Are artists genuinely selling art as a result of twitter??
This has been a topic on our minds for several months since we first started with twitter. We see much sincere and engaging activity from artists sharing their philosophies, sensibilities, passions, and of course, their art. But is the online community building leading to actual sales?
Success as an artist takes multiple forms. The most basic and possibly the most important is being part of an artistic community and being recognized as an artist. This is like a secret initiation into a new stage of artistic life when one is recognized by one’s peers as an artist. It is an amazing thing…. This is one area where social networking applications like twitter have enormous scope because you can build a large community way beyond your geographical or national boundaries.
At some point though the word “professional” comes into play and by definition, “professional” suggests that the artist is selling their work, even if not necessarily making a living from it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the art is better – take Van Gogh for instance who sold very little work in his lifetime – but today we recognize the true genius of his work.
But lets say that we want to be professional and that we want to sell our art – does twitter help? We’d love to hear back from artist’s on this:
- Have you sold any art as a result of twitter and what was the price-range?
- Is it possible to sell “high-value” art to relationships established through twitter?
- How overall has twitter helped your professional art career?
Please let us know your thoughts on this by adding your comments – we are looking forward to a fun and rewarding discussion!
I've heard a about commercial artists selling stuff like obama t-shirts through twitter. Its hard for me to imagine how it would help with an expensive piece of art though. Most of the art I've sold has needed a lot of face to face time with buyers.
I’ve been using twitter for a few months and I really enjoy interacting with other artists – that’s my favorite aspect. But I couldn’t honestly say that I’ve come close to selling anything as a result of twitter. Maybe that’s because I am tweeting mainly with other artists rather than potential buyers? Good question though – got me thinking. Marc.
In a word: no. I haven't sold any of my art through Twitter.
I'm happy to use it as a way to connect with other artists and stay informed about art.
Welcome to Art Marketing secrets Barbara, Miriam, and Marc! Thanks for your comments. We also enjoy twitter as a way to meet and stay connected with artists and arts professionals – its fun! Lets see what we hear from other artists in this discussion…
No I have not sold anything through Twitter and I get very little traffic directed from Twitter to my blog either. Part of the problem I believe is that social media in New Zealand is in its infancy so it is much harder to connect with people interested in art.
My focus with Twitter is more for finding appropriate network connections in a variety of fields internationally rather than selling art and I'm happy with that.
Welcome Sandra and thanks for your comment. I guess that looking back a better question might have been, "Have you sold any art as a result of twitter?"
I am sure that over time some of these twitter connections must translate into sales even if indirect?
I have not been on Twitter very long, but one person said they plan to purchase holiday cards for their business customers from me. I know of at least one artist who has definitely sold stuff because of Twitter contacts and I find tweeting with other artists to be inspiring and fun. However, I have not found it easy to pick out potential customers for establishing relationships, but I hope to get better at that with experience.
Hi Amy! That's great to hear. Please keep us posted on your progress.
We have not sold art through twitter (yet!) but we have sold several paintings in the $1,500 – $5,000 range through connections built up through blogging. The combination of twitter with art blogs is potentially very powerful.
I got connections thru Twitter of a website owner who was building another website that sells dog and cat items. She found my cat artwork perfect for her website and will eventually in the long run put my work to sell there. Another prospect who loved my floral and landscape work was planning to use me to do children's book illustration hopefully in the future. Although all of these did not convert yet to revenues but it showed that Twitter could be a great marketing tool to connect to prospect buyers.
Hi Jude! That's a terrific experience which really validates the potential of twitter as a selling tool. Thanks for commenting.
I am a Ketubah (Jewish marriage certificate) artist and my designs are licensed to another company to print.
At Twitter I am trying few things:
1. Search for people who are looking to buy Ketubahs and direct them to my designs. I have a permanent search for the keyword "Ketubah".
2. Connect with wedding professionals like organizers, bloggers, and other wedding vendors, and through them get to potential clients. Through that I had my site posted on few wedding professionals blogs.
3. Connect with art marketing professional, related to licensing
4. Connect with other artists
From all of these, I hope I made or will make some sale, although the printer company is the one dealing directly with the clients so I am never sure where they are coming from (twitter or other places).
I also hope to make more connections and interest in future licensing agreements.
I have sold several pieces because of my presence on Twitter. As several marketing types have said, it's being there, showing up. It's been almost entirely fortuitous connections. I've sold pieces to @copyblogger @RyanBarton @bombhiphop @espressojunky @jasondbarr directly through Twitter. I really think it's a matter of being prepared. I just did a blog post called "Preparation Prevents Perspiration" about being able to say yes without freaking out.
Being on Twitter has also helped in general because I have relationships with people who've helped with suggestions and with spreading knowledge of my art. Right now, my main focus is on exposure and several opportunities came to me because of Twitter, like being able to donate a piece then signed by @DAVID_LYNCH to his @DLFTV. And getting to give a piece to @robdyrdek because of a connection with @JarodCapitalA.
The goal for me is one at a time. Marketers talk about the 1000 fans or whatever. It's really just one person at a time that matters. And Twitter allows you to give that attention, that direct focus to make people feel connected and like your only customer. Since I do mostly custom work, it's perfect. The constant lesson is staying in balance between broadcasting and listening. I'm still working on it, but Twitter's definitely proven a valuable way to reach people to buy and share my art.