A Checklist For Success In Selling Prints (second Revision)
This list was something I made to consolidate the wisdom I had garnered by experience and through networking here. Many new members as well as more experienced have found it helpful, so I am reposting with slight revisions and corrections. For best results get all the fields for your image page page filled out as completely as possible when you upload. This will make your marketing more effective. There are many threads on all these topics for more detail. If you wish to discuss a point in depth go to one of them or start a new discussion.
A checklist for success in online print sales.
1. Select your best work to upload and sell prints. Make sure it is of the highest technical quality for printing. It should be scanned or photographed properly, sharp at 100% view and free of cropping errors. Be sure the signature is not cropped off, is not in a plain block print font, and is in proportion to the image. Do not put a business name or website name on your image. Be selective on what you upload, but don’t hold back your unique and special talent. If you are not sure of what technical quality is, then get someone to help.
2. Use an avatar that is representative of you or your work. It should not offend or put off any potential customers, but rather project a positive image.
3. Post up a bio that describes who you are as an artist and the type of art you make. Avoid mentions of childhood love of art and other statements that are fairly universal. It should mention what is special or unique about you and your art. If this is hard just keep it short and basic.
4. Use titles that are relevant to the work. Descriptive titles are best for searches and people looking for specific things. Poetic titles work well at shows but not so much online. A bit of both in one is best. If you prefer poetic titles, consider using descriptive subtitles or visa versa for better placement in the internet search engines.
5. Make descriptions that include information about subject and location and style if they apply to the image. Some buyers need verbal assurance of what the subject is, so don’t assume it is obvious. Remember they are often buying for others. Internet search engines use descriptions for indexing and ranking. The main keywords should be used in a sentence here. Use more than one sentence. Research your subject, but don’t copy directly from Wikis. Be an expert on your subject and location if there is one. Feel free to tell a story here. This section is important to be seen in the Google search and to support the viewers buying decision.
6. In the keyword section, add all tags that a searcher might use to find the image. This includes subject, location and style. Include secondary subjects if they are visible and important to the artwork or photo. Add your name so the image will show up in a search that includes both your name and another tag. Don’t add words that are not relevant but don’t eliminate yourself from any searches either. Research and use all synonyms. Be both specific and general. For plants and animals use all common names and scientific names that apply. But don’t use ones that don’t apply. Remember that people use different words in other regions. Learn the slang and the jargon! This section is what FAA uses for the search.
7. Organize your art into Galleries aka Collections on your home page at FAA/Pixels. If you have a lot of images, set the default view to Galleries. Keep the image view in order also. Don’t assume viewers will start at the home page and find your Galleries. The default order is in order of upload, and that is ok, but you can rearrange it.
8. Buy your own work and show it off. Know your product. Let people you know see your prints. Display your work in your home. Take prints everywhere. Display some framed work in the community.
9. Use social media. Use more than one but be consistent with at least one. I use Twitter, FB, Pinterest, G+ and Youtube. There are many more.
10. Network online with potential customers. Participate in non-art forums, especially where people share the same interests that inspire your art.
11. Develop contact lists and email lists. Stay in touch and let people know when you have something new.
12. Get your own web site and make links to you sales pages on FAA/Pixels or to your Artist Website on FAA.
Participate in contests and groups to get more internal links to your pages and to accumulate some likes and comments. It has been said that those help you ranking in the search. Contest posts can lead to sales. Don’t use likes and comments as you main promotion strategy. You need to bring visitors from outside on to your site.
13. Post links to your home page, galleries and images from sites other than FAA. This not only reaches more people but helps with your ranking in internet search engines.
14. Set goals for both creating and marketing. And keep a positive outlook. Results don't always come fast.
15. Look for other opinions, help and advice. Artists are an independent bunch, but sometimes another opinion can help. Especially when going in new directions in art or marketing. If you are new to showing and selling, you should have your work critiqued by those more experienced, before it is even uploaded. Search the forums for answers to basic questions. There are excellent discussions on each of the above topics with more detail.
I wonder a little about #4...I go back and forth between descriptive titles and more poetic titles. Don't you think that if you have good keywords, the actual title won't really matter? And I also wonder if a more poetic title will appeal to a buyer on the heart/gut level more than a dry descriptive title would.
i do both. the first part is a classification so it sorts on other sites. the rest is the title. but i think the title should be interesting and relatable. it shouldn't just be BIRD but either what kind of bird or something prettier. so people might want to get a closer look because of the name or the pun.
The reason I say descriptive titles is for the Google search. How you tag it is mostly going to define what FAA searches you are in and not so much for internet search engines like Google. I have found descriptive titles get more accurate Google placement and higher ranking if the search word is in the title. Of course you want to make it interesting. What would be detrimental is a title that is metaphorical because Google takes things literally not metaphorically. So a cat should not be titled my dog. A landscape should not be titled heaven unless it really looks like heaven and you want to be in a search for heaven. Ideally the main words would be in the title and the description and the tag section. Sometimes I use subtitles to preserve the poetic title and give Google a clue so, "Blue Ridge Mountains-Almost Heaven"
To all those that thank me,
You are welcome
A rising tide floats all boats.
some things don't transfer, if i can't think of a name, its just called what it is. but if its like an orchid, i don't call it flower or orchid, its often to go use the latin name instead. i found cute names for flowers don't work well. (as an example)
Part of the research you do for the description can lead you to a good title. The common name for an orchid followed by the scientific name would be better than just orchid. Calling it pretty yellow flower is gong to make it lost on Google.
Special tip: Assume the first keyword has more weight than the last for the FAA search. At the very least it seems to affect what images are shown below as thumbnails on the image page. Some search tests on my portfolio show if the first keyword matches the search word it ranks a little higher. Every bit of rank you can get helps, so choose the first word in the tag section wisely.
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