5 Easy ways to sell your Art online with little or no money!
Are you ready to tap into the online world of selling art?
I remember back in the day when I was painting just for fun. Definitely all of my free time was devoted to one canvas after another. I hung very few of my pieces in the early days on my wall. I never really thought about it at the time, but it’s like the mechanic whose car doesn’t run. My walls continued to hold other peoples’ art that I loved. When the canvases started stacking up, I thought to myself…..hmmmm…..maybe I should give some of these away. Which is tough. It’s kind of like giving away bikinis as a gift. It’s definitely not a one size fits all situation. I mean—there’s lot of people who wouldn’t even think about wearing a bikini. Right? While I loved giving art as gifts because it was so personal to me, it was hard to match up the right art piece to the right person. Because, we all know how subjective art is. So, I’m pretty sure I gave away a lot of art that didn’t end up on anyone’s wall. When I realized that, I did a lot of soul searching. Should I stop painting? Maybe. But I couldn’t get myself to stop. Because I loved it that much. So, I decided that I should do the crazy thing and see if people would buy my art. Wait. What?? It’s a crazy thought—thinking that someone would pay money AND hang my art in their home. What an honor that would be! So, I began my journey and I want to share it with you. So, how does one go about selling their artwork?
Well, the first thing that seems a little obvious is selling art online. There’s a lot of people doing it, right? And, if you are an artist, you’re probably following other artists who are successfully selling art and you’re being inspired by their accomplishments. So, I’m going to give you a list of five ways to start out selling online and ways to do it without a marketing or advertising budget.
- Start posting on your Social Media pages!
Use the tools you already have and throw out art posts on your personal social media pages. A perfect place to start is with your friends and family. Start with your personal Facebook page and/or your Instagram page. It’s a great test market. And, an easy place to start because you will be dealing with people who support you and love you. Even if they’re not close friends, they’re likely to be supportive. So, give it a shot. I’m going to warn you—its a little unnerving sending out that first post. But, like Nike says—just do it! I promise you, it will get easier each time you do it. As an added benefit, you’re going to gain invaluable market research. Through likes and comments, you are going to begin to learn which of your artwork people are drawn to and this is great information for future pieces! It also gives you a chance to start experimenting with pricing. I encourage you to let people know in your post how much money you would like for your art. I know personally, I won’t usually inquire if I don’t know the price ahead of time.
Okay, so you’re going to get to be quite an expert in posting your art pretty quickly. What next? Let’s take your social media to the next level!
- Get A Business Page on Social Media.
That means either converting your personal pages to business pages or starting brand new business pages in Facebook and Instagram. Which one is best? Well, there’s pros and cons to both. The advantage of converting your existing pages is that you already have an audience base. You already have a bevy of Facebook friends that know you and know that you are an artist. And the same with Instagram. It really is hard starting a new page on Instagram with no followers. It takes time and energy to add those relevant followers. You have to commit to building that fan base and being very consistent with posting daily and engaging with other users to gain the followers you need to get your message out. The disadvantage in not starting new business pages is that it’s hard not to commingle the personal side of you with the business side of you. You don’t want to be talking about your shenanigans the prior weekend on your business platform. The two just don’t mix well. It really is nice to keep it separate. You can still be yourself on your business social media, but you definitely need to have a different kind of filter. So, all of this is food for thought. Pick whatever works best for you. And again, go for it! What’s the advantage of having business pages instead of personal ones? One of the biggest reasons is that if you have a business page, you get analytics that track what your followers are looking at and what they’re interested in. Which is like having your own personal marketing team—for FREE! It breaks down your content showing you which posts perform best in terms of reaches, engagements, profile visits, webpage clicks and so much more. It will also tell you when your followers are the most active so you will know when it’s best to post. And, finally, it will also tell you who your customers are. Whether they’re male or female, where they live and their age ranges. Seriously great demographic data that is gold plated. And, once again for FREE!
So, now you’re getting to know who your audience is. What next? Well, building followers is great. But, you can’t lose sight of the ultimate goal—you want to SELL art! So, what’s next?
- Start to posting your art on Facebook Marketplace
There’s other ways to sell art on Facebook, but this is a good one to try first. Lots of people post on Marketplace. It’s easy and not complicated at all. Just click on Marketplace on your menu to post your first art piece for sale. To create a new listing, select Items. Then, it’s pretty self-explanatory. There’s places for a photo, a title for your artwork, a spot for pricing and a description. A nice feature is that you can include tags. If you’re not familiar with tags, they are key words that help people find what you’re selling. Tags are a highly effective way of driving people to your art. Then, you can list the art publicly so everyone sees your art—not just your friends on your facebook page. You now have a way broader audience than just your facebook friends and family.
Okay, so what’s next? Don’t stop there!
- You can set up a Store in Facebook
We’re not done with Facebook quite yet. You have the option of setting up a store right there on your business page. Remember, Facebook has over 2 billion (yes, with a B) active users every month. Talk about a huge opportunity for future customers! You set up the store and a catalogue of products and Facebook provides you with a shopping cart to connect payments from your customers. Give it a shot and see how it goes! Then, you promote your products with posts. You get a lot more coverage when you use ads and boosted posts. You can do these marketing tactics for very little money. It’s worth experimenting. Since this is the first strategy that I’ve talked about that could cost you a little money, make sure you do your research. There is an immense amount of information on effective Facebook advertising. Or, keep an eye on my art blog~I will have an entire blog just on Facebook advertising and the ins and outs.
Next on our docket? Instagram. What does it have to offer? Before we get to #5, check out this artist apron. Perfect for the art studio to protect your clothes while you paint. The more paint you get on this apron, the cooler its going to get!
- You can sell directly on Instagram now!
Instagram has become a very powerful sales platform. The key to Instagram are #hashtags. I’m not going to get deep into hashtags in this blog. But, as I always promise, I’ll give you a blog coming up that will cover nothing else but hashtags and how to get huge amounts of traffic coming your way. If you have your Facebook Store up and running, you’ve done a lot of the work already because you don’t need to create a second catalogue of the same products! Yay! (It’s because Facebook owns Instagram.) Definitely killing two birds with one social media stone, if you will. You get to use your catalogue in Facebook in Instagram. You just need to submit it for review and approval through Instagram. And, you’re off and running! Once you’re approved, there will be a Tag Products button to click within the new post that you are creating. It is located right below where you would tag people in your post. If it doesn’t show up, it’s because you haven’t made it through the approval process quite yet. Once you’re approved however, people will be able to click on the product in your image and buy it right then and there. How cool is that??
That's my 5 ways. What else? How did you get started marketing yourself and your art? Inspire others with your ideas and stories in the comment section below! I would love to hear from you! And as always, if you like what you just read, please share on your social media. Just click on one of the buttons below!
Rachel Tibbits is the author of this blog. She is an artist herself, as well as an Artist Agent. She represents several talented artists and helps artists market their art~online and in person. She regularly displays her art at First Fridays, art festivals and different art events within her community. Interested in an Agent to kick start your art business? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out how you can get started with an Agent for free. You can also go to www.thedesigntank.com to see the cool artists she represents and the products and art that she sells.