If you have considered selling your art online chances are you’ve come across Fine Art America. At first glance it looks like the perfect place: very low upfront costs, lots of ways to print, money back guarantee for buyers, and they handle printing, packing and shipping. The only problem is, not all artists are making money on Fine Art America. In fact, many aren’t.
FAA is geared to sell—but that doesn’t mean they will sell your work. It’s very easy for potential buyers to get distracted or overwhelmed by the amount of art available for sale. It’s even sneaky sometimes how they lure customers to other places on the site. Recently I shared a post with tips for selling on Fine Art America and I promised more so here they are. Some of these tips also apply to other places where you can sell your art, not just FAA.
Upload new work
I always seem to sell more when I upload new images on a regular basis. What I’ve started doing is adding just a few photos at a time rather than a big batch. When I do that I often get a sale shortly after. It will be something completely different than the new work I uploaded, but a sale nonetheless. My theory on this is that they want to favor active accounts.
However, I also think that if someone were to build a huge following with tons of sales that they would continue to show that person’s work to new buyers even if the account wasn’t active. After all, Fine Art America wants to make money and if your work makes them money they’re going to keep showing it.
Curate your portfolio
Digital photography makes it easy to take lots of images of the same thing and that comes in handy because you can find the one shot among many that’s just right. The downside is that you also end up with lots of the same, or close to the same, image. That’s when you need to curate what you post in your online store. Rather than overwhelm buyers with six almost identical shots better to choose one or two that you feel are best. There’s no right or wrong, what you consider best is what matters. The idea is to make the buying decision easier.
Organize what you have listed into galleries in the way people might shop. By color? By subject matter? By location? I’ve seen artists have galleries of their most popular work which I think is a great idea. Doing that validates the work to new buyers and if something you’ve created appeals to many, the odds are that it will appeal to more. Re-arrange your galleries so that when you see the gallery page it looks appealing. You can do that on the premium site or the free one and it looks pretty much the same.
Also, you can change the default page that shows when someone goes to your shop. I have it set to galleries rather than images because I think it looks more cohesive. The image below is a screenshot of my images page so you can see what I mean. Not as nice, right? Does this affect my sales? Probably not, but a good first impression and a nice visual presentation never hurt. I plan to add more galleries to make it even easier to shop—I’m thinking of organizing by color to see how that works.
Complete your profile including location
I learned the other day that, by default, FAA shows artists to potential buyers based on the location of the artist in relationship to the buyer. So if for example someone in San Diego is looking through the list of photographers, my profile is among the first to show up. I’ve sold a lot of work to buyers in California and I believe it’s because I list my location. Also, a lot of people like to support local artists and so they may start looking at the available work that way. How that is calculated beats me but this is what the list looks like for me when I visit the site (not logged in). Yours will look different.
Something I recommend doing everywhere you are listed online is to complete your profile (FAA, social media, comment plugins, etc.). I agree that this is time-consuming and I have struggled to find a way to describe myself that wasn’t cheesy, stuffy or repetitive. But I do it because I know that what I write there helps to show buyers who they’re buying from which can help make the sale. And while I’m on the topic, add a profile picture. Preferably a photo of your face so that they can see who they’re buying from or at least one of your art that represents what you do.
There are lots of places to interact on FAA and all of them will get you seen. Sure, most of the views will be from other artists but it’s the views that count. An easy way to interact is in groups. Sign up for groups that are relevant to what you create and post images (be sure to read the group rules first). Then look at the other work posted in the group and comment. Thoughtful comments—something more than “nice work”.
When you first sign in, one of the pages that will show up is the activity page. There you will see sales that others have made and it’s also a good place to interact. Leave sincere comments on the work you like and add it to your favorites. When you sell something people will do the same for you. In addition I like to go in and say thank you for every comment. It adds to the views and activity on that photo and that can only make the algorithm happy. 🙂
The FAA page (not the premium Pixels page) shows your profile photo and other information below. One of those numbers is your followers. When someone follows me I usually follow them back. Those that follow you get notifications of your new work a couple of different ways and, again, this can help you get more views.
As you can see, there’s a theme running in almost all my recommendations and that is doing things that get more views. I base this on what I know about Facebook’s algorithm: more views means this post is interesting to people and therefore we will show it to more people. I have no proof that this is true, but doesn’t it make sense? If social media uses that formula who’s to say other sites don’t? Your mileage may vary, but I hope you find these tips helpful and that you’re able to make more sales. You can see my premium store here and my FAA store here. Do you have any tips to add? Is there anything I forgot? Let me know in the comments!
PS, if you like this post, sign up for my emails here http://eepurl.com/baB-Mj