Artist looking for marketing advice

40 replies
Hello,

Thank you for your help.

I've been trying to increase my sales for quite a while but I don't sell more than 5 items monthly. I draw skulls, I have 12k fans on IG, I use fb and 5 other social channels, which I update daily with my art mostly, with high response in groups and such, but not sales. I also have stuff in two artist marketplaces, I get most of my sales from here but aren't enough. Approximately around once a month I receive a commissioned artwork, I make the highest pay in here.

I didn't have ads budget until now, and is not much as well $50 to $100 monthly.


I update daily, SEO and stuff is ok. Any suggestion I am willing to try it.

Thank you once again.
This is my artist page
http://www.iamtokebi.com/ ig:iamtokebi fb:tokebi
#advice #artist #marketing
  • Profile picture of the author customml
    Well your site is not working, that's number one problem. Other problem could be that your art is simple not that good, i can't say that since i can't see it. But since you have 12k fans, i'm thinking you stuff is good. So why are you not selling? Is your art too expensive for who you are? is it too cheap? Do you think your art would sell much better if they see it live? These are the questions you need to ask your self, and many more. Start testing different things, see what works and what doesn't. Only repeat things that are bringing results. Looks like you are doing much better when people see your art live. Then on your site take videos of your art! See if that works. Talk to your potential customers in the videos, tell them what that artwork is all about, tell them who you are. See, when i buy art, i look who did it, and what's the story behind that art peace. If there's no name or story i don't buy it. I need to know the artist, that's what sells his or her work.
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      Thank you so much customml, the link I posted was wrong, you could check it here http://www.iamtokebi.com/ I'm going to test the video thing. I was thinking on start filming my graffiti and such.
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      • Profile picture of the author customml
        I see it now. Your work is good! For sure start doing videos! But you need to talk about your art. Say Hi, this is so and so, this art is about bla bla bla...
        Make me fall in love with that art! But your art is too cheap. I would not buy something for $19.99 and hang in my living room. That's just me! Respect your art more, and clients will also respect it. Charge more, give it some value
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Banned
    Here's a problem:


    I could save, print, frame and hang or sell if I so choose. So can anyone else.

    I suggest you watermark and copyright all your promotional images or people will just steal them. It's hard to sell something people can just download for free.

    BTW - I like your stuff.

    Brent
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    Get Off The Warrior Forum Now & Don't Come Back If You Want To Succeed!
    All The Real Marketers Are Gone. There's Nothing Left But Weak, Sniveling Wanna-Bees!
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      Thanks for the advice and the feedback Brent, I will take a look right away!
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by Iamtokebi View Post

    I've been trying to increase my sales for quite a while but I don't sell more than 5 items monthly.

    You have a very specialized product. I have no idea about the size of your marketplace, but general free advertising is not going to be easy because skull art is probably not on the radar of the average consumer.

    You have to get very specific about where you place your marketing and ads. "Shotgunning" isn't going to be efficient. You'll need to laser target the venues for your art marketing. For that reason, paid advertising seems to me, at least, to be your best alternative to increase your reach into the marketplace.

    Be sure to do market research so you understand where groups of people who will buy skull art can be found. Are there web sites, forums, portals, or authority sites that showcase this type of artwork? I don't know but your research will help to identify any such venues.

    The best to you,

    Steve
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    Steve Browne, online business strategies, tips, guidance, and resources
    SteveBrowneDirect

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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      Thank you Steve, yeah! I will make my market research more thorough ^^
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Iamtokebi View Post

    Hello,

    Thank you for your help.

    I've been trying to increase my sales for quite a while but I don't sell more than 5 items monthly. I draw skulls, I have 12k fans on IG, I use fb and 5 other social channels, which I update daily with my art mostly, with high response in groups and such, but not sales. I also have stuff in two artist marketplaces, I get most of my sales from here but aren't enough. Approximately around once a month I receive a commissioned artwork, I make the highest pay in here.

    I didn't have ads budget until now, and is not much as well $50 to $100 monthly.


    I update daily, SEO and stuff is ok. Any suggestion I am willing to try it.

    Thank you once again.
    This is my artist page
    Home / Tokebi the Skull Artist. 도깨비, '개골 예술가. 悪" "家。 ig:iamtokebi fb:tokebi
    0

    Create one of a kind, personalized and AUTOGRAPHED originals and set them up on ebay for at least 1k buy now.

    Offer limited editions, framed, numbered and registered, again, at much higher prices.

    Gifts. Create small "representative skulls", from pics, using clothing or hair color, or initials, so the receiver of the gift knows it is him. And that it is one of a kind.

    So raise your prices by 10 fold, and maybe create your character, as one of an artist.

    Also, create a tag line, and as was mentioned, build a wall of protection around your work.

    AND, be the artist first, the marketer second.

    GordonJ
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      Thank you brother! I'm going to apply your ideas on ebay! The skulls gift idea is actually pretty cool!
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  • Profile picture of the author Stawrew
    looks like an interesting niche.

    What I would probably do is "reverse engineer" the competition that is selling to my market competing products successfully.

    How are they marketing? Where are they getting their traffic from? What is their offer? What´s the price? Do they have a funnel? Do they build an email list?

    Russell Brunson, in his book "DOTCOM SECRETS" is giving this advice, and he is one of the most successful marketers I know.



    Hope that helps,

    Cheers,
    Kiril
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      Just read the link! amazing! I really liked the idea, I did that with IG accounts similar to mine, but as an artist, not as an seller. I will look into the niche, I hope to find something pretty similar to mine, or at least related. Thanks Kiril!
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hmmm...your blog link went to your Instagram page. That's one problem. Because if you post once weekly, writing in depth, thorough posts, helping your readers, they will be more likely to buy from you and your traffic would grow too T.
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    Ryan Biddulph, Blogger, Author, World Traveling Digital Nomad
    If you want to become a full time blogger you can buy my eBook here
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      I'm building wp site right now, I have already some post in draft. My plan is to migrate it any time soon! Thanks Ryan!
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    If once a month you get commissioned to do work, once a month you're getting a great resource to help you market your stuff.

    I mean, all those people who commission, what do they have in common? How do they find you? Why do they hire you? Why do they hire at all? Where do they live (facebook? forums?)? What, besides skulls, do they like enough to buy? (You could advertise there.)

    Ask them questions, write down ideas about them... create a list of activities and attributes they have in common... It will tell you where to advertise and how.

    There was a convention around here where the people attending (80% of some 4k people) looked like some of your drawings (wore masks/customs) or had something like your drawings on their clothing. Convention had something to do with anime and Marvel heroes, with a dash of science fiction (Darth Vader and Princes Leah were walking arm-in-arm with Wonder Woman, right behind Thor and some Geisha-like twins).

    There were people outside the convention selling stuff like yours, but lower quality... If, say, anime people are one of your target audiences, their forums would be where you want to be, their conventions, their magazines, their favorite websites. Whatever the group, you show up in the above places...
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    You may want to do some marketing on Pinterest. I have read that Pinterest marketing can result in a lot of sales if done correctly. Since art work such as your is visual then Pinterest may work well for you.


    To learn more about how to do this I would search for Pinterest marketing tips on Youtube and on this site as well. There is a lot to learn.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Hi iamtokebi. As others have said, raise your prices. This will have the effect of automatically improving your art's perception.

    And until you become established, use other sites' built-in traffic before putting more effort into your own site. If you haven't done so already, open an account at DeviantArt. And get your work on Etsy - both as stand-alone prints and on merchandise like T-Shirts, phone covers and other items.

    Also, try offering your services to authors and publishers in the fantasy fiction genre - there's a large and growing market using outlets like Kindle - as well as a thriving and fanatical online community. You might well find a ready demand for high-caliber illustration services.

    Finally, consider slightly diversifying your subject matter. Skulls are fine - but that's just the er... bare bones of what you could accomplish by expanding your repertoire.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Katy Perry
    1. Give back to your audience. Like Ryan mentioned, write blog posts that help your readers. Can you write tutorials on how to stimulate creativity or hone one's art skills etc? You could also give specific tutorials for people who are trying to get started in your craft. Do you accept "challenges" often like the one you did with the skull-Buddha? If you have time, you should definitely try to do more of those.

    2. Can you do digital art/design? If you can, you should definitely find a community, and give away free designs to its members. I see a few artists who do this with gaming communities. They develop art and design for community members who have fan-based websites, clans etc. Sometimes they not only become successful at promoting their own kind of art but make extra income selling their digital work.

    3. Make sure to engage with your audience in the most effective and productive way possible. This may be writing more than "thank you" replies. For instance, when you are talking with the people who comment on your IG posts, you might want to take a look at their profile, and engage them accordingly.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronnierokk
    It seems that the niche you're in (drawing skulls) doesn't appear to be a lucrative niche that people are willing to spend money in unless of course, you are not hanging out with the right crowd.

    That may be your main problem.

    Not to say that your artwork isn't good, in fact to me, it looks great. But is there really a lot of people buying this stuff these days?

    If they are... then you need to find where they are hanging out. Like forums, Facebook groups that are all about skull art, where people are passionate about just that.

    You have to go where your market is...they won't come to you unless you have a really big budget to get them to come to you.

    And when you get in these groups, don't just try to push your art and sell, make friends, mingle and socialize, then just start sharing your art pics there that lead back to your store.

    Don't say "Hey I have this for sale" just share your work, and if they like it they will buy it

    I see in your post that you say you have groups established but you are still not making sells.

    Have you ever did a survey to all your followers to see if they think you're prices are fare?

    Do you know what you followers would be willing to spend on your work?

    This is some of the marketing research that you should be doing.

    You should know the answers to these questions.

    You might have to come down on your prices and find the right medium then you will soon start seeing more customer than you ever thought possible.

    Hope this helps,
    Ronnie Rokk Smith
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      Thank you Ronnie,

      I've been drawing skulls since very little, although I made other characters, which I use to sell them in marketplaces such as teepublic and threadless. The skulls are the characters I want to create and make famous, but I got your point.

      I am doing a market research on the people to make it more specific, and yeah, thanks to your advice im going into my followers profile and answering them accordingly.

      thank you so much!
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  • Profile picture of the author cjsparacino123
    Auction off one of your most meaningful effortless paintings for $1000 and put the link in your bio, but dont tell anyone, and make it exclusive, and sign it
    Signature

    Grab a Free copy of my investing/marketing eBook!
    http://bit.ly/2h8XV41

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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      I followed your advice, I used 899 instead (ebay), but I can change the price tho.

      My question is, why "don't tell anyone"? Could you explain?
      Gracias
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  • Profile picture of the author Eden A
    Loved your work.

    The thing you need to add there is
    autograph and a way that people won't be able to steal your work.

    And something that can help is try to add something that will
    call to action.

    It can be a sale or a good copy that will attract them to buy now and
    not in some day..

    Hope that helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Hi Tokebi,

    I see a lot of artwork come through my business and I've been involved in the industry since 1985 and run my own gallery and framing business since 1992.

    There is a group of people you can target who are a younger demographic and they have a common passion for tattoos. Not necessarily getting tattooed but many are.

    A lot of this group already appreciate the cost of art because they have paid for tattoos and they appreciate the artistic content and the design.

    They are buying giclee prints by a wide number of artists with some of those artists having tattoo type influences in their artwork and also having an asian influence. Some are western artists but they use oriental motifs, characters, anime, manga styles even old style traditional Japanese woodblock influences.

    They are very passionate and prolific buyers because they don't want to own traditional artworks like their parents and they usually don't have any children.

    They can be single but are more often in a relationship and living together. They can be in a heterosexual relationship but there would even be a higher percentage of LGBTI.

    They also appreciate fashion and sub-culture.

    You can also target the people who have visited central and southern Americas...people who have holidayed and experienced "Día de Muertos" or other festivals surrounding the celebration of souls past.

    Get involved in some of these tattoo type forums or discussions and get talking to a few tattoo artists not to try to sell your designs as tattoos but to get an understanding of where the younger "collector" of tattoos hangs out so you can encourage them to collect art to hang on the wall instead of on their skin.

    Given the volume we see in my store there is a significant number who would be interested in your works but when they come to me they have already purchased the piece.

    What you need to do is put yourself in front of this audience where they meet and hang out.

    You do also need to raise your prices and raise them at least twice a year.

    The reason is when someone buys a piece of art they expect it to appreciate (increase) in value.

    This is why artists employ agents and galleries because they know this fact.

    As long as the prices keep going up people keep buying because they see the value of their past purchases getting better.

    You can still sell economical open edition prints but restrict these to a fewer number and make sure each new image is restricted somewhat to only being available as an original and with each new original test higher pricing.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    best regards,

    Ozi
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      Wow Ozi, I really appreciate your input so much! You described this market so openly, I really appreciate it. I will follow all of your advices. I have trouble trying to select the type of stuff to sell.

      I use a dropshipping company in the US to print my stuff and they send it to the proper buyer. I don't live in the States so this makes it very difficult.
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  • Profile picture of the author NateOlsen
    If you can produce lots of product you could always do Groupon.
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  • Profile picture of the author blueonblue
    Have you thought about skateboarding and tatoo market, maybe ads on their magazines and websites? Of course after you have watermarked everything. Oh and there is also etsy and other similar websites.
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      I did a couple of commissioned decks for a Russian dude but honestly I was just targeting people with "skulls" interest in general, but is a good insight to def. try. I have stores like etsy in which I make most of the little money I make, but they take a very large cut and competition is at hand. Thanks brother!
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Have you tried project wonderful?

    It is a great resource.

    Best of luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      I didn't know about it until now, I am reading as I write. Very interesting stuff. I'll definitely try it
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve L
    Originally Posted by Iamtokebi View Post

    Hello,

    Thank you for your help.

    I've been trying to increase my sales for quite a while but I don't sell more than 5 items monthly. I draw skulls, I have 12k fans on IG, I use fb and 5 other social channels, which I update daily with my art mostly, with high response in groups and such, but not sales. I also have stuff in two artist marketplaces, I get most of my sales from here but aren't enough. Approximately around once a month I receive a commissioned artwork, I make the highest pay in here.

    I didn't have ads budget until now, and is not much as well $50 to $100 monthly.


    I update daily, SEO and stuff is ok. Any suggestion I am willing to try it.

    Thank you once again.
    This is my artist page
    TOKEBI THE SKULL ARTIST. 도깨비, '개골 예술가. 悪" "家。 - TOKEBI THE SKULL ARTIST. 도깨비, '개골 예술가. 悪" "家。 ig:iamtokebi fb:tokebi
    Personally I think you should try something like this: Kek is Lord in the digital trading card realm - RPM

    Turn your artwork into digital assets
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      Wow $6300 that stuff? I need to get into this brother. Than you!
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  • Profile picture of the author eplanellas
    Hi Tokebi,

    Please don't listen to anyone who says your art is no good or that its "too specialized" of a niche. In my opinion, they have no business sense. The fact is that there are millions of people in the world who would love your art if they knew about it.

    If you present your art in a more consumable form, you could reach more people and get more sales. By consumable form, I mean incorporating your art work into items the average consumer would use in their everyday life.

    For example, anime fans buy anime inspired t-shirts, wall hangings, jewelry, rugs, shower curtains, bedding and so forth. Women carry purses with anime characters on them. Then your art becomes part of your customers' identity. Just as you use your art to express yourself, you can get customers who use it to express themselves.

    Years ago it would have been very difficult for you to create these kind of products without a major investment, but that day is gone. You can connect with suppliers for very little money and they can create the products as customers order them. You can even get a supplier who will package the product up and ship it directly to the customer so that you never have to worry about managing inventory or mailing the orders.

    Here's a short list of resources to help you get inspiration and get started (I am not affiliated with any of these companies):

    https://www.spreadshirt.com/start-selling-shirts-C3598
    https://www.zazzle.com/sell/designers
    http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/sell/?refId=31
    https://teespring.com/

    Depending on the supplier you choose, you'll be able to sell these products on your own website or on sites like Amazon. You can also post the products for sale on social media.
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    Creative digital marketing solutions from the queen of content. ElisaPlanellas.com -
    Make It Happen.

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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    I helped a struggling artist go from $30 a day. now he is doing $4000 months.

    Basically it started with branding himself, and building a big ass list of customers.

    - freebie seekers we sent them to his art gallery.

    - his buyers list, he helped them, and did custom stuff for them.

    These days his doing $4000 = $5000 a month, and hardly even working that much. :-)
    His got a back log of orders.
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      Could you be so kind Celente, to describe at least one of the strategies you guys used?

      Thank you so much!
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  • Profile picture of the author hoahero
    You have a very specialized product. I have no idea about the size of your marketplace, but general free advertising is not going to be easy because skull art is probably not on the radar of the average consumer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Iamtokebi
      I know, there is market, actually there is but is hard to find it... hard af.
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        How do the people you sold stuff to talk about it? What words are specific to it?

        Name a bunch of images using those words, put them up on Pinterest and such places, in albums that use those words, add descriptions that use those words...

        That doesn't find buyers, just people interested in the stuff... But odds are good some of them are buyers... You'll need to send them somewhere where they sort themselves out into buyers or non-buyers...

        Originally Posted by Iamtokebi View Post

        I know, there is market, actually there is but is hard to find it... hard af.
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  • The more you post on social, the more sales you will make. Post 10x a day.
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