- by Barney Davey
Marketing art online effectively continues to grow in importance for visual artists as a way to sell artwork and secure their future in the art market.
Hang around those in the art business whose responsibility is marketing art and you will soon hear the term, “Getting work to market.” It describes the activities art marketers take to create distribution channels to get artwork into their collector’s hands.
Dramatic Changes in the Art Market and How Art Gets Sold
If you have been in the art market as long as me, since the late 1980s, you’ve seen changes enough to spin your head.
Why, just the changes in how artwork gets to market from the time I wrote the first edition of How to Profit from the Art Print Market in 2005 until today are monumental, unrelenting and still morphing. Addressing those changes and how to take advantage of them is why I published the second edition of the book this year.
Visual Artists Ignore Marketing Art Online at Their Peril
These days it is nearly impossible for a visual artist to avoid online marketing. Essentially, if visual artists want their art marketing to succeed, they need an online presence. You must control that presence and efficiently use it to “Get your artwork to market.”
First in a Series Marketing Art Online Posts
This is the first of a series that will delve into the various aspects of what it takes to have an effective and ongoing online art marketing strategy. It is not enough to have a website, a blog and a Facebook fan page. Those are important, but to make the investment in them worthwhile, you also must implement competent internet marketing methods to:
- Drive traffic to your site.
- Collect email addresses.
- Convert visitors to buyers.
It is a daunting task to do these things in such a way that you optimize your opportunity, nevertheless, if you want the best for your career and the highest return on your efforts to create compelling work and sell as much as possible, it is what you need to do.
First Things First
While there are kinds of decisions to make, strategies to implement, and actions to take, there has to be a starting point. That is, find the most important activity to take first. The one thing that will help drive and inform all your other decisions and actions.
To my mind, that activity is Benchmarking.
“Benchmarking is the process of determining who is the very best, who sets the standard, and what that standard is. In baseball, you could argue that seven consecutive World Series Championships made the New York Yankees the benchmark.” F. John Reh, About.com Guide
For visual artists, benchmarking breaks down to:
- Identifying Your Competition.
- Understanding the Methods They Use to Get Their Artwork to Market.
- Decide What Factors Are Important to Measure and What Means to Use to Measure Them.
- Capturing Keywords and Keyword Phrases Most Likely to Be Used by Collectors Looking for Art Like Yours.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” — Lewis Carroll
The Future of Art Sales, Especially Art Print Sales, Is Online
There are many facets to successfully marketing art online. Nevertheless, if you spend time working out these suggestions for benchmarking your art business, then you are sure to spend less time and money on activities that won’t’ provide you a reasonable return on the investment.
If you have found your online art marketing to be less effective than you desire, then you are a good candidate to put everything on hold and start benchmarking your art business.
Tools You Will Need
- Spreadsheet Software – if you don’t have Excel, get Open Office or Google Docs
- Google Keywords Tool – you will need to setup a free AdWords account to best utilize this service. Here’s a useful YouTube video to help you get started. http://youtu.be/sue16hjoXFg
- SEO for Firefox Extension – pulls in useful marketing data points to ease gaining a holistic view of the competitive landscape of a market directly in the search results
Read this article 33 Ways to Measure Your Online Competiton. It has great insight to help you start benchmarking your site. It’s the future. The sooner you join it, the sooner your online marketing results will start to improve.
- Learn How the Most Successful Artists Make Online Art Sales
- 35 of the Best, Free Social Media and Online Marketing Courses
- How to Make Pinterest for Artists Into a Powerful Marketing Platform
- Reasons That Will Expose How the Internet Changed the Gallery Business and Print Sales