Saturday, October 29, 2011

Online art marketing resources

Next month, I'm going to be a part of a panel discussion at WindyCon (http://www.windycon.org) regarding online marketing for artists and crafters. Since I'll be sharing the following resource list with panel attendees, I thought it might be of interest to my blog readers too:
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I've broken the list entries into their best-defined categories, but as you're browsing, you'll notice that many of the sites linked will overlap categories. Some of the marketplaces will have social media elements, some galleries will allow sales, etc.

Marketplaces
Fees on these sites will vary from a flat dollar rate per month, to a percentage of each sale, to a combination of both. A few are even fee free. All have their pros and cons. A big site may have a lot of traffic, but your work might get lost in a sea of similar items of that genre, whereas your work might shine in a smaller marketplace...but that might not matter if the site has low traffic.
Handmade Artists Shop http://handmadeartistsshop.com/

Fulfillment Sites
These sites enable you to sell your 2-D art images...in print form or applied to other objects (wearables, household items, etc)...as produced by the online retailer. In most cases, the artist receives only a portion of the sale price or a flat payment, but does not have to worry about stock overhead or shipping items.
Fine Art America http://fineartamerica.com/

Social Networks
Most...if not all...are free to use. These can be invaluable for driving traffic to your marketplace and as well as providing networking opportunities.
Artisans/Jewelry Designers http://artisanjewelrydesigners.ning.com/
Attack of The Craft http://www.attackofthecraft.com
Everything Etsy Directory http://directory.everythingetsy.com/
Milliande Art Community http://milliande.ning.com
My Art Plot http://www.myartplot.com/

Virtual Galleries
Online portfolios are great for showing your range and a convenient way to showcase your art. Many of the previously mentioned social network spaces and marketplaces also offer gallery spaces, but those below focus primarily on this function.
Digital Consciousness http://digitalconsciousness.com/

Blogging
Whether you're writing in your own blog or contributing to a larger collective blog space, the key to getting noticed is to pique the interest of your readership. Talking up your own work is fine, but ad copy can get tedious after a while. Tutorials, stories, useful tools (er...you know...like a list of resources...) and other nifty bits keep people reading and SHARING, which in turn gets you and your art more exposure. Some examples of blogging spaces include:

Simply Paid Advertising
While this can be costly, a well-placed ad can send a ton of potential buyers your way. Many of the marketplaces, galleries, social networks, and such above offer ad space, but research and choose carefully. Make sure you're not throwing money into an ultimately fruitless shotgun spray approach. The sites below offer numerous options that can be targeted to the audience you wish to reach and your budget, but there are obviously countless other avenues all over the web that offer paid ad space.
The Handmade Directory http://thehandmadedirectory.com   
Unique Indie Shops http://www.uniqueindieshops.com/

Coupons/Discount Sites
Personally, I have mixed feelings about marketing via coupons and discount programs being applied to handmade goods and art. I think that a lot of consumers have been conditioned by large retail outlets to EXPECT everything to be discounted in some way as a part of our mass-produced disposable culture. IMHO, this devalues handcrafted goods to judge them on the same pricing standard of big box retail stock (and yes...technically...the sweatshop-made goods that are found at MegaSavLoMacroMart are oft handcrafted too.). That said...coupons and discount sites DO exist for the handmade market and some artisans have found benefit using such tools.

Etsy Coupon Code http://etsycouponcode.com/

Other Ideas
-Donate a piece of your work to an online charitable event such as a website-based silent auction fundraiser. Most charities are more than happy to include a link to the donor's online shop/site in the donation description. Not only does this get your work/name in front of people who might not otherwise encounter your work, you're helping a cause you believe in/the donation is tax-deductable.

-Post video or text tutorials on Instuctables (http://www.instructables.com/), craft websites (ex: http://www.craftytips.com), YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/), etc. Obviously, you don't want to explain how to copy your work, but as an artist, you likely have a lot of nifty skills that you can show off and help others in the process. Know how to seamlessly blend Copic marker coloring in illustrations? Be the reference that others link to!

-Utilize Amazon wish list (http://www.amazon.com/wishlist/vendor-button) and other wish list site links on your gallery/marketplace listings.

-Offer gift certificates via emailed PDF for last minute shoppers (Keep track of numbers on certificates to ensure that they are only redeemed once.)

-Banner swapping with other blogs/online shops

-Get involved in the online presence of local/regional community-based craft groups/art collectives/maker spaces (websites, blogs, etc)
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Obviously, the above isn't meant to serve as a comprehensive list and I anticipate that there will be further additions after the convention panel. If you'd like to contribute your own links and ideas to this post, please do!

42 comments:

  1. Wow, lots of information. Very much appreciated.

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  2. You're absolutely welcome, Galadryl!

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  3. If that's not a "comprehensive list", I can't imagine what would be. Thank you so much for creating this valuable resource. I'm book marking it, and I'm going to link from my blogs, if you don't mind.

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  4. Feel free, Robyn! You are more than welcome to link to this post.

    The list actually grew out of a project that I did a few years ago when a downsizing was looming at my corporate day job thing. Making such a list kept me calm and optimistic that there were ways to stay afloat until I could get back on my career path. (I pulled it out a few weeks ago and updated everything in preparation for the panel, so the above list is current as of October 2011, though.)

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  5. First time to visit your blog. Love the layout of it. . .and your advise is wonderful. Love what you're saying about discounts and coupons too. We need to set ourselves apart from some of those things. . .meanwhile I've just posted a coupon code on facebook. lol. Thanks for sharing these insights. :) (I'm from TessiluStudio on etsy.)

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  6. Wow, thanks so much for this post! Very helpful! Love your blog - I'm your newest follower!

    Erin from BloggingBuddies
    http://labellaironia.blogspot.com/

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  7. This is an amazing list! I bookmarked it and will work through this a little at a time.

    Promoting takes me out of my comfort zone, so thanks!

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  8. I thought this was a fab read! Thanks for sharing all these wonderful ideas!

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  9. Very comprehensive..nice job, and very useful!

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  10. What a comprehensive list! I am following you now to see what other great ideas you have.
    Michelle

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  11. I think this is the biggest list I've seen. Thanks for pulling it together.

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  12. love it! i am now your newest follower! heheheh

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  13. I think I've been all over the web and never saw a list on the subject this comprehensive. I will be blogging about you and sending readers to check this out. Looking forward to this panel at Windycon! Thanks for putting this together.

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  14. Thank you to everyone for the positive feedback! Hopefully, I'll have more resources and ideas to add after Saturday's panel!

    For those of you attending WindyCon, please be sure to check out all of the great programming slated for this year's art track:

    http://www.windycon.org/windy38/programming/art.aspx

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  15. Wow, great resources. Thanks! This is such a good post for Etsy (or other online) sellers to bookmark.

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  16. Wowza! This is a great list. Thanks for sharing! I found you in the Metal Maniacs Team. :)

    Where do you even start with this online marketing?!? I get overwhelmed just using twitter, Etsy, and my blog!!

    I hope you'll come say hello at my blog!

    Ajax

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  17. Wow....great list...I will have to follow you blog. Got here via MMC etsy team.

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  18. Omg, what a massive list!

    Saw the link over at Etsy team UIS. I'm going to share your post. Thank you for making this list, I know how much time it must have taken!

    ~ May
    (Saburkitty)

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  19. Great list. Saw your Etsy post and jumped over to check it out. Thanks so much. I think the first two links might be broken tho. I have tried to open both of them and just get a page not found error. The one's below work fine so I think there might be something wrong with those two.
    Thanks again,
    The Other Stacey

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  20. Thank you so much for your amazing research and sharing of said research. I am a new follower to your blog.

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  21. You are amazing! I am so thankful for this. It's what I've been looking for! I will be following faithfully from now on!

    Renaissance Austin

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  22. wow so much information! thanks for making such a comprehensive list!

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  23. Your list is amazing. I will be posting a link to your blog in my Etsy Team forums! Besides this blog and your Etsy shop, which of these sites do you use, if you don't mind sharing that information?

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  24. Thank you all for your positive feedback!

    Jill: Beyond my Etsy shop and blog, I use the sites linked with buttons in the right hand column of my blog (Facebook, Twitter, various teams, craft sites, et al). As a part of my goals for getting the word out about my work in 2012, I have plans to start using a few more like Pinterest.

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  25. Thanks for this informative fashion and makeup blog. I found your makeup reviews and tips very useful and simple to follow.
    How to look pretty

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  26. Ashley...what makeup reviews? Are we a bot? *laughs*

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    Replies
    1. Obvious bot. Here we are discussing about art work and how to market our art work and she is giving makeup reviews lol.

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  27. Thanks for all the information...

    I was awarded the Versatile Blogger award and my job was to pass it on.. I am awarding it to your blog- Please come check out my posting about it.. http://homespunloft.blogspot.com/2012/02/my-new-award.html

    And for you to pass it on.. You need to write a blog spot about it, thank me in it, post 7 things about yourself and choose 15 other bloggers that you enjoy and pass it on. Also, copy and past the Award logo for your own blog.

    Just another networking tool.
    thanks for all the info in this post!

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  28. Wow! This is unbelievably informative and helpful. Thank you for putting together this extensive list.

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  30. Hello there! Just found you on the Etsy Success forum and am definitely following you from now on. Though if I only follow a small bit of your suggestions, am not sure when I'll have time for making/mending further toys! Very useful info though. Hope you had a fulfilling time at the meet. Look forward to an update shortly.

    Thanks for sharing. Isobel from www.ColdhamCuddliescalling.blogspot.com. and my shop is www.coldhamcuddlies/etsy.com. See you there maybe?

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  31. Hi, you make mind blowing ideas online job portalLast time, when I saw your site this was a little good but today I visit the web site again and find that you guys making a very smart work on the site. Today Web surfing is run very fast and a huge competition over the web is spread. So it is quite interesting. Thanks

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  32. Hi there-- got your link at the invisible illness team on etsy..
    Wow-- this is the most informative post I've ever seen! Do you write ebooks? you should! there's some $$'s in it. :) Thank you for all those links! Awesome!

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  33. There is no doubt at all the list is amazingly helpful. Thanks for the tips and post. Everyone wants to market their art work. And if you get online platform means you have best chance to promote yourself in short time.

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  34. I have been examinating out some of your stories and i can state pretty nice stuff. I will surely bookmark your blog. Art Marketing

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  35. Great info. Thank you for sharing. I would care to add a caution however on donating art for causes. The IRS only allows you the artist to deduct materials not market value. So, don't let the "tax deduction" be a variable in whether you donate to a cause or not.

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