Manuel Sánchez Art Gallery

Manuel Sanchez Art Gallery

Original Oil Paintings & Museum Quality Prints On Sale. 

7 keys to selling Art online

Posted by Manuel on March 16, 2013 at 11:55 AM


 

 

7 KEYS TO SELLING ART ONLINE

 

Too often, artists start down the online art marketing

path and quickly find themselves bogged down in “how-

to” details. They reach burn-out before they ever get a

fundamental marketing plan in place. Trying to connect

the dots in a half-baked, half-finished marketing plan is

disheartening and counter-productive.


If you make good art

the world is filled with people

who would love to

buy, own and enjoy your work.

Isn’t that comforting to know?


they don’t know you exist.

They would buy it right now except...


So what can you do to change that?


7 KEYS TO SELLING ART ONLINE

It all comes down to Inbound Marketing, which means:

 1) Getting people to find you online.

 2) Turning your visitors into followers, then leads,

then customers.


As you read through this book you may occasionally think

“I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THAT.”

When that happens, remember Universal Rule #1:

Those who know HOW work for those who know WHY.

YOU(or, soon to be you)

OTHERS


In other words:

 • You don’t have to do everything yourself.

 • You don’t even have to fund everything yourself.

 • Stop the self-torture. When needed, enlist the help of friends, family,

patrons and freelance writers/designers.

 Let’s take “how-to” off the table for the next

12 minutes. Instead, let’s focus on WHAT to do

and WHY you’re doing it. HOW is easy. HOW will

take care of itself.

 Now let’s fix your online marketing > > >


YOUR WEBSITE & BLOG

KEY

Your Website & Blog are the center

of your online sales universe. You

can roll them both into a single site

(best) or keep them separate, but

artists need both components.


Your WEBSITE is your well-organized art gallery, showcase and

museum. It stays still, it stays dependable and it looks awesome.

Ideally you want your own dedicated domain with a streamlined URL,

not a sub-domain hooked to someone else’s site with a confusing

(or too-long) URL.

Serious buyers will visit your

website several times before

buying. Make it easy for them.


• Make sure your website looks like it was designed RECENTLY.

• Make sure your website is optimized for search engines (SEO).

• Make sure your visitors can easily find what they’re looking for,

again and again.

• Make sure your visitors can easily opt-in to your mailing list.

• Make sure your pricing is clearly visible. Do not force people to call

you or email you for pricing.

• Make sure buyers can easily BUY your art, right from your site,

when they’re ready.

Thinking of using Flash? Don’t. Flash is virtually

invisible to search engines. Further, it is banned on

some newer devices, which means visitors with those

devices literally cannot view your site.


Your BLOG is an ongoing, linear dialog and running commentary

on you and your art. The primary purpose of your blog is to drive

visitors to your website, whether through search rankings or through

social channels.

• It moves, it’s exciting.

• It expands and explains.

• It builds trust.

• It updates and highlights your creative activities.

• Visitors can comment and you can respond.


Unless you’re a naturally gabby person and a good writer, blogs

are HARD WORK. Be prepared for some serious starts and stops before

you get a rhythm going. The important thing is to get your blog firmly

in place and online. Start posting. Make mistakes. Your blog is the engine

that keeps people coming back to your site.

The more you update your

blog, the more visitors you

attract. More visitors mean

more fans for you and your art,

which leads to more sales.


If you find that you can’t keep your blog current

and functioning, farm it out.

Yes, it’s that important.


7 KEYS TO SELLING ART ONLINE

KEY YOUR OPT-IN MAILING LIST

Email is the best way to keep in touch

with your patrons, collectors, buyers

and fans. If any of the 7 Keys are

magic, it’s this one.


Your opt-in mailing list contains

peoples’ names and email addresses

who have specifically given you permission

to send them periodic emails about you and

your art. It is the single most powerful

online sales tool you can have.


Building your opt-in list is

tedious work that yields amazing results.

It enables you to send anticipated, personal and relevant emails to

PEOPLE WHO WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.

• Display an email subscription sign-up form (preferably “above the

fold”) on your website and blog.

• Your social media profiles generally allow for multiple web addresses.

Make one of them your email sign-up form.

• Include a link to your subscriber sign-up page in your email signature.

• Mention your free email Newsletters/Updates/Status Reports in all

outside communications: press releases, postcards, feature articles.

Capture email addresses in person at your art shows with guest sign-in

books. When you exchange business cards, ASK your new contact if

you can keep in touch with them by newsletter.


Use a professional

email service provider such as

MailChimp, AWeber, Emma or Constant

Contact. They range in price from free

to inexpensive and provide automatic

subscription and list management,

tracking, customizable templates and

have many other advantages.


An important distinction: Your newsletter is not your blog. It should

contain more valuable content. If you promise your subscribers “inside”

information, then do not send them a recycled blog post. Your opt-in list is

your “inner circle.” Treat them with respect.

Write directly to ONE person. “Hiya Gang” is the worst possible way to

start your newsletter. You may have hundreds or even thousands of names

on your list, but each email is sent to a single address and (first) read by

a solitary reader. That person has INVITED YOU into their inbox and

TRUSTED YOU with their email address.

Finally, always remember that your newsletter is a prospecting and

lead generation tool. Gently SPRINKLE your offers into your email, and

always ASK your readers to take action. (buy now, read more, forward

to a friend, etc.). Otherwise, there’s no reason to send it.


7 KEYS TO SELLING ART ONLINE

KEY YOUR BACKLINKS

BACKLINKS (also known as Inbound

Links) originate on other websites

and point to yours. Search engines

grant higher priority to sites with

large numbers of quality backlinks.


Okay. So where do quality backlinks come from?

Blog Comments — Find active blogs on topics that interest you, preferably

with large commenting communities. Write comments that add value to

the discussions. Like-minded folks often reward quality input with a click

through to your site to learn more about you.

Guest Blogging — Start by leaving several first rate comments on high

quality, high-traffic sites. Then write informative, relevant posts for those

websites and offer them to the owners. These will increase your search

engine visibility and provide a steady flow of visitors to your website.

Forum Links — Join online forums. Answer questions. Make comments.

Be helpful. Before long you will be viewed as a reliable source of

information, and folks will click on your signature link to visit your website.


Social Bookmarking — Common bookmarking sites are Digg,

Stumbleupon, and Delicious, and there are literally hundreds more.

Bookmark your favorite sites, stories, blog posts, art and photographs from

all over the web. Each bookmark you add also creates a backlink to your

site. Just ONE good bookmarking site can send thousands of visitors a

month to view your art.

Article Marketing — One of the earliest and still widely used ways to

build backlinks. Write an article (or 10, 20 or 50), submit it to an article

directory and get a backlink. There are thousands of article directories on

the internet today, so choose the highest quality directories you can find.


Press releases — When you have newsworthy announcements (new

art, upcoming shows, large purchases from prestigious clients) craft press

releases for submission to popular distribution services. Identify the correct

channels by searching for related stories on Google News or Yahoo News,

and noting where the top results originate.

Popular Websites — Can you showcase your work on popular, relevant,

local or regional websites? Do it. Costs generally range from free to

inexpensive to pricey-but-worth-it. These can generate the highest

quality backlinks you’ll have


KEY YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media is a process. Start by

building on existing relationships,

make new connections, and adopt

this simple strategy: Be Helpful.


Converting your social media friends, fans and followers into

buyers of your art can be an EXTREMELY difficult thing to do. But it’s not

impossible. Artists who take the time to understand the process are reaping

sweet rewards.

Social media has a long, slow sales curve. It’s SOCIAL, meaning it’s

not about the transaction, it’s about the experience. In addition to

building genuine friendships and revealing a more personal side of yourself,

it’s about getting people to spend more time with your art.

Over time, a thousand little

nudges will ultimately drive

purchasing. But that won’t

happen overnight.


The sheer number of social networks is staggering.

You simply can’t be on all of them, nor should you try.

Monitor several networks that appeal to you. Then choose no more

than a handful (2-5) to become involved with. Be sure and set a budget for

time, otherwise you’ll quickly become overwhelmed and burned out.

Even though it may take years to find your rhythm, build your tribe and

see the larger payoff, know that each of your tweets, texts, video links

and status updates are magnifying your presence in organic search

results. So even when it feels like nothing is happening, keep at it, since

organic search is vital to your long-term, online success.

BE SELECTIVE. CHOOSE WISELY.


KEY YOUR OFFLINE EFFORTS

Traditional methods of connecting

with people still work.

Offline marketing will drive traffic to

your website and boost online sales.


Artists need POSTCARDS. They are mini works of art (your art!) that

are cheap to print, colorful and easy to carry. Print several versions and

keep them in your car, backpack, art supply box, laptop case, cargo pants

— you get the picture. Make sure they include your contact information

and your WEBSITE address. Hand them out at networking meetings and

art shows. When appropriate, MAIL THEM to Galleries, Patrons and

Decorators.

If you’re a public speaker, teacher or workshop coordinator — bring

your postcards.

Your Press Releases and Guest Articles for your online promotions can

do double duty in your local newspapers, regional magazines, even

national publications. Always include your WEBSITE address.


KEY YOUR BUYERS,

COLLECTORS & PATRONS

All of your marketing and sales

efforts come down to attracting and

holding the people who like you,

promote you, support you and who

will ultimately buy your work.


Many artists feel that selling art to total strangers is an important rite

of passage. ”Finally! Someone besides Mom appreciates my work!”

Once you begin reaching people you WILL get response, and you WILL

make random sales.

EVEN SO, in order to generate momentum and

attract repeat buyers, you must be willing to

open conversations and build relationships.

Your talents, which may seem so normal to you, are often viewed as

MAGIC by others. These are the people who love art, love artists, and

believe it is their civic duty to

bring art into the world.


Help them help you. They are not mere buyers of your work.

They are people who will ultimately become your Collectors and

Patrons. Your well-being, comfort and survival are important to them.

If you allow it, they will support your efforts in any number of ways, both

large and small:

Some will offer studio space,

 gallery space,

 art supplies,

 equipment,

 even (yes!) cash.

They’ll help you with marketing and sales, introduce you to their friends,

and open doors you never knew existed. EMBRACE these opportunities

and treat these special people like the angels they are.


KEY YOUR SHIPPING

& FOLLOW-THROUGH

Your buyers might come from down

the street or from the other side of

the planet. Either way, you need to

be prepared when things go right.


“I’ll take it!”

When you see or hear those words, are you ready?

Can you deliver?

How are you getting the payment? Do you have to find a box, build

a crate, fill out forms for international delivery, decide on a shipper?

Have you chosen a high-quality Print On Demand (POD) service that is

professional and efficient?

The time to figure all that out is BEFORE the orders start rolling in.

Your customers’ buying experience should be flawless every time.

Remember, you’re building relationships.


Within three days after the sale, send your

buyer a separate THANK YOU card or letter . Then

KEEP IN TOUCH. Make sure they receive your regular

email newsletter. Send them a stamped, hand-

written postcard greeting every 90 days.

Make sure they know that you appreciate their

purchase and look forward to a long relationship.


Opt-In Subscribers

Over time, your art marketing will look like this:

Social Media

SEND Newsletters

SEND Newsletters

Your

Website/Blog

BUILD Relationships

Personal Networking

UPDATE Website

WRITE Blog Posts

Paid Advertising

MAKE SALES

Postcards to Gallerie,

Patrons & Decorators.

Showcases on Relevant Local

Websites. SEO & Backlinks

SHIP & Follow Through

Now that you know the WHAT and WHY of art marketing,

always remember:

“you’re braver than you believe,

and stronger than you seem,

and smarter than you think.”

— Christopher Robin (to Pooh)

 

Categories: Selling Art Online

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