Gone are the days when you had to rely on art galleries, auction houses, and sales agents to get your work into the hands of collectors. The emergence of blockchain technology and the rise of digital assets to authenticate art has opened a whole new world of possibilities. Artists can now use emerging and frontier technology to make a living using their creativity in ways that weren’t previously possible.
That said, it's not as easy as just posting on social media and hoping that people will like your art enough to buy it with their hard-earned money. You must put in the time and effort and learn about marketing, and apply those principles to promote yourself and your art. In other words, you should create buzz and, if possible, use various "hacking" strategies to ensure that the right people see your work.
But what are hacking strategies exactly? They are opportunities in the market that most other artists miss or don’t see, allowing you to exploit them so that you stand out amongst your competition. To do this, you need to understand your market, industry trends, and who the big players are, among other things. You will then need to think creatively to find out-of-the-box solutions that get you noticed.
One famous example of this was when PayPal was still growing, they paid users to sign up to their platform. Every time someone referred a friend, both parties would get $10 deposited into their account. At first, this might seem counterintuitive, but it wasn’t: the twenty dollars was put down as a marketing expense to acquire a customer and ultimately, it’s a small price to pay to get somebody using their platform.
Now, that’s not to say that you should pay people to buy your artwork but hopefully, it will show you that there are some hacks you can use to increase your sales. What can you do that other artists aren’t to get your work noticed? for
Learn How To Market Yourself
If you feel marketing yourself is daunting, you are not alone. Most artists don’t like talking about themselves, their inspiration, or their artwork. But it’s important to start practicing and becoming comfortable at look at everything through a marketing lens.
Marketing is a broad topic – there’s social media, email marketing, branding, advertising, video and a lot more –and takes years to learn but it’s smart to start learning everything you can now. You don’t need a degree: there are plenty of free YouTube tutorials and books out there to get you started. For example, you should learn about the 7 ‘P’s of marketing and about the basic strategies and tactics about acquiring a customer. It can be very tedious but is necessary, especially in the modern world of peer-to-peer transactions.
Understand Marketing Psychology
If you want to learn how to sell your art, you need to understand the basic principles of how to market yourself and to do that you need to understand marketing psychology. This is the practice of tapping into our subconscious behaviours and patterns and use them to your advantage. Sounds a little unethical, doesn’t it? Well, it’s all in how you use the tactics.
You probably know most of these tactics without even realizing it. Tactics like testimonials, scarcity, lost aversion, and reciprocity are all common tactics you see in marketing.
Focus on Your Social Media Presence
More often than not, social media is where would-be buyers go for recommendations and research about artists. So, make sure you have a good presence on all the major platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This one's not a secret or a "hack," but you'd be surprised at the number of artists who still don't have a good presence on social media.
It's not just a matter of having an account, though. You must make sure your content is consistent and engaging. For example, don't just post pictures of your artwork but also throw in behind-the-scenes images or even snippets from the process. Remember, try things that other artists aren’t doing. You need to get noticed first before you can start selling.
Build a Website
If you are serious about selling your art online, it really helps to have a site of your own. It allows you to showcase your entire portfolio in one place and communicate with buyers directly without having to go through websites like Etsy or Amazon.
However, building an effective website isn't as simple as it sounds. You need to ensure that the site is easy to navigate and displays your artwork in a way that does justice. You can hire designers or use existing tools for this purpose.
Engage with the Target Audience
Engaging with buyers is necessary, not merely an option if you want to draw their attention to your artwork. And this doesn't mean just waiting for them to contact you after seeing your piece. Reach out to potential buyers by actively commenting on art-related forums and groups or through direct messages.
But here's the key – do not be salesy. The goal here is to build relationships by engaging in meaningful conversations and helping where you can. Engagement breeds trust, which will help you build authority as an artist and make it easier to sell your work.
Be Strategic with Your Pricing
Pay close attention to how you price your artwork because it will determine who will buy and the type of collector you attract. Figuring out your pricing strategy is not as straightforward as slapping a price tag that seems reasonable and posting it online. It can be hard putting a value on your creation because it’s not a product like a television, a cellphone or a pair of jeans.
You must consider factors like the price of similar art pieces in the market, the cost of production and other associated costs, and what buyers are willing to pay for certain pieces. It might take some trial and error, but you'll eventually find the practicable price that works for you and your buyers.
The art industry is increasingly becoming more dependent on technology. To be successful as an artist, you must learn to embrace these changes and get tech-savvy. This means staying updated with the latest trends in the industry, understanding the techniques used by other artists and using them to your advantage, and experimenting with different software and tools related to art.
Be reminded that technology is meant to streamline various processes in the art world, from the marketing and sale of artwork to shipping and customer service. So, ensure you take full advantage of all the existing solutions.
The art industry is highly competitive, so it pays to get creative with your approach. Taking the time to learn and apply new strategies will help you stand out from the competition and give you a better chance of selling more artwork. Above all, remember that you don’t need to rely on old school methods of marketing and advertising to sell your art. Be creative and embrace the gatekeeper-less world we live in.