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Omphaloskepsis Blog

How To Use Social Media To Sell Your Art Online

Jun 11, 2013

As you may remember from the previous post, you should think of the work involved selling your art online as falling into these three categories: Documenting, Publicizing and Selling. In the last post, we discussed Documenting, so, in this post, we will cover Publicizing — blogging about your art-making process, showing photos of your work in progress; publishing and distributing information about upcoming shows; achievements and events; and keeping profiles, icon photos, resumé and bio info updated.



I have developed a simple process that I implement every time that I make a painting. First, I photograph the piece (see previous post). Then I blog it, tweet it, Pin it, and add it to my Facebook page and other social media outlets.
Consistently blog, tweet and Facebook update about your work and your life as an artist. Conventional wisdom says the best time to post your blog or Twitter and Facebook updates is 1:00 EST, but it definitely varies according to your audience, so try different times of the day and night to capture a bigger audience. It's also important to create new content for the internet consistently, so when one of your fans or collectors makes a visit, they will find something new. I also update my web site with new works and announcements to keep the search engines coming to my site.
It's very easy to set up a blog and fairly self-explanatory, so I won't fill your heads with the details, but make sure to include in the sidebar widget of the blog links to your web site and any online galleries that represent your art. Make sure to have an about page that tells more about you and your art-making career. A profile picture is key to making your fans and potential buyers interact with you and have more confidence buying your work.

What Do I Blog And Tweet About?

I go by the standard “honesty is the best policy”. But what does this mean in terms of publicity? It means that who you are and what you do is interesting to the art buying public. People that follow artists and buy art do so, because they love it. So, give the love back. Bare a little of your soul, let them know your studio secrets, frame your success as they arise from your failures. Be both human and superhuman. Reveal yourself, and those that appreciate your work will love it even more. As I've also mentioned, “stalk me”; check out my tweets at @KeatingArt.
Don't get too academic in your writing, but do use art terms that apply to your work and explain them for those that might not understand. I've coined the term “Pixel Impressionism” when describing my work, because it quickly conjures an image of what my paintings look like.
Give a glimpse into your process. I talk about hanging out on balconies, taking aerial video and photos of people walking. I mention the places I go and the type of people I cover. Sometimes I simply mention that I've created a new painting; other times I do detailed time-lapse videos or consecutive Instagram photos of my work as it progresses.

Online Interaction Is A Two-Way Street

I always thought is was more impressive and showed more integrity if I had more followers than people that I was following, more likes than I was liking, but my 11-year old set me straight. She said that people look at your online activity and want to know that you'll give back. So.. like and comment frequently on fellow artists and online friends. When one of my collectors take a great photo of their vacation in Aruba, I give it a thumbs up and a comment. When a fellow artist makes a great piece, I let her know it. Again, honesty is the best policy, so when I am taken with something I see online, I make sure to say so. Just make sure to avoid becoming an online prostitute or troll, commenting and liking on everything you see to gain popularity or get attention. Let your conscious be your guide, and you'll do what comes naturally. The key is to take action, instead of always standing on the sidelines until it's time to talk about yourself. For example, when another artist in my circle does something brilliant, I pin it to my “Art” Pinterest board. I'm not overly concerned with competition taking away my sales. Hopefully, your work is unique enough where you don't really have competition, so you can spread the wealth.
Reach out to art world administrators. More than once an online contact revealed an opportunity that I didn't know about or helped me to get into a show. Interactive with the local media and art press. I often read and comment on the L.A. Times art critic's posts, because someday I may submit a press release to him about my show. If I don't have something nice to say, I don't say anything, but often there is plenty of positive input to give.
This idea of gaining riches by being generous with your time and resources has been around long before the internet and really works. I don't write articles about how to sell art online to gain additional collectors or added wealth. I figure that if I'm somewhere near the top of the internet artist heap, helping artists closer to the bottom won't knock me down, but, in fact, will make all online artists more powerful and successful, so my position will be improved. When I was an art director and designer ina previously life, I often helped my subordinates to advance. Instead of worrying about them taking my job, I figured that if they learned how to do what I did, I could move onto something better.
I nurture the online galleries and artists with which I exhibit, because, when they become more popular and valuable, more collectors will be exposed to my work. One of my representatives, Ugallery, just made it into the top 500 retailers. This is huge, they are amongst Target and Amazon, and the only one in the top 500 that features original art. It's exciting to see online galleries come of age, gaining a thousand times more respect than they had five years ago. It's very exciting times for the artist and I hope that you take advantage of that.

Inspire Buyer Confidence To Close The Sale

Blogging, tweeting, maintaining a web site and Pinterest board is not only a way to gain exposure for your art, but it also provides a backdrop of positive information to the potential buyer when he or she is deciding whether to buy your work. Chances are, that before someone plops down their hard-earned dollars on your art, they will be Googling your name to see what other information they can get about you. Make sure that there is plenty of great stuff through which they can search.

My Favorite Online Social Media Outlets And How I Use Them:

Blogspot.com and Wordpress.com — I upload a photo and short description of every painting I create with a link to the web site where they can be purchased. Blogs can also serve as your web site, if you don't already have one. http://warrenkeating.blogspot.com/
Facebook — I post finished paintings, paintings in process, thoughts about my work, pictures of my studio and pallet, but, more importantly, I interact with collectors, fans, art organizations, other artists, art administrators and press. http://www.facebook.com/KeatingArt
Twitter — tweets about my new paintings, in-process photos and videos, art world news that I find important, cool art tools, my outside interests that feed my art-making and news from the design world. http://twitter.com/keatingart
YouTube — I love making time-lapse speed painting videos of my process. I think it gives me both direct and indirect traffic, and I make some pocket change on the advertising revenue. People love to watch a painting develop, so it's a great way to gain exposure.
Pinterest — A great visual social medium for the artist. I get a lot of activity through Pinterest, so definitely use this one. You can check out my boards for more ideas at

Instagram — I'm a late adopter, but I've started using it to show my paintings in different stages of the process.
In the next installment, we'll talk about selling your art online, the avenues and methods.

Read the previous posts in this series:



Somewhere on a bridge or a hotel balcony, you'll find Warren Keating capturing footage of unsuspecting figures walking below. Later, in an Encino studio, you can find him pouring through frame after frame of video footage to find the perfect moment of weight shift, swing of the arm or tilt of the head, which he feverishly paints, covering large canvases with thick paint depicting an overhead view of a person in transit. A native of New Orleans, Keating has exhibited internationally, and his work been purchased by hundreds of collectors in North America and Europe. His latest series, Overview, which combines video and paint, was selected as an LA Times Calendar pick and won awards at juried exhibits at Long Beach Arts, the Visual Arts Society of Texas, Dallas and TAG Gallery, Santa Monica. A solo show of his work is opening at Gallery 825 in September 2013.


blog: http://www.WarrenKeating.blogspot.com
YouTube: http://www.YouTube.com/KeatingArt





Category: Art Business
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