Why I made no art sales

There's a hidden factor that drives art sales that no one talks about…

Familiarity.

It's a hard lesson I learned when I had 10,000 people visit my art website in just a month and I didn't sell anything.

Key points

  • Cultivate familiarity for increased art sales: Focus on making your art and your artist's story familiar to your audience. Utilize art newsletter to share your journey and work consistently. This builds a connection that's crucial for encouraging sales.
  • Engage your audience beyond their first visit: Don't rely solely on website traffic to drive sales. Engage with your visitors through personalized follow-ups, interactive content, and by fostering conversations via your art newsletter. This turns initial interest into lasting engagement, setting the stage for future purchases.
  • Leverage email marketing to connect and convert: Start an email newsletter to keep your audience engaged over time. At least weekly emails not only nurtures familiarity but also steadily guides potential buyers towards making a purchase, making email marketing an essential tool for artists.

Introduction to why I had no art sales

My story started when I was fresh out of art school in Los Angeles, my mind was set: get my art into galleries and watch the sales happen.

The reality was starkly different. I tried endlessly to break into galleries and group shows, only to find myself in a cycle of no results and mounting frustration.

The truth hit hard – selling art through galleries was not the only way, nor was it my way.

Then, an alternative emerged: selling art online.

I'd seen artists succeed in this space, artists I discovered through niche websites, artists I'd bought from myself.

Excitement built as I crafted my own website – a gallery of my work, a shop full of prints and originals, a newsletter sign-up. It was a digital space entirely mine, free from the constraints of gallery walls.

I needed website visitors, so I started reaching out to popular blogs and online magazines relevant to the subject matter of my art. Asking if they would feature my work or interview me.

Many said yes. I couldn’t believe it.

When these niche websites featured my work, traffic surged.

In the first month, I had over 10,000 people visit my art website, but then… silence.

Not a single art sale.

I faced the hard questions.

Were these visitors ever coming back?

Was my art not appealing enough?

How could I turn these visits into sales?

The doubt was overwhelming. Here I was, I had 10,000 people visit my art website, yet with nothing to show for it – no sales, no new opportunities.

A series of emails

After the flood of traffic to my site, a few of the visitors reached out via email.

They expressed interest in my drawings.

These emails sparked conversations. Simple at first, they grew into discussions about specific pieces and my creative process. It was a dialogue I hadn't anticipated but one that began to reshape my approach to selling art.

As these exchanges evolved, a question came that shifted everything: “Can I buy one of your sketchbook pages?”

The back-and-forth led to a transaction – $250 in my PayPal account. It was more than a sale; it was validation. My art had value in the online world.

This experience, born from a handful of emails, was a revelation. It bolstered my confidence, affirming that I could indeed sell my art online.

It wasn't just about traffic; it was about connection, conversation, and understanding the people who appreciated my work.

This was the beginning of a new chapter in my art business.

Building familiarity with an email art newsletter

I understood something crucial.

The 10,000+ visitors didn't buy any of my art because I was unknown to them. Yes, they heard about me and clicked a link to my website, but there was no familiarity.

To bridge this gap, I started an email art newsletter. My aim was to turn the conversations from my first sale into a series of simple art newsletters.

Each email was a piece of my story, sent to those who showed interest in my work. I kept reaching out to niche websites, driving traffic, ensuring a steady stream of new eyes on my art.

I experimented. The emails varied in length, tone, and timing. It was a process of discovery, learning how to communicate my art and myself effectively.

Gradually, I crafted a system, a rhythm of emails that worked. Sales began to happen more organically, more frequently.

The key was consistency.

Sharing my journey, my behind-the-scenes, my inspirations – this was not just updates. It was about forming a connection. Before anyone decides to collect art, they need to feel a connection with the artist.

That's what my newsletter became: a bridge between my art and potential collectors.

When it comes to the actual launch, it's not just about what you write, but also the timing, frequency, and number of emails.

There's a science to this: the right combination of storytelling, natural progression, and strategic planning that makes an email launch effective.

This approach turns the art of launching into an authentic, compelling narrative that captivates and inspires your audience to become collectors of your artwork.

So I created a guide to share these nuances – teaching you the optimal ways to structure your emails, the best times to send them, and how to craft your messages for maximum impact and engagement.

So I created a step-by-step guide called Art Launch Blueprint.

Art Launch Blueprint

Art Launch Blueprint comes in an easily digestible PDF format.

Within its pages, you'll find detailed, step-by-step strategies for growing your email list, along with actual launch email templates crafted for success.

This PDF guide encapsulates a decade's worth of my experience and insights, boiled down into concise lessons, templates, frameworks, and ready-to-use email strategies..

No more wading through lengthy 50+ module video courses that takes you weeks to watch – Art Launch Blueprint offers a quick, yet comprehensive overview of highly effective art launch methods you can start applying right away.

Read it this weekend and get started on Monday!

​Learn more about Art Launch Blueprint here.