, which is a fantastic art market research tool that lists prices for over 1,700 auctions dating back to 1985. This is designed to help sellers and buyers determine the worth of art, so you can ensure your pricing is on point.
You probably haven’t considered Amazon for art selling, since that’s not what it’s predominantly known for. But, since the world’s biggest e-commerce site opened its Amazon Art section in 2013, it’s a legitimate way for artists to get their work out there. The guest curators give the site more of a gallery feel, and the homepage is helpfully sectioned up into several searchable categories including the main colour and medium. If you want to sell on Amazon Art there is a pre-approval process, and it’s worth noting that only certain mediums are permitted to be sold. 3D art is prohibited, so sculptors will need to find an alternative method of selling their art. It costs $39.99 per month for your online shop and there are additional selling fees, but the reach of this retail giant is unparalleled so you can potentially make a lot of sales from their site.
If you’re looking to see your artwork printed on lots of different products, Society6 is one of the easiest ways to do so. You can set your own royalties on art prints and canvases, so you decide how much money you make on top of the flat selling price that’s provided by Society6. Your items can also be selected to feature in the site’s main shop, which means that customers have more chance of discovering your designs without searching specifically
for your shop. Order fulfilment is all covered by the site, so you don’t need to worry about dealing with customer service which is great if you’re new to art sales and don’t want that hassle.
This Australian company was founded in 2006 and is another print on demand service like Society6. The free online marketplace connects artists with an international client base via an incredibly simple to use the website. As well as printing your artwork on a huge range of products, you can also create reproduction pieces which is great if you want to keep hold of your original artwork for the time being. You can set your own profit margins on your sales, so you can decide how much you make. The average margin is 17%, but you can increase or decrease that according to factors like the time of year and the traffic your product pages are receiving. Like Society6, Redbubble covers payment, printing and delivery, and offers some in-depth traffic analytics are great for artists who are running their shops as a business rather than a hobby, but you can use this tool as much or as little as you want to.
Similar to Etsy, this staple art selling site has been operating for around ten years and has almost 300,000 unique monthly visitors. ArtFire is designed to take the hassle out of building a selling website, and the site is incredibly easy to add your products to. They also have great customer service, should you be new to selling and need some assistance. They also put emphasis on creating connections with other artists so that you can learn and share skills with other people working in your field, which is especially handy if you’re new to the art world. SEO is taken care of too, and ArtFire ensures that your creations are shared to all the major search engines. They take care of the API’s, and every shop on their site is designed to rank well so you can focus on creating more art instead of trying to work out how to get it seen. If you open a standard shop you’ll pay $4.95 per month and 23 cents per listing, but there are other packages designed for larger and busier online stores, so the site will grow with you. Many people want to become artists but aren’t sure how to earn a living selling art. Maybe you already consider yourself an artist, but you are having trouble making money with your art.
Blue Horizon Prints
Yep, that’s us, we are always looking to expand our artist portfolio in order to offer our customers the widest range of quality art, we are an online art selling prints, not originals, companies like ourselves that sell prints need high-resolution scans if you’re selling prints of your paintings or if you’re a photographer it’s easier, we just need the original high-resolution photo. Companies like us usually require a collection of art/images as opposed to just one or two artworks in order to make it worth adding. Commissions are paid as a net percentage of the sale value and are paid quarterly.
The key to any successful sales strategy is marketing, networking, promoting, and getting your name and work out there. Here are the ways you can achieve your goal.
Make an Amazing Online Portfolio
Building an online art portfolio is a crucial first step in marketing your art. Whether you’re networking with a new contact, applying for a particular project, or submitting your work for an art competition, it’s important to have a place where you can direct people to see some of your work. Since your portfolio often serves as your first impression, it’s important to put some thought into it. Here are some key features that will make your portfolio shine-and take your art marketing to the next level! Save yourself some time and go with an online portfolio platform; you can build your site within minutes! Choose one that gives you a free trial, so you can see if it’s the right fit for your needs. Choose a layout and theme that are attractive and easy to navigate; when it comes to marketing your art, you want something fresh and modern, but timeless as well.
Curate That Content
While it can be tempting to show off all your work on your online portfolio, you should be a little picky when choosing what to include. If your portfolio includes too many examples of your work, visitors are less likely to sift through them all. Some of those gorgeous pieces buried in your portfolio may never get seen! Or, if you include pieces that don’t represent your best work, they can distract potential clients from the rest-and make your entire portfolio seem weaker overall.
Ace Your Artist Statement and About Me Page
Make sure to add your artist statement to your website. An artist statement describes how you work and what your art means: learning how to write an artist statement is another important aspect of art marketing. You’ll need it to submit your work to art competitions, and to provide to any media writing about your art. It’s also a cornerstone of creating your brand identity as an artist. The About Me section on your portfolio is a good place to put it. Make sure to fill out the rest of your About Me page with engaging content about yourself and your practice; prospective clients want to get to know the artist behind the art.
Adding a blog to your online portfolio will go a long way in marketing your art, since creating unique content for your site will help improve its search rankings. Blog posts also offer a chance to show off your value as an artist. Whether you’re giving a behind-the-scenes look at your processor providing some tips for your fellow artists, info-packed blog posts demonstrate your wealth of knowledge and position you as an industry leader.
Enter Art Competitions
Entering competitions is excellent for artist promotion. If you manage to win, not only will you earn some attention for your art, but having the award under your belt can help you start building a reputation as a great artist. Even if you don’t win the competition, entering can still help with marketing your art, as many competitions will show off some runner-ups, honourable mentions, or recently submitted entries.
Throw Your Own Art Shows
Want to learn how to promote yourself as an artist? Organising your own art show is a wonderful way to learn the art marketing ropes-and it may be easier than you think.
Think of a theme to tie the whole show together. While it’s not required, a theme can give a sense of focus to an art show and help you decide if there are other artists who you want to feature. Consider making it a group show. More artists mean more art marketing for the show! Each artist will be able to put the word out to their networks of friends and fans, increasing the reach of your artist promotion. Don’t stick to the traditional options for venues. Sure, if it’s in your budget, renting a formal gallery is great. But any place that is open and accessible could work. Some examples include hotel lobbies, restaurants, and music halls.
Attend Art Exhibitions and Fairs
Here you can meet lots of art fans, professional artists, and industry pros like gallery owners and agents. Making these contacts are extremely important; they can keep you in the loop about new opportunities – like which art galleries are looking for submissions-and help you in marketing your art, whether it’s sharing your art show on their social feeds or suggesting popular artists you could collaborate with. Don’t forget to bring your business cards, and hand them out to everyone you meet! It sounds like a small thing, but even a well-designed card can really help with artist promotion.
Join Artist Organisations
Besides offering tons of networking opportunities, these organisations can often provide workshops, artist promotion and advocacy, resources, and more. There are many artist organisations based in specific states or cities, so take a look for any local organisations you might like to join. There are also a variety of national organisations.
Get Involved in Your Community
This is an awesome way to get your name out there and do a little good for your fellow artists at the same time. Some ideas include providing artwork for charity auctions, participating in community art projects like murals, and volunteering to teach at community centres. New to the city? There are still lots of ways to get involved in the artist community and start building that network-and marketing your art.
Collaborate on an Art Project
Finding other artists to collaborate with is a great artist promotion strategy. Having another artist involved means more people will be aware of your work. While finding other artists who work in the same medium as you are a reasonable place to start, if you think outside the box, the opportunities are endless. For example, you could find a band that needs to cover art for their next album.
Apply for Grants
Being awarded an art grant can help you gain attention and boost your reputation as an artist. It may result in some media coverage, and organisations that give art grants typically like to promote the great artwork they’ve supported. There’s a lot of art grants available; look for ones that are the best fit for your work, and get cracking on writing a killer grant application.
Place Your Art in Film and TV Projects
There are some artists who make a living creating artwork that appears in film and TV. This artwork can range from a painting that will be hanging in the background to a business logo or a store-front. If you’re successful in getting your art into a film or TV show, it will result in a lot of eyes on your work and your name in the project’s credits. Get started by contacting local production companies, or failing that, reach out to film and TV students in your community. While having your work in a student production likely won’t launch you into stardom, it is a way to start demonstrating your ability to meet the unique requirements involved with film and TV production.
How to Promote Art Online
No social media marketing plan? Things can get messy! If you don’t have concrete goals in mind, it’s harder to assess your progress and identify areas where your art marketing is lacking. This is why you should start by creating a social media strategy for how to promote your art. It should include things like what you want to get out of your artist promotion campaign, what type of audience you want to target, and which platforms you are going to use.
Set Up Business Accounts on Facebook and Instagram
If you’re still using your personal social media pages as the main way to promote your art online, you should consider creating business pages on Facebook and Instagram. Not only will this make your artist promotion look more professional, but it will also give you access to some more analytics tools to hone your social media marketing strategy. For example, once you have a business page, you’ll be able to use more analytics tools and create Facebook ads. You should start by setting up your Facebook business page since it’s required to create a business account on Instagram. Switching from a personal to a business account is fast, simple, and free! While you’re setting up your new business pages, it’s a good time to take some simple steps to protect your social media accounts from hackers. They can include enabling two-factor authentication, avoiding reusing old passwords, and ensuring your passwords are strong enough.
Get Your Followers to Promote for You
Peer-to-peer promotion is one of the cornerstones of good social media strategy. That means finding ways to get your followers to promote for you.
One way to do that is with contests. For instance, some companies offer free products as prizes and ask participants to enter the contest by making a post that mentions the company or product. As an independent artist, you likely won’t be able to offer an expensive grand prize. However, if you get creative, there are plenty of ways you could entice people to participate. For example, you could task the participants with creating a post about their favourite piece from your portfolio, and offer one of your artworks as a prize. This way, you’ll have participants showing off your work to the people in their networks.
Cross-Promote With Other Artists
There are lots of artists out there in the same position as you: they’re also looking for ways to promote their work. So, one easy way to get some artist promotion is to agree to cross-promote with another artist. It can be as simple as making some posts that highlight the artist’s work and what you like about it, with an agreement that they will do the same. It’s an art marketing win-win: you’ll both get some more eyes on your work. And since everyone’s taste in art is different, you can cross-promote without worrying about sending potential clients to a competitor.
Track Your Progress With Analytics Tools such as Facebook Insights and Instagram Analytics can help you see how well your social media promotions are working. These tools can tell you things like how many views each of your posts attract, and how many of those visitors clicked through to see your online portfolio. By comparing the performance of your
various posts and social media strategies, you can get a better sense of what works and what doesn’t. While the tools that are built into Facebook and Instagram provide enough info to get started, when you’re ready, there are many third-party analytics tools that go further.
Use Post-Scheduling Tools such as Social Media tools like Hootsuite, which has a free platform to start with. Consistently posting fresh content to your social media is important. It’s a great way to keep your followers engaged and attract new ones. However, it can be a pain to stay on top of it day after day. Luckily, there are a variety of scheduling tools that can take the stress out of it. These tools will let you create your posts at your own pace, and then schedule them to be automatically uploaded at specific times. These tools make it easy to post at the best times. As your analytics will likely show you, time of day can be a major determining factor in whether your art marketing is seen, or not.
As a working artist, it’s not enough to produce art: you need to promote your art as well. Your artistic path may be more about your inherent need to create and leave your mark on the world. However, this won’t help introduce your work to the art community. Making sure that your work reaches the right audience and potential buyers are crucial to achieving success. If you don’t make an effort to get your work out there, no one will be able to tell you how much they love it – or purchase a piece.
Promoting your art should not feel overwhelming. You don’t have to do everything at once. In fact, one of the important things about successful promotion is that it is targeted to the specific aims you have in mind. This means that the very first step in promoting your art effectively is to decide what you want to achieve.
If you have only just begun your art career, then you may want to concentrate on building up a reputation and a collector base in your local area. On the other hand, you may be ready to move on a national or international scale. Perhaps you want to make your mark within the community connected to your medium or to develop the interest felt by people interested in the theme you specialize in. Evaluate your current position in terms of your art career and connections, and decide on the goals that you would like to achieve. Promote your art accordingly.
Look For Gallery Representation
If all this seems a bit overwhelming to you, know that there is help out there. Promotional galleries are attractive to artists for precisely this reason. Working with an established, respectable gallery will propel your career forward, sometimes beyond your dreams. The scope of representation varies with each gallery, but you can usually count on exhibitions, various promotions, participation in events, and public relations. Promotional representation includes participation in collective or solo exhibitions with an opening reception to which the entire gallery clientele of buyers, collectors, and media professionals are invited. The development and distribution of online exhibit announcements and also other promotional media surrounding this event is the responsibility of the gallery. Galleries understand your art, the marketplace, and the business of being an artist.
Remember, the world needs to recognize your art and you as an artist. Paying attention to the promotion of your art can help you reach the right audience that will benefit from getting to know you as an artist.