3 strategies to sell art online in 2020

Selling art online seems to be every artist’s goal, especially in a post corona world. Since issues such as social distancing and limited travel possibilities have been put into place, the ‘traditional’ ways of selling art have become near-impossible. But that’s when it pays out to be an artist, we are traditionally known for embracing uncertainty, being able to quickly adapt to the changes our environment requests from us. 

So, finding new ways to promote and sell your art at this point is CRUCIAL! If you haven’t stepped into the selling art online game, the moment is now! Use these strategies as they fit best your personal art practice.

We will be covering 3 ways to sell your art online, but you can mix and match these into the way you want to manage you art career. First off we will cover selling your art via online galleries, a good place to sell original artworks. Second we will talk about using print on demand to create art products without any prior investment. Finally we will talk about 

Selling art via Online galleries

Online art galleries are usually huge websites with a great number of visitors, where artists can upload their work in order to be seen by thousands.

Most websites have a curating and marketing team on board, and can help give your artwork special visibility within the platform, by sharing your art on blogs or specially curated collections.

Additionally, most of these websites have a global audience, allowing you to sell art all around the world.

Promotion your art on online galleries

Since some of these websites are so big, that they have thousands of artists it might be difficult to achieve any visibility. So it’s important to have a clear marketing plan for your art career in general and complement that by reaching out to the marketing team within the online art gallery as asking to be featured on their blog or social media or maybe offering to do an interview to talk about your art.

Conditions for selling your art on online galleries

Each platform has different conditions for the collaboration with artists, so it’s important to go through the term and conditions with care.

Most platforms have a free registration and work with a commission based payment, receiving a 20–40% slice in case of selling an artwork. Be were of online galleries that demand a initial subscription fee.

Other online galleries have a jury in place, deciding which artists are a good fit for the platform, and so, maintaining the high level of artist quality.

Shipping & taxes for online art galleries

When you start selling artwork to international collectors it’s important to analyze best shipping methods before closing any deal. Additionally decide which party will pay for shipping costs.

Each platform has its own policies on shipping, so be sure to go through any additional shipping fee when setting the prices of your artwork. International sales might also have special tax implications, be sure to go through it with an accountant.

Selling your art with Print on demand

Ever wanted to set up a merchandising line with your art, but could’t invest in production? Well, maybe Print on Demand is the right choice for you. This online art sales strategy allows you to create mockups of what your products would look like and print them once they are sold and ship them directly to the buyer.

The number of possible products is huge with options such as phone covers, towels, shower curtains, bags, rugs, mugs, t-shirts and a lot more. It’s a fun way to give more visibility to your artworks.

Also most print on demand websites allow you to produce framed prints and stretched canvas. A valuable option for fans that might not be able to afford an original artwork.

Prints on demand are especially a good idea for digital artists and photographers.

Quality check before selling your art 

Before starting to sell print on demand products it’s a good idea to order a couple of products to ensure that you will be offering your clients. It might also be a good idea to research reviews from other customers

Time frame

It’s important to double check the time frame for production and delivery times so you can give your clients accurate information on when they will be getting their purchase.

Limited editions

A good idea might be to limit certain products to a specific amount, scarcity creates a sense of excitement. Limited editions are especially important when talking about framed prints or printed canvas.

Personal sales

You can also use the internet to establish personal sales by reaching out directly to customers and selling artwork directly.

Business social media channels such as linkedin is a great way to reach on a personal level with collectors and curators and offering your artworks for sale, but is very important to not seem too pushy in this strategy, allowing the customer to show some interest before offering your artworks.

For this strategy it will be important to set up your own personal online shop, where clients can browse your available art works. There are several tools that allow you to easily build a online shop.

Networking online

Professional social media are a great tool to reach out to art collectors, it’s also a good idea to research forums and online communities where art collectors might gather. It’s important to actually establish a connection, rather than just spamming your artworks.

Networking offline

An online art store can be a great tool to transform offline networking towards art sales. While going to art exhibitions, fairs, networking events and artists gathering you will meet possible clients, and by directing them to your website they can go over your available artworks and maybe become collectors. Never neglect the power of IRL networking.

Create your own collector scene

By making the selling process as easy as possible, you can reach out to people that are not yet art collector, making them notice how easy it is to buy art and become a collector.

While selling art thru online galleries, dealers or platforms, you don’t have direct communication with the buyer, always having to deal with a middle mad. On the other hand, when you invest into personal sales, you can create long term relationships with collectors and have them purchase other artworks from you in the future.

Now it’s time to experiment with these formats yourself. Combine them in ways that fit best your art career, and after a while you will develop a unique strategy that will help you achieve regular, substantial and growing online sales.

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