when i post its usually a factoid about the image. its the description. beyond that, i find most people just want to know what program or filter i'm using. and when i tell them its colored or shaded by hand, they say oh.. and no further questions, that sounds harder than i thought.
There is some educating in my descriptions but when I post on SM it's just to share. I'm not a salesman or an educator, I share my images with a small amount of text and hashtags and if people are interested they can investigate further. Ya, I know not very effective but it's all I'm willing/able to do.
Edward I like the thought about toning it down. People are tired of being shouted at as you suggest. However I think Mike hit it pretty good. I look at this as a consumer. We're bombarded daily with more ads than ever before. Attention spans are short. Brevity is needed. Too much and the consumer gets bored and moves on. Now, if you can get their attention and then get them to a blog? That's where I think you can educate them. How to get their attention and keep it without alienating them in the first 15 seconds. That's the trick I think.
I agree with you totally Edward. A soft informative approach is best for me. I try and market to those that have an interest in a subject and get their attention with information. Posting in groups is part of that . Good descriptions are another part. And that is how you get into Google searches. Attract them in with information and let the image sell itself.
I used to do educational slide shows to any group that would have me. I did them on a variety of nature topics. Then when the show was over I would break out a suitcase of prints. Many times I walked away with an extra few hundred dollars that I made in 15 minutes after the presentation. That was before the digital age had fully blossomed. Now I still use an educational approach to attract in those with interest in a subject area.
Step right up and get your art right here! Large art and small art! Colorful art and black and white art! Abstract art and realistic art! Happy art and melancholy art! All the art you need and can dream of is here! Step right up!
"Step right up and get your art right here! Large art and small art! Colorful art and black and white art! Abstract art and realistic art! Happy art and melancholy art! All the art you need and can dream of is here! Step right up!"
as far as barkers go, i have the mustache. but that's about it.
i've tried sales angles making up new stories for facebook and such. saying how bad their house looks now, but it will look greater with my art. but lately i'm lazy and just post the description. today though facebook is down sort of, and i can't do much of anything posting related on it.
Telling them how bad their house looks might work if they don't take too much offense.. you never know.. an approach to keep in mind.. If they disagree, tell them they can't handle the truth... your art will make them feel better.. You could run a test.
its a general things, like telling them to remove the old dusty art and replace it with mine. cover up that old hole in the wall, with my art, etc. directly, i don't tell them that, though i may get into arguments anyway.
When I Google art to look at it never comes up with a price unless I hit the shopping button. Many who are looking are not hitting the shop button and are drawn in to buy by a description and an image. I see a lot of potential with creative ideas that draw the potential art buyer in.
IOW - What relationship do you have ( want to have ) with your buyers ... What do you have in common....
I myself am very uncomfortable with those who over dump and run. I've had Art " friends" who it was easy to see were clearly being spammy with their post on my FB wall - all to bring the attention back around to them .
It doesn't feel good.
In one eye and out the other.... how do you meet with those who might be interested and bring them in to you.
I will try to think along these line.
Some folks take the commercial route. Who am I to tell them other wise or call them cheesy? I think most artists here create in some commercial form.
But I decline to have my SM profiles carry all of that.
That said numbers alone do not make it spam. I have 15.4k Twitter followers. I just tweeted to them, close to 100 instantly saw my ad. I will use the word ad here. By days end almost 300 will have seen that one ad. That freedom to get my work in front of people instantly is an art form in its self.
It is equally important to encourage artists not to be bashful.
No, of course not.
Our eyes crave to see art .
The point I believe, is how to draw people in to your art - that are interested and like minded.
Getting blocked or deleted on FB because they are being rude won't help them.
I'm sure this conversation could lead back again to a blog, or at least a post - discussing ( educating ) your art with others.
Putting our work in front of 300 people who are seemingly oblivious - is nowhere as effective as that one person who says : " You know, I always loved old tractors... that reminds me of my Grandpa's farm when I was a little boy growing up in Kansas .... "
The thing is Jannie, if the people that are seeing the posts, want to see the posts, then there is no limit (within reason of course) to how many posts you can put in front of them. And the more they see, the more likely it is that they are going find that one image that they want to start a conversation over.
IMHO, 300 is just not enough people to reach so you have to broaden your audience. Social media is all about what people call spam but it really isn't spam. Finding people that want to see your art and making sure they see a lot of it is how FB sells product.
I used to do hundreds of post a day and not one time was I ever accused of spamming except by other artist here in FAA. The groups I posted in loved my posts, it keep their groups flowing with new images. If the guy or gal that owns the group(s) doesn't think it is spam, and the vast majority of the members of the specific group does not consider it spam, then it is not spam.
To make significant sales, daily sales, using SM you have to reach 100's of thousands or millions of people. It is more like putting an ad in the newspaper or on the radio. It is not as much of a direct marketing method that some would have you believe. Not like a direct mail campaign where you can reach fewer people and make a higher percentage of sales.
For the record, I have never been deleted or blocked by FB. Not that I know of.
Most serious artists and photographers are better off handing their marketing chores over to someone else. They have this timidness and critical thinking combination (generally) that makes it impossible for them go beyond their boundaries. That is what marketing and advertising does.
Kinda reminds me of the people who thought that the valedictorian of their school was a nerd and prudish! And sales is not a noble profession.
The most successful salespeople I have known have a bold approach to their business. Some might call it outlandish.
I agree Glenn, or at least take some marketing, advertising and salesmanship classes and get exposed to the basics.
Taking a few classes is not going to make anyone a super salesman all of a sudden but it will help in what ever marketing you are doing or help you work with a professional.
And yes, an aggressive ad campaign can look and feel very outlandish. Remember the Cal Worthington ads years ago!
"I'll do anything to sell you a car! I'll ever eat a bug!" (As he road around his car lot on an elephant.)
And I also agree with Ed that the circus barker method is not for everyone, but the fact is, it works on a lot of people. I never liked it, never did it, but I know people that pull it off and make a lot of money doing it.
... but to think that we are going to reach"everyone" is an outlandish thought altogether!
One of the "selling artists" on FAA that I have noticed has but nominal work altogether IMHO. They have very cut and dry methods of exposing their work on Social Media. But they are consistent and they are unafraid of turning people off.
It's more about the one's that they turn on that they concern themselves with.
I found out I can turn my marketing over to ebay, the originals I have listed on ebay anyway. I went ahead and turned marketing on for one my listings last night, it'll cost me an extra 14% of the sale if it sells but 76% of something is a lot better than 100% of nothing. My guess is they'll be running ads via affiliate marketing or something like that? It will be interesting to see if it works.
I tried that about a year and a half ago. Ebay then did away with the stats on that system. So I could not see the impressions any longer. Hopefully Ebay allows you see stats on the campaign. Do they again?
When I purchase art I want to know something about the artist. I want to find some common connection.
I see something I like, see it it's in my price range but what makes me pull out my wallet is knowing more about the artist. Or I become interested in an artist and follow them for years before making a purchase.
Allowing potential buyer to see your process, to see how you create, why your create -- this is how you make a connection with the potentional buyer.
Just Tweeting "lookee lookee" isn't enough.
Educate your potential buyer as to why they should care to look.
You have to share more than just a image, you need to share part of your creative self.
If we are discussing the same promotion deal Ebay has, at one time, the promotion had stats where Ebay would chart x number of impressions per day. As the system matured, the stats went lower. In other words a lot of other people may have been doing it. Regardless of what percentage I offered, the number of impressions dwindled down to nothing much. Some days nothing at all.
In part because I was offering a print, my sales velocity by industry was not high. Whereas the latest widget meant possibly income for Ebay. The algorithm would have calculated this.
I have to clarify about sales velocity, I am talking about it in the abstract not much for a small shop with prints. Personally I had no luck with Ebay. When the impressions charting was taken away entirely, I folded my tent, because it is not just the percentage that is a cost with Ebay.
addition: DK your shop is somewhat off the ground. So add a bit of salt to what I am saying, but not much salt. If after a month or two nada, then figure you are getting next to no impressions from that system. Someone else is.
DB, the only stat I care about is sales, if the painting doesn't sell the promotion didn't work, it's that simple. I see no reason to complicate it. Impressions mean nothing to me or to anybody really. If the ad is well targeted it may take very few eyeballs on it to make a sale, if not you can get thousands of impressions with no sale. "Impressions"
are meaningless. Actual views (meaning they clicked on the ad) can be an indication of the ad's effectiveness, but in the end all that counts is sales, no sale the ad didn't work. I think with this marketing stuff you have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees.
More that 95% of the thousands of sales I have made on 13 online sties, including here, were made with zero contact with the buyer. The idea that you have to build relationships, share the process or that the buyer wants to know something about the artists, at least in the thousands of sales I have made, was just not necessary. I also think it is nearly impossible to build those kinds of relationships just using SM and make any significant level of sales. To me it is numbers game. Always has been and always will be unless you can get the contact information and build a client base.
I also find that what Mike is saying is true more times than not, even when I meet people in a live gallery setting.
I sell digitally enhanced original photographs in my local venues. I find that the more people want to know about the process and keep asking questions about it the more likely it that they are painters or photographers trying to figure out how I made a photograph look like a painting.
David King, you hit the nail right on the head for what is going on out there today.
The only stats that matter any more are sales. It used to be you got the cookie crumb trail that took you back to the source of the initial click where your buyer came form and every single page on your eBay page they made until they got to the one were they made the purchase. We don't get that anymore.
That is why it is all basically institutional advertsing and very little target marketing. It is also why it is all about reaching numbers.
Impressions are meaningless and even likes and favorites and comments for the most part, compared to sales, rather it be on Facebook or FAA.
I think this wraps around to a blog , where people can see and follow your process .
When you have drawn in and cultivated the appropriate following , no longer is it necessary to throw something out and see if it sticks to the wall.
I am certainly not against putting my work or myself out there , I just do not see the point to the equivalent of throwing papers in the wind.
Floyd - this may work great for you due to the multitudes of images that you have - & outlets to promote.
Putting your work in groups of likeminded people is the appropriate thing.
Spamming friends personal newsfeeds with PrOmOtioNssss ###inyourface - will only get an artist's work hidden or deleted from the friend list .
I'm small time potatoes , - and I love the direction that Edward has taken to make his point.
SorrynotSorry , but Carnival barkers are simply not attractive - and many do not go the carnival.
So, is there any hope for someone who's not really on social media? I'm in a facebook group or two, but I just post my images with links. I'm slowly building my Pinterest (board?). I'm slowly becoming more active here. But I can't figure out how to use my Instagram account and I'm not on twitter. Also, I don't have a smart phone, and a lot of the SM sites seem to require that. So I am swimming against the tide with an impossible goal to make some sales?
I guess that's a bit of the beauty of microstock. There's nothing for me to do besides provide content.
I am purposely limiting my works to roughly 425 images in 4 years. If my work because valuable later on in my life time, this limit matters. If I do anything further it will be in music, so my excuse for doing something else is an easy one.
Marketing wise supply and demand, if you limit supply, and channel that right your art could be more valuable.
I love that some people here are very good on the commercial side. It just is not me. I could show my work to 200k people and only have a handful of sales. So who is kidding who, I need to work it as a fine artist. That can take till much later in my life if ever to see some money from this.
There are some that have been powerful enough to build a captive audience. They usually end up being the very ones attacked by their peers. Thomas Kinkade... Peter Lik... Terry Redlin... Anne Geddes etc., etc. etc. They built on the strength of artistic talent and intriguing stories. They sustained through the same.
Who wants to know about the guy/gal in bookkeeping who does 9 to 5 and then heads home for some R & R and a bit of Empire while painting from a photograph of Half Dome from someone elses photograph?
Successful marketing of ones "self" means that one has to live an interesting life or have a great imagination that makes them look bigger than they really are. By the way... stretching the truth (without lying) is what lots of that entails. Very few want to know that you very rarely wander more than one mile from home.
That's why we hear the slogan "Everyone's Talking About It", and say to ourselves... "nobody said anything to me!".
There is an inner psychology to that. Some times feeling really bad about self and other times feeling really great. Some balance is a lot happier. But an overblown facade is impossible to truly analyze. As you say it is part of sales.
Heck Johnny Carson was the most miserable bastard ever off stage. You would never know it watching him every night. He was dead silent in person.
"Successful marketing of ones "self" means that one has to live an interesting life or have a great imagination that makes them look bigger than they really are"
And that's why that approach will never work for me. Virtually nobody aspires to my lifestyle, it's perfect for me but almost nobody else and so it's not interesting to them, in fact knowing more about me would more likely turn people off than on. If my art doesn't sell itself to those that see it then it just doesn't sell. The problem I've found is it takes way more work than it's worth to get your artwork in front of enough eyeballs to find that one special buyer.
DB, impressions are meaningless, no big loss there at all. However, you can still see views, that gives you some indication but ebay counts bot views as well so that stat is only partly useful.
The promotion system you are using offered separate stats. It is a separate program.
I was paying Ebay and not selling. I loved the idea of paying for ads or impressions leading to sales after the sale. But paying for Ebay and not having any ads/impressions going out was not working for ME. I was still paying the monthly subscription fee.
You have some business there. So it is not an issue to you.
When I was buying art for my galleries, I always walked by a certain artists work and didn't give it a second thought. I was good friends with the rep, and he finally gave me the low down on who the artist was. When I found out who he was, I took a closer look at the art. That's when I realized I was walking by some pretty impressive stuff.
I came to know that artist and his family well. He was brought to the USA by Walt Disney. He won an Academy Award (back when it meant something) for his work on backdrops for "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" of all movies. His work extended to Mary Poppins and other Disney flicks, along with James Bond Movies and Dr Strangelove.
I'm sure his originals sell at far greater prices.
My point is... his story was what made me take a closer look. I was one of his biggest dealers until he suffered a massive coronary and passed away. Sold lots of Limited Editions.
Not everyone has that story. So they are left to "creating a story" that is appealing about their work... if they are trying to "Brand Themselves" Or they can go Chuck's Spartacus method. (I wonder whether Chuck is wearing Kirk's Official Wardrobe).
BTW... I think you underestimate that talent you have. Your strength would be continuing to build the story around your images.
I think we are discussing the same thing, promoted listings. You offer a percentage on a sliding scale for impressions/ads. But you only pay that percentage when the print or item sells. So it is a huge win on the surface. Massive win if that was all there was to it. How could you go wrong? No cost ads/impressions till you sell.
Impressions meant the ADS were seen. That is why it was important.
But......you have to be super competitive for Ebay to show your items. Regardless of the percentage you offer. Because Ebay knows what sells. Ebay is only getting paid when something sells.
When I was not making the $20 per month, I think it was, to be at Ebay, it made no sense for me to be there.
I needed to really scale the internal search, not promotions as I think both of us are discussing. That means having over 1000 items and over 100 sales....or whatever, it meant real success begets more success. I was not anywhere near that.
I am a fine artist. So are you. We have very different art. That is not the issue in any of this. I may not sell in my life time, but I have offered something to the art world. That is the way it is for me. I can not sell to the masses. I do not have commercial art. That is perfectly good with me. It was never my goal.
Ebay for the commercial is an easier row to hoe. JMO With the meter running it has to be.
FAA is only charging me $30 per year, so I retreated. Cost benefit analysis.
Well, while I don't have an interesting life now, I certainly have had one. Many adventures and near misses - some bizarreness as well (dare I tell the dead poodle story?) But who cares about that? Are you guys really saying that in order to sell, the buyers need to feel they know you personally and like your story before they will be inspired to buy? And if that's the case - so what...I need to set up a blog that I spend time rehashing my life story day after day? And what if I'm not feeling particularly witty or soulful or insightful or clever that day - then do I run the risk of losing my audience (i.e. hypothetical and potential buyers)? What am I not getting?
DB, ebay doesn't cost me anything at all unless something sells since I have less than 50 listings, so on a cost vs benefit analysis ebay actually makes more sense for me than FAA. 1000 listings on FAA and I haven't had a sale in over four months, about 40 listings on ebay and I've had two sales in the same time period.
Glenn, there is nothing at all compelling about my "story", I'll never sell any art that way, and besides I'm basically a rebel against this whole idea because this BS isn't required to sell anything else, at least I've never needed it before and I'm not going to do it now. This is one of those things I really hate about the art world. I'm selling my art, not myself.
Apparently the promoted listing worked, but I can't say for sure. I got a message from somebody enquiring about the promoted painting and another painting and was asking if I'd make a deal for both. His number was too low really but he was impatient anyway. Before I saw his message he had bought the other painting for the full price. I guess he could only afford the one for now. I can't say for sure it was because of the promoted listing but it looks like it, I haven't sold anything on ebay since early January then just a week after adding promotion to a listing I get a message about it and another painting and the other painting sells to that person. I think it's unlikely that's coincidence.
I asked the buyer how he found my art and he said he was just looking around for old trucks and tractors on ebay. My guess is ebay put my listing in a premium spot in his search. So success of an ebay promotion depends on people looking on ebay for that specific thing. Looking closer I don't think the promotion goes outside of ebay at all...or maybe this was just all coincidence. I added promotion to another painting, we'll see what happens. In fact I think I'll add promotion to a painting every few days, it doesn't cost me anything unless it sells and at that point I'm happy to pay.
Turns out I was totally wrong, the sale had nothing to do with any ebay promotion. I misunderstood him, it was a different painting he was talking about, not the one that was promoted. He just bought the other painting, just after I finished packing the first one of course. lol.