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4 Simple Ways Artists can Start Selling Their Work Online

4 Simple Ways Artists can Start Selling Their Work Online

Each and every day, there is a countless number of artists struggling to make a steady flow of income from their online sales – musicians, painters and craftsmen are constantly putting an effort to sell what they’ve created. This is a constant issue for both full time artists and those who view their craft as a hobby.

One of the biggest downsides to art school is the fact that they don’t tell their students that they will be all on their own once they’ve finished their studies. Nobody tells art students that if they want to make money off their work, they will have to have an entrepreneurial mindset as well.

If you don’t understand that you are a businessman and an artist, you will be unable to get your goods into the hands of potential customers, and you won’t get the money you deserve for them. Since the modern art market is quite crowded, you, as an artist, must deliver quality pieces and learn how to market them to the best of your abilities.

I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but your art pieces are products as well and that’s why you must learn how to sell them. Here are the four most essential steps for selling art online.

Promote and sell your art on social networks

The easiest way to get your art out there is to focus on social media for both selling and marketing. Let’s look at how you can start selling on the most popular social networks out there.

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Facebook store

Wondering why should you set up your art store on Facebook? Simply because of one fact – Facebook is the most popular social network and it has over 1.5 billion active users each month. These are all potential customers that might be interested in your art. Well, not all of them, but even tiny portion would give you the income you wanted. The easiest way to do this is to use an e-commerce app that can build your store almost automatically.

First, you will have to create a Facebook page for your store and, once you’ve done that, simply go to “your store” button and set it up. Once you’ve done this, people will be able to purchase products directly from your Facebook page.

The next step is to build your audience. You can do this by inviting friends to like your page, sharing or joining groups with art lovers where you can engage potential clients and promote your store. You can also pay to advertise your page and get more likes from targeted people.

Twitter buy button

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The recent integration of the Twitter “buy button” has made it possible to drive organic conversions on the second largest social network. The button is included next to your each Tweet and it’s quite easy for users to click and buy a product they are interested in. However, you will have to build a base of followers to whom you can offer your products. Start following relevant people and, over time, they will follow you back.

Make sure that you include photos in your Tweets so that people can know what you are offering. Add tags and a short caption to describe your art and spark interest in your audience. Bear in mind that people might only check out, or buy your art after they’ve seen it a couple of times somewhere, and that’s why being memorable is very important.

Set up a profile on Etsy  

This is an excellent platform for all kinds of creative artists, especially those skilled in creating jewelry, clothes and other handmade items. The first thing to know about Etsy is that you can change your initial user name only once you’ve opened a shop. So, make sure that you use an adequate name that represents your brand, as it will stay that way forever. After you’ve done this, brand your profile with a photo, an avatar, a listing photo and a banner, all of which go well together. You should also create unique labels for your products, so that you can spread brand awareness offline as well.

Choose the best photos possible, as Etsy limits you to a maximum of 5 photos. When it comes to Etsy, it’s all about making a great first impression. Don’t post all of your art at once but rather post a couple of them each day. This will create a bit of a buzz and your products will appear much higher in searches.

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Make your potential buyers feel pleasant, answer to all customer questions, don’t lie about shipping time and truly describe your products. Bear in mind that you probably won’t start selling your art straight away. It’s a process that might take a while, so be patient and improve your shop constantly.

Set up a profile on Amazon

Amazon is the largest website for retail stores. Most people think they are buying products from Amazon, however almost 35 % of the products on Amazon are offered by a third party. Registering on Amazon is quite easy. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and press the “sell on Amazon” button.

Choose the “sell as a professional” option and, with a few more tweaks, you are ready to go. Amazon is really good for selling unique and brand new art since the professional seller option gives you the ability to create listings for goods which aren’t currently sold on the site.

Another reason why you should choose the professional seller option is the fact that, if you want to be recognized as a unique label, you will have to register your brand, so that Amazon can offer its protection.

The best way to go is to sell with fulfillment by Amazon. This option requires you to send all of your art to Amazon and they will ship pieces when they are sold, they will also deal with refunds, returns and handle customer service. Because of the fact that Amazon is abundant with all kinds of products, including art, it can be very hard to get noticed in the crowd. This is why you should try and describe your products as best as you can, upload only the best photos and learn how to reprice products so that you can maximize sales and get the most out of each sale.

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Build a website of your own

No matter how good all these stores or social networks may be, you still need to create a website that represents you as an artist. A website of your own will give you credibility as an artist, and on it, you can explain your art and its meaning even deeper. Furthermore, you can establish better communication with your clients, build a base of followers and brand your work even better. Once of the best platforms you can use to set up a simple Website is WordPress.

You simply go to the official WordPress site and follow the instructions that will make the whole thing more of a game rather than a serious process. Besides the fact that it’s easy to create a simple site, later on, when you need more, you can easily upgrade it to look more awesome and have more features. With your own site, you will create your own domain name that will help you build brand awareness, and since WordPress is a search engine friendly platform, people will find it easier to search for your art online.

These are the essentials for selling art online. After a while, you should look to enhance your business skills and enhance your marketing skills, finding ways to stay competitive, improving your customer service, etc. Bear in mind that it will take some time before you actually make any sales, so be patient and work on improving all of your stores and profiles while waiting for results.

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Aleksandar Ilic

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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