How to Sell Art Online – Overcoming Cynicism and Skepticism

sell art online
It's getting progressively harder to accomplish the one-step sale. To successfully sell art online, it's going to take repetition and multiple contacts. It'll mean free reports. Multiple letters. Follow-up e-mails. Newsletters. A hand-written note after the sale.

When you sell art online, your biggest enemy is cynicism and skepticism. And that's why you'll win the online art selling game by exposing truth, not hiding it.

A few years back there was a huge securities fraud suit against ten leading Wall Street investment firms. The analysts were in bed with the brokers. (Big surprise, huh?)

And all those "buy" recommendations from the so-called experts were tainted.

Which means for any independent operator in the securities business, this was a golden opportunity to educate the public on what happened, and polish their own halo.

It was a perfect chance to write newspaper columns, discuss it at seminars, write reports like "10 Ways You Can Know if Your Investment Advice is Tainted," issue press releases, get on radio talk shows, and talk in plain, honest English about Wall Street's evil den of thieves.

How to Sell Art Online

Now there are some points to remember about being believed and overcoming this enormous inertia of skepticism and cynicism. If you want to sell art online, the ideas below will help you be more successful.

  • First, although I advocate charging for training and getting paid at every possible opportunity, every step along the way you should still be a giver, not just a taker. That's why I like blogging, white papers and reports - it's a way of giving out your knowledge and skill, inexpensively, before you ask people for money.
  • Second, it's getting progressively harder to accomplish the one-step sale. To sell art online, it's going to take repetition and multiple contacts. It'll mean free reports. Multiple letters. Follow-up e-mails. Newsletters. A hand-written note after the sale.
  • And it means the "damaging admission" of what you really aren't good at. And referring a customer who doesn't match you very well to a competitor (yes, a competitor) who can serve them better.

Frankly it's hard to imagine that a company who does all of these things is "faking it." Customers can tell. When you do all of these things, you'll be more believable than everyone else out there.

I use Aweber as my email newsletter provider. My newsletter helps me to connect with my customers and build trust and eliminate cynicism and skepticism.  I strongly suggest you do the same to sell art online.


This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Kirsten Gilmore

    Some excellent points here. 🙂

    I agree about referring clients who are asking for services that are outside your expertise. For instance, I had a customer who had commissioned a large painting wanting me to hand build frames for her very large, canvas painting. Could I do it? Probably, eventually, after much learning and buying new tools. But a better use of my time is painting rather than trying to master a framer’s art.

    Likewise, I’m currently choosing not to learn the finer points of digital printing right now, but, instead, uploading to fine art america and focusing on making more painting. If someone wants a print, I have a place to send them and make a small profit. But I’m not burdened by printing equipment costs or storing pre-made prints.

    1. Gary Bolyer

      Thanks for your comments. Farming out tasks that you are not skilled at doing is always a good idea for small business.

  2. Warren Croce

    Hi Gary, any thoughts about running a personal online auction? I’m thinking of having a personal online auction of my work in anticipation of the holidays. Aside from painting I am also a website developer so I can do the hosting and setup myself. It’s not meant to be a firesale. I would put a reasonable reserve price on each piece but still offer the buyer a good value. I wouldn’t be able to ship the work as most pieces are 36×48 (and would greatly reduce any profit), so the sales would need to be local enough that buyers can pick up the work or I can deliver. In the holiday spirit I was also thinking of donating a percentage of each sale to charity.

    My question to you is, philosophically do you think auctioning your work in this manner enhances or dilutes your brand?

    1. Gary Bolyer

      Hi Warren,

      I think this is a great idea. I don’t think it would dilute your brand name in any way. Since you are a developer, you will be able to take care of all the the technical aspects of this without incurring lots of fees. Let me know how it turns out.

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