How To Sell Art Online
There’s a specific way of selling art online that is really working out there for artists and photographers.
We're going to teach you how thousands of artists and photographers -- who we have worked with personally -- are using it to build successful art businesses today.
The best part is, you'll walk away from this knowing how you can do it too.
Sound good? Awesome.
Let's start by looking at the massive opportunity of the online art market.
The Online Art Market Is Booming
All types of art are selling - expensive original paintings, high-priced limited editions, as well as prints.
Ten years ago, art was primarily sold in physical art galleries. But in 2013, the BBC announced that for the first time, more art was sold online than in physical art galleries.
Fast-forward to today, the online art market has exploded and is the primary channel for selling art.
For example, here are some impressive stats:
Artists are selling
annually, on their own websites
Online art sales reached
in 2016, up 15% from 2015
Don’t take our word for it. Read More Stats & See the Online Art Market Report.
If that's not enough to convince you to take the online market seriously, speak to some of the artists on our customer testimonials page and hear it directly from them. It’s really happening.
Truthfully, this shift to online is the best thing that has ever happened to artists. Artists no longer need middle men, they can have their own 24/7 store, and they can sell directly to anyone in the world.
No longer are they limited by how many shows or fairs they can do, the number of galleries that sell their work (which is always just a few pieces and never the full catalogue), and the very small, local market that is served by both of these.
This is why top-selling artists like Wyland are saying "there's never been a better time to be an artist."
So how do you take advantage of it? Continue reading.
How To Become Successful Selling Art Online
By working alongside thousands of highly successful artists and photographers, we have deconstructed what they are doing differently to make them more successful when compared to others.
We have boiled it down to this:
While they still sell in art galleries, they still sell art fairs (if any of these things are working),
they also run their own art gallery business, online.
That's the key difference.
It also comes with a completely different mindset. These artists approach their own art gallery business just as if it were a real physical location down on main street. It just happens to be online -- but they don't see it any different. They want to provide the finest experience possible for everyone that "walks" into their gallery, so that they enjoy the experience, stay there as long as possible, and have an easy way to make buying decisions.
Running your own art gallery business online is very lucrative, its shockingly simple to do, it’s inexpensive to launch, and the ongoing cost is extremely low. Meaning anyone can do it.
As such, there are artists and photographers who run it as a side business, put limited time into it and pull in an extra $10,000-$20,000 from it each year. Then there are full-time artists who are able to put more time into it and are earning over $100,000 each year from it.
Running your own art gallery online is now -- in this day and age -- the single-most lucrative way to sell art. It is also the most efficient way to spend your time and earn a return on it.
So how do you do it?
All you need to do is solve two key problems:
FIRST, YOU NEED A PROPER ART GALLERY WEBSITE.
SECOND, YOU NEED A SUCCESSFUL MARKETING PLAN.
A successful marketing plan brings a growing number of people who are interested in your art to your website. Then, a proper art gallery website converts the highest possible percentage of these visitors into actual buyers.
That's it. If you can solve these two problems, there is nothing stopping you from being successful.
However, when you are missing one -- or both of these -- that's when everything breaks down.
If you've already tried selling your art online and have seen less than satisfactory results, it is likely because one of the above issues have not been resolved. The good news is, all you need to do is resolve them.
So let's take a moment now to dive into each, so you can learn how to do that.
Problem #1: What is a Proper Art Gallery Website?
It's a website whereby the second you land on it, it feels like you just walked into a retail art gallery. It feels like a store. There is art on the wall, and it is clearly for sale. This is in direct contrast to a website that is more of a "portfolio" of your images. These websites feel more like flipping through a coffee table book, and do not at all give the feeling like you just walked into a retail art gallery.
Furthermore, on a proper art gallery website, there are specific features that are designed to handle all the possible questions, objections, and stumbling blocks art buyers face when making a buying decision. Let's face it - buying art is a complicated decision with many facets and sometimes multiple decision makers (i.e. husband and wife).
The leading online art retailers like Art.com already figured this out years ago - so they built the features needed to sell art, and are now selling billions. Therefore, your job is just to follow what is already working. What is working is having your own art gallery website with all of the "cornerstone" art-selling features. Accomplish this, and you'll be in business.
Does the importance and reasoning behind these art-selling features make sense to you? Good. This is where most artists and photographers fail at selling online. So we don't want to move on until you've really got it.
Ok, so before we get to our next point, let's take a look at what these cornerstone features look like, from the perspective of an art buyer, on a real website.
What An Online Buying Experience Should Look Like
Here’s a quick video of what a proper art buying experience looks like:
So what happens when your website doesn't offer a proper art buying experience?
You'll have a very tough time converting visitors into buyers. You'll see this problem manifest in your site analytics, in the form of extremely low conversion rates (i.e. traffic, but no buyers), high bounce rates (people immediately leave the site after a few seconds), and very low sales. In fact, many artists sell nothing and are left wondering why.
Often times, you'll have people emailing you with questions about how to place an order and many other issues. The truth is, the vast majority won't even bother emailing you and will just leave.
Ok - so now you know what a proper art gallery website is, and why it is so important.
Now we need to talk about the second problem, which is marketing. Marketing is how you will get people to visit your gallery. Because, if you can't get interested prospects into your gallery, you'll still have a tough time making sales.
Problem #2: What is a Successful Marketing Plan?
At a high level, the marketing plan that is working for successful artists and photographers includes a combination of continual Romance marketing, coupled with strategic discounts during year-round holidays.
Do you know what romance marketing is? It's about brightening the day of your fans, resisting the urge to ask for the sale. It’s about delivering value into their lives every week or two, with a new image along with an inspirational or meaningful message. It's about deepening the connection, and patiently waiting for the time when the need arises for them to buy some art.
- Learn About Romance Marketing in The Weekly Marketing Playbook & Caveman or Romantic: What Kind of Art Seller Are You? »
A steady diet of romance marketing is what sets up the opportunity to strategically discount and capture sales during specific year-round holidays. These holidays are the biggest art selling times of the year, when a ridiculous amount of art demand is taken out of the market. It's when the art buyers pull out their wallets, which means you can't be sitting on the sidelines. You just need to be in the game, executing on holiday marketing strategies such as this.
One final point. Yes, you'll sell art all year round - not just on the holidays. But when you are executing properly, the holidays will be highly lucrative inflection points.
You now have the blueprint of what it will take to sell art online. Let's go over it again:
FIRST, YOU NEED A PROPER ART GALLERY WEBSITE.
SECOND, YOU NEED A SUCCESSFUL MARKETING PLAN.
You are now empowered to follow the footsteps of other artists and photographers who have already built successful art businesses.
Now, all you need to do is make it happen.
So how does Art Storefronts fit into this?
Learn About Art Storefronts
Art Storefronts was created to solve the two core problems discussed above.
First, we provide best-in-class art gallery websites. We have all the key art-selling features (and then some) that will provide your buyers with the finest art buying experience available.
Second, we provide a step-by-step art marketing plan to grow your traffic and sales. It tells you what to do, teaches you how to do it and when to do it - every day of the year. It's all based on what is actually working for other successful artists and photographers, so you can stop guessing and immediately get on the right path to growing your sales.
Art Storefronts currently hosts art gallery websites for over 2,000 artists and photographers and 300 art galleries and museums. We feel fortunate to have received over 60 customer testimonials on our site and over 70 5-Star Facebook Reviews. You can learn more about our company here »
"Joining this Art supported platform has been the absolute best decision I have made in my Entrepreneur Art Career. I have sold more paintings this year than ever before. I am super excited about being part of Art Storefronts and cannot stress enough how this is a complete game changer for me and my career at this point."
We also publish a ton of free marketing advice for the industry on our Blog and in our Art Marketing Podcast. It's all part of our mission, which is to solve the starving artist problem. If you wan't to learn more about the heart and soul of Art Storefronts, be sure to give that a read.
So, are we a good fit for you?
Who Do We Work With?
Wondering whether you are a good fit for Art Storefronts? Here are the types of people we are working with:
- Full-time artists and photographers, who have been unsuccessful selling online.
- Part-timers who currently have another job, who want to make extra income with this as a side business.
- Stay-at-home moms and dads, who just want to make an extra $10-20k per year.
- Any artist who wants to live their dream, who wants to make the most efficient use of their time, save themselves years of trial and error, and start doing things the right way from day one.