Friday, April 29, 2011

An introduction to selling art on the Internet

There are many opportunities for artists to sell their work on the Internet. Some are more direct and others only increase the artist’s presence. Both will lead to more sales in the long run.

Website
It is important for each artist and for each gallery to have a website. Rather than just a window to look at the artwork, the website should be interactive in some way, and at the very least, it should lead the viewer to an easy way to get in touch with the artist and an easy way to buy from the artist.

A website can be as simple or as complicated as the artist desires. The important point is for the artist to have a place on the Internet to point their customers and for their customers to check back to see what’s new. When setting up a website or having someone build one, artists are wise to use their own name as the name of the website. That way, customers who hear about them will only have to search for the artist’s name in order to find them.

On-line Galleries
There are many on-line galleries that will hang and sell artists work for a commission. This is an answer for those who don’t want to be bothered with their own website. However, to be successful at this type of endeavor, it’s important for the artist to have a way to direct people to their specific area of the on-line gallery. Otherwise, the artist’s work will get lost in a sea of other artists.

On-line Shop
Instead of an on-line gallery that the artist shares with hundreds of other artists, artists are more frequently opening their own on-line shops. There are many sites on the Internet that provide templates and all the amenities in order for the artist’s customers to make purchases. The artist’s responsibility is to fill orders and to keep photographs of their work posted in the shop. Again, the trick here is for artists to let their customers know how to find the shop on line.

Blogging
Setting up a blog seems to be becoming more and more successful for artists. Once the artist garners the interest of a following, people will return often to see what they are up to. Artists must commit the time to keeping up with their blog by entering small articles and posting pictures of their work on a regular basis. Some artists even show photographs of a work in progress. This seems to lure customers back to see how the piece is coming together. The artist might start by posting preliminary sketches then they post various versions of the painting or sculpture as it progresses.

Webcam
Artists who are a bit more into demonstrating the process of creating a piece of art have even hooked up a webcam for people to watch them during the creation of a piece of artwork. This, too, will gather loyal fans to see what’s happening on any given day. The trick with this is for the artist to be on line often enough to keep viewers interested.

The important part of selling art on the Internet is for the artists or gallery owners to commit to a certain amount of time each day directing traffic to their artwork on the Internet. It’s fine to put up a website or for artists to put their work in an on-line gallery, but if they just put it there and let it sit, they probably won’t sell all that much.

By sending out notices by email of new work or new exhibits, potential customers will come to your website to see the new pieces. A newsletter is often a good idea. Sometimes, only a quarterly nudge is enough to spur people to visit the artist’s on-line exhibit and to find customers to provide a good home for their works.

13 comments:

Dyche Designs said...

Lots of great advice. I have an online shop and blog but there is still more that I could do.

Jeff King said...

Great info… thx for the input.

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