How to Effectively Market Your Art Business Online
Many artists avoid the online art market, fearing that it will cap their earnings early on in their career.
However, online art sales are on the rise, according to Statista, in 2018, online art sales claimed 29% of the total world sales of the art market.
This was an increase of 9.8% from 2017, as shown in a Hiscox survey, proving that online art sales are on the rise.
Here are some more statistics to consider before jumping into the online art market:
- Statista states that in 2019, the art market worldwide was valued at $64billion, the online art market was responsible for $4.64billion of this.
- According to Statista, by 2024, online art sales worldwide are predicted to increase to a total of $9.32billion; this is more than double its current value.
- A Hiscox survey also concluded that in 2019, 29% of millennial buyers said that they preferred buying art online, and the number is predicted to rise by the year.
So, if you plan on selling your art online, now is the perfect time to start setting it up with some of these marketing ideas:
- Freelance (sites such as Fiverr, peopleperhour, and freelancer etc.)
- You can sell on art sales sites
- Social media promo/advertising
- Forming connections with other online artists
- Creating your own site
- A high-quality digital folio
- Taking into account where collectors find their art
All of these ideas can help you to manage your online presence effectively, and here is how:
Sites such as fiverr and peopleperhour can provide artists with somewhere that they can easily accept commissions.
Depending on the type of art that you do, this might be an excellent option to make a name for yourself online. However, for others, this might only be a viable option after you have made a name for yourself.
Keep in mind that places like Fiverr do take a 20% cut from your earnings. Therefore, these sites are a risky business when it comes to selling art, and you may as well sell on your own website, or on an art store such as Saatchi art which takes a 65% cut but offers a broad art market.
Art Sales Sites
These are all viable options if you are considering selling your art online, do some research on these sites beforehand.
Consider things such as the style of art they focus on and what your niche market is, check if they have a selling cost and if they take a percentage of your earnings.
Art sales sites are free to sell on most of the time; however, they do frequently take a percentage of your earnings.
Etsy is a quick and easy option that costs $0.20 to sell an item, and they only take 5% of your sale price. For artists who are starting out, Etsy is a good option for you to start making the best of the online art marketplace.
The benefits of selling on one of these sites are that they do attract a large art following without you having to spend much time on marketing. This will give you more time to focus on your art.
Social Media Promo
Social media can be a significant platform for artists, in a Hiscox survey taken in 2019, 42% of those surveyed (and 53% of under 35s) said that they estimate their daily social media usage to be between one and three hours. This is a significant amount of time for them to stumble across your artwork.
Social media platforms already have a large following of people; you can use this to your advantage. Instagram is the art worlds favourite social media for platforming artist’s work, in 2019, 65% of Hiscox survey takers named it as their favourite social media for showcasing their art. Facebook was the second most popular at 33%.
Pinterest is also an influential social media in the art world, similar to Instagram; it is a social media that focuses on all things visual. Therefore, it is perfect for showcasing your art. Pinterest claims that 83% of weekly pinners have bought items based on pins that they saw.
It is straightforward to target your niche on Pinterest, and every pin that you post links the viewer back to your website. Pinterest is a good way to increase traffic to your store, and thus increase the possibility of a sale.
Communication is an essential aspect of online sales, and Twitter is the perfect social media for this.
Promoting your work on Twitter and communicating regularly with those who interact with your work will create bonds between yourself and your customers, the accessibility to you and your art that Twitter provides people will help you to boost your customer numbers.
Youtube is also an effective tool to use for artists, with 5 billion views daily and over 2 billion subscribers, it is the perfect visual promotion channel. It is free to start up on Youtube and only limited to your creativity.
Social media opens the market to people who usually wouldn’t see your artwork, creating more opportunities to sell your work. Here are some things you can do to create an active social media for showcasing your artwork:
- Engage with other artists on social media (take time to interact with them and share their work), this, in turn, will promote your own work.
- Take time to respond to people commenting on your work; this will show people that you are friendly and approachable. These online relationships will encourage people to buy from you.
- Share high-quality images of your art.
- Share transition videos or images of your art.
- Do NOT try to sell your art in every post, as mentioned above, take time to explain your art through things such as progress videos or images of art you are working on.
- Share your online store (or link to wherever you are selling your art).
- If you have a blog about your art, share that on your social media too. Creating emotional connections will help to sell your work.
- You can also join artist pages on Facebook and share your work there with other artists.
- Lean-to use hashtags effectively; hashtags will increase the traffic to your posts and gain you more followers.
- Be consistent with your posts.
In 2019 67% of Hiscox survey takers said that the posts by artists on social media had the most significant influence when buying art.
This means that social media can either be your success or failure, so learn to use it well by taking into account the tips above.
Social Media Advertising and AdWords
Purchasing ads are a way for artists to direct people towards their art. AdWords are a way of using keywords to guide people to your page. The more specific you are with your AdWords, the more success you will have.
Learn about social media advertising and top tips on which social media to advertise on for your industry and business.
In 2019, 94% of people surveyed for Hiscox said that emotional benefits are an influence when buying art and 81% said that information about the art is critical when deciding on which online sites to buy from.
Therefore, creating a blog that depicts the influence of your art can play a part in a successful sale.
If you choose to start your own blog, make sure to use keywords in order to return a higher search ranking and gain more hits. Find out how to write a killers SEO optimised blog post.
Ideas for what to write about in your blog are:
- Let people know how you create your art.
- Talk about the equipment you use.
- Talk about your inspiration.
- Interview collectors, this also gives you connections that allow you to share your creativity.
A blog can get your message across clearly to your customers and helps to form a trusting bond with them by appealing to them on an emotional level.
In order to have a successful blog, update it weekly, this will also increase traffic to your site. The more content you post, the more likely people are to visit your page.
Connect with Other Artists, and Collectors
As spoken about briefly above, you can connect to other artists and collectors by interviewing them for your blog.
These connections will help you to further your sales and increase your reputation in the art world. You are more likely to have a good reputation in the art world if you have the connections.
Creating Your Own Site
Creating your own website using a site such as Wix, Squarespace or WordPress is easy to accomplish and will provide you with more freedom than art sales sites.
Your website should allow people to connect with you as an artist, and connect with your art while being simple and easy to manoeuvre, 90% of people surveyed in 2019 for Hiscox said that navigation of the site was critical when deciding on which art sites to buy from. Here are some tips:
- Buying art should be easy for customers to navigate on your site; this can be done by using a shopping cart (Shopify is a good option). You should also make sure to include a ‘Shop’ section. If a customer interacts with a piece of art, it should then be easy for them to know the price and purchase it.
- An ‘About’ section is also good and lets customers know more about you and the art that they are buying.
- One of the most important parts of your website should be your email subscribers list. Growing your email list is essential and can increase your sales by quite a bit. It provides you with more chances to connect with customers, encouraging more opportunities for them to connect with your work. You should place an email subscribe button on every page of your website. Somewhere such as MailChimp can make it easy for you to manage. It is essential to keep in touch through emails regularly and make subscribers feel special with perks such as free shipping or discounts.
- Including feedback and reviews on your site can encourage the visitors on your website to trust you. A Hiscox survey states that 60% of people surveyed said that difficulties establishing the reputation of the seller were a key obstacle, giving even more of a reason to provide customer reviews and feedbacks.
- Make sure to include a high-quality portfolio section.
- Have an excellent customer service; you should always be ready to answer your customer’s concerns.
Focus on Your Niche Market
Building your brand is essential; it is about becoming recognisable to people, and more importantly, making your artistic style known to people. Always make sure to focus on your niche markets needs and what that type of customer looks for.
Have a High-Quality Digital Folio
A high-quality digital folio is fundamental. It allows you to sell prints, making your work more available by widening your target market.
High-quality images show that you take your work seriously and also indicates that your work is of a professional standard.
A low-quality image will not do you any favours. In a 2019 Hiscox survey, 74% of those surveyed said that not being able to physically inspect the work and 72% reported not being able to physically inspect the condition were their reasons for not buying art online.
This is why providing professional standard images of your art online can encourage a trust with your customers that can lead to a sale.
Take Notes of Where Collectors Find Their Art
Looking on sites such as https://www.larryslist.com/ will provide you with information on where collectors find their art and what they look for in it, allowing you to tailor your marketing strategy to suit some of your buyers.
Online is a perfect place for you to seek out other artists for advice, and also for creating contacts that will aid you in your sales.
These connections can also provide you with input from people who have experience selling and/or buying their art online.
Some of these ideas may not work for you; it’s all about choosing the marketing options which you will be able to maintain and remain consistent with, while also allowing yourself plenty of time for creating art.
Hiscox, Online Art Trade Report 2019, 2020, Hiscox Group, https://www.hiscox.co.uk/online-art-trade-report
S. Lock, Online Art Market – Statistics and Facts, 2020, Statista, https://www.statista.com/topics/5254/global-online-art-market/