Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
How is that website coming? Is it working for you? Does it help promote your business, do you market it, or is it a time suck, or just another job that doesn't get done?
People (even artists) do use their sites to promote their business. You can build that site, there are so many tools and helpers that can get it up and running for very little money. Then it just sits there and doesn't do anything for you! Annoying.
Help is on the way. We can help each other here, looking at each other's sites, but a quick and inexpensive way to get it more operational, better designed, and promote your sales online is available. Expertwebsitereviews.com is run by my son, Scott Fox, an Internet marketing expert. He has worked with me and has given away these reviews in the pledge drive to artists.
It may be time to get that tuneup and get that site working for you. Scott "gets" our business and has great tips for artists.
Curious? Check out fiber artist Candiss Cole's review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO_G-z67lGY
Ralph Sharp's review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZvnJQLgJnI
Printmaker Lori Biwer-Stewart's review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jmTDCpeFBQ
I look at this blog and see its rather old but maybe there is still someone that will look at it and be of some help. I started a website last year. Paid $500 to a local web designer who used Go Daddy. The results were quite nice in my opinion and it was very easy to go from there and add and change things on my own. I get requests at shows to buy another painting at a later date. A site made this easy and has worked well. I even sold pictures from my website at shows. My site is www.naturewoodart.com.
I have never sold anything direct from the internet and wanted to start doing this. The book on internet millionaires was nice but way beyond my abilities to digest. I can see that Scott can improve any website. My thoughts were however that I could then have the greatest website in the world, and pay a lot of money, but how does that attract any people from the internet. I know there are links and levers, social media, and key words. I could probably pay a lot again and get no result. My goal is not wealth beyond my greatest dream. Just a few paintings every month.
Does any one have any thoughts ,ideas, or comments that can set me on the right path?
Are you interested in selling online?
Since you already have a website you may be interested in looking into linking your shop to one of the shared sites out there.
I don't know what would be best for your work. I'm referring to Amazon, Etsy, etc.
There are several people that have their own site but have the shopping part set up that way.
That is what I hope to do- but in reverse. I already have an etsy shop, but no stand alone site. A lot of people who sell online have both.
There is an enormous list of shared websites for selling art. If you are interested, I'll search for it later.
You're right that you can spend a lot on a website but that is not necessarily enough to ensure anyone shows up and buys your art.
However, if you don't try, you're sure to make no sales.
I'd suggest it's like the money you spend to enter and attend an art fair. If you stay at home, you won't make any sales. So you invest time and money in researching shows, booth shots, applying to shows, paying for inventory, travel, hotels, meals, application fees, etc.
All that time and money is invested because the art fair is handling the marketing for you. You can just show up and hopefully they have recruited a buying audience for you.
Online YOU are the art fair. You need good work, of course, but also a good website (like a booth in the real world) and then to invest some time and money in marketing it.
I'm not saying that is easy, or something you necessarily want to do yourself or spend money on, but that's how it works.
If you want to make sales online, you need to make a similar investment, or hire others to help you.
Quick feedback on your website: It looks nice and showcases your work clearly. It even offers prices and "add to cart" so people can buy easily. Good job on that. Much clearer than many artist websites.
Two important suggestions:
- It may be there but I didn't see the measurements of "small", "medium", and "large". No way I would buy from your site without knowing those specifics of how the work will fit on my walls. Don't make people go hunt for it - sizes should be repeated on every product page.
- You are not collecting email addresses. You should be building your list with every visitor and every person you meet at a show, too. Over time that email list can be your 401k so you can eventually get off the road and still be able to sell your work to interested patrons.
I hope that helps.
Thank you for the comments Scott. I do put a ruler next to my pictures but now will also add dimensions to the wording.
It always seemed to me that people buy things on the internet that “they are looking for.” A woodworker looking for a special tint stain or a fisherman looking to replace some lost lures. My sales at festivals seem to be to for something they “didn’t know they are looking for.” For example I get comments like “these are cool” or “never saw this before, I want one”. If this same person were using ETSY they would have to browse thru one trillion pages (I counted them) before they would see me. I never sold anything on ETSY.
Thank you Judy. I was not aware there were so many outlets to sell art on the internet. I have tried a few and still have a page on them. Never sold anything. I find it hard to believe an artist could sell much from one of these sites but would love to talk to a successful one. I cover my Go Daddy costs which are $470 a year for the store, domain name and website hosting. I have been told there are free sites but there are a lot of ads with them. I never tried one. So… I paid $1,000 for a web site and someone to set it up which I could never do. About the same as a show fee plus expenses.
Go Daddy offers many on line marketing services. They do have excellent call in help live telephone people. I will try some of their ideas next and not give up yet.
Barry, I hope you also noticed what Scott said about collecting email addresses. I have four sites (I use Typepad.com for 3 of them --$14.95 a month for all three and this one hosted by Ning.com, about the same price) and if you click on them the first thing you see near the top right is the email collector. I started my ArtFairCalendar.com business with emails collected at art fairs, but with daily signups, as you said "people looking for things", add from 20-30 every day. I've built a large part of this business using that tool and doing email marketing. Yes, hosting and marketing your business is just another job, but I see you saw the connection between doing a so/so show and putting time into something with a longer payoff.
Those are not my only costs for running these sites, but they are the ones applicable to your situation.
I just went from a self written website that connected to Etsy for selling to a stand alone website with Zenfolio. I am currently leaving Etsy up but that may change in the future when I see if Etsy works for me as standalone rather than linked to my website. I was able to make my website mobile friendly plus add gift certificates and special grouping pricing as well as offer things I couldn't offer on Etsy such as prints on aluminum and canvas gallery wraps. I won't be doing shows until April so I'm not getting much advertising so it will take a while to see how well it works.
I really liked how it turned out - http://www.serenityscenes.com/
You may have seen this.