It’s 2012 – and every painter you know is on Twitter and Facebook marketing their paintings. In order to achieve great results and stand out from the crowd, you, the creative entrepreneur, have to go about marketing and selling your work in a more creative way. Coming up with unique and unusual tactics yourself is crucial, but in this article I’ll provide you with five examples to spark your imagination.
1. Time lapse your process on Youtube
One awesome way of marketing your paintings on Youtube, is to get a camera and great a time lapse: a series of pictures taken over a period of time showing the transformation from blank canvas to finished painting in a quick and interesting way. This will not only appeal to interested buyers, but it will also be of interest to aspiring painters wanting to learn about professional techniques.
Whenever I create content, I find that the best way to make it go viral is to transform it into a video and publish it on Youtube. In my stats, I immediately see other websites publishing the video and categorizing it in their ‘arts’ and ‘designs’ pages. Most of this is done automatically, but it’s still a great way to have people pick up on your video through multiple channels.
2. ‘Theme’ your work on Pinterest or Etsy
As Pinterest is getting more popular these days, it’s also becoming a great resource for artists looking to get inspirational pictures. On Pinterest, you can ‘pin’ interesting pictures and create collections from them based on a theme (like a subject, a feeling, or a color). When others like your collection, they can pin the individual items on them and by doing so, share them with their friends. If you wish to promote your paintings on Pinterest, you could upload them and add them to one of your themes. Be careful not to use the website just for promotional reasons though, since that’s not what the website is for. Clustering your work in themes can also be done on Etsy, by creating treasuries around a theme.
3. Create a small directory with fellow artists in your niche
Teaming up with fellow painters is a good idea if you’re looking to attract a bigger audience to your artwork. On of the things you could do when teaming up, is to create a page on the internet where all of your work in a particular niche is gathered and published. If you’re into painting landscapes, in example, you might want to gather some fellow artists doing landscapes and ask if they’d be interested in having their blog push articles to your page (through syndicating their RSS feed, in example). This way, you could market your page is the number one place to visit when looking for brand new paintings of landscapes by professional artists. If unsure about how to create such a page, you could always use the hosted WordPress.com solution of quickly setting up a website and having RSS feeds syndicated to it automatically.
4. Open a shop on Shopify
Whether you already have a shop online or you’re brand new to the e-commerce side of things, it’s always a good thing to have your work up for sale on multiple places. One of the easiest tools for creating a shop online is Shopify. The designers over at Shopify have designed out of the box themes for the best conversion possible, so figuring out how to create a bestselling shop for your artwork is unnecessary.
5. Submit your paintings to categorized groups on Flickr
As explained in this previous article, Flickr is a great place to publish any form of art and get a lot of attention through their popular advanced search option. What you could also consider, is to submit your paintings to categorized groups containing the themes and colors of your work. Also make sure to submit your paintings to some other groups, like used materials (i.e. oil painting groups) and your location (i.e. Dutch painters). Don’t forget to create a link to your portfolio or shop in the description and to properly tag your work with the right keywords.
One of the most common concerns amongst photographers is how to sell photos online without either a) stacking up stock photo sites for months without any sales or b) giving countless of prints away for free in hopes of ever being hired for a photography job. The secret to selling photos online seems to be choosing one method and sticking to it. It is actually more effective to choose one tool and spend most of your time tweaking and developing your presence there, than to scatter your work all around the web without leaving much of a foot print. In this article, we’ll explore the options of selling photos online, so you can make your own decision on which path you’ll take – and how you’ll stick to it until you reach your goal of becoming a best selling photographer.
Selling stock photos: Multiple angles, multiple directions made available
When selling your photos online, you’ll come to the conclusion that there is a big difference between selling stock and selling print. When selling stock photos, you need to make some changes in the way you take your photographs. You might have a picture of an elephant holding a blue umbrella on a clear white background, which would be perfect for someone doing an article on elephants holding umbrellas, but when you’re just offering it in landscape, it might not be suitable for this particular client with just a portrait orientated slot available on the editorial age. And perhaps they’d like a red umbrella instead of a blue one because red is their brand’s main color? Offer all of these options and upload them all, making sure to tag it with at least some topic, color and angle attributes. You’ll be found in the stock photo website’s internal search engine, as well as on Google, which will give you even more exposure and a broader audience.
I’ll cover the best proven places for selling stock in an upcoming edition of Work It Weekly, so make sure to sign up at the bottom of this post to find out more.
Selling prints: Categorize the way your audience is thinking
When selling photos as prints for weddings, parties, portraits or as decorative art, there are some other decisions to be made. Ideally, you’ll want to give your potential client an option to browse through your best shots and show some consistency in your portfolio. They’ll want to know what their end result will be, and having a clear view of the future outcome of working with you will definitely improve your chances in getting the job.
When selling prints online as decorative art, you’ll want to categorize them the way your client is thinking. They often have a space in their home in mind and would like to have the subject and the atmosphere of your pictures reflect this space. Examples of categories you can create for this purpose are family, kids, joy, happiness (i.e. for the living room) cooking, food, nature (suitable for the kitchen), city views, portraits, objects (for the office), and so on. Of course you don’t have to label them exactly as living room, office or kitchen pictures, but making a distinction in your themes before your audience does it, will give you a big advantage.
It will also work well when they don’t have a space in mind, but when they have an emotional connection with the subject in your picture. First time moms will browse through your family and happiness pages, while an entrepreneur will like to see your urban landscapes and inspirational pictures.
Make these decisions consciously and stick to them: you’ll see your results and workflow improve as you’re building towards your goal of selling photos online.2 responses