.......so I found one for those of you out there trying to market your fine arts on Etsy and I asked her help me give you some very sound advice. MicheleMaule.Etsy.Com has an incredible shop (see above!) and it is starting to pick up some serious steam on and off Etsy. She was kind enough to share her top 11 tips for sellers in the fine arts category and let me post them on my blog.
Thank you Michele!
Here are some of the things that I have learned about being a fine artist seller on Etsy.
1. Forums! The most important thing I have learned is to hang out and post in the forums. The more people become familiar with you and your work, the more sales you will see. You can learn a lot about Etsy and selling by hanging out in there too.
2. Re-list and list on a daily basis. Another way for people to become familiar with you, and your work, is if they see it in the first few pages of the Art category of Etsy.
3. Think small. Smaller is so much easier to ship than large. You can keep shipping prices down by working small, and it's just easier to handle. When I first started on Etsy I posted large paintings. 2' X 4' and really had no idea how to ship them. I never sold them...and I am happy I didn't because I have no idea how I would sent them.
4. Think low prices. I decided that if I was going to get anywhere on Etsy I had to not only paint small, but also keep my prices small. I painted on 3" X 3" panels and priced them at $30 each. I also offered free shipping the first two months I took my shop seriously. I think this really entices people to shop in your store, and I even got several repeat customers. I have slowly raised my prices and sizes since November and haven't seen a decrease in sales yet.
5. Offer different price points. I have items ranging from $10-$200 in my shop. This allows people of all kinds of financial backgrounds to purchase your work.
7. If Opportunity knocks, go for it! If a gallery, or boutique, asks you to show in their shop or gallery GO FOR IT!
The more you get your name out there the better. OF course you want to be careful when dealing with someone whom you think might be shady. Just use your better judgment and if it seems sketchy don't do it. However, if it seems cool go for it. I have made several friends and even gotten a few sales from doing this. I have also gotten really great advice and support by gallery owners by doing this.
8. Blog! It's fun and it allows customers to see who you are and why you make your art. I have had several gallery openings where people ask me why I paint what I paint. I usually get really nervous and can't even remember my name or where I am let alone why I painted what I painted. Blog lets people see who you are and where you are coming from. It allows them to make that connection with the art AND the artist. Plus it's fun to write and you can meet a lot of cool interesting people through it.
9. To print or not to print? Reproductions are always a topic of discussion for Etsy artists. After much debate with myself and some fellow colleagues I decided to offer some prints of my work in my shop this winter. I think that for some artists this is a great option. It allows you to offer your work for $20-$30 in your shop, and makes it really affordable for people. The Black Apple, one of Etsy's top sellers, has been really successful with this.
10. Photoshop! Purchase, or find someone who owns photoshop and steal it from them. Seriously, photoshop can make your shop look awesome. Especially if you live somewhere like the Northwest, where you only see the sun 2 months of the year. You can brighten dark photos and sharpen unfocused photos. It's also really hard for photos to read a painting well, and if you think about it, how often have you seen a painting in an art history book , then saw the same painting in real life and thought, "Wow. It looks so much better in person!" Well, photoshop can help assist you in making your painting look awesome, even if they do look better in person. It's a genius program. Use it.
11. Have fun and be patient! It can be really discouraging the first few days, weeks, months...when you don't make a sale. Just be patient and remember that this is suppose to be more fun than your boring "real" job. It can take a while to get up and running, but a lot of people experience this, and once you make your first sale you'll be addicted to making and wanting more :)
What sound advice!
(Littleput &hearts's Michele!)