Spread the word about your art

Sell Your Art Online

7 Different Ways To Sell Your Art Online

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Get Your Art In Front of Right Audience

Artists! 5 essential goals for art success in 2020 : A backside kicking list.

What can you do in 2011 to improve your career as an artist? 5 ESSENTIAL to-do’s that will push you art career forward. Start the New Year the way you mean to go on…

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attract website traffic

Interview: How to Attract Oodles of Engaged Traffic to Your Website, With Ana Hoffman

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art success

Interview: Owen Garratt on How to Show Up to the Right Art Buying Audience

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how to price art

Confidence for Artists: Poker-face Pricing Your Art

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sell art online

“Art Starts to Suffer the Moment Other People Start Paying For It”

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sell art online

Overwhelmingly Disappointing Survey Consensus. BUT! I’ve Got Your Back

Two things stood out in last week’s survey results. First, a very large number of artists had real trouble having the confidence to market their work. Which I can understand: I know as well as any artist that getting your own creation out into the world can be tough. Point in case: that novel of […]

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sell art online

Artists and the Eternal Need for Community

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On free sites vs self-hosted, functionality and trust

Yesterday, on a free consulting call with a new LEAP subscriber, the issue of websites came up.

Many people can’t or won’t invest in a professional site, and choose to go with free options, such as Google’s Blogger.com platform.

Other options are sites hosted by Vistaprint, or Typepad, and also WordPress has a free site service at WordPress.com.

There are some advantages to using that type of solution, in that, well, it’ free.

It’s also (in most cases) fairly easy to set up and configure.

But there are some disadvantages too, and that’s why I’d never recommend using a free service.

For one thing, if your site address – the URL – reads something like ‘watercolour-artist-johnny.wordpress.com’, it makes you look unprofessional.

“Huh, they don’t even have their own website? Weird”.

You’d think that it doesn’t matter, but it does.

It gives out the message that you don’t invest in your art-business, and in terms of psychology, that simply means that people won’t take you quite as seriously.

It matters more than you think: people buy something when they have a strong enough feeling of trust, and the more professional someone behaves and looks, the more we trust them.

So you’ll always want to have your own domain name (i.e. watercolour-artist-johnny.com).

As a temporary solution at the start, a free site can be useful, but the very moment you can afford to invest in a proper site, you should make the switch.

Doesn’t even have to be very expensive: $20 a month should set you right – and it’s well worth the investment.

Another major disadvantage of free sites is the limited functionality they offer.

There’s always limitations to what you can do, in terms of design and formatting.

Not only that: once you start getting serious about your business, you will want to add in functionality.

An optin form, for example, is something that you can’t put on a free WordPress site.

Kinda sucks, given that building your own permission-based list of email addresses is task number 1 in any business.

So if you haven’t got a site yet: start out right, start with a site where you can use the domain name that you choose.

And if you’re on a free-hosting platform, seriously consider moving to your own hosting as soon as you can.

It’s good for business.

Cheers,

Martin

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The definition of a real artist

This one might piss a few people off.

Not that it’s my intention to do so, but so often do I see artists – incredibly motivated, driven, talented – shirk the issue of money and selling, that I think it’s time to share one of my more radical opinions.

Don’t just take it from me, you know.

There are tons of people out there, smarter and more experienced than me.

Cory Huff, Ann Rea, Alyson Stanfield, and many more: they all tell us to get over ourselves and exchange our art for money.

Helen – an accomplished artist in her own right – says the same thing.

And personally, I don’t see any shame in selling art. Quite the opposite.

So here’s where I hold my breath:

A real artist is someone who sells their work – or at least actively tries to.

I can already hear people go: “You’re crazy! I AM an artist, even if I don’t sell my art!”

That’s valid, I agree.

But are you working on sales?

Are you building an online presence?

Are you using the proven marketing strategies that get you in front of people?

Are you, in fact, acting like a professional?

Let’s take this back a few centuries, to prove my point.

Georg Friedrich Händel wrote his magnificent Water Music suites because King George I commissioned him to do so.

Schubert had a job – composing music so as to feed his large family.

Rembrandt was commissioned to paint the Nightwatch.

Michelangelo’s David was bought and paid for.

So how come we ended up with the notion that free artistic expression is the only thing that justifies art?

That taking money for it somehow defiles what true art is meant to be?

I don’t buy that.

Look at the Rolling Stones, or Leonard Cohen – or indeed, Andy Warhol.

They all know that in order to keep creating, money has to come from somewhere.

I listened to an interview with Jay Jay French, of Twisted Sister fame (who vehemently rejects the glam rock tag, btw).

Like ‘em or not – they are a business, and it’s that attitude that has enabled them – just like the Stones – to survive to this day.

Neil Young? I doubt he rejects money.

Jack Nicholson? Al Pacino?

All of them, artists in their own right, still going strong, living from what they consider their art.

So why would you want to distance yourself from that, what’s the sense in being a closet-painter and never try to sell your work?

Maybe completely free artistic expression is indeed what you do it for, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

But I do regret that the consequence of it is that something you create, that could change somebody’s life, won’t get seen.

So maybe it’s marketing that people are against – that’s something I can understand. There’s a lot of crap being sold, just because there’s a marketing genius behind the strategy.

And that’s wrong in many ways and on many levels.

Sad too, because if there’s one thing the world needs, it’s more real art and less gunk.

Which is yet another reason to come to terms with promoting and marketing your work.

Or maybe it’s because of ethics – there sure is a lot of that missing in a lot of marketing.

But that’s just a matter of how you go about things.

Ethics are in your hand – if you’re an ethical person, your marketing will be ethical too, automatically.

So ask yourself: why not? Why wouldn’t you create a simple, effective, ethical strategy to be seen by more people?

Goodness, they’ll even thank you for it, once they find you.

Or, maybe it’s confidence, fear, doubt, insecurity – is that what’s holding you back?

Not sure you’re good enough, that you can pull it off, that your work deserves to be seen?

Cheers,

Martin

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