Most artists want to sell more art. Many of them want to sell their art online.
So where do they start? Generally, the first urge is to start by building a website. You definitely need a presence online to start selling art online, but building your own website isn’t always the best approach.
Artists may ask a friend to build them a snappy website on the cheap or they may try to do it themselves, but this is like cutting your own hair. I don’t recommend it.
Even more important is that having just a website is like having a store without a cash register.
If artists actually want to sell product online, artists need an eCommerce site.
But before an artist can start an online enterprise they must ask themselves a very important question.
“Do I want to try to find an art gallery to represent my work or do I want to build my own business, cultivate relationships directly with collectors, and keep all of the money.”
Why ask this? Because, in general, art gallery owners will not appreciate your honing in on their market for your work. And they may even refuse to represent you. So this is an important decision that deserves considerable attention.
Let’s just assume that you want to sell your work and keep all of the money. Wa La! Now you are not just an artist, you are now an entrepreneur!
So how do you even start to develop your art business?
Well, there are many paths to truth, so this may or may not work for you, but here is the basic sequence that I followed to build my art enterprise.
1. define Blue Ocean Strategy
2. define the target market who will benefit
3. outline features versus benefits of your art “product”
4. define brand positioning
5. complete one page business plan
6. calendar marketing strategies
7. launch eCommerce site
8. rinse and repeat
“Rinse and repeat?” Yes. Every business must evolve and improve as new lessons present themselves. Yes, “lessons” versus problems.
Business savvy artists should complete this eight step exercise at least once a year and review it continuously.