Super Tips for How to Sell More Art Online

Last week’s Seven Super Tips for How to Sell More Art post got lots of interest. It was a big hit on Facebook. Here is a screenshot of the Facebook post from my Art Marketing News business page there.

Seven tip for how to sell more art online

I have five comments about the above post.

  1. Thanks to everyone who saw it. It was a Boosted Post, meaning I paid for extra distribution. It was seen by more than 6,400 people.
  2. The graph represented organic reach on the left and paid on the right. It’s kind of cool and somewhat rare to have the organic reach significantly outperform the paid reach.
  3. There were 144 likes… Thank You!
  4. There were 77 shares… Thank You! Thank You! I’m told by the Facebook gurus at Facebook Ads University — where I still have so much to learn — that anytime you get a post with a 2-to-1 likes to shares or better that the post is a winner. And, when organic does better than paid reach, all the more so.
  5. I was justifiably challenged by Barbara Archer, who felt the points in the post only applied to in-person sales opportunities.

I say “justifiably” because I did or said nothing in the post to refer to online sales. So, I agree she had a point. That’s what this week’s post is about.

How to Find Yourself in the Art Business
Success leaves tracks — learn to find and follow them here.

After giving it some thought, I replied to Barbara’s comments in polite disagreement. You can read them on Facebook on my Art Marketing News page. By the way, while you are there, please “LIKE” my page.


Here are the seven tips from last week’s Super Tips for How to Sell More Art Online post:

  1. Practice What to Say
  2. Portray Confidence
  3. Positive Mental Attitude
  4. Be Curious
  5. Negotiate
  6. Offer BIG
  7. Ask for the Order

Here are my thoughts on why and how these points all apply online.

I’ve elaborated on the answers I provided in my reply to Barbara Archer in this post. I should mention Barbara replied and thanked me for giving my retort showing how these seven points apply to the online sale. She had this to say:

How to Find Yourself in the Art Business
Success leaves tracks — learn to find and follow them here.

Wonderful response. I was professionally trained in retail sales and consistently achieved very high % of closings, plus top marks in what we called add-a-sale. Applying these ideas to Internet business is good. And your advice about maintaining a positive confident personal on social media is great. THANKS

> Practice What to Say – I suggest using Google Canned Response, or start saving your frequent replies in a notepad where you can copy/paste them as a time-saving method. Whether you are saying it in person or online, there is still usually just one best way to say something.

> Portray Confidence – Unless you are using dry, dull, not suggested forms of communicating online this totally applies. If you show your personality — and you should be for greatest effect — on your blog, social media or website, the words you choose and what you talk about can easily portray confidence.

Never apologize unnecessarily. For example, “I’m sorry to bother you.” or “I hope this is not inconvenient.” Statements like that give your power away and make you seem weak and lacking confidence.

> Positive Mental Attitude – PMA is an ongoing effort to put yourself in the best frame of mind to help you accomplish your goals. It applies online, too. PMA works with confidence. Learn to write and communicate online with confidence and a positive mental attitude. It shows through just as when you are speaking person-to-person.

How to Find Yourself in the Art Business
Success leaves tracks — learn to find and follow them here.

> Be Curious – Most of what I know is because I’m curious to learn. I got very little of what helps me succeed through formal education. When I find something that interests me, or I know will help me advance my personal and business goals, I spend time researching to find useful information to help me. There is no better place than the Internet to be curious and learn.

> Negotiate – Buyers can contact you and open a negotiation for a piece they want to own… and do it all online. Whether the initially found you online or offline, they might still use online, such as email, to ask for a discount. Your negotiation skills work just as well this way as in person. Besides, honing your negotiating chops will help you in everyday life and in your business. You are losing money you will never get back by being at the mercy of a better negotiator.

> Offer BIG – nothing stops you from offering a suite of pieces online… the bigger, the better! Try presenting another kind of multi-piece package online. I guarantee if you put together a package as an option for pieces that complement each other or offer an original and commission, or two prints that complement an original, or something similar, that you will get orders for it.

Your buyers only know what’s possible if you tell them. They are not schooled and don’t think creatively to put together a big order from your individual pieces. Try it. The real estate is free and you have only to gain when what I tell you works… and it’s not a matter of “if” but only “when” this suggestion will convert to an order that gives you a jubilant surprise!


> Ask for the Order – In Internet marketing, you use what is known as a CALL TO ACTION (CTA). A CTA is your way of providing your audience to take action when on your site or blog. It is meant to provoke an immediate response. Normally, it is a link or button, or both, using an imperative command such as “Buy Now”, “Join Today” or “Act Now”.

If you bury your order process or make checking out difficult, you lose sales. It’s the equivalent of failing to ask for the order in person. Your work is for sale online — or at least in my mind it ought to be because it makes sense. If your site is not e-commerce enabled you are losing sales and customers, perhaps forever.

I believe you need to clearly show your prices and have a link or button to buy the work. Online buyers are different the gallery buyers. It’s annoying for them to not see the price. If you go the effort of displaying your work online, then you should also go the effort to ask for the order. You do this with your CTA prominently displayed.

You can also use language that encourages sales. And, before anyone complains about these suggestions, you can do it in a way that does not denigrate your art. It’s your brand. You control the message. The only way your art gets denigrated or degraded is if you let it happen.



How to Find Yourself in the Art Business
Success leaves tracks — learn to find and follow them here.


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  • Super timely advice, Thank you! I am moving my website over to WordPress so that I can update it myself… And make it sales friendly. Ok, I’m hiring help to do it.
    But, in my branding, I’ve been struggling with how much of me to show through. My partner (life not biz) thinks I should be more exclusive. But, with all I’ve been learning about art marketing in today’s world, I really want to be friendly and approachable- and excited about the work, because I am and it will be more real, and luckily that’s a better marketing strategy now than the old aloof thing. Thanks for again validating that.

  • Hi Barney, great article. I like the idea about presenting several compatible items together for sale. I have spent the last few weeks growing my email list from about 20 to 140 by asking people I know to sign up. I had a drawing to win one of my prints, and conducted it online. Then, after announcing the winner, my wife suggested I follow up and offer the print for sale to everyone. I got a few orders already! It’s super easy to imbed a paypal buy now button on a WordPress site. But I will have to try the multiple item idea like you mentioned. Thanks!

  • Its very impressive all the likes and shares you got . I have a long way to go.

  • Are you saying to pick 2-3 images (I’m a photographer) in certain sizes (for instance two 11x14s framed and matted) at a discount? I’m missing something. People want it their way. Do you mean to offer two framed and matted images of their choice and if ordered together, they get a discount?

    • You are, I assume, referring to my suggestion to OFFER BIG. The idea is instead of offering a single piece, to offer multiple pieces, to expand the buyer’s perception of what is possible. Take the idea and put together offers that make sense to you. Give you buyer an option to buy multiple pieces at once. How you describe them, (as complementary, a suite, or what have you) makes the difference. Buyers don’t usually have the imagination to come up with these things on their own. It’s your job to lead to options they would otherwise never think of on their own. If a discount sweetens the deal, then use it, too.

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