Girl Scout Alum Offers 6 Ways to Sell Your Art Right Now
Photo Credit: RF._.studio/Pexels
For many artists, recognition is the ultimate payoff. While verbal acknowledgment feels great, earning a living selling work is an even bigger reward. To help artists do this, Girl Scout alum Linda Barutha works as an “artist income strategist,” specializing in arts and crafts mediums. “I get super-excited about showing artists all different ways they can get started selling their artwork,” she tells CircleAround.
The founder of Artist2CEO, LLC, Barutha focuses on helping artists use the Internet to increase their sales. “With 20 years not only as an artist who successfully ran a brick-and-mortar business and invented an art substrate, I am also a PC consultant and web designer,” says Barutha. "[I] understand the unique demands of selling, both in-person and online, successfully.”
CircleAround asked Barutha to provide some tips for burgeoning artists looking to make a living doing what they love.
1. Help Buyers Envision Your Art in Their Lives
“When looking to post a photo of your artwork online, don’t just quickly snap a photo. Instead, show that piece in a lifestyle setting.”
This tactic is very useful, especially if your art is more abstract. It’s important to help people imagine what that piece of artwork looks like in their everyday life. Creating a setting (or series of settings) where the piece may be used can help them connect better with your work, and persuade them that your art is worth buying.
2. Develop Informative Materials
As with any business, it’s important to market your work so that you can provide prospective buyers with as much information as possible. These materials can be distributed far and wide, and don’t require a lot of extra work.
“Create an online LookBook that features your art in a series,” suggests Barutha. “You can create a PDF and upload it to issuu.com. For a small fee, you can also include hyperlinks in your publication, so people can click over to your online shop. You can also feature your publication from your blog or website.”
3. Create Behind-the-Scenes Content
Social media is a great way to connect with customers, and many of the more popular posts are from artists who give a sneak peek into how they create their art. It provides a level of authenticity to show prospective buyers that the end product truly comes from you, and no one else.
“Use IGTV or Instagram Reels to show your creation process,” says Barutha. “Customers are fascinated by watching bits of your process. It helps them get to know you better and features your talents.”
4. Get Creative with Marketing
Outside of the Internet, there are ways to capture the attention of new customers in tangible ways. Barutha has one creative suggestion: “Repurpose your artwork onto a product like a mini notepad. Include your website and any type of call to action like ‘See more at:’. Then donate the mini notepads to event coordinators for their swag bags. It’s such an inexpensive way to get the word out and give them a taste of your style.”
5. Explore Local Opportunities to Expand Your Network
Showcase your art right in your own neighborhood, which can increase awareness for your work and help you connect with local customers who may become loyal fans.
Barutha suggests a common strategy that allows local businesses to display art while also gaining mutual profit: “Approach a local coffee shop, bakery, or restaurant to hang your artwork in their shop, and sell it with a small percentage of sales going to the shop owner.”
6. Network with Others in Your Industry
It might feel counterintuitive, but collaboration is not always the same as competition in the arts field. You may be exposed to new buyers and opportunities by connecting with other artists.
“Collaborate with other artisans to host a virtual trunk show,” suggests Barutha. “With each of you advertising the event online, you are getting exposure to a whole new audience. Each artisan can be on a Zoom call and give a nice walkthrough of what it is they have to offer.”