Oh marketing... it's every serious artist's permanent headache. What to sell, how to sell it, who to sell it to, how much to sell it for. While we can't give you the one perfect formula for that, here are quite a few tips on how to market your prints on deviantART and beyond.
Put your best art forward
You may think you want to offer everything you can for sale and that is understandable. However, think again. It's likely that not all works you offer for sale are ones that an art buyer might actually want to buy. Just like a potential buyer has to make a choice of what to buy, a seller is better off specifically selecting what to offer for sale and what not. While the saying "Quality over Quantity" is not a sure way to a sale, it's definitely a good strategy to get there.
It's better to offer only your fewer very best works for sale rather than all of your works.
Think like a customer
Put yourself in the shoes of someone contemplating buying your art. Picture your prints on somebody's wall.
Beware of watermarks, signatures, website URLs or weird borders on your images that can kill a potential sale. While they are OK to be present on your art reproductions for marketing purposes, barely anybody appreciates to have their art enjoyment experience tainted by the presence of such elements.
Make sure to have at least one medium and one large size available, as it's very disappointing as a customer to discover an awesome print product and then find it's only available a wallet sized photo print. That doesn't mean that small size products don't sell. They do. But you're not going to make a substantial amount of profit from such. Also, by not offering smaller sizes at all, you may just make the customer go for a large print.
Let's check out some prints that give you the full enjoyment of the artwork:
Your deviantART profile and store are where interested potential buyers will most likely view your work online. Put yourself and your art in the best light. Create an intriguing context around you and your art by writing about yourself and your individual creations. This is to help your potential buyer to establish a meaningful connection to your art and the artist behind it. Provide thoughtful descriptions for your deviations and prints respectively. Tell about yourself and your art in an artist biography.
Let people know how they can get in contact with you. Also, don't forget to tag your deviations and prints with with as many relevant keywords as possible. Gotta make sure you can be found, and by the right people at that.
Make full use of what your profile page and store have to offer you with their various modules, especially the print related ones!
Let's take a look at some example stores from deviantART members and staff:
Loish - A prime example! Notice the unique, heavily customized modules. Welcome, info, contact, just sold. Very smart.
Chix0r - Notice the unique custom modules
Mynti - Notice the wealth of information about the artist as well as the strategically placed 'I just sold...' module.
EWM - Worth noting: The artist is listing her tools of the trade, effectively giving insight and a look behind the end product.
Spinegrinder - More module ideas!
Customers who are serious about buying art buy Fine Art Prints because they're the highest quality product we have available. If you have high quality work, particularly work that is already selling as photo prints or other products, you should absolutely have it available as Fine Art Prints, our flagship products. Coupled with our gorgeous artblock frames, they make a far superior product.
Artists earn on average several times as much on the sale of a Fine Art Print as they do on Photo Prints, if you're only offering your work as Photo Prints you and your potential customers are missing out.
Calendars are one of our biggest selling products through the winter holidays to first few months of the year. If you don't have a calendar available, you are missing out. What makes calendars so unique is that they can be found in almost every household; at least one! Look at our calendars as a collection of up to 14 highly affordable art prints that can be „normal“ high quality art prints for a long time beyond the particular calendar year. An art calendar is up to 14 framed art prints in the making, if you will.
The deviantART package
This is where we, the deviantART staff, come in. I'm sure you already know that we take care of your and your customers' deviantART selling and buying experience.
From the front to the back, start to finish, from hosting your images to the final destination of your products in the buyer's home, not to mention our customer service staff that will be there for you as well as potential and of course actual buyers, every step of the way. We got you covered.
You can rest assured of that. Your customers can rest assured of that. You can tell them that.
Here are some great product shots, taken by satisfied devious art buyers:
From telling your friends and family about your prints via e-mail or instant messaging to posting a journal or group blog to let your watchers know, to using social websites, there are uncountable opportunities to promote your art prints online. Don't be shy!
Profile and Store: As described further above, make full use of your customizable profile and store pages – the landing pages, so to say.
Groups: Our Groups platform is perfect for promoting your artwork. If you submit your art to suitable groups, they are likely to be seen by group members and watchers who might consider buying it!
AdCast: Given, using our AdCast service will cost you money, but what you're getting is sitewide ads and clicks for cheaper than non-deviants. You can have ads linking directly to your own prints store or even an individual product page!
Promotions/Discounts/Sales: Deals to get something for less are always a great incentive for potential art buyers. Make use of them. If you know that we are or will be running such campaign, incorporate that into your own marketing.
Social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Myspace. These are all great ways to get your work out to your friends and family and whoever is interested in you. It's easy to post and share a link directly to your prints shop or print product pages this way (yourusername.deviantart.com/pr… and we have sharing tools that let you share your work on other sites with just a few clicks.Take it a notch higher and make a Facebook fan page for yourself that focuses specifically on your art for sale.
Email friends and family: It's hard to believe, but not everyone is on social networks. Reach out and email someone, letting them know about the limited time free shipping is a great time to do so.
Take it offline. Just because this is all taking place online does not mean it's gotta stay there. Take it to the real world. Get and exhibit your own products where ever you can. Your home, at school, to family and friends, maybe at a little coffee shop or even an art gallery.
Heck, attend or even organize a deviantMEET to take the deviantART experience to the physcial world!
Every art related venue and event can be a great opportunity for you to showcase and hopefully sell your works.
Speaking of getting physical, showing off the actual art product to potential buyers can be the key to make a sale. You could even use your products themselves as specially designed promotional material. For example, make postcards or fridge magnets that have your art as well as relevant infortmation (contact info, websites, pricing etc.) and give them away or leave them at relevant locations like mentioned above.
This is exactly why our premium members can buy their own products at the base price.
What do you think of these tips? Will you make use of them? Did we leave something out?
If you've got your own experiences with print marketing, good or bad, we would love to read about them!
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