You are a painter, a printmaker or a ceramicist. Or any other artist or maker, looking to sell artworks locally. Because marketing yourself online, or even selling on Etsy, is one thing, shipping large paintings is costly, and not without the risk of damage. So you would really like to explore the possibility of selling more of your work to the locals. How to you do this? Where do you start? Here are three tips to sell your artworks locally.
Of course, you can spend every weekend setting up a stall at local art fairs, when they’re on, but this is just one way of trying to get local business, and it is pretty exhausting. You can also try and get your work in local art galleries, but how many visitors do they get and is their marketing up to scratch?
In this post I share three tips on how to improve your online marketing in order to sell more artworks locally, without having to leave the studio.
1. Improve your local SEO to sell artwork locally
This is a very important one. If you want to start selling more art in your local area, then you need to make sure that people know where to find you. Think of it as the old Yellow Pages we used to pick up to look for a plumber. Now we type ‘plumber near me’ into Google. So submit your website to online directories (this will also create useful back links to your website, aiding your overall SEO), and to Google My Business. Here you can add your details, your description, your opening hours, if you have any, and contact number. Next time someone does a search for ‘portrait painter in (location)’, chances are you’ll show up.
2. Improve your long-tail keywords on your website
Another bit of SEO you can work on: check which keywords you are currently using in your content. Try and be specific, to up the chances of ranking high in Google. Make the keywords a bit longer than just ‘photographer’, as there is no way you’ll be able to compete with that one word. Try ‘family photographer in Valencia’ or include keywords such as ‘art galleries in Aberdeenshire’ in your content or blog posts, or longer phrases like ‘Scottish landscape painting’, combining location, description and media.
Check out my mini ebook ‘Simple SEO to get more Clients‘ to get started on improving your website
3. Do some ‘bread crumbing’ in local Facebook groups
Spending a bit of time trawling your social media a few times a week, looking for relevant local groups to join, can really pay off in the long run. Most will have a weekly opportunity to share your links, posts and offers, which will make you more visible to local people in those groups. Also search in those groups for relevant posts by people that may be looking for services you offer. This is called ‘bread crumbing‘.
You leave traces of your business in various comment threads, so people can go and find your profile if they see you can help them. The more active you are, the more people will remember you. Be careful not to spam groups constantly with your links, or you’ll quickly be booted out. Instead, be helpful and add value, or say ‘I offer XYZ in your local area. Please DM me if you want to know more‘, but without sharing your link.
Bonus tip: network, network, network
I see you, introvert! You’d rather hide under a rock. But the truth is, the more people you know, and the more people know about your art business, the more referrals you’ll get. Show up at networking events, take part in workshops, join a mastermind group, and become best buddies with people who know absolutely EVERYBODY. The bigger your network, the more work you will sell.
So stop hiding, start shining.