Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Many artists have recognized the power of Instagram when it comes to promoting and selling their art.
However, most of them still do not know that the art selling principles and points have not changed from the industrial age, including some other luxury businesses.
Everything is the same, except, it has become more challenging for artists who lack information on how to promote and sell their art in the digital market and social media platforms, such as Instagram.
When it comes to art areas, we can include painting, mixing colors, extracting ideas and formulating it on a pattern to be an art; thinking, planning, marketing, and how to sell is an art form too.
The methodologies and values are hugely different, but both individuals and skillsets are artists who need creativity, special skills, and determination to succeed.
The Art Galleries
In the early days, artists were supposed to reach out to galleries to get permission to display their artwork for a chance to sell. If we take an in-depth look into this past system, we can tell that the galleries were entirely responsible for the artist to achieve success. They used to do the heavy work of marketing on behalf of the artist.
Access to capital and contacts was the power key of the galleries. Moreover, all artists had to do was focus on improving their art techniques, not worrying or learning about promoting methods or attracting buyers.
The split in responsibilities between artists and galleries created a win-win scenario for both and led some artists to achieve a high level of success in those days. That is how some artists like Picasso, Claude Monet, and many others reached wealth during life and after their death.
In the 1990s, the internet and the online world changed everyone's approach, including the artists and galleries. Some galleries assumed that they should take action, and it should be fast, so they started to list all their business and transfer the offline gallery online, to catch the big shift or otherwise, they would be left behind.
The online world transaction has opened new opportunities for artists and galleries to expand their awareness and business. Everything was the same; from the marketing and selling perspective, galleries were still subject to everything. However, when social media approached, everything became turned upside down; the artist is now responsible for everything - improving his art as well as learning from A to Z how to promote and sell himself online.
Selling Art on Instagram
Let us take the trendy topic about selling art on Instagram, for example. Today, an artist must admit that Instagram is the most significant platform to sell art. Their presence is essential; every artist should have an Instagram account, even if they do not know how to use it yet.
However, in order for artists to start selling on Instagram, they must understand the basics of sales psychology. Unfortunately, many do not know about this.
People usually buy from someone they know, like, and trust. So, they buy based on emotions and justify by logic. It sounds complicated and straightforward at the same time, but artists can apply this to help them sell their art on Instagram.
The Art price
Art is a luxury. It is the most luxurious subject to sell or to buy because it considered an indoor item, which means it has no public audience to appreciate it; once it’s sold, it means that the buyer decided to spend an amount for something to appreciate alone. This is different to buying a Louis Vuitton handbag and going out to the public.
Another example: Rolex chose their global success as a selling point. It means it is a high-end product designed only for a specific group of people who reach financial success in their life, and Rolex comes as a reward for the success they deserve.
But this is not the case with selling art; to sell the artwork, it should deeply touch the buyer's emotions to justify its price and the rewards on their mind.
To smooth the process, the following steps can be considered.
The first step:
Is creating a professional and elegant website with unique artistic content describing the story behind the art journey, then adding a website link on their Instagram bio, will hugely position the artists as professionals who are serious and confident about their artwork value. Besides this, the website interface and design must reflect in terms of the art’s worth.
The second step:
Before the artists consider jumping into the pushing sales process and spending on sales campaigns rather than marketing campaigns, on Instagram or Facebook ads.
Maybe they should forget about the sales, especially in the early stages. It’s somewhat like someone trying to join a university without a high school degree. Instead, they should do some research about the Instagram platform, and how it operates, to understand the basics.
Instagram looks very simple to use from the large picture, and that’s why it has succeeded to become one of the best social platforms for individuals and businesses so far, based on the simplicity of the use. However, simplicity also means extreme competition between users. If every user is operating the same on Instagram, then who is the expert?
To beat the competition, artists must learn and develop their knowledge much further than just knowing the basic uses of Instagram.
Then, writing a clear plan for their Instagram account and outlining all the crucial elements needs to be followed daily to achieve success on Instagram as an artist. This starts from choosing a decent username and working out the