I’ve been thinking about online marketing today. I get a lot of emails and see a lot of articles on it, especially as we approach the holiday season. I end up saving this info for days or weeks, because while it is important and useful, reading them sounds like one of the most boring things I can do with my day.
Today I told myself I was going to go through my emails and notes and get some stuff read.
I have an Etsy shop. It is my main online venue to sell my paintings. I’ve also got the pendants and ornaments there, because they are a cool, inexpensive way to get a piece of my art, and this is an easy place to sell it.
I have a shop on RedBubble where people can get prints of my art. I figure people don’t always want to splurge on original art, so they can go here to get a print in a variety of sizes. RedBubble also has shirts, which seems to be the bulk of their self promotion. They also have stickers and posters, which I don’t sell, and iphone/ipod/ipad cases, which I do sell. Its nice because I can upload high resolution copies of my work, and they do the rest. I don’t need to go spend money upfront to get prints made to sell.
There are other online storefront options. A couple years ago I put several of my paintings up on Fine Art America. It isn’t the most intuitive site to use, or navigate, but I’d heard that it got a lot of traffic from art collectors. They let you post a small amount before charging, so I just have that minimum requirement up there. I’ve had a couple inquiries that didn’t lead anywhere. You can also sell prints. I haven’t sold prints there, or at RedBubble, to be honest, so maybe I need to reconsider what people want? I’m losing nothing but time doing it, so I don’t really have an incentive to stop.
There are other storefronts out there - Meylah, Big Cartel, and Society 6 being three I’m looking at. But it seems I shouldn’t have my original art all over the place. If I sell a piece on Etsy, I’d need to take it down right away at all the other sites. I always feel a little nervous having art up in town that is also for sale on Etsy. I mean, I wish people were knocking down my door to get pieces right away, and that having things in two places at once was a foolhardy problem. But having pieces in six places at once seems like an accident waiting to happen. Is that just me?
So my options.
- Keep all items to the Etsy storefront and leave it at that. Sub-question: if I do that, should I take it down at Fine Art America?
- Open up a couple more storefronts and spread the art everywhere.
- Open up a couple more storefronts and carefully curate them so maybe five to ten particular paintings are at each place. So maybe paintings 1-10 are at Etsy and Other Storefront #1, and paintings 11-20 are at Etsy and Other Storefront #2.
- Open up a couple more storefronts but only post the pendants, ornaments, and whatever else they may sell/offer at that site (ie: I believe Society 6 offers phone cases that you can put your image/art/whatever on).
I don’t think I get a lot of random traffic, I know that self promotion is the key to getting eyes on a storefront. However, it seems it would be overwhelming (not just to me, but to you too!) to promote several places, especially when they have the same product.
On the other hand, random traffic on these sites does occur (I barely promote the Fine Art America account and 706 people have stumbled across my page), so I feel like I don’t want to miss out on catching those potential sales.
I would love to have a dialogue about this. What do you think of my bullet points? How thin should I spread the selling and promotion of one original piece of art? How much self promotion is too much? What are your strategies with online sales?
I need to take a leap somewhere. The route I see, other than trying to really boost an online presence, is investing a bunch of money in prints and taking my originals and prints to art fairs and shows. I’m getting tense and mildly nauseous just thinking about that…