Golden Rules for Selling Photography and Artwork.
Once you commit to selling your images there are some ‘Golden Rules’ for selling your work. We have many years experience of dealing with both sides of the process as printers, artists, photographers and curators. The romantic idyll of being discovered in our studios by a benign wealthy benefactor or collector are long gone, now it is a game of hide ‘n’ seek in the vastness of the internet that can seem strangely intimate and also the loneliest space to occupy.
Here are a few guidelines to help you get ahead and hopefully be seen in amongst the millions of images out there.
Tag, tag, tag and imaginatively title your images.
A full description however over simplistic it may seem to you is incredibly important. ‘Tags” are embedded in the image and that is what the little spiders search for. You may know Corfe Castle is in Dorset but it doesn’t mean someone from Norfolk or Australia would. We deal with many enquiries via email and if the image isn’t well defined the client can forget which image it is or who by that they are interested in and they lose interest quickly. A great example of a well titled image is ‘Archway to Heaven’ which is memorable as well as a stunning image.
Keep your public informed.
Write about your news and blog. Again this is about helping direct ‘traffic’ back to your work. Our blog has reached over 30,000 people and whilst you may not get immediate feedback clients often refer back to something they’ve read which they found fascinating or will pencil in a particular piece of news.
Refresh your portfolios, show an interest in what you do. Keep your groups to no more than 15 images. If you have too many in any one portfolio the buying public lose interest and stop scrolling. Keep them well edited and short. This forces the viewing public to come back to the beginning or search for more. If you show enthusiasm in what you do this will show through your work and resonate with the buying public. You may only ever sell one image over and over again however it is the body of work around it that gives the buying public the confidence to invest in you and your story.
Be generous be Bold.
There is so much goodwill towards what you do either from friends or family or in our community. Engage with other photographers praise and share their work, ask advice and you’ll see how encouraging their response is. Ask questions about your own work, this is your free ‘market research’. Buy samples to decorate your home or office or give your work as a gift for a birthday. It will be the start of many conversations ‘Wow where can I buy that’ ‘I didn’t know you were a photographer’. Small A4 prints on aluminium make lovely ‘cards’ that will then be propped up on mantelpieces or kitchen windows for years. Photography cries out for being printed in large format. Our most popular sizes that we sell are 60cm x 90cm and they look stunning and elegant on aluminium which is waterproof, UV resistant and the modern way to show photography, what’s not to like in your sales pitch!
Make Mailchimp your friend.
Here at the Shed HQ we write 3 different mailshots. One to our community, one to existing customers and those who have expressed an interest in what we do and one to possible clients. Think along the same lines. Send a quarterly email talking about what you’ve achieved and where your audience can buy your work. Send one to friends asking for support, one to people who you’ve met along the way and one to a targeted audience. If you live in a town then write to the local hospital asking if they would like to exhibit your work. Show a local interior designer or pub your work. If you need some help curating a show then contact Chelsea and she is more than happy to help pull together an idea or body of work. Ben is also on hand to help with the technical printing aspects and how to install.
The Golden Rule and Social media.
The Internet is a wonderful time wasting, soul destroying, mystifying, potential market place. Social media is about directing traffic to your profile not away to further social media platforms, don’t give your client the opportunity to get distracted and click away to a video of kittens. Make every tweet, post, blog a ‘Call to Action’. It may seem trite but our moto is ‘Likes are Vanity, Sales are Sanity’. Every single time you post an image anywhere it is imperative that the link goes back to somewhere it can be bought from. Lean in, as the Americans say, point out in bold letters BUY this image HERE. Why else would you post on the Internet? To be copied to give your angles and ideas away? No, it’s to find a client. So before you post your new work, upload it first to your profile where it will be watermarked. Someone who is busy does not want to write an email asking if it is available to buy. If they have a query we are here to field those emails. Make it obvious and make it simple. Copy the URL from the top of your profile or the image itself and include it in the post.
Love what you do.
This, above all, is what will make you successful!!