Want to Rock Your Online Art Sales? by Artsyshark


Check out this article by Artsyshark on Artybuzz, a website that let you offer your images as prints, posters, wallpaper.

You upload the image, and they manufacture the item and deal with payments. It's good for a beginning artist or someone who doesn't have a website.

Here is an example of their mural art.

Mural Wallpaper

How Artists Can Use Twitter in Their Business

Greeting Card Designer Blog invited Tara Reed, Licensing Artist & Consultant, to be a special guest writer for "Social Media Month" and talk about why she thinks artists should use twitter.

Guest Writer Tara Reed

How Can Social Media Help Artists with Their Business: A Closer Look at Twitter


There are so many Social Media sites and places to connect online that it can be daunting to decide where you want to spend your time. Do you link-up on LinkedIn, share stuff you Digg, make friends on Facebook, Tweet on Twitter, swirl, poke, prod, nudge… it's enough to make an artist take cover under their easel!

In fact, when Kate asked me to write about Social Media, I got a bit dizzy trying to decide where I would start and what I would say. So I decided to pick my favorite site, Twitter, and give you some ideas of how it can be used for your business. Others can take care of the rest!

I joined Twitter in June 2008 because I was told to. When I started I had no idea what I was doing or what I might get out of tweeting, I was simply following directions. Since that time, I have become so enamored with Twitter that I was even put in what I refer to as "Twitter Time Out" - meaning I tweeted more than 150 times in an hour! I wear that as a badge of honor and even created a club - be sure to let me know if you need to be added to the roster!

So what is Twitter?

Twitter is a fast-moving, ever-flowing social media platform where people are answering the question, “What are you doing?” in 140 characters or less. You get very good at dropping vowels and abbreviating!

What can you do on Twitter to help your art business?

1. You can connect with other artists or people in your field.
Twitter is a great forum for networking, discovering and being found by others interested in the things you are interested in.
Twitter can become a support system so you don't feel so isolated if you, like many artists, work from home or alone in a studio.
Tweeting is live, active and in real-time. You can have conversations with those who are on Twitter at the same time as you or send messages to specific people that they will be sure to see when they come online.

2. Twitter can be a place to discover or share new resources.
I discover blogs or websites with tips, techniques or products that could help me in my art business all the time. You just watch what people are talking about, click on links and see what has their attention.

3. You can get or give help with personal and technical issues.
Once you start connecting with others on Twitter it is a very sharing and supportive community. I use Twitter almost like I use Google when I'm trying to figure things out.

4. You can connect with buyers.
If you sell your own art in galleries, online, on Etsy, Zazzle or any other way on the web, you can connect with potential buyers. One great way to do that is to decide on key words people would tweet if they might be interested in your art.
For example, if you do paintings of wine, you might watch who is tweeting about a trip to Napa Valley, wine tasting or other words that indicate they like wine. Then talk to them.


So how do you get started?

Sign up and find some people to follow.
If you have friends on Twitter, follow them. See who they follow and who follows them. One cool thing about Twitter is you can follow anyone - you don't have to ask permission, it is an open forum. It doesn't mean they will automatically follow you back but if you engage in a meaningful way with a person, they more than likely will.

Start tweeting.
Once you are signed up and have a few people to follow, start tweeting. I contend that “You are what you Tweet.”
Remember that Twitter is a place to connect first - not a place to jump on and sell. If you only tweet about yourself and your business, your results won't be the best.


Connect first - then telling about your business becomes more like adding value or sharing and not like a commercial in 140 characters or less. Twitter is a great place for people to get to know you - if you let them. And remember, people like to do business with people they know, like and trust. You can build that on Twitter with people you never meet in real life.

Talk. Add value. Ask questions. Help others.
Selling comes last… the key to success with Twitter is ‘slow and steady wins the race”. A good rule of thumb is to share, rewet and connect 80-90% of the time, and promote your business 10-20%. You will find people that say the opposite but I and many of my business friends who Twitter have found this to be a good rule of thumb.

How do you fit Twitter into your day?

Twitter is about being brief. Unlike writing a blog post or painting a masterpiece, you can get in and out in a matter of minutes. So get into a habit of just peeking in to see what is going on and share what you are doing throughout the day.

I like to use TweetDeck.com or HootSuite.com because you can create columns and see more of what is going on at any given time. I can see the stream of tweets from everyone I'm following, any "@reply" - meaning someone wants to make sure I see something or replied to something I said so they put "@ArtistTaraReed" in front of their tweet, or any direct message. (You can send a direct message, or DM, to anyone who is following you and it is only seen by them. It's a way of having a private exchange.) You can also create columns for keywords so you see who is talking about topics of interest to you and your business.

Twitter can be a very effective tool is used well and if used authentically. It is not, however, for everyone. That is why there are so many choices - because everyone likes different things, different formats and different ways of connecting.

I hope this has given you a better idea of what Twitter is and what you can do with it for your business. If you decide to give it a try - stop by and say hi! I'm at www.Twitter.com/ArtistTaraReed

Copyright © 2010 GCDesigner & Tara Reed


Tara Reed is an artist who, when not tweeting, is creating art for licensing and teaching others about the industry. Learn more at www.ArtLicensingInfo.com. Very active online and using new internet tools in her business, Tara has also created a resource for artists looking for recommendations for learning and implementing their creative businesses online. You can see what she has discovered at www.ArtMarketingWithTara.com.



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Discovering Social Media Through Art

Greeting Card Designer Blog invited Moshe Mikanovsky, artist, to be a special guest writer for "Social Media Month" and talk about his experiences of using social media.



Guest Writer Moshe Mikanovsky

I love art. I love the Internet and the possibilities it has. Until six months ago, these two were always separated for me. I made art, I framed it, hang it on the wall, I gave it as gifts to my close ones.


I went to art shows and art fairs. I admired art hanging in museum halls as well as on my friend’s walls. That was my right brain in working. The other side of my brain, the lefty, was used for Parnasah, or in plain English, to pay the bills.


I worked for 20 years as a software developer and it all changed six months ago, when I decided to try market my art and my brand name online.Here are few things I have learned since, hoping that sharing them here will help other emerging artists as well:



Social Media is about friendship

I have made many new friends from all over the world. I didn’t meet any of them yet in person. I spoke with few on Skype. With most, I have exchanged emails and tweets. I call them my friends because I keep in touch with them, and we help each other. I have written about few of them in my blog, and they about me, driving traffic to each other, and increasing our visibility online. We also encourage each other and support each other in success and failures.


I never dreamt before starting this journey that it will take me this route, but here I am, with my new virtual friends from the US, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Portugal, and everywhere in between.


Social Media is about opportunities

With the friends come the opportunities. I have seen it done by other people – individuals I connected with separately, who all of a sudden started making business with each other.


One example that comes in mind from my own experience – I have connected with a local artist in Toronto, Valerie Kent, who after seeing my social media efforts, connected me with her niece, who hired me to help her build her own website and blog. In this case my efforts didn’t materialized for the main goal I have of promoting my art, but to a new opportunity I didn’t have in mind, yet was much welcome.


Social Media is about ideas

New opportunities and new revenue drivers are just one type of ideas that come as time and investment in social media grows. But there were other great ideas that I came across, some I used successfully and some not yet. For example, Kate Harper’s idea and encouragement to create a list of sites for artists, triggered my most read post yet, a list that now include more than 120 websites, and directly increased 10 times my readership, as well as linkage to my blog, which as a result affected my SEO, as I demonstrated in “SEO for Artists Example”. Another idea was Jen Goode’s, who was first to introduce me to Zazzle, where I shortly after opened a shop and sold many products around the globe.


Social Media is about learning

Without learning we stay in place. Without learning our creativity will starve to death. And social media is about learning – from others, from our mistakes, from other people mistakes.


For example, in the beginning I didn’t like Twitter, I must admit. Why? Because I didn’t care for nagging people several times a day about what I am drinking or about a piece of art I am selling. It’s just not my nature. But I have seen other people doing it all the time. Of course I want people to notice me, but from that to harassing or spamming I saw a direct line that I didn’t care to draw. Alas, I took that as a learning experience, of what I am not going to do. I must admit that I don’t take Twitter as my main media channel, as no one else should. It is just one piece of the puzzle.











Social Media is about growing

Growing as an artist, as a person, as member of the community. Growing your business, your knowledge, your creative side. Just growing.

Conclusion

These goes beyond “what social media is” and how one utilizes it to help his or her business. I believe that the tools are there to make a change in people lives, not the other way around. I also believe that artists who are there to promote only themselves are doomed to live in their own lonely silos. After all, it is first “Social” and only then “Media”. Here here to everyone’s success – friendship, opportunities, ideas, learning and growth

Moshe Mikanovsky

Moshe is an emerging artist, who works with several media including watercolors, acrylic, printmaking and stained glass. His vibrant and colorful style is influenced by art, architecture, the Jewish tradition and the variety of materials he uses.


Moshe created his first Ketubah in 1995 for his wife. Since then he has created many more for family and friends. In 2007 Moshe started licensing his Katubah designs to KetubahKetubah. Moshe's work can be found in many private collections in the USA, Canada, Israel and South Africa. Moshe was born and raised in Israel. Following his job assignments in the High Tech industry in North America, he is currently living happily with his wife and 3 girls in Thornhill, Ontario.


Artist Statement

My art is influenced by my Jewish heritage, my love for architecture, art and color. Using the square, and in its multiply form, the grid, was always one of the strongest shapes influencing my art. I am always fascinated by ancient mosaics, made of thousands of tiny stone or glass squares to create detailed delicate images.

In short, I just love squares!

Art for me is a passion. Passion for creativity, passion for the process, passion to learn and advance, and passion for the people who are passionate like me about art.

Copyright © 2010 GCDesigner & M. Mikanovsky

How I Use Email to Sell Art & Get Leads

GCDesigner Blog invited Katie Atkinson, Illustrator, to be a special guest writer for "Social Media Month" on her experiences of how she uses the simple act of dashing of an quick email, to get contracts. She offer tips for artists.

Guest Writer Katie Atkinson
Copyright © 2010 GCDesigner & Katie Atkinson

In this day of information overload, art directors are blitzed with an enormous amount of resources for finding art, such as websites, agencies, mailings and directories, but sometimes the simplest and least expensive approaches are the best, such as sending email.
I approach getting contracts by sending an art director a quick email with a few well-chosen images.
But those images must be targeted to that particular client, so it makes their job easier. I’ve never had comparable success when I made up postcards for mass mailing or took out directory ads.



LICENSING CONTRACT
by Email

Last fall I was browsing in Barnes and Noble, looking for leads to license my art, and as I was thumbing through a magazine I came across an ad for a poster company. I liked their art and I copied down their website. When I got home I looked them up found the art directors name and sent him an email with my website and several of my illustrations attached.

Fifteen minutes later the phone rang and it was the art director! And two days (and several sketches later) I had a contract with Owl Square Press www.owlsquarepress.com to create an illustration for a poster and matching note cards!


ILLUSTRATION JOB by Email

When I finished the poster project I went through my usual questions I ask myself:

Who else might be able to use this art?
Who might want to write about this or promote it?

I decided to approach the magazine, Bookmarks, where I had originally seen the ad. So I sent an email with my website and a jpeg of the new illustration to the art director, asking if he might be interested in using this piece for a future cover.

I heard back from him that day and he commissioned me to do a painting for their next issue’s cover.

As an illustrator and art licensor, I knew to only sell the limited rights for poster and note cards to the poster company, so that illustration was still available for all other uses.


STATIONERY SHOW LEAD by email

One day when I was emailing out my press releases to local papers, I received a mass email announcement about the upcoming NY Stationery show. I viewed this at it as a “Godincidence” and thought “Why not send them an email too?” I hit reply and attached my press release to them as well.

I nearly fell off my chair when just 10 minutes later I got a reply from the editor at the Art of Licensing Magazine saying that they were writing a related story on the newly created holiday stamps for the U.S. Postal service for their Spring 2005 issue. They wanted incorporate my Christmas Seals story into the article and interview me!

CONCLUSION

The irony in this is that because I sent one simple email, they printed an in depth article and the pay off was bigger than I could have ever imagined, in terms of free publicity and promotion. Thousands of them were in stacks by the entrance to the Stationery show for all to take.

In May 2005 I attended the NY Stationery Show at the Javitz Center. Even though I am from a small rural and town didn’t have a booth, I felt I belonged, and had a real presence there when I saw the 2 page article in the magazine.

All this happened because I said “Why Not?” and I took a chance by doing a simple thing like sending off an email. You can do it too!

ABOUT KATIE ATKINSON
Katie has done many illustrations on the theme of Christmas, world peace and the holidays. She has illustrated over 50 greeting cards, and her work has been widely published in many different countries through www.images.com. She likes to paint uplifting, inspirational images that will have broad appeal. Her work has also appeared on Land’s End gift cards, book and magazine covers, CD covers and as Christmas Seals for the American Lung Association. Katie also enjoys teaching and has given many workshops on “Creating and Licensing Greeting Cards”, and “Marketing your Art” at the Norman Rockwell Museum and many colleges. Her art can be seen at http://www.images.com/artist/katie-s-atkinson/ and at www.katieatkinsonillustrator.com




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No Time For Social Media? Read This:

This author, Kathe Russell, who works in the interior design trade, wrote an excellent piece on how she went from being really irritated by social media and thought it was a waste of time, and then once she plugged her business into it, amazing things happened. Here's an excerpt:

"Having Facebook as a way to interact in a non-intrusive way on a regular basis with our clients has been the most amazing thing that has ever happened to our business.

My old clients are on Facebook and we stay in touch regularly. Because I am in the forefront of their minds, they now starting refer their friends to my company and our fan page. Some of my clients have even contacted me for additional projects.

On the social media network of LinkedIn, we got a real bonus. One of the friends saw a link to our Web site and fell in love with a project we did. This friend turned out to a journalist who wrote a feature article on our project in the January, 2010 issue of Sacramento Magazine.
This has generated some great exposure and a great deal of interest in our company."


Article Continued...

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