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Selling art online for beginners – two opposite ways you could adopt

By Jessica Craddock

Oct 06
There are two paths when it comes to selling your own art, but unless you have been following me for a while, you probably only know about the first method.

This one is the most widespread and will probably feel very familiar. Let's dissect it a little.

Method 1 for selling art for beginners: 

Lots of followers, high sales volume, low-mid pricing.
  • Your primary goal is to get more followers / more people to know about your art. You won't feel like you made it until you have at least 10,000 followers, but even then, you'll always want more.
  • You have a niche product proven to sell whenever you put it out there - and you make this over and over.
  • Your content is amply abundant and highly relatable.
  • Almost always relies heavily on launching.
  • You must sell to strangers, so your prices are usually in the impulse buy range.
This method can work. I've seen it, and so have you. You often compare yourself to these people and wonder why they can do it and you can't.

It's much more demanding and can be pretty discouraging when it feels like you're putting in hours of work and not "making it" yet.

This is why I most often teach the flip side of the coin...

Method 2 for selling art for beginners: 

Any number of followers, high touch connections, regularly raise prices
  • Your primary goal is to create superfans and nurture the people already around you
  • You do intermittent bursts of getting new eyeballs.
  • You experiment with what you most want to sell so you don't get bored, all while learning what people most want to buy and getting feedback along the way
  • Your regular + minimal content supports your art sales, but is not the main source.
  • Your superfan network, as well as some lurkers, become your buyers
  • You organically grow through asks and word of mouth.
  • Launches are optional. You choose how you want to sell.
  • The more superfans you create, the higher your prices get to be.

This one tends to be my favorite because it can work for anyone. You don't have to have thousands of people on your email list or a perfectly curated website. In fact, trying to have those things first usually doesn't go very well because you're doing a lot of guessing instead of finding out what works with fewer people first.

(There are some people with a large number of followers who use a combination of methods one and two, which can be really lovely as well.)

Why am I telling you all this?

I want you to know that there's more than one option out there. If you feel burnt out, there's another way!!

This second method is the one I focus on in my podcast, Intuitive Art Sales, which is about to wrap up season one!

If you haven't tuned in yet, don't worry, you can binge. One of my lovely friends on Instagram told me she'd listened to every episode TWICE and taken notes. I'm not saying you have to go to that level, but you could.

About the Author

I’m a mentor for intuitive visual artists to sell more work, more consistently, at higher prices — with better work/life balance. Founder @ The Artist Market Co.

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