The secret to selling more artwork comes from your ability to bridge the gap between you as the artist, your work and your potential customers.
Building relationships is an important part of growing any business and as a creative artist, designer, illustrator, jeweller or any maker, your blog is an essential tool that enables you to connect with your ideal clients.
I’ve looked at plenty of artist’s websites in my time as an arts and culture columnist and almost every single one of them has just three main pages: a brief bio, a gallery page and a contact page.
Don’t get me wrong. This is a great starting point for many artists. I understand that setting up a well designed, functional website can take a lot of work, a lot of money. Or both.
But the one vital ingredient these websites are missing is a blog.
Why do creatives need to blog to sell more artwork?
I’m going to be a pain in the ass and answer that question with another.
Why go to the cost and the effort of creating a beautiful website to feature all your creative work, then leave off the ingredient that enables your reader to connect with your work?
You only have to look at long-time blogger, musician, artist and author Amanda Fucking Palmer, to see how blogging has brought her closer to her fans by making them feel like they’re part of her team behind the scenes. She’s a bare-all kinda gal, who loves to connect with fans world-wide in her punk-ass, endearing, love-life-because-its-messy voice. And she absolutely rocks it.
What if her website was just a playlist of songs to be bought, a placeholder for her book, a gallery for her gigs and nothing else? It would just feel disingenuous.
Her blog is the place where she brings herself as the artist to the table. She shows the world how she creates, how she breathes life into her work and in doing so she sets it free.
This is what a blog can do for you.
Here’s the thing. People connect with people and blogging helps you do that.
Research indicates that people are more likely to purchase art from people they know and trust. Which means that if you don’t give people a way to connect with you, those browsers on your website aren’t likely to become buyers.
The brutal truth is that consumers are bombarded with images of products all day every day. Galleries of images may look pretty, but as a means of communication and connection, they fall flat. The images need context.
This is because as consumers we aren’t accustomed to doing so much work to connect with a product. And creative works are particularly tricky because their benefits are subjective and intangible. This means you need to work extra hard to convince browsers that your work makes them feel good.
You might be thinking… How do I do this? I’m not a writer!
The best part is – you don’t have to be! You just have to be willing to share your work, your inspiration and your creative journey. It’s your creative journey that has the power to pull people in to connect and invest in you.
You might write a post on:
- What other creative brands, artists, writers or rebels inspire you
- What part of the world/life inspires you
- Sharing your work(s) in progress and your creative journey (sucess and failures)
- An explanation into what you’re creating and why
- A blog sharing your future creative goals/collaborations
- A few tips on how to achieve the same results you have
- A full tutorial on how to paint/draw/create/make/design etc
- A blog on what has failed in your project(s) and how you’ve overcome those failures
- You might even share your mission statement (the basis of your creative brand)
Just remember to keep it relevant to your brand and your work (no cat videos allowed).
We all start off as newbies, and reading about a newbie in finance just doesn’t have the same appeal as reading about a newbie painter or photographer breaking out into their field.
Fortunately, even though artists are just people who love to get elbow deep in creative juices (okay maybe that sounds gross), and splash around (even grosser), experimenting until you get something right – for most people you guys seem to possess some unobtainable talent. And this creative magic is enthralling.
This alone gives artists and creatives, a unique marketing opportunity.
Plus your journey is unique to you. It’s choc-full of your passion, your personal values and your bizsnaz! (n. A rebel biz with a bit of pizzazz #worksmash). The very things that form the basis of your brand as an artist.
So how do you get your clients to connect with your brand? You appeal to their emotions. You share your creative triumphs and your utter failures, building trust and authenticity along the way.
What happens if you decide not to blog? I can still sell my artwork, right?
Choosing not to blog as an artist is completely okay. Once you start blogging, you will need to blog consistently, say once or twice a month, in order to build your fan base. I understand that can be a huge time commitment for anyone (which is why I’m here to help).
It seems vital to point out here though, that by blogging regularly, you are:
- Giving fans a reason to visit regularly and get to know you (and why you do what you do)
- Creating more links to your work, and different reasons why people can connect with you
Plus, if you optimise your blogs just right, you’re increasing your chances of ranking on Google for targeted keywords and increasing the chances of your website being found by your unicorn clients. It’s a great step in the right direction for any artist wanting to make a living from their work.
Only you can decide.
Over to you.
Have you given blogging a go? What are the biggest challenges for you? I’d love to know.
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