Selling Art Online – Pt 1 – Introduction

Opening The Door To Online MarketingThe decision to begin selling art online and self-marketing via an Internet-based approach can be very exciting. The uninitiated, however, often open this marketing door expecting instantaneous results and are frequently met with a disappointing customer-base and lackluster sales. Because of this, they fail to see the relevance of modern online marketing methods and eventually abandon their efforts.

There is a myriad of conflicting information available concerning how to utilize the Internet for marketing artwork and it is often difficult to decipher. The information that exists is spread across multiple web sites, PDF documents, forums, blogs, newsletters, and within services that require substantial payment to aid in one’s success. Since 2008, I have spent hundreds of hours researching and putting into practice many of the tips that I have found to be the most logical and have experimented with their usage in order to determine effectiveness.

Through this experimentation, I have combined and utilized the tips I have found to be most effective across multiple social-networking services and have created a cohesive marketing system for the promotion and sale of my artwork. Because of the elusive nature of many of these tips, I felt there was a great need to have a resource that combined this information into a single text. In 2011 I published a book entitled, “The Art of Social-Network Marketing,” (Lulu, Amazon, iTunes, Kindle) which is now available as a free PDF download. Due to the evolution of many social-networks since the book’s publication, I have decided to create a short series of articles on this website that updates the information and adds additional techniques and tools. The weblog format will also allow me to consolidate some of the text so it can be read in a shorter amount of time. Additionally, the comment section of each article will provide an excellent venue in which to discuss various aspects of each topic and will hopefully create a dialog that will lead to further refinement and innovation.

This series of articles is not meant to be a complete step-by-step instruction manual but instead is a collection of concepts and tips that can be combined and utilized in many different ways individual to one’s specific purpose, products, or services. Realize in advance that there is no marketing magic wand to be waved and in order to become successful it requires an investment of time and effort forging relationships.

Although different methods may be required in order to successfully market through any given social community, there is a basic foundation that applies to them all and if you desire to use more than just the services this series of articles will address, you will still have a toolbox of effective techniques. The key to success is to enter into this endeavor with a plan and a clear marketing strategy.

The next article in this series will address reasons why one should be utilizing the Internet and social media as marketing tools and will also discuss a simple strategy for selling artwork online.

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Comments (4)
  • Dai Wynn January 1, 2014

    Happy new year Ken. I do hope that 2014 will be a little more fulfilling than previous years in all respects, especially for artists.
    I look forward to your well-researched and well-presented articles. I always enjoy your crisp presentations.
    The advertisement at the head of your ‘blog threw me for a moment: a promotion for a Melbourne-based artist who produces cartoons for a local newspaper. His ideas are quite philosophical and very often bizarre in the extreme – not the sort of straight forward practical advice one expects from Powers Fine Art Studio.
    At least he doesn’t promote one weird fruit/food/trick that reverses weight-gain/diabetes/old-age and absolutely astounds/annoys/confuses doctors and promotes muscle gain in five-year-olds by tomorrow morning.
    At the foot of your ‘blog is an advertisement promoting programmed property maintenance. At least it mentions the word “painting” although I don’t think they’re talking masterpieces.

    Kind regards,

    Dai

    • Ken Powers January 1, 2014

      Thank you Dai! 2014 is definitely going to be exciting. I am writing a shortened and abridged version of my art marketing book that I am hoping will be better tailored to a blog format so as to promote interesting dialog. Hopefully this will result in some new ideas and concepts being passed around that will lead to further experimentation. The first four posts will be similar to the introductory chapters of my book but after that I am going to go completely off the rails. The fifth article will focus specifically on print on demand websites. After that, a single article will be devoted to each social media service that I plan to showcase. I think that keeping each article focused upon a single topic will be a nice change. Where I dedicated entire chapters to each topic in my book, this streamlined approach will be much more digestible for those who only have a short amount of time for researching marketing techniques.

      Thanks again for stopping by the website and have a great New Year!

  • Ian McKendrick January 2, 2014

    Hi Ken, I’m really looking forwards to following your future updates, finding out what you’ve been learning, and sharing my knowledge and know-how in this area with you and your readers. It’s a shame we have to wait so long for the print on demand section as I’m implementing this in my new Watercolour Journey blog which is soon to be launched. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you. In the meantime, you may like to read an article I recently wrote where I shared some tips on how the arts industry could get the best out of social media here: http://watercolourjourney.com/6-social-media-tips-for-the-art-world/

    • Ken Powers January 2, 2014

      Thank you very much for your kind words Ian! The print on demand article is definitely on the way. It is mostly written but I don’t want to bombard everyone with the first 5 articles all at once. My newsletter subscribers would definitely not be happy. 🙂 The first four articles are very similar to the first sections of my “The Art of Social Network Marketing” book with some updated information. The print on demand article is completely different and additional articles will combine and update information from my book so each social media service is dedicated to a single article. It should be a bit more concise and reflect changes that were made since I began using social media to drive traffic to my work. I am definitely going to stop by and read your 6 social media tips article. The more ideas, the better! If artists combine their efforts, we are sure to come up with some really innovative marketing ideas. Have a great day!

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