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Selling Art On The Internet

 

Selling art on the Internet requires determination and the ability to implement some core business principals.

I was once told a long time ago by a successful businessperson that, "marketing is everything". While I believe you need to produce a good product, I strongly agree with the belief that marketing is vitally important in progressing in any business, including the arts.

 

In terms of marketing and selling art on the Internet, there is no doubt that it takes patience and perseverance. Like any business, it takes time to build a presence and a following. My motto is "work on building your tribe".

Regardless of where you live in the world, the same rules apply in regards to marketing your work online.

I believe there are 5 core principals that all artists should implement when they start selling art on the Internet.
 

Quality Artwork

The first one is kind of obvious, but very important. You need to be producing good art. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much time you spend on marketing. If your artwork doesn't connect with your audience you simply will not sell any art.

If you are unsure about your work in regards to how it will be received, then a good idea is to start by selling in your local community. Get some feedback from people who have had the benefit of viewing your work in the flesh. 

Additionally, keep working. Keep developing your craft. 

 

Target Market

The second principal in regards to selling art on the internet is; you need to know who your audience is.

Unless you already have a reputation within in the art scene, you need to establish a presence online that is focused towards the folk in your target market.  One of my mentors once explained it really well, "I'm looking for people who are looking for me".

Seeking out your target market consists of building a web presence through blogs, video networks, social media, forums, advertising campaigns and press releases.

In addition to this, fill your content with relevant rich keywords so the search engines will pick you up and help you gravitate towards the people who fit your target market criteria.

While I think the shared galleries are great to get yourself up and running, eventually you will need to bring your focus back to building your own brand through constructing your own real estate online.

The true essence of building your own brand really comes down to being consistent. It's not really about flashy gimmicks. Successful branding is really just being consistent


Content is King

The third principal is creating content that inspires, intrigues and enhances your visitors experience online. 

Now I don't mean you have to become a guru or some kind of entertainer. I simply mean keeping your content message focused. This will help to build an element of expectation from your visitors – and this is one of the basic principals of creating your own brand – predictability… or in some regards, reliability.

Many self-representing artists presenting their work on the Internet simply do not have any real content that accompanies their work.

Your web presence really comes down to how well you are communicating who you are and what you can do. Do it in a way that grabs peoples attention… for the right reasons of course.

Additionally, this content is what will help you with favourable search engine placement. The higher you rank in the search engines the more people in your target market will discover you.
 

Traffic Traffic Traffic

The forth principal for selling art on the internet is knowing how to drive targeted traffic to your site or blog. It won't matter how much you have invested in a website if you are not generating traffic.

The difference can be likened to having an art stall on the side of a lonely country road or having a stall in the middle of Times Square in New York.

 

Relationship Building 

Principal number five is; you have build on going relationships with your visitors, customers and collectors. 

If you do not have an email autoresponder on your website or blog, then I really encourage you so set one up. Being able to communicate with your audience is key on the Internet. Additionally you can use social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Building relationships with your audience really just comes down to knowing how to add value to their lives. 

It's not just about trying to get them to buy your art. It’s about developing loyalty through keeping your prospects updated and informed with regular content  - via email, social networks, video, articles and blog posts.

Lastly, you have to be prepared to adapt to change in terms of the ebb and flow of the Internet. 

The internet is constantly changing. This simply means that your methods for promoting need to keep in time with the current. There is no reason why you can't outsource most of the work required to stay in line with the times. But you need to be aware of the changes as they take place. 

Selling art on the internet is not without it's challenges. But if you follow the principals above and work with a decent level of consistency you will in turn begin to see some sales on the horizon.
 

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