What not to do to sell art online

Every day, you and I have a million different options on how we can grow our art businesses:

  • Pay for expensive ads
  • Blog more
  • Redesign your website
  • Trying to get the approval of galleries and agents.
  • Attempting to get THOUSANDS of followers on social media.

And on and on…

When faced with this infinite number of choices, what do we do? A little bit of everything!

“I know… I’ll start a Twitter account…then post on my Facebook fan page a couple times a day… and try to write more on my blog on the weekend…”

Pretty soon, we wake up jumping from tactic to tactic.

  • No time for our art.
  • No time to understand the things that actually matter.

It’s no surprise we’re tempted to upload our art everywhere. As if being everywhere online, getting lost in crowds of thousands of other artists online will help.

Your art business shouldn’t be based on luck. If all of your social media accounts and ads were to get deleted tomorrow, you should still be able to make money in your art business.

You can run your art business in a way where your earnings are directly correlated with your actions. If you push harder on the accelerator, your art business will grow faster.

Marketing things you can ignore

I’ve found most artists get stuck focusing on marketing activities they don’t control.

This is a problem.

When you want to start and grow your art business online, you must be selective with how you spend your time.

  • You might want to keep re-designing your art website.
  • You may want to keep trying to get followers on social media.

Ultimately, you’re better off spending your time on things that will grow your art business.

And in my experience, you need:

  1. A measurable – reliable – and repeatable – method for getting traffic to your art website
  2. A measurable – scalable – and effective – method for inviting them to collect your art.

The keyword is measurable.

In the beginning, you must be willing to get rid of the things that don’t matter. So you only work on things that do matter.

Facebook and Instagram has changed the algorithm so many times. Lowering how many people of your own audience will see each of your posts.

But you know what, it’s their platform.

They make the rules.

The artists who’ve depended on Facebook and Instagram are hurting right now. They’ve relied on something they don’t control.

The same applies to other sites like Etsy, Ebay, Society6, and others.

They make their own rules – rules you have to listen to.

You see, most artists using other platforms to market their art have the illusion of control.

“If I just post my art all over Facebook, it’ll pay off.”

What they didn’t realize was they were building their art business on the edge of a volcano. Overtime, it started sending a river of hot lava right over their art business.

They were building an audience they didn’t own.

For example, here’s what one of my Art Launch Blueprint students, Marbrisa, experienced:

Marbrisa is an artist who was used to getting 200+ new likes on Instagram when ever she posted a new image.

When Instagram changed their news feed algorithm, she had a huge problem.

In her words:

“I recently lost my biggest source of traffic to my art website, up to 30% of my traffic. It was a wakeup call that my art sales up to this point could disappear at any time.”

We’re lucky to have any exposure to the right audience. And sure, we can make strides to try and generate more exposure.

But at the end of the day, many artists are still relying on some third party they don’t control.

Which is a huge mistake.

When you want to grow your art business, you MUST focus your time on the things you control 100%.

The only things you control are:

  1. The content you create and share on a platform you own. (Ex: A website under a domain your own.)
  2. Your email art newsletter.

And that’s exactly what Marbrisa decided to focus on.

She said:

“I had to diversify. Find more ways to attract collectors to my art website. Then optimize my website to get more sign-ups to my art newsletter!. I’m happy with my new approach to growing my audience. Since guest posting on other blogs and creating more compelling content on my blog. My art business has grown into a business I have more control over.”

For now, before we focus on what you should do, we need to avoid spending time on things we don’t control.

Ask yourself:

  • What marketing things do you spend your time on right now?
  • What’s not contributing to real measurable results?
  • What one platform do you spend your time on you don’t control?

You might realize you’re just running in circles.

Or what you’re focusing on doesn’t result in new more sign-ups to your email art newsletter, visits to your art website, or new creative clients.

Here’s what you don’t need to worry about right now. In other words, here are the things slowing your art business down:

  • trying to get thousands of followers on social media
  • attending networking events
  • trying to get into galleries
  • hunting for an agent to represent you
  • listing your work on all the famous marketplaces online
  • business cards
  • a fancy logo
  • LLC, DBA, incorporating – if you are concerned about any of the legal elements of your business you should definitely consult with a lawyer.

If you find yourself spending too much time on any of these non-essentials, stop.

Instead focus on your website. Sharing your process and journey as an artist. While also optimizing you website for growing your newsletter.