You can reach a lot of people using the Internet, but creating personal and lasting relationships is a more difficult task. It requires an openness and reciprocity that doesn’t come easily to most people. Not that we artists don’t have the ability, but exposing ourselves emotionally outside of our art takes practice and a thick skin.
There’s also a tension between wanting to sell our art and not wanting to be too salesy nor abuse others with self-promotion. So, how can we promote ourselves using a ‘soft sell’ or ‘no sell,’ yet create sales?
Here are a few ideas that members have shared in the Selling Group.
1. Share information, help others, and give encouragement on RedBubble
It’s easy to get mired in the minutia of everyday life. No one can fault you for addressing personal priorities and work, but it only takes a moment to comment on an artwork, t-shirt, or a bit of writing. Share your expertise or give another member an encouraging sentence or two about how their work made you feel.
These activities help elevate your profile – and work – on RedBubble. The more people that view your work, the better your chance of receiving a personal referral.
If you’re interested in sharing ideas or have questions about selling art, join the Sales/Sharing Group here. We don’t judge and we don’t bite.
Also, check out the RedBubble site and individual group forums.
2. Network web-wide with kindred spirits
Alerts and Blog Search help you find websites that have content related to your artwork, t-shirt designs, interest areas, etc. A practical example would be for the Game of Kings to track websites that talk about chess. Chess destinations and fans would surely be interested in learning more about a stellar collaboration featuring artwork about chess. Track them, and then contact them with a friendly head’s up about your work.
3. Add people to your RedBubble Watchlist, Favorite work, and Comment on work
Here’s a case of quality over quantity. Discover new kindred spirits, curate your Watchlist, and make insightful and positive comments that spur conversion and relationships.
These relationships can bring helpful advice, collaborations, and again, referrals. There have been a number of times that my work didn’t suit a friend’s aesthetic, so I referred them other RedBubble artists. I sent a quick Bubblemail to these artists to note my referral. It’s good karma, and the artists appreciated my thinking of them regardless of the outcome.
4. Publish a blog or website about your subject matter, geography, technique, etc.
The key to a blog is updated content. Ask yourself if you can commit to updating at least once each week – if only to post a quote and a link to relevant resources. Readers can visit your website directly or subscribe to a feed of its content.
Did you know that you already have a RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feed in your RedBubble profile? Just go to your Profile page, click on Journal, and then find the “RSS” button in the address bar of your browser.
You’ll see a page like this one:
Simply copy the RSS URL from the browser bar and add it to your iGoogle, MyYahoo, Feedburner, or other newsreader account. Outlook and Apple Mail accept feeds too.
Here are a few members that have used their blogs and websites to drive sales on RedBubble:
- As well as, Ron Moss, Bryce Casselman, Diesel Laws, Soniei, among many others. Please post your blog/website below.
5. Develop a rapport with industry websites
Giant caveat – DO NOT simply email a thought-leading website with a generic note and URL, e.g., “please highlight my t-shirt.” Try to develop a rapport with the author first.
- Start by reading their website.
- Make sure their content matches your artwork.
- Ask what it takes to be featured on their website.
- Send them occasional links to related articles unrelated to your artwork.
- You’ll make friends in no time.
6. Give a little, get a lot
Everyone loves freebies, chotchkes – whatever you want to call them.
- Email a digital postcard to a friend or contact. Embed you message in your artwork and subtly note your URL in the email body copy.
- Create business cards or product cards. Here’s an example from the always-giving Nuh Sarche.
Another way to share is to show works in progress. Sam Dantone is painting a wall mural. It’s not for sale, but I loved that he shared his progress on RedBubble. Whenever I think of costal scenes, I’ll return to this mural and then browse through his portfolio.
I could go on forever, but I’m interested in the things that members have tried. Add you comments below, or join the conversation here.