How Pointillist Artist Jim Pescott Got His First Online Art Sale

Making that first art sale online can be a challenge – here’s a breakdown of how one fine artist pulled it off.

One of the great mysteries of selling art online is how to make that first jump from 0 sales to 1 sale.

And we’re talking 1 real sale – meaning, not to anyone named “Mom,” “Dad,” “Brother,” Sister,” or “Best Friend”.

So, how’s it done?

First, let’s talk about how it’s not done.

We talk to a ton of artists, and one misconception we hear a lot is “if the art is good, they will come.”

If only! Boy would that make things easier for all of us.

What Artists Think Selling Art Online Is Like

artist win

So you launch your site, and then, oh look, someone ordered 37 prints!

selling art tips

Okay. A huge congrats to Ron for pulling that sale off, but of course it’s not the norm.

What Selling Art Online Is Actually Like

The vast majority of artists entering the online market for the first time will spend their first several weeks and months fighting for that first, single sale.

Let’s take a look at this process through the story of one of our customers, Jim Pescott.

art storefronts small wins

We have a private Facebook Group called #SmallWins that our customers use to talk art marketing with each other, and our marketing gurus.

That’s where these screenshots are from.

Jim joined the group on September 2017, and quickly posted a welcome message:

jim pescott

An important thing to note is that Jim identifies the steep learning curve ahead of him, and seems ready to greet the challenge.

Let’s look at what he posted to the group over the next few days:

jim prescott

artist success story

He’s reaching out with his questions as he sets up his website, his lead capture tool, and begins marketing his work.

As he explores new ways to build his audience and sell his work, he continues to poll the group, getting valuable opinions from others:

artist how to succeed

small wins

Jim is fully utilizing the power of #SmallWins, and becoming a better art retailer because of it.

He’s reading our posts on Facebook Marketing and figuring it out with some help from the group.

At the end of the year, he still hasn’t made his first sale, but he left a post summarizing his feelings on the journey so far:

artist facebook group

This is a great example of an artist that knows his work will sell, but also recognizes the careful work that goes into convincing people to part with their cash in exchange for his art.

In January, we started podcasting and blogging about ManyChat – a new tool that we think is going to be a game-changer for artists in 2018.

Jim jumped right on board:

art storefronts facebook group

At this point, how would you describe Jim’s approach to selling art?

Words that come to mind for us include “flexible,” “positive,” and “relentlessly determined.”

And these just so happen to be the qualities required to make that first sale!

So, how did it happen for Jim?

Eventually, it was his adherence to our Holiday Marketing Playbook that finally cracked it for him:

art storefronts success

Two prints sold to a real customer!

Note the timeline – it took him 4 months to make that first sale.

But in that time, he was not simply waiting. He was hard at working building a marketing machine that works.

His next sale will come much faster, and much easier, because he’s learned so much about how to sell art online.

The learnings compound, and the sales do too. Pressure over time.

Well done, Jim. Here’s what we expect from you with another 4 months under your belt:

making money selling art

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