Saturday, March 07, 2009

Marketing realities

exerpt from my bedtime sketch book

I have been reviewing my art marketing methods and need to make some changes if I want to make progress.

A few months ago, I started a separate blog to put sale pieces on. I said I would give it some time and then reassess it. That time is here and the verdict is that it does not produce sales as I hoped. That may be because the public isn't in the buying mood for my type of art and it may be that I haven't put the time and effort that I should into 'selling' the sales blog.

I have on online store in Etsy and prints in Imagekind, so my presence and sales there tick over. I won't get rich from them, but there is some movement. Based on that, I am removing the dedicated art sales blog on Sunday and placing art for sale either straight from this blog or through Etsy. Prints of originals will remain on Imagekind.

I am also exploring some local opportunities using some of the fish prints and local scenes as greeting or notecards. I will be working out printing and packaging costs next week and have some contacts for stores that likely will stock these for the upcoming tourist season.

I also need new business cards and I will be also ordering those next week as well. Despite people's unwillingness to part company with dollars in this recession, there is still money around and it is being spent. It just depends on where you target your potential buyers and how you market your services. Price does factor in which is why I am moving towards prints of images. There will still be sales of originals, but often prints become the viable option for those who do not or can't afford to invest in original art.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear that your sales blog did not take off as you had hoped, but the recession seems to be hitting everyone hard and I imagine that has something to do with it. I have an award for you on my blog, if you would like it.

Terry Banderas said...

I find that keeping up several blogs or sites to make a few bucks is not worth it. It takes LOTS of time. I do my blog along with Etsy and Esnips. The last two begin to become more work than I want to give.

I have begun to teach and that has been very nice extra money. I am teaching within the retirement community which has not been hit too badly in this economy. I have an idea you would do well teaching in this type of environment.


Marsha Robinett said...

Thanks for the update. I noticed when you set up your new blog for 'selling' your art and was wondering how it was doing. Too bad it didn't work out.

I sell a few prints from my blog, (especially since offering PayPal). I did it in a rather unusual way in that I put a large BUY NOW 'link' on my blog that takes them back to my website to purchase.

I recently had a buyer purchase two companion prints because when they went to my website they saw other drawings.

Sharing: Another idea that is working for Debra her 60 for 60 project. So far all but one painting has sold.

Here is the link to her site:

The best to you in your life and your career.

Stacy said...

Jeanette, thank you for sharing your thoughts about your sales blog. It can be hard to decide where to put our time and effort. Hearing another opinion from someone you respect is always worthwhile.

Jeanette said...

Vic, you're a darling. Thank you.

Terry, I do some teaching mostly private now on and off. I find that takes a lot of prep time, so I move towards workshops instead of weekly lessons which really drained me.

its difficult to have a finger in many pies...

Thanks for the link Marsha. I had thought about a similar thing too, offering pieces for set amounts, then decided against it.

Its such a fine line trying to decide whether to adapt work to the market or stick to your guns and stay with the same pricing. I've moved down the middle of the road by adding prints I guess and perhaps direct buy links on my blog. But you never know what the future will bring.

Stacy,its always useful to know how other artists are doing with similar dedicated blogs and if reality pushes you towards change.

What kind of response have others had from dedicated sales blogs?

EH said...

I believe one cannot expect success in a few months it might take a year or more to get consistant sales from a blog. I would concentrate the sales offer on the "main-blog" and would not outsource it to a separate site.

Selling original art through sites like Etsy and others that charge for display and sales commmission are obsolete from my point of view.

These sites sell nothing unless you market them. I have bought on ETSY but only because the artist sent me there. If she had sold from her website I had bought from there !

Good luck ..and knocking on wood for more sales!

Jeanette said...

Thanks EH. You're likely right in that most artists need to sell direct as opposed to third party.

Six months was my marker for analysis of the dedicated sales blog. I agree that it takes time to build and perhaps I'm impatient. :)

Anonymous said...

I have been following Alyson Stanfield's ArtBiz Blog and the question I have come to is - how much time should we spend on marketing vs creating? It's a hard balance huh... I am thinking of emailing her to see if it is a question she has considered covering.
And thinking of Etsy etc - have you looked at ArtFire? $7USD a month, no listing fees or commission.

Jeanette said...

Cath, I've got Alyson's book 'I'd Rather be in the Studio' and need to look at it a bit more indepth. I think the issue of online marketing is something that can be explored and has been explored on a number of blogs. However, when it comes down to the wire, its a buyer's market and personal choice. Being able to access the buyers is one of the challenges.

Robyn said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience, Jeanette. I've only recently opened an Etsy shop, and bless you for visiting it, but over the past week every time I try to have a look at what is for sale on Etsy the network times out. I can't imagine how anyone would have the patience to keep trying to get in, in order to buy.

So now I'm thinking - buttons on my blog. I'd really rather be painting :)

Jeanette said...

Robyn, I find Etsy does produce some results, but like everything, it takes time and marketing to make it known.

I'm not sure why you'd be getting a network time out, that's not happened to me and I think that it may be your provider or computer acting up rather than the Etsy site.

Robyn said...

No, no problem with an other site. I've discovered I can get in if I go through my shop or someone else's shop link and then I can move around. Strange though because you would think a lot of people would enter the site through which is where I'm having the trouble.

Jo Castillo said...

Jeanette, thanks for sharing the information. Good luck to you. Your work is wonderful. I have enjoyed your fish paintings.