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How to Sell Art on Etsy
Etsy pro´s and cons
Many times people come to me and ask tips on how to sell art on Etsy. There are no right or wrong ways because everyone has their own journey. I´v been selling my art on Etsy for years and will share some of my experiences with you.
My Etsy shop was inactivated for years. It was not until I graduated as an art teacher and was looking for a job I decided to give it ago. Little extra income could not hurt right? Soon I had a job and was learning how to run a small online business on the side as well.
Etsy is great place for artists simply because Etsy is so popular. There are lots of art collectors in Etsy both individual art enthusiastics and interior designers who are always looking for something new for their clients. Maybe Etsy is not the best place to sell your original oil painting for $10 000 but if you print high quality postcards and make book marks based on your artworks you might find a whole new client base. There are lots of people who like to buy gifts from Etsy (there is even gift wrapping service available).
Biggest advantage on Etsy is also the biggest challenge for the artists. It is great to have this place where you can find so many wonderful artists selling their own work but at the same time because there are so many of us it is easy to get lost and your potential clients can not find you. Promote your Etsy shop. Put links to your Etsy shop into all your social media channels. What is your shop name? make sure that people easily remember it.
Become the tag master
My most important advice to any artist who is planning to open their Etsy shop is study Etsy. There are some wonderful pages which will help you + internet is filled with tutorials on how to make your own light-boxes and taking product photos.
Tags are something to consider carefully. When your potential client is looking for a particular painting how do you make your shop to pop up first? think about your target audience and what is the subject of your artwork. If you are specialized on painting cats. Instead of using lame tags like "cat" and "painting" which probably give 100 000 hits on Etsy alone be more creative. How about "acrylic cat art" or "art for cat lovers". The more detailed your tags are the more chances you have being found.
Selling with images
Most financially most successful artists on Etsy always have lots of listings. When I say lots I mean several hundreds maybe even thousands. More listings you have more likely people will find your shop.Original art has it´s market in Etsy as well but when you have smaller items listed such as stickers, magnets and postcards you are more likely gain a bigger audience base.
Images are the ones that matter. If you sell smaller objects neutral white background is the best. Some artists use different programs to create images showing their artworks in an interior. I don´t do this myself but it might work for some other artist. Lighting is important. You don´t need expensive cameras or light boxes. Phones have such great cameras these days that taking good quality pictures is quite simple you just need to put some effort into it. Nothing turns off the client easier than dark images where you can´t even see the product.
Good customer service is part of professional and succesful business making. Think about your brand. How do you want your artworks and you yourself as a seller to stand out from the others? Here are few tips you can do.
- When you send product(s) to your customers write them thank you notes.
- You can also slip a postcard /greeting card/ little gift/ business card inside the package.
- You can offer special discounts to returning customers
When customers have pleasant shopping experience in your shop they can come back and buy from you again or even recommend your shop to their friends.
Happy customers also leave lovely feedback.
Always remember to describe your shipping methods and packaging in the product description. When selling art offering tracking option is recommended especially when you ship artworks from one country to another. Be very precise in the descriptions. What inspired you to create this artwork? is there a funny story behind it? what does it mean to you? what does being an artist means to you? Art is about interpretation and often clients are curious to know about the creating process. Think about your story.
Don´t only rely on your Etsy sales
As I´m sure everyone knows that no matter are you a full-time or a part-time artist making art is not steady income unless you have managed to build yourself a massive and loyal client base. Don´t rely on your Etsy-sales alone. There are so many venues for artists these days to sell art online and off-line. Try several different places to sell art and find the ones that work the best for you. Keep exhibitions and be active on social media. I´ve been quite fortunate because I´ve got several commissions from people who have ended up into my Etsy-shop and liked my style. Same can happen to you. Your online presence can attract possible clients and lead into commissions. Most importantly remember to have fun with your Etsy shop. Enjoy creating art and sell it to those who appreciate your talents.