1. Good descriptions of your artwork.
Artists are selling themselves as well as their artwork; buyers are interested in your biography and artist statement to help explain the roots of your ideas and inspiration. Each artwork featured needs a full description; buyers rely on this information to make their decision.
Make sure your descriptions are easy to read and remember that spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes make a really made impression on buyers. You can also make sure you optimize your recognition by search engines by using key words. Buyers use key words to narrow down their searches online, so by using these words in your descriptions your work will be identified.
Examples of key words would include descriptions of medium (oil painting, pastel drawing, wood sculpture), style or technique (abstract, expressionist, realist) and comparisons (influenced by Mondrian, Monet). A mixture of key words targeted to general searches and more specialist vocabulary will increase your chances of attracting buyers.
2. Be sociable.
Keywords are a really good tool in most cases but there is more you can do. Social networking is very helpful in increasing your name recognition. It is possible to use this massively popular area of the net and here are some of our tips.
Flickr – This popular site is easy for artists to use, you can sign up for a free account and you can access the many people that browse it daily. You can upload images of your work, full descriptions and link to the websites and galleries where your work is for sale.
Myspace – This site has some great ways for artists to attract new buyers. Your page can showcase your artwork, send out promotional bulletins about your work, join art groups that can help you to network in the art community and adds friends who love your work.
Facebook – This site allows artists to become a part of an artistic community where they live by registering their location. You can join existing groups or create new art groups, add contacts and come up with creative events with a RSVP ability built in for inviting your friends. You can also advertise your art in a very targeted way due to the information held on each page.
YouTube – This site is perfect for uploading videos of you creating artwork or explaining your aims and inspirations of your artwork. People who aren’t creative love to watch the process and other artists always like to find out short cuts or different ways of working. Then you can place a link between your videos and your finished artwork that is for sale.
Forums – Whether an art forum or a more general forum it is a great place to network. It is possible to link to your artwork or website at the end of your post. If you have themes or subjects that inspire you, there are bound to be other people that feel the same way and forums can put you in touch with them.
Social networking sites work when you spend time cultivating connections. You need to spend time talking, commenting on what you see and generally getting involved in what’s going on. If you share an interest with people then working to create networks of people is fun.
3. Start an art blog.
Artists can use blogs to say more about their work and how it is created. You can link to your online gallery where your work can be bought and advertise exhibitions. Blogs attract a different demographic than other online art sites mentioned and is easy to start. WordPress.com is one place where hosting and other complications are done by someone else but is still free.
4. Email newsletter for art lovers.
An email newsletter allows an artist to create and maintain long-term relationships with interested people and customers by keeping in regular contact. If you have also created a blog it is easy to post your artwork online and send out emails automatically.
You can put a subscription box in an obvious place on your blog so that people don’t feel they are being tricked into getting unwanted spam. You can also include a way to unsubscribe to the emails. Emails are a good way to keep in touch with people without being intrusive that enables you to be in the buyer’s consciousness, hopefully leading to more sales.
Just because you are selling your art online doesn’t mean you should only advertise online. Promoting your website in offline ways is very important and can target customers who can then go straight to your site. All your printed material such as business cards, postcards, flyers, exhibition advertising etc should include your main website address, giving customers’ instant access to your work.
6. Form a Group.
When artists join together they are able to increase the number of buyers they can attract to their websites. Within a group there isn’t competition for buyers because although someone may have searched for one type of art, when they reach a group site they look at other art while they are there. You can also make links between individual artist websites which not only increases your web recognition it encouraged buyers to take a look.
7. Give it 6 months.
In any business using any form of promotion you cannot expect instant results. Give some of the things we’ve suggested a try and give them time to work. It takes time but you look back you will be able to see how your business has changed