How an Artist can Sell Custom Artwork Online

June 23, 2002 | By | Reply More

sell custom artwork onlineQUESTION ON How an Artist can Sell Custom Artwork Online

I have a reputation in my local community as a visual artist. I have been creating custom artwork from clients photos – house portraits, pet portraits, memories, etc. for the last 10 years. I wish to change my focus to landscapes and garden art, and I would like to develop my business on-line. How do I approach selling original artwork on-line. My reason for this is that we will move from this area in the next few years as my husband retires, so basing my business on the internet rather than locally makes sense. Also am I wrong to change my focus? Thanks for your advice and your service!

– Barb


Dear Barb:

Because you’re moving, and your current client base is local, changing your focus at this time makes sense. You will want to have samples of your new line of art ahead of time, to use for promotion on the Web and changing before the move will help you accomplish that. Leverage your past customers for sales and referrals.

Internet marketing is not easier or harder than traditional marketing; it’s just different. You may choose to develop your own Web site as an online gallery for your art. Or you may want to advertise on an existing, well-trafficked Web site. Think about the key phrases your clients might type in when searching for your product. Make certain that your site (or a site you advertise on) comes up high on the search engines for those key phrases. You may want to consider key phrase advertising (where you pay for click throughs on specific key phrases) to begin with.

If you choose to develop an online gallery of your art, be certain you have quality photos to begin with (if you’re not a good photographer, find one) and know how to reduce the file size of those photos. Photos and other graphics are memory hogs and if your visitor has to wait a minute or longer for a page of photos to load, you may lose a potential customer. Think about the tradeoff between quality representation of your work and download time.

Most people won’t buy on the first visit, so change your art frequently and give visitors plenty of reasons for returning to your site.

Check into user groups for art lovers; there you can network and possibly promote (make certain promotion is allowed, however). And get hooked into the Internet artist’s community. You may be able to exchange links or small ads with another (non-competing) artist. Use social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter to help you find target market and other artists that you can work with.

You can also read the following articles to give you ideas on how to sell online:

Best of luck, Barb. Please let us know how it goes.
Recommended Resources on How To Sell Artworks Online

Article originally published in June 2002. Updated February 23, 2012
Yvonne Buchanan is a 20-year veteran of public relations, marketing and advertising. She teaches public relations courses online for career changers, freelancers and students through The PR Academy and is co-founder of Real-World PR , a public relations information provider for small businesses. Real-World PR offers public relations toolkits (manual/CD combinations) that allow small business owners to create and maintain their own public relations programs.

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How an Artist can Sell Custom Artwork Online
An artist would like to sell her original and custom artwork online. Learn our expert's advice on how she can create her online presence and sell online.
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