How To Sell Digital Art And Keep Your Sanity: Build An Audience
Marketing for Creatives…It’s the burning question of every illustrator or Etsy store owner.
“How do I get my products seen?”
“Why is nobody buying my product?”
“I thought as long as I just focused on making really good digital art the sales would start to roll in?”
“How do you sell digital art online anyway?”
Ever found yourself thinking any of these?
Let me paint you a picture. You’ve illustrated this absolutely amazing package of digital art that you are going to put on your website or creative marketplace or two. You are really excited about how good your final product is. Family and friends may have even told you how great it is. You upload it to all the sites you are going to sell it on annnnnd…
Before you read on everyone needs something to brighten their day! How about some hand drawn, whimsical, stunning FREE clipart for your next creative project? Join my mail list and as my thank you I will give you a Free Goodie Bag full of all sorts of stunning illustrations!
How To Sell Digital Art
The self doubt starts to seep in and you might start to have the following thoughts go through your head.
“Maybe my art isn’t good enough?”
“Maybe nobody likes my stuff?”
“You are so stupid for even thinking people would want to buy your artwork and that this would even work!”
A Side Note:
If you have thought any of those things do yourself a favor and stop that voice immediately. That is a not a winning mindset and you are a winner after all!
Think about if your best friend tried to pursue their dream of starting a new business and had a failure along the way. Would you say something like, “Oh my goodness you are such a pathetic loser! Nobody likes your art and it was a stupid idea to begin with!”. Of course you wouldn’t! So why would you talk like that to yourself?
Instead, you would encourage your friend to learn from the failure, figure out what changes to make and to keep going because they have what it takes. And so do you by the way! So why wouldn’t you talk like that to yourself?
If Nobody Sees It Nobody Buys it!
You Need an Audience!
The reason nobody bought your adorable, cute, stunning (insert your own descriptive word here) illustrated product is because nobody saw it.
How much traffic does your website get? Anybody visiting your stores on the creative marketplaces you’re apart of? Do you have an email list?
Selling on the internet is largely a numbers game. If you don’t have the numbers, in terms of eyeballs seeing your wares, then you will not get any sales no matter how cute and adorable your products are. You have heard the old saying does a tree that falls in the forest make a sound? (At least I think it goes something like that) Well if no one is there to see and hear it no one really knows!
The Best Marketers Are The Best Artists!
Have you ever looked at other people’s digital art products, especially popular ones that sell a lot, and thought your own art was just as good or better?
Let me tell you a little secret. The artists that are the biggest in terms of how much they sell and make isn’t always because they are the best artists. It may be they sell the most and make the most money because they are the best marketers. These artists know how to get their products in front of eyeballs…a lot of eyeballs!
What’s Your Niche?
How do I get my product in front of eyeballs you ask?
Before we get into how to get your product in front of people you will first have to focus on what is your niche? You see the trick is to get your products seen by people who are interested in what you are selling. If you create whimsical illustrations of fairies or sell mugs and t-shirts with prints of fairies on them it probably won’t do you any good to get your product seen by a bunch of people who are not interested in that niche. You are looking for people that just looove everything about fairies! Those people will love your products because they already love fairies and a certain percentage of them will purchase your product.
So before you go trying to do Facebook ads or create a bunch of content to attract people to your store you need to clearly define your style, your niche or what part of the market you are going to go after and exactly who your customer is. Ask yourself what would my perfect customer look like? Try and figure out everything about them. Who are they? Where do they hang out? What do they like to do? What are the problems they are encountering?
If you can figure out where they hang out online then you can go hang out there too. This could be a forum or Facebook group or somewhere else. Start to frequent that place yourself and contribute to the community and you will learn what your potential customers want and what problems they might have that perhaps you can solve. Once you figure those things out it will give you a lot more direction in how to attract customers and give your customers what they want.
It’s like when you were in high school learning how to write a thesis statement for an essay. Once you have your thesis statement it acts as a roadmap for the rest of your essay. Without a good thesis statement your essay is kind of all over the place but with a good thesis statement your essay is focused and coherent.
You want your efforts in marketing your products to be coherent and knowing who your customer is makes that possible.
Create Content To Attract Customers
You know who your customer is, what they want and what problems they might need solved in your niche. Now you must create content that addresses those problems or wants, to attract customers in your niche and eventually show them your cute and adorable products so they can buy them!
I know what you are thinking, especially if you are an illustrator…creating the illustrations and clipart packages is time consuming enough! What other kind of content am I talking about?
There are really only 3 foundations, we’ll call them, out of which all other content, like social media posts, can flow.
People like to consume information either by seeing, hearing or reading. The great thing about articles, podcasts and videos is that you make them once and then they can serve to answer a problem your customers might have over and over and over again.
The question you need to ask yourself is what is more natural for you to do to create content. Will you be more comfortable writing articles, making podcasts or creating videos? No matter what you choose at the beginning the content you create will not be the best. The only way you will get better at creating content in the medium you choose is by doing it repeatedly for a period of time.
If you are at all familiar with business or marketing systems you may have heard of such a thing as a 90-day plan. Miles Beckler, internet marketer, is a big proponent of 90-day plans. Essentially, what a 90-day plan will look like is you committing to putting out a piece of content in the medium you chose every day for 90 days. Pick one of the three mediums. If it is articles, then commit to posting an article every day for 90 days. This is how long it will take you to get good at putting out this kind of content and for it to become easy because at the beginning it will be hard!
Start With One!
One of the temptations many of us face is to try and do it all at once. You listen to one person who says you have got to be writing articles everyday, another says you absolutely must be putting out content on youtube, while another says you must be podcasting, pinning, building an Instagram following etc. Because you are a big picture woman you just decide to start doing it all. DON’T!
Trying to do it all at once just means you are spinning your tires in a bunch of different areas but not really getting anywhere. In addition to that, you are not focused on just one thing that you can do consistently for 90 days and become really good at. It is better to do one thing, in terms of creating content, consistently and build up momentum in that area before you start to add another medium of content creation into your routine.
Just working on one area of content at a time gives these advantages:
- Speeds up the learning curve of what works and what doesn’t in the medium you have chosen
- Allows you to start building an audience in that medium
- Has tremendous search engine optimization advantages
- Allows you to build up trust with the people in your medium
- Casts a wider net in a shorter amount of time for people to see your content and eventually become customers
Podcasting, Articles and Videos can also bring you free traffic to your site! If you have a big budget and money to burn learning paid advertising than great! The thing with paid advertising is that once you stop so does the traffic. Your videos, articles and podcasts will keep bringing free traffic to you over and over again.
Yes, creating all this content for 90 days is hard and at the beginning is a grind. Sometimes life gets in the way. Heck I am writing this article as much for me as for anyone else but the advantages and rewards on the other end are worth it. As you grow and start to get traction in your creatives business you can start to outsource certain tasks to free up your time. Ultimately, we all have to ask ourselves do we want our first 90-day plan to take 90 days? 180 days? 365 days or beyond?
Well that is it for now but if you found this information valuable drop us an email and let us know if you found this helpful as we have lots more information on this subject we would love to share if you find it useful.
Get writing, podcasting or making videos. There are no shortcuts!
Happy 90-day plan!
Pretty Little Lines
For even more ideas check out How To Make Money With Digital Art.