How to sell your art online
For independent artists looking to profit on talents, getting art out there will likely be high up on the priority list. Whether it’s as a full-time job or a side hustle, artists want their work to reach as many potential customers as possible. There’s no better way to do this than online.
According to Hiscox’s Online Art Trade Report, almost a third of millennials prefer buying art online. However, there’s lots to consider before selling begins. For example, it’s important to know the best place to promote artwork, how much to charge and how to get noticed in such a competitive industry. For those that are interested, these are some tips on how to sell art online.
Ensure your artwork is sellable
The first thing to do is make sure the art is sellable. Research what similar sellers and competitors are doing and how much they’re able to sell their pieces for, taking note of any trends and identifying unique selling points. If the market is completely saturated with little to no gaps, it might be time to rethink the business model and style.
Spend some time checking the prices of similar pieces to ensure the right price is being charged for art. Don’t underprice artwork and lose money on the hard work put in, especially when taking into account how expensive art materials can be. On the other hand, don’t oversell and risk turning customers away with overpriced pieces.
It’s also necessary to make sure art is in the best condition it could possibly be in. Potential buyers will likely be put off making a purchase if the overall presentation is poor, so it’s a good idea to invest in having professional photos taken of work to share online. Those looking to sell prints of work or photos, ensure to get them professionally printed in the style that best works for the artwork. As highlighted by the experts at Soho Frames, there are a number of different printing options available, depending on the style of artwork. German etching, for example, is perfect for “highly detailed prints”, making it one of the best choices for any photographers looking to sell their work.
Build a website
Having a website is important as it’s where customers make contact, learn more about the work and make purchases. Think of it as a personal art gallery. Not only can creations be displayed, but it’s possible to reach potential customers around the world.
There are many website builders that allow website creation without needing to have specialist coding knowledge. SquareSpace and Wix are two examples that allow the use of templates where elements like layout, font and colours can be customised. To sell art online, choose one with e-commerce features, such as a built-in shopping cart, inventory management and a supported mobile app. Shopify is a great platform for this, making it easy for customers to pieces safely and securely.
Sign up to an online gallery or marketplace
Sales are unlikely to take off overnight from a newly-created website that still needs to build presence, so signing up to an online gallery or marketplace can help get a foot in the door and build credibility. Art-selling platforms like Saatchi Art, Etsy and Artsy attract huge volumes of visitors, providing a platform where art can reach a global audience.
There are many things to consider when choosing a platform, such as price. For example, Etsy charges only £0.16 for every item listed and takes a commission fee of 5% if a product sells. However, it’s necessary for the seller to organise postage and packaging for buyers. Meanwhile galleries like Saatchi Art take 35% commission for each piece sold, but handle the shipping process and allow the listing of products for free. Consider what art styles are most popular on each platform, who the main customer base is and whether or not art would sell on the platform.
Include social media in your marketing plan
Social media should be a key part of the marketing strategy, helping to curate an online presence, promote the website and other platforms and hopefully secure more customers in the process.
There are lots of platforms to choose from including Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, however, one may be more effective for a particular business than others. For example, Instagram can act as a portfolio and a huge 80% of art buyers use it to discover new artists, as per the aforementioned Hiscox report. Meanwhile, Pinterest can help to promote art and drive sales. Facebook is more beneficial for local businesses to seek out nearby communities and find potential buyers.
However, be aware that it requires time, hard work and patience before amassing a significant following. To start selling art, you need to develop brand identity so customers begin to recognise your art. This includes things like a memorable name and a distinctive style that users can differentiate from other small businesses. Also, be active online by regularly posting content and interacting with potential customers by replying to comments.
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