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More and more artists are trying to sell art online.
To stand out in today’s crowd, you need to be an expert in your niche.
How can you separate your art from all of the other artists selling art online?
Find your niche and promote your art to the right people, the people who have a passion for your artistic style.
By the end of this post, you will know…
- What a niche is
- Advantages of focusing on your niche
- How to discover your niche
- Profitable niche examples
- Why some artists struggle to sell their artwork online
- Research your niche
What Is A Niche
What does “niche” mean?
A “niche” basically means a subject or a topic.
Your niche will be the primary focus of your website, blog, and social media platforms.
The content that you write and the artwork that you create should reflect your niche.
If your passion is to paint sailboats, that would be your niche. People will get to know you for painting beautiful sailboats.
By having a niche, you will be able to market and promote your art to the right audience.
You will not waste valuable time marketing to people who have no interest in your artistic style.
The more specific you can be the better.
For example, let’s say that you paint sailboats.
Sailboats would be your niche.
All of the content you write will focus on sailboats.
List of niche ideas for sailboat paintings:
- What types of sailboats do you paint?
- Do you paint cutters, sloops or maybe ketches?
- How old are the sailboats?
- What medium do you use for your paintings?
- How large are your paintings?
- Do you offer original paintings?
- Do you offer prints of your paintings?
- Do you offer commissioned work of sailboats?
Ok, now we are getting there, but can it be better?
Ask yourself what the primary colors of your paintings are?
In this example, you can even specify what waters the sailboat is sailing from.
You can increase the odds of selling your sailboat paintings if:
- You market to people who are interested in the specific types of sailboats you paint.
- You talk about the places that inspired your paintings.
- Describe the primary colors you used for the sailboat paintings.
- Describe how large your paintings are.
It does take some time to describe your niche, but you will be happy with the outcome.
Start with a generic phrase such as “boats.”
Make your specialty more specific.
“single-masted cutter and mainsail sailboat.”
Do this until you have clearly described your artwork.
You now have your specific niche, and you will be able to focus on marketing to the people who have the same passion you do.
Thomas Smale, Founder of FE International talks about 5 steps you can take to find your niche.
- Identify your interests and passions
- Identify problems you can solve
- Research your competition
- Determine the profitability of your niche
- Test your idea
To read more visit 5 Steps You Can Use To Find Your Niche
Niche Marketing Advantages
- It will be easier for you to identify your target audience. You will know where they hang out online, what social media sites they visit, what blogs they read, and what events they attend. This will help you to focus on marketing to people that will be interested in the art you create.
- People are willing to pay more for things they have a connection with and love. For example, people who own horses will be more willing to pay more for a painting painted by an artist who specializes in painting horses.
- It will be easier for you to be seen as an expert in your field. The more valuable content you write and publish, the more authority your brand will have. People will go to you when they are looking for the information you are providing or the style of art you create.
- Your collectors will become your biggest advocates. People love to share things they have a passion for.
How To Find Your Niche
Tip number one is always to choose a niche that you enjoy.
If you enjoy painting still life, that should be your niche. That is your passion.
You would not want your niche to be portraits if you never painted a portrait.
Your niche is going to be your full-time job. You want to do something that you love and look forward to doing every day.
- What inspires you to create art?
- What is your favorite subject to create?
- Maybe you love to paint ocean views or nature?
- Maybe painting vintage cars come easily to you?
- Do you specialize in painting flowers?
- What do you see yourself painting five or ten years from now?
- What medium do you use to create your art?
- What are your primary colors?
- What size is your art?
Take some time to think about what you would like to focus on and create. This information will be beneficial to your art marketing plan.
If you want to have any chance of selling your art online, you need to start thinking and acting like a business owner.
So, as you’re thinking about niche ideas, start with the things you like.
- What topics are you interested in?
- What hobbies do you enjoy?
- If you didn’t have to make money, what would you do with your time?
Take a deep dive into the things you enjoy doing, and start to make a big list of ideas. (Source: Mirasee)
Answer the questions above to find your niche.
Profitable Niche Ideas
Successful artists have learned that it is more profitable to only invest time and money into marketing to their target audience.
Now that you know how to find your niche, let’s talk about how to use this information to your advantage.
Below are a few popular niches with examples of where you can market your specialty art.
Focus on marketing your art around the coastlines. Try promoting or selling your art in seafood restaurants, seafood businesses, marinas, or businesses that specialize in nautical decor.
Research children’s toys and clothing manufacturers. Reach out to children’s book publishers and authors. Talk to teachers and daycare centers.
Focus on promoting your art to the specific cultures your artwork features.
These are just a few examples, and you can even be more specific with your niche.
For example, if you are a children’s portrait artist, you can narrow it down to toddlers.
Another example will be to focus on a specific location if you are a nautical painter. Maybe Key West-themed art.
Take some time to search through Google’s search. You will be surprised at how many different places you will discover where you can promote your art.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. People who own businesses are just like you. If you can provide something of value for their audience, they will be more than happy to help you.
Take some time to send emails to magazine publishers and authors.
You might not get a response every time, but there will be a day when someone reaches out to you.
Every email you send, you are building brand awareness.
They might not be able to help you now, but maybe in the future, they will want to work with you.
Why Some Artists Fail
Many times artists fail at selling art online because they try to offer and promote too many different styles.
I see some artists have paintings of animals, still life, boats, and portraits that they are trying to sell. They might even use different mediums.
- How do they find their target audience?
- Who do they market to?
Unless the artist has a team of marketers on their side, there will not be enough hours in the day to effectively promote their art.
By having so many different styles, it might make it difficult for a person to know you are the artist of a piece they are admiring.
Building brand awareness is much easier when you have a specialty.
Let me give you an example.
If you go to a five-star restaurant, you will notice that there is a limited menu to choose from.
The meals that they have to offer are all specialties from the chefs.
If the menu has too many different meals to pick from, the chef would never be able to cook with consistency.
The meals might be tasty, but they would not be five-stars.
Five-star restaurants know the importance of a limited menu that showcases the strengths of the chef. The chef will be able to execute a great meal every time.
You want your followers to learn your unique artistic style.
You want them to be excited to see your next creation or read your next blog post.
People become fans of artists because they have learned about the artist and have a passion for their art.
An essential part of your art marketing plan is to find people who will want to get to know you as an artist and have a passion for your artistic style.
They are out there, and they will be easier to find when you find your niche.
I do have to disclose that I know of some artists who do very well selling a variety of styles, but they have been selling art for many years and worked hard at building a following.
An easy way for you to build your art business online is to focus on your passion.
Your passion is your strength.
It will be the fuel that keeps you focused and motivated to be the best you can be.
Marketing and promoting will be a lot easier if you’re well-versed in the subject that you love to create.
Attracting your target audience will even be easier on social media networks.
Solving a problem your following might have will become one of your strengths. People will start to go to you for answers to questions they might have.
You will build brand authority and be seen as an expert in your field.
Isn’t it easier for you to trust someone who has a passion for what they are talking about?
The same is true for your audience.
Research Your Niche
After you have chosen your niche, it is always a good idea to research your niche. If there is a lot of competition, you will want to find a way to stand out of the crowd.
- Do I offer something that they do not?
- Do I have more knowledge of my niche then they do?
- Do I offer different mediums or different sizes?
- Do I use a different color palette?
- Can I teach about my niche?
- What do I like about their blog?
- How can I make it better?
Answering the questions above will help you to develop a marketing plan for your business.
Online Marketing Basics
To be successful in selling art online, you will have a good understanding of marketing. Don’t start by trying all of the newest strategies that are out there.
Instead, focus on learning about online marketing basics:
- How to find your niche
- Know your audience
- Artist Website
- Artist Blog
- Email List
- Social Media
Identify Your Niche – Like I have said, for you to market your art effectively, you will have to have a clear vision of what you are marketing.
If you had back problems, would you go to a family doctor or would you see a back specialist?
You would seek out the best back specialist so you can start living a better quality of life.
Why would you trust someone who does know specialize in what you need?
The same is true for most art collectors. They want to purchase art from someone who specializes in a specific subject they are collecting.
Identify your niche and start marketing that specific niche.
Know Your Audience – Knowing your audience is easy after you have identified your niche. If you specialize in painting horses, people who love or have horses will be attracted to your art. It is safe to say that you will enjoy some of the same things your target audience enjoys.
For example, if you paint sailboats, you have a passion for boats and the water. These will be a common ground you have with your audience. You will be able to connect with them on a personal level.
Artist Website – If you are selling art online, you will need a place where people can view your artwork and make a purchase. Many artists do well, selling art and crafts on Etsy.
Etsy is a great way to start selling art if you are new to digital marketing. If you have been selling on Etsy and you want to take your business to the next level, you will want to consider owning an artist website. You will have more flexibility and control with a website using WordPress than you will with Etsy.
Artist Blog – Marketing is about building brand awareness. People can’t purcase something they can’t find. Blogging will develop your online presence, make you seen as an authority in your niche, and build trust with your audience. Your blog will be the driving force that will attract your target audience and generate organic traffic to your site.
Do you need help with your blog? Join all of your fellow artists who are taking the challenge. 28 Day Blogging Challenge for Visual Artists.
Email List – Building an email list is very important for your business. Your list will be a direct way for you to get in touch with your target audience.
Here are some helpful articles that will help you to build your email list:
- Ultimate Email Marketing Guide for Selling Art Online
- How to Build an Email List from Scratch Fast
- 4 Email Opt-in Plugins for WordPress
- Best Places to Add an Email Opt-in on Your WordPress Blog
Social Media – Social media sites are a great way to build an online presence and to build relationships with your followers.
Your art blog, email list, and social media sites will work together to drive traffic to your artist website.
Focus on Your Niche
Now that you have an understanding of what you will be focusing on for your online art marketing, you will want to develop an art marketing plan.
Your art marketing plan should be split into sections. The sections will be your artist website, art blog, email list, and social media networks. Everything you do for these four areas should reflect your brand and focus on your niche.
All of the content you create should be about your niche. The more you write about your niche, the more traffic your site will generate.
An easy way for you to do all of this is by focusing on your blog. Write posts about your niche. Everything you can think of that relates to your niche.
After you have published a post, send the post to your email list.
Post sections of the blog on all of your social media networks and include a link to the original post. You want people to click on the link so they will be on your site.
Creating a content marketing plan will help you save time in the long-run. You will have all of the topics mapped out, so all you will have to worry about is writing the posts. You want to work smarter, not harder. The more you have planned ahead of time, the more time you will have in the studio.
You are an artist telling a story with no words. As an artist, you have the power to create emotion with color and lines.
As an artist, you have the power to create emotion with color and lines.
You are unique, and there is no other artist that can create art exactly as you can.
Take an in-depth look at what strengths you have and what separates you from other artists who create similar subjects.
Make a list of all the things you can think of.
Find your niche (your specialty).
Create a content marketing calendar and start writing content. Stay consistent with your schedule.
Promote your posts on all of your social media networks and share your post with your email list.
In time you will be the go-to artist when people are looking to buy art that you specialize in.
Popular Art Marketing And Sales Tutorials
Are you ready to take your art business to the next level?
Investing in marketing courses and tutorials will maximize your profit and speed up the growth of your business.
Below are some of the most popular art marketing courses that will grow your online art business:
Most Popular – How to Make a Living Selling What You Make by Megan Auman
Most Popular – Build a Successful Creative Blog by April Bowles-Olin
How to Build a Business While Learning Your Craft by Megan Auman
Pinterest Marketing for Makers & Designers by Megan Auman
28 Day Blogging Challenge for Visual Artists
Are you ready to start building an online presence?
Available on Amazon or Download your copy today.
The Productive Artist How to Live Your Dreams
The right mindset and time management skills are essential for any business. These topics are often not talked about but are key elements for your success. You will learn how to have a winning mindset and time management skills necessary for operating a successful art business.
Get More Done in Less Time The Part-time Artist
Proven strategies that will help you to get more work done in less time so you can sell more art and earn more money.
Available at Amazon or Download your copy today.
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