09 Oct Top 5 Tips for Selling Original Art Online
Top 5 Tips for Selling Original Art Online
There is a general school of thought that original art is only bought offline, but this is quite a misconception. According to research done by home insurer Hiscox, online art sales were estimated to be US$4.22 billion in 2017. While the percentage of art buyers who said they bought art online in the past 12 months declined to 43% in 2018 from 49% in 2017, it is still a very high percentage and one not to be dismissed.
The survey also found out that of the 43% who bought art online, 74% have bought paintings. Taking these percentages into account artists should really consider selling their original art online, if they don’t already do so.
While there is a lot to think about when selling original art online, we have listed our top 5 tips here.
1. Social Media
Social media is a great way of promoting your art. You can use hashtags (the # symbol followed by a keyword, such as #originalart to describe your art and get discovered by people that follow those specific hash tags. You can use as many hashtags as are relevant to your art.
Instagram is the social media platform that seems to be most preferred by art buyers. The content on Instagram is highly visual and a great way of promoting your original art. As of June 2018, Instagram had reached 1 billion active monthly users from around the world, so you can reach a big audience with your art.
Some other social media platforms regularly used to promote art are Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. The key to engaging with potential buyers is to update your social media regularly and it’s important to react to questions and comments in a timely fashion. It’s often better to stick to one platform than have a haphazard approach by using multiple platforms on an ad hoc basis.
Should you wish to use more than one social media platform, there are some handy tools you can use to manage your social media accounts from a central platform. They allow you to schedule social media posts in advance and will alert you of any comments made on your posts so you can react quickly.
2. Upload your art to ArtChain Global’s online platform
There are a lot of online platforms so it’s key you spend some time researching which platform serves your needs best. Some platforms may at first sight seem like a good way to sell your art, but they may charge you as much as 30%+GST on the art sold through the platform, plus additional shipping and insurance fees.
A great example of an online platform that is built to support artists is ArtChain Global. You can sign up to use their platform for free at www.artchainglobal.com. Their platform is built to enable emerging artists to showcase and sell their art to the world and get discovered by thousands of art buyers and collectors.
- Your artwork is accessible and searchable for everyone in the world to see.
- There is full transparency around the creation and history of your artwork, such as its original upload, sales and ownership, historical sales etc… This will help you as the artist to keep track of what’s happening with your artwork post initial sale and it will give prospective art buyers trusted background information about your art giving them added confidence to buy it.
- Royalty payments for a resale of your artwork can be automated, so you keep earning money each time one of your art works is resold on the platform.
- Unlike most platforms that charge artists for listing their original art, ArtChain Global actually rewards artists for uploading their artwork to the platform and adding more information about the artwork.
3. Write good content
No matter where you sell your art, whether it’s on your own website or on an online platform, it is really important to have a lot of information available so that potential art buyers can read up on you and the art they’re interested in. Here are some things that can really have your art stand out:
- Use high quality pictures from many different viewing angles. Also take at least one close-up of the surface. In that way you can show the details of texture, the thickness of the paint, and other characteristics.
- Add a vivid description: A lot of original art gets sold because the buyer resonates with the story behind the art. What does the artwork represent, what was your inspiration, and what made you choose this particular genre.
- Have a clear return policy and shipping information: Especially for art sold online this is information that buyers really want to know about. Do you ship to foreign countries? What is your return policy? These are all things buyers really want to know before they buy art online.
4. Consistency is key
Art buyers like to see consistency. They’re likely buyers of one specific type of art and coming across an artist with hundreds of works of original art, but all in different styles, will put them off. Art buyers also like to see a return on investment and when they notice that an artist makes drastic changes in style regularly, they know it will impact negatively on the future value of the art. Of course, your artwork will evolve over time which is completely natural, but you should stay away from making changes to your style that are very drastic and sudden.
Another thing to keep in mind around consistency is pricing. Art buyers are used to pricing that is consistent throughout an artist’s repertoire and seeing similar works of art priced differently will likely drive them away. You can obviously raise prices when your artwork becomes more popular or gets resold at higher prices, but you should try to keep prices consistent across the board.
5. Find Great Keywords and have an SEO strategy
Optimize your content for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This simply means that when potential buyers are searching online for art, your website and your listings on online platforms will be ranked highly in the search results for the keywords you have chosen to use in your content and that resonate most with your potential buyers, e.g. abstract paintings, original artwork, bird paintings, watercolour landscapes etc.
Use Google AdWords to help find the best keywords. The best keywords are those that are searched the most, most relevant to your art, that also have a low percentage keyword difficulty, meaning that there aren’t many people competing with you on the words you have chosen.
Were these tips helpful for you at all? Or do you have any other tips that you think may help artists sell their original art online? Don’t be shy and comment below. We’re very keen to help artists succeed in the online world so any tips will be highly appreciated.