Building Trust with Online Art Buyers

You Can Trust Me by Kris Jean

Building trust with online art buyers is essential. The internet is home to thousands of artist websites, online marketplaces, galleries and arts organizations. Standing out is the key to being noticed, but trust turns a visitor into a buyer. In a recent EBSQ forum discussion, I brought up the importance of portraying your true self online. For the most part, online buyers don’t get to meet you in person and a computer screen only offers a two-dimensional view of an individual. It’s therefore vital for us to show potential buyers that we are “real” people. We want them to trust us and buy our art. That’s not to say that an online persona can’t achieve success, but as it turns out, there is a trend toward buyers choosing to purchase from an individual over a logo.

EmptyEasel.com has an excellent article on building trust through social media. Here are their five tips:

1. Don’t Make it About “You”

“It’s about the community. People aren’t going to follow you if all you do is try to sell them stuff and promote yourself. Become a trusted resource, instead of a salesperson.”

2. Be sociable

“…the next time you think about listing one of your art pieces, take the time to figure out how you can present that piece in a more social manner.”

3. Show the real you

“Use a photo of yourself for your profile image, not a photo of your art, or company logo. People want to connect with people, not products or businesses.”

4. Respond to your fans

“When you respond to your fans (or customers)…have a conversation with them.”

5. Be consistent

“From how you portray your company across various social networks, to how often you post…”

I’ve reiterated many of these tips before. They are not new ideas–they are trusted rules. The quotes above are from the heads of different companies and marketing firms. Following these tips, over time, will build trust with your online following and when it comes time for them to make a purchase, either for themselves or as a gift, they’ll go with someone they know. Be sure to check out the full article at EmptyEasel.com.

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EBSQ Friday Five

1. Little Girl Ponies – This recent painting by Angie Reed Garner caught my attention when I read her description, I tried to recreate one of the million endless pony drawings I did as a little kid. I grew up around horses and always had a sketchbook. I had a million endless pony drawings too.

2. June MOTM: Space & Time – Love this month’s mandala by Maureen Frank: This mandala reminds us that while it would appear that we each exist in our own little worlds, our own little “boxes”…in reality we are all the same and we are all connected.

3. Trying out an Idea – Took Gallagher is having fun in her studio this week. I love seeing an artist’s process! Check out this post and yesterday’s for an update.

4. Sell more Art – Delilah Smith has some interesting tips and thoughts on selling more art, something that’s not so easy to do in today’s economy.

5. Do you have a newsworthy blog post to share with EBSQ subscribers? Let me know about it in advance. Email me at: amanda[at]ebsqart[dot]com.

Have a great weekend!

3 EBSQ Articles for Holiday Selling

Peace Cat and Cardinal Christmas Ornament by Lisa NelsonThe holiday shopping season has already begun, but it’s never to late to get your EBSQ portfolio or shop in shape for holiday shoppers. EBSQ has some excellent articles with tips and tricks for the trade. Here are just three:

The Importance of Online

Presentation

by Natasha Wescoat

Most people like to feel like they are actually holding that piece of art. They want to see the texture, the size, the edges; they want to be able to investigate the piece like it was in their hands. This refers to the art on stretchers, but close up details still apply to cloth canvas artworks too, of course.

Besides the fact that some people are already leery about purchasing things online, you want to help demystify them from hesitating from purchasing from you. You want to gain their trust, and help them understand the product/artwork you are offering in full.

They want to know what they are getting! Simple as that.

Read the full article here.

How to Write About Your Art

Melissa Morton

First, let’s look at why we should even want to write anything about what we do. The main reason is to connect with the people who view your work. People like to feel connected. This is true in all aspects of society and it is a valuable tool when it comes to promoting ourselves and selling our art. When I was working in a gallery, I can not tell you how many times people came in and asked for information about an artist or a particular piece.

If you are thinking, “A connection…thanks for the general and not very helpful bit of information,” let me elaborate.

When someone sees a piece of art that they like, they often want to know about the person that created it. A general bio on file takes care of the basics but often people want to know more.

Read the full article here.

How to Price your Art

Sonya Paz

There are so many facets to consider about when creating a work of art, because this category and subject can get very detailed and is quite broad based on each individual and style of medium. Whether you sculpt, paint, sketch, weld, to the many mediums and styles of painting, colors, textures media etc., you can spend more time in trying to determine what the final masterpiece will be priced at that what it took to create it.

First of all, don’t shortchange yourself, YET, be very practical. Now, this is not to say that you should give your art away but at the same time don’t give your potential customers unrealistic sticker shock either. Listed below are a few different methods that may work for you, these suggestions can assist you in some of the wandering questions that we have all experienced at a point in our artistic careers. Try one or all of these, experiment, you may find one that works well for you, based on the size of the piece, time measure and pace yourself. As you get started with this it can give you a better idea of your scale for pricing.

Read the full article here.

Congratulations to our free account winner!

Not long ago, we posted about a survey about selling art online.  All of the participants had a chance to win a free year with EBSQ by including their email address. We randomly selected a winner this past Friday:

Congratulations, Joan Hall Johnson!

Thanks to ALL of our survey participants! You all generously offered a ton of ideas and insight for which we’re extremely grateful. Look for an upcoming blog post where we’ll be sharing some of our findings.  And keep an eye on your inbox; our tenth anniversary relaunch is just around the corner!

You had questions. We have answers!

If you’ve participated in our survey on selling art online, you might have noticed that the last question was if you had any questions or comments for us. And you did in spades! I’d like to take this opportunity to answer a few of them publicly:

I haven’t tried to sell my art because I want to learn more about how to avoid scammers.

EBSQ has long been committed to educating artists about the scams out there. We have a private section of our forums available to share emails you fear are fraudulent as well as look at scams (and spam) other members of our community have reported.

I would hope that with this upgrade, that my lifetime membership will remain intact?

Yes, of course it will! Current members won’t see their membership status change as a result of the upgrade. Nor do we have plans to raise our rates. We know this economy has been bad for everyone (us included!) so our prices have not gone up since 2007. And if at some point we simply have to raise our rates, it won’t impact existing members. As long as your membership stays current, your rate is grandfathered and guaranteed to remain unchanged.

I have had trouble using the listing template from ebsq site and copying and pasting it to ebay…somehow it gets jumbled and does not have a professional look.not sure what could be causing this….

This is unfortunately a known issue with Google’s Chrome browser. Our relaunch will include a new version of our auction template which will address this issue. In the interim, we suggest trying another browser (we highly recommend Firefox) for listing your auctions with our template.

I’d like to see a Twitter button so members could RT their own or others artwork with a direct link to individual pieces, portfolios or monthly shows.

It’s safe to say you’ll be seeing this and other social sharing tools figuring prominently in the re-launch!

How do you check what your membership status is?

If you’re unsure of your membership status, you can either check your PayPal account to view your subscription status, or to drop us a line and we’d be happy to look up your information for you.

I think there should be a Mission Statement about the purpose and function of the site.

You can find our current mission statement here: http://www.ebsqart.com/Info.asp There’ll be an expansion of this statement and more information about the services we offer in the new version of the EBSQ website.

I haven’t visited the site in quite a while, but an area listing legitimate art shows for artists to enter with perhaps a feedback area from artists who participated in previous shows.

You can find current Calls for Artists as well as discussions regarding exhibits, trade shows, festivals, etc, on the EBSQ forums: http://www.ebsqart.com/forum/

I want have my name as part of my profile link address vs my EBSQ account #

This is something we already do, actually! All paid members have a unique url for their portfolio based upon your username. In my case, it’s http://gillie.ebsqart.com (please note there is NO www in that url). We’re also taking things a step further in the relaunch. In addition to your unique url (which won’t change) you’ll get a new regular url that will include your actual name as part of the address. In the interim, if you’re unsure of your unique url, please drop us a line and we’d be happy to assist!

Do you have a question for us that wasn’t answered here? Let us know by taking a few minutes to fill out our quick online art sales survey. The survey remains open through 14 October 2010.

Cheers,

-Amie on behalf of Team EBSQ

PS. Don’t forget that if you include your email address, you’ll be officially entered to win a free EBSQ membership! What are you waiting for. Take the survey now!

5 tips to get your art portfolio fall-ready

Art: Autumn's Yellow by Artist Amanda Makepeace
Autumn Yellow by Amanda Makepeace

 
We’re celebrating the last day of Summer here in the Northern Hemisphere by helping you get ship-shape for Fall and the upcoming holiday season. 

Is your contact information up-to-date? Make sure we have your current private email address for lost password retrieval and public contact information for people who want to learn more about your art. We’ve often seen members post that they do commissions but don’t offer a contact method for potential buyers.

Are your website and blog addresses still correct? How about your eBay and Etsy ids? Again, if we don’t have the right information, people aren’t going to be able to find you or your work at your prefered sales venues.

When is the last time you took a look at your artist’s statement? Do you have a “Hi, I’m new,” message that you posted back in 2004 and simply forgot about? Or notes about your Spring cleaning sales? Are you talking about your past realist work when you’re now showing a portfolio full of abstract expressionism? Have you done any new shows or changed galleries? Don’t forget to add this new information to your CV.

Have your commission prices changed? If so, don’t forget to make these edits if you have pricing listed on your commissions page. Or maybe you don’t do commissioned work at all anymore–you can always turn off this feature by unchecking the “commissions available” box in your profile tools.

Are you showing your newest work? While we do have members that update their portfolio as soon as they have something new, others simply upload a handful of work when they join and forgeddaboutit, letting their portfolios collect cyber dust. When was the last time you added something new? Every time you add new art to your portfolio, that piece shows up on the front page of EBSQ, which in turn brings more people back to your portfolio.  

Is it for sale? If so, you can add in a PayPal “buy it now” button directly in your artist statement. You’re also welcome to link directly to other venues where a specific piece might be available. (Just make sure you update your information if it’s already been sold!)

Have another great tip for getting your portfolio fall-ready? Feel free to share it in the comments below!

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