This is the burning, exciting and even frustrating question that almost any artist asks.
And the answer is………it depends. I have told many artists that rarely does original art sell on the Internet. However most successful artists have achieved their success because of the Internet.
Think about it for a minute. Would you buy a $2500.00 piece of furniture from a picture on the Internet or would you want to see it first? The exception to my above statements would be if you are an artist selling prints of your work. The general public knows what to expect from a print in most cases and the cost is typically a lot less so the risk of their purchase is much lower.
So you may ask “what good is posting my work on an Internet Art Site”!!??
And the answer is again….it depends. As much as this statement may cause some of my artist friends to cringe, “business is business”. In order to be successful in business you need to build trust in your brand, reach out to potential clients and build relationships based on trust. You just cannot do the above if your only goals are to paint in your studio and post your work on a Website. Unfortunately many “Art for Sale” Websites are just that. I call them “post it and forget it” Websites. Their primary goal is to get as many artists and their works on their websites as they can and shove traffic through knowing that there will be a percentage of sales that they make a commission from. This is a good business plan for the website but it does little for the artist in the effort of building a brand and reputation.
Going back to the statement “However most successful artists have achieved their success because of the Internet”. The Internet are where all the people are! They are connecting, they are researching, they are shopping (notice I did not say “buying”). The Internet is the perfect place to build your brand, develop trust in your work and build relationships with potential clients and/or Gallery partners. If an artist does this they will eventually find a more consistent and excited customer base of loyal fans. Some of these fans may even reach a point that they will buy an original work from that artist from the Internet because they have established that trust.
I use myself as a good example of the above. A large amount of my wife and my art collection is from regional artists we have developed a relationship with. However the most work from a single artist in our collection is from someone I met because of the Internet. We own 6 original works of his and we have helped him sell 8 others.
Our website www.flootie.com was designed to help artists build their brand, develop the relationships with potential clients and their Gallery partners and to open a vehicle to stay connected to loyal fans of their work. We can be best described as an “Artists Marketing Tool Box”. We charge no commissions for sales and so we do not compete with other avenues that the artists offer their works for sale. In fact, we work as a supercharger to those places “if” the artist works to promote them in the description text box when they post a new work and then shares to some of the many dozens of social media outlets. Along with the social media sharing tools, we have developed a “concentric marketing” approach to helping the artists build their brand awareness by integrating this blog on Flootie.com and inviting them to share their stories and what drives their creative passions, we have also recently launched Flootie TV with artist interviews and video vignettes from artists around the world. Flootie TV is seen on local Cable TV and is available to all Cable provider programming as well as YouTube (2nd largest search engine next to Google). Our goal is to spread the word, share the works and help find fans of the artists and help them stay connected. We strive to teach our artist friends to not fall into the trap of “post it and forget it” marketing.
So when people ask me “how much art have you sold on Flootie.com” I will continue to tell them I do not know. I will tell them however that I know of many, many works that have sold because of Flootie.com and that makes us happy.