Since the dawn of our species, human beings have been creating visual art, starting with the powerful depictions of animals in caves?
Then came a time when oil easel painting was the new, transformational medium for expression.
Ever since we entered the 2010s, the concept of digital art has been in the spotlight. It is defined as the artwork that utilizes digital technology during the creative process.
So, whether you have a daily drawing practice or not — digital art, when marketed right, can sell well!
Back in the day, artists were limited in when, how, and where they could sell their art.
They had to approach a fine art gallery, participate in a creative show, or put up a stall at a flea market to market and sell their physical artwork.
However, times have changed for artists.
The internet has made it easy for them to share and sell their work with people across the globe.
Today, if you want to enjoy financial independence, all you have to do is follow the following eight steps to sell digital art online:
1. Figure out what the audience wants
Does your digital art already have a fan base?
Maybe you have a massive following on Instagram or have a solid circle of friends and family who buy custom artworks from you?
If that is not the case, you need to do some market research to build a sales strategy.
Irrespective of where you draw — online or a physical canvas — your artwork will appeal to only a select few.
Say you love to draw landscapes and have been doing it for years. Chances are, you will find more success selling your artwork to nature enthusiasts.
Therefore, target a niche audience to sell your digital art online, and identify where they are most active online — specific Facebook groups, Instagram, or any digital art lovers community.
Get involved on those platforms and showcase your work.
2. Set up your business website
However, this option only works when you have a lot of artwork to sell and plans to add more to the website. Otherwise, the overhead expenses of third-party platforms can hold you back.
But if that is not a problem, then work on your website. Look up your favorite brands for inspiration, and think of a theme.
For instance, popular India-based illustrator Alicia Souza has a full-fledged website where she sells her product designs and unique motifs.
Alternatively, you must ensure your site is optimized with relevant keywords, keyword-rich URLs and anchor texts, and descriptive header text and titles to drive traffic organically.
Optimizing your web content ensures the search engines pick up on your keywords. That way, your search rankings improve automatically. If you are new to the world of SEO, take help from an SEO specialist.
3. Get active on social media
With a new website, it is best to use social media channels to sell your digital art online.
Leverage Instagram, Pinterest, and certain Facebook groups for the job. Post regularly and be consistent with keeping your growing follower base engaged.
Alicia Souza regularly promotes her designs on Instagram but to buy, interested consumers have to visit her website.
You can also pick up a platform to promote your art and then direct your customers to the website for making a purchase.
4. Leverage videos to spread brand awareness
Video is the most effective way to engage your audience and will ultimately improve sales. For instance, you can upload a behind-the-scenes video on YouTube and all your social media accounts.
You can embed the YouTube link on your website.
If you want to make fresh promotional videos but have no coding experience, you can take help from online video creation platforms such as Wideo.
Alternatively, ask your buyers to share your website link along with a video testimonial on social media.
5. Write blogs and promote aggressively
Write blogs on your website that show people what inspires you to draw and how you make it. If you do not mind writing, many design publications take guest posts.
Focus your efforts there to promote your individual artwork links or your website.
However, creating high quality, relatable content is only half the battle won.
To improve site traffic and increase your presence, organic sharing is crucial.
Social media is your best bet for sharing your blogs because your followers get notified whenever you share a link or post.
Another way to promote your blogs is by reaching out to other websites and asking them to share your content.
This is great for improving the overall engagement and search engine page rankings for your website.
6. Build an email list
Email has an ROI of 4400%, which means an ROI of $44 for every dollar spent.
This marketing channel has enormous potential if done right. With a dedicated website, you have the flexibility to create an email list for your customers.
This will give you a chance to sell your digital art and connect with your target audience. Typically, many businesses get a bulk of their sales from repeat business.
So, send out emails regularly.
Besides your artwork, you can also give a sneak peek into the new projects or artworks you are working on.
7. Diversify into other markets
Just like Alicia Souza, you can enter the print market and sell your digital artwork on mugs, t-shirts, phone cases, and so on.
Many third-party service providers such as Sellfy, Undullify, VistaPrint, ProShop, and UPrinting can help you create custom print products in bulk.
Although this is something you can do after you have established your online store and your digital art — diversifying into print products can help you drive more sales and generate more revenues with time.
However, start simple and then ramp up things as you go.
8. Create a profile on any online art marketplaces
If websites are not your thing, but you seek a platform where you can conduct business hassle-free, it is worth looking up Etsy, Amazon, FineArtAmerica, and Saatchi Art.
You can set up your profile and start selling!
Promote on social media, create your email newsletter and even write guest posts on other sites.
This is a wonderful option if you are diversifying massively and do not want to take the headache of building the foundation (i.e., the website) yourself.
These sites would take a commission for your sale; however, they would take care of your shipping and delivery.
Wrapping it up
We live in exciting times. The internet has made it possible for any creative person to leverage their talent and turn it into a full-blown business.
If you are keen to sell your digital art online, do not forget to follow the tips mentioned above.
However, at the same time, do not get overwhelmed. Sure, there are too many ways for you to market your artworks.
But it is best to start small — maybe with one social media platform where your niche audience is most active on and set up a site or a profile on any online art marketplace.
Once things start picking up, expand your business. Good luck!