Whether you’re an emerging artist or a seasoned pro, you can always use more sales, right? These days, selling artwork online is an excellent way to expand the number of routes art enthusiasts can take to find and purchase your work. And when you do connect with someone who’d like to purchase your art, you want the experience to be the best it can be so that a first-time buyer turns into a repeat collector. Here are five tips for making that happen:
- Make it easy for people to pay you. If your artist portfolio website is not currently set up as an e-commerce site, it’s time for an upgrade. Many website hosting services offer this feature so it shouldn’t be too hard to add an option for people to pay with their credit cards. At the very least, however, you should set up a Paypal account so your buyers can pay through a secure online system. Your website should also clearly indicate your payment and shipping policies so that there aren’t any surprises.
- Learn to ship your art with care. You want that piece of art to look as wonderful coming out of the box as it did leaving your studio, so find a local shipper who knows how to package art for shipping. Or, if you’re doing it yourself, use corners to protect the frames, wrap the work in plenty of clean plastic wrap and/or cardboard, and add enough bubble wrap/styrofoam to fill the good, sturdy box. And be sure to apply those red “fragile” stickers for extra protection. It’s also a good idea to check with UPS, FedEx, and USPS to learn each carrier’s rules about weight and size limits.
- Capitalize on this marketing opportunity. You’re sending an art lover a package, right? So turn this into a prime opportunity to show them even more of your work and provide them with all of your contact info. Attaching a business card to the back of the frame/work is a good start, but you could do so much more. Be sure to include some kind of artist’s statement/bio/resume, brochure, post card, catalog, or printed booklet. Who knows? They might even be giving this as a gift, so now the new owner will know how to contact you, too.
- Close the loop. Once you’re sure the piece has been delivered, follow up with the new owner to make sure the artwork arrived safely. If all goes well, they will be raving about how much they love the work and how awesome it looks in their home or office. Now’s the time to hit them up for a testimonial. A few kind words that you can add to your website is great, but even better is to get a good photo of the artwork in its’ new location. Post that!
- Make your buyers feel special. So obviously you’re going to be adding your buyers’ email addresses to your monthly/quarterly e-newsletter. That way, every time you’ve got some new work to sell, you can load images of those works into an e-newsletter and send it out to existing customers with a “this is your exclusive, advance opportunity to buy my newest works” message. Give those buyers a week or so to decide on the work before posting it to your website for sale. Even if they don’t bite, they will feel special, knowing that they’re in your inner circle of collectors.
The Internet has given us an amazing opportunity to sell to and interact with fine art buyers directly, and I’m sure there are many more ideas for making the experience great for everyone. What are your thoughts? Let’s connect!