Selling your artwork online: 5 tips from a full-time artist

hi everybody and welcome back to my channel so I had another video that I was going to be doing for today but I decided to set that aside after I received a comment from one of you lovely followers and the reason why I decided to work on this video and this topic and status because more and more of you are connecting with me who are just starting to warm up to the idea of how to sell online and you may not know where to start because it’s a very daunting thing to think about when there’s so much information to sort of bring it down to just this core of information that you are going to want to pay attention to strip everything else away so I decided that I wanted to focus on this topic so if you are just now getting started into this arena of selling your artwork online and you have no idea where to go or what to do first then this video is for you so I want to read you the comment that I received and we will get started I have about four or five points that I want to talk to you about on how to start selling online let’s read this message first this is from Teresa and she says do you have a video on the most basic of basic how to actually get started online artist statements biography profile the scary bit and can you remember what it was like and how you did it hmm yes I remember vividly that I was scared half to death that I did not know the first thing about marketing I’ve mentioned this in videos before and that I stumbled along the way because I didn’t know what I was doing I didn’t know that there were resources out there I didn’t even think about going to YouTube and looking for videos on YouTube never even thought about it YouTube wasn’t as big then as it is now either so you have a leg up on me as far as that goes because there is a wealth of information here on YouTube and I appreciate you asking me that question so this is these are my tips to you on if you are just getting started and you want the basic of the basic this is sort of the meat of the information so number one the first thing that I want you to consider before you think of anything else I want you to ask yourself grab a pen and paper sit down ask yourself Who am I as an artist and what is it that I want to put out into the world this is probably one of the most important things that you can do for yourself if you are just starting out you have an idea of what it is that you want to sell you already know you have a passion for something whether that be crocheting or fine art or jewelry making or maybe you know whatever it is printmaking whatever it is that you do and you do well what is the reason behind you doing these things what is the drive what what is your passion about it and once you can answer that question what it is Who am I as an artist what is it that I want to to bring to people what is it what kind of a need do I want to fulfill when you answer these questions it will lay the groundwork for not only who your customers are going to be and who you will need to bring to you so that you can make that connection between your work and the people who want it it would just is a good thing to know as a whole it will help you along the way so once you have that for the basis that lays the foundation of really the rest of your art business at least in my piñon I didn’t really think about that I was just creating and thinking I’ll just put my stuff out there and the right people will come along and that does not happen did not happen for me it’s a lot of work but if you can sort of hone in on what that means to you then that will really really help you along the way okay so that’s number one number two what do you intend to sell if you’re a fine artist I speak as a fine artist so I’m gonna talk from my own viewpoint here are you going to sell only originals and one-of-a-kinds are you going to sell prints of your work are you going to sell merchandise are you gonna put your work on coffee mugs and canvas bags canvas prints phone cases things like that or are you going to take commissions you know from from customers so you have to decide what it is that you want to sell that is also going to help you move forward and figure out where exactly you need to be on this journey so figure out what it is that you want to sell okay so number three where are you going to sell there are plenty of places for you to sell your artwork just off the top of my head there’s obviously Etsy I am on Etsy so of course I mentioned Etsy first there’s Etsy there’s red bubble again speaking as a fine artist this is mostly fine art websites but I’m sure that there are others out there that I am unaware of but Etsy red bubble society6 Zazzle where else is that it fine art America that’s another one there are places there are plenty of places who would love to host your work so you need to decide we you want to sell and the best way to figure that out is to go to all of these places find out what their commission rates are if you’re comfortable with them platform are the websites easy to use traffic do they do they have the customers that that frequent their sites where you will be able to be in fair competition with other people so that you can get your work seen and noticed and people will purchase there are a lot of things that that you will need to think about as far as that goes before you can move forward so wherever you want to sell your work that’s what you need to think about next so that is number four where will you market your work the internet the majority of websites that are visited on the internet for social engagement you are talking Facebook you’re talking Instagram Twitter Pinterest snapchat there are probably hosts of others but those are the top ones that come to my mind so you need to decide on where you’re going to market your work how are you going to bring people to you people that frequent these social media sites they’re on there for social engagement so when you engage with your potential customers you will bring them back to wherever it is that you are going to be selling hopefully and engage with them further there and then hopefully they will purchase your wares so trying to decide I’ve mentioned this before this is important to bring up again and again and again you don’t want to be everywhere that was one of the mistakes that I made I thought I needed to be everywhere you can’t be everywhere you have to come to terms with the fact that you are you are in this business if you’re just starting out chances are you’re in this business alone unless you’re fortunate enough to have help but most of us when we start out we have no money we we are really just trying to buckle down and trying to keep our businesses afloat so if you are doing this on your own you can’t be everywhere at once you can’t be on all of the social media platforms and create your work and take care of your your shop wherever it is going to be and market yourself you can’t do all of that all of the time something will have to be sacrificed and a lot of things will ultimately be neglected so I highly recommend that you figure out which ones you like to engage in the most and just pick two or three of those places and and just start there because if you go everywhere if you sign up for all of these social media platforms you will want you will neglect a few of them because you’ll find that you just don’t have time to do it or you’re going to be too overwhelmed and the worst thing that you can do is set up something and then not participate in it it doesn’t look good for you as a business so whatever you do choose things that are meaningful to you as far as social media platforms go and then participate you have to participate in them you have to constantly and by constantly I mean really on a daily basis engage engage engage with your potential or current customers it is extremely important to do that so that you can establish a connection or relationship with your customers so that is that’s very important and then lastly I highly recommend that you purchase Oh create your own website I know that this may be really daunting and I hesitated even putting this in but it is important it’s something that I wish I had done early on because wherever you sell your work on any of these other platforms whether it be Etsy whether it be fine art America whether the red bubble wherever you sell them you have to remember that you may have your own shop but it is on their site you don’t own it they own their site you’re basically just paying rent to be there if they decide to ultimately close and you have put everything that you have into these online shops that you’re relying so heavily on then you’re really kind of out of luck it’s nice to be able to have your own space that is solely yours that people when they hear your name and they type it in to whatever search engine they’re using that your own website comes up it establishes you as a business owner it makes you more credible and to top everything else off it is yours it is a place for you to sell what you want with no restrictions you can do whatever you want there and and ultimately it’s great to have thinking ahead you may be just starting out now and think you don’t need it but down the line if if you’re really serious about doing this full-time you’re going to want your own website you’re not going to want to rely solely on one place for you to receive income I only make on Etsy you don’t make my sole income on Etsy I only make about a quarter of my income on etsy I have my eggs not in one basket I have my artwork at several places which allow me to bring in my income that’s just me you may be differently there are people who make a couple hundred thousand a year or more on Etsy that’s not how I like to do my business really I don’t like to rely on just one thing in order to bring in all of my income so I like to have my work sort of spread out and your website is going to be a place where you maybe want to sell your just your original work or just something that they can’t find people can’t find anywhere else anyway so I’m already starting to get off topic there but it is important I think to have your own website if you just cannot handle doing that right now the very least thing that I think that you should do is secure your own domain name I think that that is highly important I mean you’re gonna want to do that anyway but you can go to Namecheap you can go to GoDaddy you can go to Squarespace and you can just type in their little search area and see if whatever website address you want whether it’s your name the name of your company whatever you’re going to call yourself see if it’s available and if it is purchase it so that when you do decide to create your own website you will be the owner of the name that you want so when I when somebody is looking for Ellen Brennaman studio and they type it in Google then my website will come up ellen Brenneman and it will take them right there so at the very least do that I think it’s only like 20 dollars a year to be able to secure your own domain name so at the very least please do that for yourself because again it will help you further down the line okay guys I think that’s all I can think of at the moment Teresa I hope that this answered your question somewhat for those of you who are more experienced and if you’ve made it through to the end of this video then it was out of pure loyalty cuz I’m sure that you guys already know all of this stuff but I would love for you to share any of your knowledge things that I did not think about the things that I did not put in my top five list below that maybe beginners a need to consider put it in the comments because you guys are so really you’re really great about helping each other out and sharing your information that’s what I really love about this community so I appreciate you doing that and if you like this video it would really help me out if you gave it a thumbs up because it gives me the feedback that I need to know what type of content that you would like to see more of see less of and it helps other people find my content as well if you haven’t subscribed please consider subscribing and I look forward to seeing you guys in the next video so I hope you have a good day and I’ll talk to you soon bye

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