While it is true that certain types of art are more popular than others, it is my personal belief that holding true to your own style will serve you best. To start off, I have been a professional artist for well over 40 years, and my work has been at galleries and art and craft shows all over NY. The one thing that holds true is that people seem to go for what they want and not what they need the impulse purchase. Now I’m not saying that’s true all the time, but it is a common characteristic I have found in people while they shop for art.
The question we need to ask is, what kind of art do you need to offer that will sell? The answer is somewhat lengthy and one that involves an open mind. I don’t see this as a sell out but in many ways an intelligent approach to meet the needs of the public keeping you style in mind. These concepts are true for online and real-world situations such as in craft show or retail displays.
1. What I Like is Last:
First you need to understand what you like is not always what your customers will like. So, having a good variety is always a benefit giving your customers a better shopping experience which will increase the chance of a sale. When I do a painting I always try to think how this image will be used and how I will apply it to my products. I offer products like prints, coasters, coffee mugs, small and large plaques, and many more. If the painting idea will not fit at least most of my products, then I move on to the next.
2. Placement for profit:
Now the next step may seem a bit obvious, but it will make all the difference when applied correctly. Shopping is a psychological process that hinges on the visual environment more than you may think. This is not just the practice of making your display attractive but in addition placement of your products and how they are presented. I suggest keeping all low-priced products at eye level or above the fold for websites, because these are the quick impulse purchases. High priced items should be kept at a lower level almost out of reach. Most shoppers will always go for the middle of the road on price. The most important thing here is distance between each product. Each product should have its own place and display creating a kind of separation that divides the choices. For the web it’s a good idea to have a good distance between products in the ecommerce allowing for a visual difference. However, in a craft show products should always be displayed at an easy to reach location such as table height or on a virtual rack.
3. Navigate your Portfolio:
Pricing is important but putting it large and out in front can be a deterrent or negative message, so I always have dedicated price tags placed on the bottom of all products. Comparison pricing, such as posters, are different and need to be treated like advertisements, making the content large and bold with high contrast. Your pricing should never be more visible than the product or overpower the display. When you start talking about prices for online shoppers, things change a bit. With online applications and ecommerce, you must break all products into categories like prints, original art, limited editions, and so on. Also make categories based on art type and style like Expressionism, Modern Art, Landscape, Wildlife. This will help with navigation and search engine relevancy.
I don’t know how you offer your art to the public, but I use three different sources. No matter what your media is, or the techniques applied, building and having an effective sales plan is crucial. I employ three different techniques in my sales, Arts and Craft Shows, Galleries, and Online Sales. Taking advantage of as many vehicles as possible will also increase your chances of success. I would however, stay away from external shops like Esty, PayPal, and a long list of others. These solutions do not give you any search engine relevancy at all.
4. Social Media:
Now finally I need to cover a subject that most artists seem to leave out in their plan to market their work. Because I’m old school, I was guilty of not using social media to its fullest capabilities. It’s free to create social media profiles and post organic content. For some, that may be enough, and the quality of the content may promote the product on its own. But, if you want to go to the next level in your promotion, paying for promotions will help increase exposure, and the best promotion by far is through Facebook, Pinterest and promoting online videos through YouTube. I always say if you teach others you will be increased.
You can use Facebook and Twitter to create a social marketing ad that can reach about 4 times the amount of traffic as a standard post to your website pages. You can set up a campaign, and then they’ll work with your budget. That means in the end you will have a big ROI and you’ll use your marketing budget in an effective way. I place about three ads each month and generate a healthy number of unique visitors in addition to my regular unique traffic, increasing my ROI and monthly visitors. There is no reason why you can’t accomplish this. All it takes is a strong commitment and the right people.
Remember to use hashtags that are associated to the subject and always link to your website. Also, it’s a good idea to link to other social media pages
PS; I’m not a SEO or marketing expert and I don’t intend to sell any service here. I just want to pass on my experience and knowledge in the hope that it will help you avoid all the pitfalls.
Albany Fine Arts