Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Venture into Marketing - Part I

Use discount code WELCOME for a
10% discount on all paintings & mountings
discount expires 10/31/12

Let me start by saying that I have a new website/store online with my paintings. I am still with DPW as well, and this blog continues also. I wanted to try and expand my work into a larger market, if possible. And as the above states, use the discount code WELCOME for a 10% discount on all paintings - good until the end of the month

Getting to this point took about 2 solid weeks of research, tests & trials. I thought I would share some of it with everyone, as it turned into a bit of an education for me.

Marketing is not my strong point, in fact, I shy away from promoting my work. It's an area I am not comfortable with, and we always tend to avoid what is uncomfortable. But I also knew, if I wanted to expand the sales of my work, I would need to do something. So it was time to put on my big girl panties, as they say, and step forward.

I recently saw a online website that an artist friend setup, and I thought I would try this path again. The biggest thing I learned when I explored the online options is that there is a difference between a website online, and an online storefront. Each one offers similar options, but you need to decide what it is you are really trying to do.

A website is a place to show your work, almost as in it's own gallery. You can explain techniques, offer optional photos, and yes - set them up to work with a Paypal Buy It or Add to Cart purchase. It is a gallery first, with purchasing capabilities. It usually does not offer discount code options, or inventory control, and some of these websites require a bit of manual labor to setup the Paypal pieces.

A storefront is exactly what it says, a store. Less of a website/gallery, it does offer your paintings as visual options. And a description can be added to each painting. But the overall look will be more of a "store" rather than an artist "show" or "exhibit." A storefront does offer more robust payment setups than the websites do, with discount codes and tracking info.

This is all based on the testing I did. Here is a list of the online software options I tested:
1) Facebook with Payvment app
3) ArtSpan Professional
4) Shopify
5) BigCartel
6) WetDog/Quick Shopping Cart

My final decision was based on 5 basic things:
1) overall "look" of my online site
2) ability to do discount codes
3) some kind of inventory control
4) price options as pull-downs
5) monthly cost

I finally opted to use BigCartel, and if you head over to my store, you will see the display & options it has. You will also note that I have discount codes setup - hence the code WELCOME which is active & available for use by any of you that select items for purchase.

In my next posts, I will describe the online options I tested, what I liked - what I didn't. I will also explain what I had to do to make Nan Johnson Fine Art a reality.


CrimsonLeaves said...

A big step, Nan, and I am so proud of you for making/taking it! I wish I wasn't so saturated with art that I cannot even display all the pieces! But somehow, some way, some day, I'll be on the move for more.

Pam Holnback said...

Interesting. Will be following this to see more of your results.


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