Friday, November 18, 2011

Marketing Your Fine Art on Etsy for Profit

Marketing fine art on Etsy can be profitable if you do your homework. I've had several Etsy shops including one now active for marketing my paintings and photography. Etsy bills the site as "The World's Marketplace" and I have to agree that they are now a multinational business. They recently had a marketing blitz in Berlin (one great art city!) and there are French and German blogs that I've bookmarked so that I can see local items and read the local marketing. Links for these sites are for French  and for German

Marketing for a flea market stall and selling in Etsy shops are two entirely different arenas and you have to remember that when listing your fine art on Etsy. I frequent thrift, consignment, antique shops, and indoor flea markets at home and when traveling. I have managed to score a few pieces of really good art on my outings, but there is some incredibly fine art to be found on Etsy, too,  and you don't have to leave home to get it.

It's smooth sailing on Etsy
How to begin your homework:

1. Research your work's fair market value
As artists, especially painters, we cannot price our work by the hour. It isn't piece work. Even if you are blessed with divine talent and can whip out a painting an hour, you must price it for the art that it is--unique and extraordinary. We cannot sell a $300 painting for $25 in an Etsy shop because we think we are competing with other $25 items for sale. We are not competing with a knitted cup wrap or a vintage moo-moo someone bought for fifty cents. Though some of those colorful moo-moos could be framed and hung on the wall.

2. Research other websites that offer fine art and compare
There are many artist's sites around with membership prices of "free" to $300 per year or more. Each is different and you just have to start where you're comfortable and get your feet wet. Pay close attention to the genre that is most popular on each site by looking at best sellers. You may want to plan  your own independent website rather than one hosted by Etsy or other sites, if you have sufficient contacts in your personal networks to promote a site.

3. "Convo me" it's how Etsy shop owners network with one another
When you get a shop set up with a few items listed, it's time to interact with other Etsians. It's so easy to do. Just visit other shops and favorite people and shops and then add them to your circle. There is an underlying reason you do this that we'll explore in another blog. For now, you just want to make contacts and have a few conversations with people who create interesting work. I've met established artists from around the world, and a few crafters in this way.

4. You can play roulette or you can sell art
Yesterday, I took a look at my "favorited' items list which brought up shop owner information. One shop had favorited over 50,000 items. Really?! Targeted favorites are what you want to collect. The Treasury list is an excellent way to connect with favorite item and shops. Just jump in and create one. You will be marketing 16 other artisans, but you are also marketing yourself, too. You are not competing with these artisans.  More in a future post.

5. Etsy shops generate web presence through search engines
After you've done all your Etsy shop homework, you need to learn about search engine optimization (SEO) marketing  in order to be successful in today's marketplace. You can very easily make the jump from one little shop to hundreds of your own images and articles available to the public through Google and other search engines.

Now you're ready to Promote, Promote, Promote! Etsy may be just your first piece in the puzzle of how to sell your art.

Here are the links to my shop:
and to  Etsy USA site : 

and here are sample Treasury lists for you to browse through so you get the idea.
I post these to my Twitter and my Facebook accounts.

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studios

Find me or my work at the following addresses:
Twitter - @Gail_Kent, and Facebook - (in process)

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