Marketing / selling art

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Good mornng all......

I"m wondering if any of you could shed some light on the best way to approach this situation i'm faced with.

I"m an artist with my own silkscreen print studio based in the uk.. I've been developing a style of mainly abstract and geometric themed work over the past 13 years or so. Working heavily with experimental screenprint process and really uncovering the magic that can be achieved with this method of printing. I've survived off the sales of my prints during this time bar having one regular graphics client that provided me an emergency back up just in case sales ever slowed down. Unfortunately due to whats going on in the world with this virus business my client can no longer put on large events so my back up job has vanished over night..... Worrying times. However i'm still confident by stepping up my reach and generating new sales i can make the sales of my art cover the loss of my client.

The work that i'm making has broad appeal but works perfectly in modern living / office / studio environments and i really need to get it in front of the right kind of audience and really start making more conversions. I've got a set of shelves in my studio floor to ceiling that is full of stock thats available to buy from my website so that is not an issue. Plus i'm making new work every single week. I need to get my ware in front of interior designers, business owners and also individuals looking for new work for their homes.....

I've experimented with facebook ads and i've had quite a lot of sales just by driving cold traffic to my site but its costly and is of a hit and miss nature. I'm wondering if anyone can shed any light on all of this and give me some guidance...... Although i've done well to keep things running all these years i know i could be doing a lot more sales. Lot of room for improvement...

I do have my site live online - its called glass siren studio if you need any background and need to see what i'm doing....

Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.....
#art #marketing #selling
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Unfortunately, art is one of those "touchy feely" niches that really need to be seen in person, although a website is great for driving sales from people who are already looking for you.

    I would suggest reaching out to new home builders and offering your art for free to display in their model homes with the caveat that business cards be placed somewhere on or below the artwork so that people who appreciate it can visit your site and order directly from you.

    It's really more of a marketing thing. You need to get your name out there in the proper setting so that people come looking for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrsW ork
      I would suggest reaching out to new home builders and offering your art for free ...
      That's sounds perfect but why not at least for $1? I mean just to have something from that. I'm not insisting, the only thing is that you need to find something to target the attention of the public and I have some examples of that. I personally bought some artworks from one fantastic site where are a lot of great motivational posters which helped me a lot, by giving me so needed motivation energy. I hung it in my kitchen, so every morning when I take breakfast, I enjoy every moment of the meal, of the sensation of new day, of weather, of everything. So I recommend it to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author inforapenny
    Yes, it certainly an interesting one is this. I've never quite fully nailed it but i've just about made it work for all these years and i'm still convinced i can make the website work and get the conversions up.

    I've been getting sales from cold traffic via facebook ads but got scared the other day when i lost £90 by an accident in the fb ads set up. It was my fault! ha ha. Really knocked me off centre did that then i ended up getting a £300 sale bulk order a few days which evened out the loss....

    I may just have to turn the traffic taps on and keep going.... Just flood the site with as many visitors as possible and see what happens..... This may seem like madness but i think its the only way to go......

    Thanks for you input.... Much appreciated.

    D
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
    Definitely more of an appreciator of this niche than a marketing expert for it, but found this Twitter thread about a gallery has sold over 480 paintings since March 25 very interesting and potentially helpful/relevant to your situation. I'll paste it below as well as link to it in case you want to review comments:

    • So, my daughter's gallery has sold over 480 paintings since 25th March, 2 days after the UK Gov announced lockdown.
      How?
      She adjusted her approach. Many galleries have closed and done nothing, not selling artists work - waiting it out. My daughter saw an opportunity to fully ...

    • ..exploit the online space & social media. She already had a good personal and business following on instagram. She already had an 10k+ email database.
      She knew that artists were desperate to sell work as their shows/exhibitions had dried up & galleries were not pushing online..

    • She also knew that pple still wanted to buy art work, but couldn't go to galleries. The job was to put the two together.
      She came up with three novel online campaigns selling affordable art to buyers, with the agreement of the artists. Art purchased online would be sent direct..

    • from artists homes/studios to the purchaser,
      Two online exhibitions were 'anonymous' - the buyer had no idea who the painter was until they had bought the painting. Also she had a countdown clock for when the new online art exhibition would go live..

    • ...this created a buzz and anticipation. As soon as these exhibitions went live there was a 'feeding frenzy' - 100+ pieces of art sold in under an hour.
      Each exhibition that was successful meant that more artists got in touch with the gallery..

    • wanting to sell their work. Social media meant that buyers were telling their friends and associates that good art could be purchased at the online exhibitons.
      The main thing was that she was quick to react to the lockdown. She knew that artists would be open to new ideas..

    • ...as their income had fallen off a cliff. She also knew that buyers still wanted to buy art, but couldn't go to galleries to see them.
      My daughter was also very well versed on the power of the internet and social media (she was England's youngest female gallery owner) -

    • ...she knew about online marketing, something which many galleries are clueless about. She knew that social media word of mouth and would drive eyeballs to her gallery site.

    http://twitter.com/GuruAnaerobic/sta...05699265470469
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  • Profile picture of the author inforapenny
    Thanks for this. Yes, interesting. It is possible i'm sure. I've never actually bothered with galleries to be honest i've always enjoyed the freedom of not having to deal with them. I have managed to sail though this covid busines to far by sending cold traffic to the site, it is hit and miss but on the whole it usually generates enough sales to get though. I'm just having to get a bit more scientific with it...... To be honest though saying that even with targeted traffic as long as its between the ages of 25-55 it all just a bit of a lottery i feel. Thats my experience from my past successes..... I think i'm just going to have to be brave!! I've got a really nice selection of well made work thats got broad appeal. Maybe i'm just panicking a bit! Ha Ha.
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  • Profile picture of the author DURABLEOILCOM
    You need to concentrate on creating a following on YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and start selling on Etsy Alot of artist score big with the Etsy Market.
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  • Profile picture of the author luciesmazanska
    Originally Posted by inforapenny View Post

    Good mornng all......

    I"m wondering if any of you could shed some light on the best way to approach this situation i'm faced with.

    I"m an artist with my own silkscreen print studio based in the uk.. I've been developing a style of mainly abstract and geometric themed work over the past 13 years or so. Working heavily with experimental screenprint process and really uncovering the magic that can be achieved with this method of printing. I've survived off the sales of my prints during this time bar having one regular graphics client that provided me an emergency back up just in case sales ever slowed down. Unfortunately due to whats going on in the world with this virus business my client can no longer put on large events so my back up job has vanished over night..... Worrying times. However i'm still confident by stepping up my reach and generating new sales i can make the sales of my art cover the loss of my client.

    The work that i'm making has broad appeal but works perfectly in modern living / office / studio environments and i really need to get it in front of the right kind of audience and really start making more conversions. I've got a set of shelves in my studio floor to ceiling that is full of stock thats available to buy from my website so that is not an issue. Plus i'm making new work every single week. I need to get my ware in front of interior designers, business owners and also individuals looking for new work for their homes.....

    I've experimented with facebook ads and i've had quite a lot of sales just by driving cold traffic to my site but its costly and is of a hit and miss nature. I'm wondering if anyone can shed any light on all of this and give me some guidance...... Although i've done well to keep things running all these years i know i could be doing a lot more sales. Lot of room for improvement...

    I do have my site live online - its called glass siren studio if you need any background and need to see what i'm doing....

    Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.....
    I would suggest you to expose your art more in person and think about how to get a space for your art and then think about how to target. people localy so they can come and see, and then buy
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  • Profile picture of the author Primitivesense
    Hello!

    Firstly, I wish all of the best during these uncertain times! It won't be like this forever. Have you thought about using social media to post videos of your work? Like some others have mentioned, people do often like to see work in person. The closest you will get to this is videos for now! Many people have been hosting virtual events? Or live streams. Maybe this is something you could arrange? You would need to get people to know about it but a virtual event could work and it might make you stand out as well. If you have a website, make sure you are still using ads and trying to optimise your SEO and get as much traffic as you can. Someone mentioned a great idea about offering the work to model homes - I think this is a fab idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author lastreporter
    Selling art, as selling any product online is not easy. I have tried just about every channel known to humankind, including: Fine Art America, Zazzle, Red Bubble, Society 6, Etsy, eBay, Amazon, My Own hosted Site, plus Storenvy, Bonanza and others.

    I also tried Facebook ads and sold my art locally using its yard sales and marketplace.

    I made some money, but never made more than minimum wage, when I deducted my time, cost of materials, auction fees, ad fees and returns.

    Saturated Market

    Part of the problem, is that the so-called art market is saturated beyond belief. You are competing literally with billions of people who fancy themselves artists throughout the world. Many of them are not bound by copyright or tax laws, which also puts you at a distinct disadvantage -- if you are.

    Every niche is crowded and unless you really have sometime truly unique -- or if you violate copyrights -- you are going to find your sales are minimal. Plus, if you somehow find an artwork/artworks that are popular in your inventory, counterfeiters will rip them off and begin selling them under your COST.

    Pricing and Shipping

    You will also find that the average art buyer online is looking for a price point under $20 (US), This is the high side, If you don't believe me, just go on eBay and research what is the price of the majority of art actually sold!

    Then there is the problem of shipping. During last holiday season, about 20% of my art was either misdelivered, or never received. The cost of shipping is crushing as is the cost of eating returns on eBay, Amazon and Etsy.

    Sell Local

    Selling local is the most profitable method for me. However, COVID-19 has clamped that down. I only ship and many customers do not want to wait or pay for shipping.

    So, for now, my art biz is in Limbo. Again, these are only my experiences. Your talent and product may be more marketable than mine.


    Good Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    works perfectly in modern living / office / studio environments
    hotels, restaurants, cruise ships....

    You say you stopped FB ads after YOU made an error - so fix the error and keep going. Set an ad campaign for a period of time to see if the R.O.I. is worth it.

    I am unclear (even after looking at your site) if you are shipping only framed art - have you considered shipping unframed prints (tube boxes are cheaper) during the pandemic?

    I wanted to ship a piece of art from Atlanta to Ohio in the USA - only 600 miles or less - and the cost was ridiculous. i ended up taking it from the frame, rolling it into a tube and shipping it then reframing when it arrived. Was cheaper!

    If all your art is sold framed - perhaps add a covid-19 'special' where you reduce price by the cost of framing - and sell the art piece 'to be framed'.

    Is that a possibility?
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  • Profile picture of the author lastreporter
    Free hanging of one's best art would be like a car dealer putting his best car inventory on display for free in a parking lot. Good luck with that. Don't know of anyone who has sustained any meaningful number of sales this way. Wishful thinking.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lester Paris
    During this pandemic, all businesses do everything to survive. As you have mentioned, you have tried Facebook ads and this comes with a price. If you have a lot of money, you can resort to paid advertisements. But I feel you, you need to survive without breaking too much your wallet.

    I highly suggest that you try Organic Marketing which means promoting your product organically for free without resorting to paid marketing. You can start it by using different social media platforms. You may start it on your own Facebook account. Create your own Facebook page for your business. Then create other social media sites. After creating start optimizing it. Then plan the contents you want to post in order to promote your product. Your content should create engagements to your followers so that traffic will come to your social media sites. Then schedule your posting dates for your content. You may use online social media content scheduling sites.

    Another solution is to create your own website. You can create your own website for your business by looking for free website making. Then do the optimization to your sites. Also, start writing an article for your products and post them on your website.

    All you can learn is by clicking on Google to guide you and look for advice on forums. Harnessing the potential of social media sites and simple web development to your business will help you survive the pandemic. Happy googling.
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