Episode 229 – New Markets for Artists / eBay

eBay

By now, everyone is familiar with eBay, a huge, largely auction-based marketplace where many artists have sold their work. In general, when an artist sells his or her work at an auction like Sotheby’s or Christie’s, their market value is established. Similarly, if you sell work regularly on eBay, it will increase in value over time.

For example, let’s say you put up a small drawing or painting and it sells for $50 at first. As long as your art continues to sell for about the same amount, that value is being established as what people will generally pay. But if you keep selling your art on eBay, week after week for a year or more, you will see the prices rise slightly, especially if you are promoting your artwork on your blog and Facebook. When the prices rise, you are establishing real value for your work. You will read more about artists who have done exactly that in chapter 6.

Putting Everything Together: Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and More

Perhaps all of this sounds overwhelming—as it probably should—but there are ways to simplify all of the social networking you’ll need to do to promote yourself and your art effectively. One way is to hire someone. That person is called a social media manager, and this is one of the fastest growing jobs right now. Because small businesses everywhere are realizing that the phone book and traditional ads are not cutting it anymore, they are hiring social media experts to do all their tweeting, blogging, and Facebook status updates. That is an option for you; however, you could easily do it all yourself using a central hub, which I will explain in a moment. Another option is to become a social media manager yourself. You could make a good part-time income or even take it on full time. I will explain this as well.

Dashboards

The way to bring it all together is through a central system, or dashboard. That means that all your social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, WordPress or Tumblr, and more—can be controlled through one, easy-to-use program. The program that I use is called HootSuite, but there are others, like Tweetdeck. What these programs do is organize all of your social platforms, simply and elegantly. If you use HootSuite, which at the moment has more tools that TweetDeck, you will be able to manage all of your platforms by logging into them all at once. Then you have several choices. You can send a tweet just once, about your art or an upcoming show, for example, and it will automatically appear on every other platform with the touch of a button. That way you do not have to spend time looking at each one; you just enter an update or a new image you made and it goes out everywhere. That saves you lots of time, so that after under thirty minutes, not only will you have updated all your sites, you’ll have also poked around and “liked” other people’s comments or made your own comments. It is called social networking for a reason, so you have to remember that it’s not all about you; it’s about the community you are in. Just as you like to receive comments on your updates and new images, so do other people. If you comment on their posts in a way that shows a sincere interest in them, they will take an interest in you as well. This is what the new online community is all about, and it has fundamentally changed the way products are marketed. It is now a give and take that people want, a way to give and get feedback on everything from travel photos to their latest interests  and passions.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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