Lost&Confused: What If It Just Will Not Sell?

A reader writes in today:


I am a confused 15 year old. I love painting but I need some extra money. So, I decided to try and sell some of my artwork.

This didn’t work out very well- nobody bought my paintings. Because of this, I realise I’m trying to change the type of artwork I do, and I don’t like it. Where do I go from here?




Very interesting question, and one that we probably all ask ourselves at times:

Why isn’t this stuff selling?

The question begs a whole bunch of other questions, too.

First of all: Should we actually change the type of artwork we do?

It might seem to make sense, but does it?

We make the things we make for a reason – whether that’s inspiration, commercial interest, or a combination of both.

So changing our style might or might not be a good idea.

But before you decide that, you need to ask yourself why things aren’t moving.

For one thing, have you tried for long enough?

If this reader is 15 years old, the answer probably is ‘no’.

It can take years – decades even – before things really start to sell.

Doesn’t have to be like that, but expect many months of trial and error before you see success start.

Next, where have you been selling?

Online? On the street? A gallery, an exhibition?

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, FAA?

Could well be that you just were in the wrong place for the type of work and the type of audience.

Selecting the right audience is extremely important, and you can’t skip over it.

Then there’s the question of price: if you price too low, people don’t take you seriously.

So while you think you make it easier for people to buy, you actually give them a reason not to.

Conversely, if the price is too high you don’t sell either, you need to find the sweet spot.

As for audience: you need a big one.

If you have 200 Facebook friends and a bunch of likes, you shouldn’t expect to sell a lot.

For you to sell one painting, you need hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of views before the right person sees it.

Also: one try isn’t enough.

You need to show up, again and again and again.

Tenacity is the word. You just. do. not. give. up.

Now, if our dear reader is in need of cash, then trying to sell artwork may not be the quick solution.

Like I said, it takes time.

My recommendation would be to sell custom artwork in the context of business to business.

Whether it’s for ads, for their website, a book cover or product packaging: most all businesses spend money on artwork.

It’s part of their annual investment budget, so it can be much easier to sell some of that type of art if cash is an issue.

Why not single out one specific type of business that you really ‘get’ – because of your hobby, or education or experience – and offer them custom made art work?

Seek out 20 or 40 of them, and send them an email.

Good chance you might just show up at the right time, and get a gig+some cash.

Send me an email if you want to give it a try – I’ll look at your email to make sure it’s spiffy.

Tip: keep it short, make it ‘for them’ instead of ‘about you’ and get to the point fast.

Or, if you just want to get your business head on and learn the workings of a successful art business, go here –> http://martinstellar.com/leap-to-more-sales/



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