Drive traffic to your shop without sacrificing your brand or voice.
There’s a healthy mix of art and science behind the creation of effective marketing material. One of the most, if not the most important thing, is a laser sharp message. In this article, we’ll walk several considerations to help ensure your message is clear and direct, but still feels like you. Further, the following approaches allow you to provide value to your fans while driving traffic to your shop because they’re genuinely excited to explore your work.
1 | Be authentic
Any marketing you create should consistently feel like you (or the brand you’re building). Luckily, as an artist, your fans inherently expect you to share info related to the sale of your artwork. Time and time again, I talk to artists who see selling their artwork as a hurdle because they feel bad telling their fans. To which I repeat, you have the luxury of sharing info related to sale of your artwork because it’s understood and expected. Artists need to eat too. Even better, you get to put your artwork & products in front of fans, in your way–using your voice. So, whether you’re trying to pass savings onto your fans or just looking for a bump in sales, be real, find your flow and let people know you have artwork for sale. They may already be looking for it!
I try and make all of my marketing material feel the same way that my art feels. I have a general color palette that I like to live in, and have other rad elements that I like to include (cacti, moons, stars, aliens, etc.) When I do pop-ups I try to make a mini-world of my booth so that everything looks consistent and draws people in. –Robin Eisenberg
PRO TIP: If you’re looking for a more passive approach to selling, you can drop a link to your shop in your Facebook or Instagram bio. At that point, you’d want to focus on growing your following so more people discover your link.
2 | Be very clear (for your fan’s sake) about what you’re promoting
This is called your “hero” message–or the most important thing you want customers to understand. This can appear as text in a custom-made asset or as a caption in social media. The easier your information is to understand, the more likely you will inspire action in your fans. Do you want fans to take advantage of an epic Home Decor sale? Say it. Upfront. Clearly and directly.
PRO TIP: Using language that drives urgency typically inspires more customers to take action. This doesn’t mean you need to fake urgency, rather, if you want people to know a sale is ending, make sure they understand there isn’t much time left.
3 | Include a CTA or “Call To Action”
Again, if you’re looking for your fans to do something specific, it’s okay to call it out. That doesn’t put you on par with the “hey, over here” guy selling sketchy watches out of an alley. This gives yours fans a clear understanding of where they can find your work through clear direction. The more clear your suggested directions, the more likely your fans will respond to what you’re suggesting.
4 | Lead with (or include) best selling products
If you’ve identified your best-performing artwork or products, double down on promoting with them. The idea is to send fans to your shop so that they can discover new, old and best-selling artwork alike. Art is subjective so you never know when the right piece is going to pop out to someone. But if they never end up in your shop, there’s no purchase even considered by a customer.
5 | Use product mockups to create custom marketing material
These are quick and easy to grab from any product page. You can use them as is or use to create your marketing material like Seaside Spirit below.
6 | Prepare marketing material in advance
With a bit of forethought, timing your marketing efforts with current events, holidays, seasons or even time of day, you’ll likely have better luck getting more fans to visit your shop. Ideally, you’re not scrambling to create marketing assets the day you want to promote. Carve out a few hours one week to focus on creating a handful of different marketing assets in advance, you’ll be able to focus on creating art when moment strikes. That includes picking out images, writing captions, or creating a template for sharing promo info.
PRO TIP: Depending on current events, you may find that old artwork is now particularly relevant. It’s worth revisiting your body of work to see if you’re sittin’ on any gems. Just because an artwork isn’t a “best seller”, doesn’t mean it’s relevance can’t do just a good job encouraging fans to click through to your shop.
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7 | Reshare fan-posted photos that include your products
This is as authentic a recommendation as you can get–someone proud, not only to buy, but to show off your artwork in their home. This is really helpful for prospective customers to imagine what your artwork looks like in their hands and homes.
PRO TIP: Tag #ShareYourSociety6 on any images that you think would be a good fit for our Instagram feed. We love sharing your artwork and your fan’s purchases. Also, it means we end up driving more traffic to your shop!
8 | Use Instagram stories!
If you’re really specific about your Instagram feed (not a bad thing), take advantage of stories to offer customers important sales info.
I generally stick with instagram stories when it comes to promoting my work. It seems like the less invasive, ‘in your face’ way of advertising. I try to post a few interesting pictures and somewhere in the mix through in the promotion, as to keep my audience engaged and inspired with the photos, and then throw in the promotion to perhaps encourage them to consider buying a product! –Luke Gram
9 | Find a balance between compelling content and promotion
Great content (works in progress, timelapses, finished art, etc.) excites customers and creates demand for your artwork. Promoting that your artwork is for sale let’s customers know where they should go to fill that need to purchase. Think of it this way, you’re actually providing customers value by showing them where to purchase your work once you’ve established a reason to purchase. On the flip side, over promoting can turn customers off because it feels dismissive of why they’re following you in the first place. With a little experimenting, you’ll find the balance between great content and promotions.
Because I market primarily through social media, I keep my posts personal, engaging, an not overly sales-y. –Cat Coquillette
10 | Experiment with a variety of approaches
Some artists have discovered that simply holding an art print in a photo is enough. Some add sale information right on the image. Other’s add a good backstory and voila! Here’s a handful of examples of different promo materials from different artists.
PRO TIP: If you want to test promotional material (like pictured below), but don’t want to break the look of your feed, you can post about a given sale and delete the post when the sale is over.
Last night, my roommates taught me how to drive a motorbike. We basically sped around an empty parking lot under the moonlight doing figure-8s for an hour. TODAY, I’m renting a bike for the weekend & we’re doing a “ladies biker brunch” through the mountains of northern Thailand. YEAH GIRL. ☠️ • • • This has inspired my latest design, available on my #society6 shop: society6.com/catcoq (Filter by “new” to see this first!
All in all, whether you’re interested in earning your first sale or boosting a best-seller, remember that a vast majority of fans are open to learning about where/how they can buy your artwork. It’s part of the process. Always use your voice. Push yourself a little to experiment, but generally, find an approach that feels good for you and provides value to your fans. We’re really proud of our product offering and and when a fan does purchase something from you/us, we take good care to make sure they get the best product possible.
Feature Image by Seaside Spirit (from Facebook)