Wednesday 30th April 2014Online Art Sales Don't Threaten the Offline Art World
Much has been made of the e-commerce revolution, and with good reason. It has completely changed the way we interact with businesses, whether they are retail stores or service providers or any other kind of business. But one of the downsides to the widespread adoption of e-commerce has been the way that it has negatively impacted stores in the physical world, so-called 'brick and mortar' stores (as opposed to digital storefronts, aka websites). Stores have been closing doors left and right as they struggle to stay afloat in a tricky economy, especially when it's so much cheaper to move an entire business online in order to save money.
While it's taken certain areas of the retail economy more time to move towards a digital marketplace, the art world is no exception. It's now possible to buy prints from thousands of different online stores, and as you've probably learned from your Gallereo page, it's equally easy for individual artists to begin to make a name for themselves with a little bit of digital know-how and some sales talent.
Interestingly, though, instead of online art sales replacing the traditional offline world of galleries and auction houses, it appears that both sales channels are able to operate side by side with a minimum of interference. According to a report released this week by British insurer Hiscox, online fine art sales are going to more than double in the next five years, reaching an impressive $3.76 billion USD, up from its 2013 market value of $1.57 billion USD.
The reason the two markets don't collide, according to Robert Read, head of fine art at Hiscox, is “Young collectors are looking for artwork which is easy to buy and available at a wide range of prices," and when that fact is coupled with the comfort level of younger generations when it comes to making online purchases, there is a whole new market being created. So rather than supplanting the world of auction houses, the online art market should rather be considered an expansion of the art market as a whole, which makes it relatively unique in terms of the e-commerce world.
"The findings indicate that online art e-commerce will not exist as a separate entity – it will augment and co-exist with what is happening in the real, physical art world," Hiscox said.
So digital artists, take heart! Your prospects only stand to grow in the coming years, so make sure that you read up on all the best tips and tricks to ensure your digital sales success!
Posted on April 30th 2014 on 11:33pm
Tuesday 24th September 2013Using Social Networking to Drive Your Art Sales
The power of social media is something that we've touched on briefly during our last few posts, but it's time to take a closer look at some of the ways it can benefit your art career the most. Having an active social media presence is no longer an option, either for successfully established artists or for newly-developing talents - but if you don't use it the right way, you may as well just be wasting your time.
One of the most important aspects to your social media efforts is to carefully target who you interact with. Actively seek out groups and pages that are dedicated to critiques, art-sharing and art collecting. Start posting in these groups, and make your posts informative and helpful - that way, when the time comes for you to share your own newest work, people will recognise your name and already have accepted you into the community.
The other crucial element is to create a Facebook page dedicated to your own work. Think of it as an extension of your Gallereo page, one that allows you to quickly and easily get in touch with your fans, letting you inform them of new work that you've posted, any new shows that you've got upcoming, and any sort of sales or promotions you want to offer on your work. Gallereo integrates easily with your social media page, making it even easier for you to share updates with your fans. This is where the real benefits from social media begin to affect the number of pieces you sell.
To make your page truly effective, however, you need to develop a fan base that truly admires and appreciates your work. These people will become your own personal "artwork evangelists" - they will share your work with their friends, who will hopefully share it with their friends, etc until you become an Internet phenomenon. As Kevin Kelly puts it, they're going to become your '1000 true fans'. His hypothesis is that once your community of 'artwork evangelists' reaches the 1000 mark, you'll really start seeing the benefits that social media sharing can offer you, and your career will start taking off. He was referring to a brand, of course, but when you're an artist, you - and your signature style - become your brand. To make sure you keep your fanbase actively interested, be sure to post other interesting things above and beyond your own artwork. This will ensure that your fans regularly come back to your page, which will make them more ready to appreciate and share your artwork when you add it into the mixture of posts you make. Try to post at least once every day to your page, but don't overdo it - people will pull away if they feel they are getting 'spammed' with posts from your page.
Optionally, you can also sign up for a Twitter account, and link it to your Facebook account to increase your pool of potential viewers for each new piece of work you post. Now that Twitter has begun to incorporate image-based tweets, it's a much more viable tool for artists than it originally was. Regardless of this, though, Facebook is still the undisputed champion for artists when it comes to useful social media.
Posted on September 24th 2013 on 01:41pm
Friday 20th September 2013Top Tips for Selling Your Artwork Online
Now that you've had a chance to go over our 'first steps' for artists working in the digital age, it's time to really dig down deep and highlight some of the best strategies you can use to make your artistic career a success. Once you've set up your Gallereo page, there are a number of things you can do to optimise it and ensure that your fans and potential customers can find your work. Let's look at some of the most helpful and effective tips!
One of the most important things - and one of the most regularly neglected things - that you can do is to ensure that your artwork is accompanied by good text descriptions. A good many art buyers will find your work through search engines like Google and Yahoo, so the more text you have on your pages, the more likely they are to find you. However, remember that it's important to use phrases and keywords in your descriptions that potential customers will actually be using in their search queries. Don't just talk about the intent behind the piece. Be descriptive about your general style, any famous artists who influenced the piece, and if it's a one-of-a-kind work, be sure to make it clear that the piece is still for sale. We'll go more in-depth into SEO for artists in another post, so be sure to stay tuned for that.
Social media is a buzzword that is thrown around a great deal these days, but with good reason: it really does work when it comes to promoting yourself and your work. We briefly discussed the value of social in our 'first steps' post, but it's important to take social media seriously. It gives you a way to keep your name and your work in the forefront of art buyers minds, and lets you instantly reach out to your fanbase when you've completed a new piece of work. Additionally, it allows you to get in touch with other artists, groups and collectives who can be extremely valuable assets when it comes to critiques, ideas and inspiration, not to mention group shows and other sales boosts. This is even more beneficial if you're not located in a big city with a thriving art scene, as you can reach out to other artists no matter where they are in the world.
Finally, it's important to remember that things might start off slower than you would hope. Selling artwork is never easy at the best of times, and it can take a while to gain popularity. While it's a great goal to have your work 'go viral' and become extremely widely shared and well-known, it can take time to accomplish this. It's important not to let the initial stages of selling online discourage you, as it can take sometimes take months to start seeing results from your self-promotion efforts. But if you stick with it, and follow our tips and tricks, you can almost be sure that you'll start gaining the reputation and sales that will make your art career a success.
Posted on September 20th 2013 on 03:36pm
Tuesday 17th September 2013The First Steps for Artists in the Digital Age
As an artist, one of the most important things you can do once you’ve created your masterpiece is to get it into the public eye. While the traditional art gallery can be a useful tool if you're lucky enough to know the right people, the Internet has opened up huge new areas of opportunity for artists, no matter who you know or what media you work with. We’ll take you through some of the quick and easy ways you can start to promote your work online and start gaining the recognition – and sales – that you deserve.
First and foremost, the most important element is to start developing a presence on the web. Gallereo offers a simple way for artists to showcase their work online, without having to learn how to create websites. This allows you to point potential fans - and potential customers - to a website that showcases your work in a beautiful gallery template, and even makes selling your work online simple and painless.
If you work in any kind of digital media, it will be fairly simple to upload your work. If you work in any of the traditional physical media, however, it's important to make sure that you take high-quality photographs of your work for uploading to your gallery. Pay close attention to how the colours are represented, and consider taking multiple photographs of a single piece to show detail. If you work in sculpture or installation pieces, be sure to show multiple angles to really capture the feel of the work. (Sculptors and jewellers! Stay tuned for our upcoming post on how to construct a simple lightbox using materials from you've got around the house, and turn your sale photographs into works of art in their own right!)
Once you've got your Gallereo page set up, the next crucial step is to start creating some buzz for yourself and your artwork. Social networks are one of the most useful tools for creating buzz, and Facebook makes the process simple, especially if you already have a personal Facebook account. Simply create a new page dedicated to your artwork, upload a few pictures of your work, and link the page to your Gallereo account. Start reaching out to other artists online, and start cross-promoting each others work - you'll be amazed how quickly you can build up a dedicated following of fans. There are many opportunities to receive free Facebook ad credits to help bring fans to your page, and Google Adwords also regularly offers free advertising credits which you can use to send art buyers directly to your Gallereo page.
As with most types of sales, the key steps to success are showcasing your work and making sure people can find you easily. With a bit of careful attention to detail (and some shameless self-promotion!), you can rapidly turn your artwork into a viable career. Many artists, paradoxically, are a bit shy when they first start showing off their work, but it's important to get over this and really show off your talent - so get yourself out there and enjoy it!
Posted on September 17th 2013 on 02:33pm