5 Back to School Tips for Artists Marketing Online

This contributor post was written by Jamie of The Dancing CatThis is Jamies first post as a contributor here on pns and I am super excited to have her aboard. She’ll be writing monthly business tips for you and your crafty business. Take it away Jamie”¦

I knew something was a foot when I heard a high pitched shrieking, (including doppler effect!), outside our window the other day  and looked outside to see a small boy with a backpack bigger than himself careening down the hill outside our house! Whether it was his sheer excitement at returning to school or loathing of imprisonment at the hands of an evil task masker, think Matilda, one thing I knew for certain was school was back in session!

To make sure your back to school experience isn’t a bummer, or sheer terror! here are 5 tips for small business owners and artists who sell their work online to help you reconnect with your fellow ‘classmates’ and make new friends!

  1. Reconnect with your BFs!

    Create a newsletter. Let fans and supporters know what you’ve been doing over the past several months, what’s new in your shop, or what might be coming up! The biggest supporters of your work are usually the ones who’ve already bought from you! They already love what you make and who you are, keep them informed and up to date on all your latest ventures.

  2. Join the chess team, sign up for lacrosse!

    Join a team. Community is so important when selling your work online. Having a support system of not only buyers but also fellow sellers and other artists is huge! If you’re on Etsy, join an Etsy team that fits your shop, location, tastes or ideas. It is such a help to have a community of other artists that you can go to to ask questions, get support and cheer each other on. Knowing you’re not alone or the only one out there selling your work online, especially when everyone around you might not understand what you’re doing, is huge!

  3. Raise your hand.

    Become a participant. This might sound strange at first but start buying and supporting other artists and things you love online! It helps tremendously to put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and go through the whole transaction process. Not only will you be supporting and connecting with people and art you love, you will realize how you can make your own transactions and shop experience more successful by finding out what it is you loved about your own buying experience! From e-mails to business cards and packaging you receive, you’ll discover what extra little details and small efforts made you smile or really made your buying experience special! Consider how you can make the buying experience unique and special for your own fans!

  4. Pass notes in class.

    Links.  Of course you probably already know you want to provide links to your other social media sites in your bio or about page but also consider adding links where one might not expect. For example, consider having one of your product views be an image that reminds viewers to become a fan on facebook (and even offer an incentive like a 10% discount for doing so!) Or putting a link to your blog in your banner or shop header. The more the word gets out about your shop the better, and discovering unique reminders to do so is  a plus.

  5. Extracurriculum.

    Take a course.  This is especially pertinent if you’re not an Etsy seller. There are a number of great art courses online, both in art instruction and marketing, that create incredible support systems and communities amongst artists! I may have a slight bias in this tip since I teach a number of online art courses!  ;D but in doing so I know first hand how strong a community it creates! Not only do you get critical feedback and peer input on what you’re making but also the support and connection to artists from around the world, which lasts long after the course has ended!

So just like a screaming little kid, whether with joy or loathing, get your shop back to school!

-Jamie

Jamie is an artist and owner of The Dancing Cat, an online shop which showcases her fine art and prints. In addition she teaches a number of online art courses at The Dancing Cat Art School which explore creative thinking and the joy of making. She loves drawing, fat cats, and finding a sense of the ridiculous in everyday life. She graduated from The Rhode Island School of Design in 2006.

5 comments | Click here to reply

Great ideas, it is tricky to keep everything going, thanks for offering these concepts.

Angelia Armstrong

Hi Angelia. Thanks for stopping by. You hit the nail on the head- sometimes marketing is quite tricky. Glad Jamie’s tips were a help to you. I am really happy to have her as a contributor.
-Brittni

papernstitch

Thank you for a great article. It is good to be reminded of these tips

Robyn

LOVE your post, all excellent points that I needed to be reminded of. Perfect analogy. And I need that kitty drawing framed and on my wall ASAP!

Van

Great advice! These are the things I’ve been trying to push myself to do. I guess it took another voice to really motivate me to start. So, thanks for the post!

Danielle
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