Posts Tagged ‘the diy artist’

The Secret To Selling Art, Part One

Selling art is weird. Actually, selling art is awesome. Trying to sell it or coming up with ways to sell it is when it gets weird. Let me try that again. I think to put it more accurately, after it sells and you ask yourself how and why it sold is the weird part. The answers could be infinite and if any of the answers made any sense or were consistent we’d all be selling a lot more artwork than we are.

Take this painting for example.

I made it during the Summer of 2016. I happen to be in the very fortunate position to own a shop in the town I live, which means I have a unique opportunity most artists don’t have. I have a venue to display my work in hopes of selling of it. This is a pretty amazing thing. It doesn’t take an economist to figure out that the more eyes that see your work the better chances you have of selling it. With that said, every artist should be doing whatever they can to get their work in front of as many people as possible. So, here’s the story of selling this painting and why I think it’s weird.

As soon as I finished making the painting I hung it up in my shop. It was on display from mid summer until October 10th. In that time A LOT of people saw it and yet it remained unsold. I only know I took it off the wall on the 10th of October because I was invited to hang some paintings at a restaurant in a nearby town and I made a dumb video about it. Anyway, it hung on the wall of that restaurant for two months.

Do you have any idea how many people eat at a popular restaurant on a weekend? Hundreds. That’s a lot of eyes. Obviously, people are not there for the art. They are there to eat, but you know some people have to notice the artwork on the walls. After two months and probably a couple thousand people seeing this painting it still had not found a home. After the restaurant gig I hung it back up in my shop. This would have been December, which is the biggest sales month for probably every store in America. Still, it sat. Or rather, hung. Unsold. It hung all the way until April when I removed it from the wall again. This time I was invited to display some paintings at Sally Loo’s Wholesome Cafe, which is an awesome cafe/coffeeshop in a different nearby town. While hanging at Sally Loo’s somebody, a saint, bought the painting

Obviously, I was thrilled. Like I said, selling artwork is awesome. And then it gets weird. So, consider the logistics of this. If you think about it too much your head could explode. Literally, thousands of people saw this painting in three different venues, each in a different town, spread out over the course of 9 months. That’s A LOT of effort to sell a piece of artwork. I easily drove that painting over 100 miles back and forth from venue to venue. Then consider the time of having to coordinate with the venues and hanging the artwork, promoting the art shows online, etc. It’s kind of mind boggling. And just plain weird. It only takes one person to buy the painting, but in this case it took having to be seen by 1000’s before the right person finally saw it. What if that one person would have walked into my shop in August the day after I hung it on my wall? Would they have bought it then? What if that one person went to a different coffee shop that day? Would somebody else have purchased it while it hung at Sally Loo’s? Maybe the painting would be hanging on the wall in my shop right now?

YOU NEVER KNOW.

That’s the weird. If you came here looking for The Secret To Selling Art there is no surefire guarantee to sell a painting. The best thing I can tell you is that the secret is you have to keep showing it to people. Just keep showing. That’s it. Sometimes a painting sells within the first two minutes of posting it on Instagram and sometimes it takes showing it in three different venues over the course of 9 months. You just never know. Some people buy after seeing the image on their phone and others need to see it in person while they’re eating a bowl of granola and drinking a latte at a coffee shop.

Like Dory says, just keep showing.

See ya!

– Jeff

A Little Insight About Promoting On Facebook

I decided to experiment on Saturday. The experiment was promoting an “item of the day”, which was a print marked down 50% for one day only. I posted a link to it on my FB Fan Page. As you can see from the screenshot, only 403 people saw the post out of a potential 2,300 people that have liked my page. (This was four hours after posting. It’s Monday now and only an additional 103 have seen the post. Obviously, the first couple of hours will be the time your post gets the most views.)

In the next screenshot, which is from my Etsy stats, out of the 403 people that saw the post on FB only 18 people clicked the link to see my “item of the day”.

Out of the 18 people that looked at the actual item in my etsy shop none of them took advantage of the 50% off deal. You win some, you lose some.

Naturally, there are an enormous amount of factors to consider:
– Posting on a Saturday might not be the best day because more people are away from their computers than on a weekday.
– Time of day that I posted was possibly a time where less people are online.
– Perhaps the item I chose to promote isn’t a popular one. Then again, maybe it is, but it might be more popular in a different format like a limited edition print on wood with resin coating as opposed to the open edition that I was promoting.
– It’s the end of the month too, which could mean people aren’t spending money on artwork because they have rent due in a few days.
– With the amount of people on FB it’s highly likely that my post simply got buried on people’s home page within a minute or two.
– I only posted the link once. It would have gotten more views if I posted the link every few hours.
– And the list goes on and on.

My main point though is the number of click throughs. I have 2,300 “likes” on FB, which I think is a lot. I know it’s nowhere near the high profile “rockstar” artists, but it’s certainly more than a lot of other fan pages on Facebook. The thing is though, out of 2,300 people I only managed to get 18 of them to click on the link and to look at the item I was promoting. How many people would have had to see the item before a purchase was made…19…20…300? We may never know.

Armed with this information what is a DIY professional to do? First and foremost, it’s good practice to not let stuff like this get you down. It’s completely irrational to get upset because people don’t buy your creations. And when 18 out of a possible 2,300 click on your link you need to keep in mind that 18 is better than zero. You must forge ahead and keep at it.

Naturally, you might be asking yourself, “is it worth it?” In the big picture I would have to say yes. Simply because there are too many factors to say this particular promotion was a failure. I could try the same promotion with a different item and have totally different results. Possibly better results or maybe worse results. I could even do the same exact promotion with the same exact item and end with different results by posting on a Monday as opposed to a Saturday.

In conclusion, I think it’s best to continually experiment with promoting. Who’s to say that one of those 18 people won’t come back and make a purchase later?

Any thoughts, comments, ideas, past experience with your own FB promoting…I’d love to hear them.

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