Friday, April 24th, 2009
Hello and thanks to those who showed up for this talk – it was a great discussion on how to integrate the marketing of yourself and the selling/exhibiting of your artwork on websites such as Facebook, Etsy and Red Bubble. The following text was provided as a handout. I am happy to run another workshop on this topic in the future if there’s enough interest – or feel free to email me with any questions you might have.
Note: images accompanied these notes in the presentation.
This is a presentation and discussion on how you, as an artist, can use the internet to keep in contact with other artists, groups and galleries – and promote your own event – and sell work with the help of the internet. This talk will be targeted at those who might have avoided the internet so far, but would like to jump in and have a go. My motivation is to get as many HIP members online and as internet savvy as possible!
• Facebook – how to become a member and connect with artists, groups, galleries and events
• Create a website – how to create your own blog-style website for free, display your CV and
upload images of your work
• Increase sales – how to sell your artwork on websites such as Etsy and Red Bubble
What is it?
www.facebook.com is primarily a social networking website that is free to join. In fact, there are over 175 million active members! It’s a place where you can keep up-to-date with what your friends have been up to, send private messages to them (similar to email, but without an email address), invite them to a party or event you are organising, upload albums of images or video, and display what mood (status) you are currently experiencing – similar to Twitter  – which you can even update on the run via your mobile phone.
Each time you log into Facebook, it gives you a summary of the 20-30 most recent things that your friends have been up to. This might be a status update, a ‘Happy Birthday’ message they’ve written on your or one of their friend’s walls , if they’ve imported another website’s interesting story, or posted a link to a website they enjoy. It also reminds you of your friend’s upcoming birthday’s, groups or events you’ve been invited to and more. There are also lots of time wasting games and quizes that are a bit annoying, so beware of those!
Hunter Island Press has a presence on Facebook  (of course) and through an RSS feed  it automatically imports all the posts we add to our official website . We have also created a discussion topic for upcoming workshop suggestions from you guys!
Security on Facebook
It is important when you first set up your Facebook page to be mindful that it can be viewed by as many or as little people as you want it to be. This also applies to any content you upload – would you like only your friends to view a photo you’ve added? Or would you like to extend the access privileges to people within other networks or countries? It’s all up to you!
It is a common myth that when you add your details into Facebook, that anyone in the world can see them. This is not true. You have to ‘make friends’ with someone first – and this only happens through a request and a confirmation process that you and someone else are in fact friends. And even then, you
can give them access to all or a limited part of your information.
How can I create a ‘business’ page on Facebook for my arts practice?
You can choose between creating a ‘group’ page (where you can invite your friends to join) or a ‘business’ page, which allows people to subscribe and become a ‘fan’ of your business. This is most popular for galleries, musicians and other businesses, as it gives fast access to a collective of interested people. It also provides statistics (such a how many people view your page, how many view the photos and what percentage of gender or age your fans might be).
You can easily send a message to people that are already fans of your business page – for example, if you have an upcoming exhibition and you want to invite them. Or, if you are very entrepreneurial and have a ‘printmaking memoirs’ book for sale, you want to attract people to your page from all over Facebook. In this case, you can target, for example, “18+ year olds, living in Canberra/Melbourne/Hobart/Launceston/Burnie”, which have said in their ‘interests’ that they’re an artist, like art and, even more specifically, printmaking – which instantly informs you over 11,000 Facebook members match such a description.
Of course, this function is paid advertising, but you really get value for your dollar, as your ad will only appear on their pages. Whether they choose to click on it for your link, that’s up to the relevance of your wording or imagery!
You can choose to pay for impressions (how many times your ad appears on someone’s page) or pay for when they click on your ad (a higher cost rate). You can also set daily budgets and run your ad between very specific sets of dates. This is how Facebook makes its money (an estimated 300 million USD for the past year alone)!
How to invite people to an exhibition
If you have an upcoming group or solo exhibition, you can very quickly upload photos and all the details onto Facebook, and invite your Facebook friends along. We currently have one dozen fans of the Hunter Island Press business page, but once we have many more it will be an excellent way to contact fellow printmakers and artists, and invite them and their friends along to an exhibition. It’s important for us all to spread the word online and offline.
Business page and statistics
Once your page has enough fans to provide a summary, the ‘insights’ statistics can be an excellent way to monitor the progress of your page’s popularity.
Examples of ‘arty’ groups and pages I am a fan/member of: Hunter Island Press, Salamanca Arts Centre, AGDA, the TMAGots, Inflight, Design Centre Tasmania, ACT Art, Criterion Gallery, Arts of Tasmania, School of Art (UTAS), Biennale of Sydney, Crafternoon, Hobart Fringe Festival, Free Tattoo (never get a girls name), Six_a inc and Cat-Rabbit.
Groups and organisations are coming on board every day, just as the Hunter Island Press has recently done so. So there’s really no excuse! You no longer have to rely on accessing traditional mediums, such as flyers, posters, the postal service, or word of mouth. Facebook can help even remind you that an exhibition opens that very day!
Growing the group (without paying for advertising)
As I join as a fan to HIP’s business page, one of my friends sees this on their news feed. They sign up to HIP and a few more of their friends see and become fans too – this is how easy it is to get viral marketing going and the HIP group expanding.
The ongoing digital interaction helps strengthen relationships between people and entities. For HIP’s presence on Facebook, we enable a mix of current and new generations of computer savvy artists to keep up-to-date with our workshops, exhibitions, and what we can offer them. This relationship will be strengthened as HIP reaches out and communicates with its fans.
Our objective is to build these relationships through the creation of an online printmaking community, to ultimately encourage a ‘fan’ to make the next step and join HIP as an active and paid up member, eligible to participate in exhibitions.
CREATE YOUR OWN WEBSITE
There are so many hard and easy ways to create your own website within the World Wide Web. One easy and FREE method is to use Google’s own www.blogger.com – it only takes a few minutes to set up and you can share stories, photos and videos – using an internet browser or your mobile phone to upload content!
You will require a google email account (gmail ) first, but this too is FREE to set up. There are many default designs, layouts, colours and fonts, to make customising your own blog website as generic or as individual as you please.
You can even customise your security settings – i.e. give everyone a username/password to view your website, if it contains very private information. Or you can enable anyone to view it and find it through the search engines – even customising your own meta data . The great thing about this sort of website, is that you don’t need any software, nor technical knowledge.
It’s simply a framework for you to populate with your own content. You can automate a feed into your Facebook page, or advertise your website address on Facebook. And if you want to get really tricky, you can integrate YouTube to share the documenting of your artwork or exhibition – and embed a moving image file into your blog website, or Facebook page. Even include a link to your Etsy shopfront…
HOW TO SELL YOUR ARTWORK ON THE INTERNET
Selling on Etsy
www.etsy.com is a website for buying and selling anything handmade. When I typed in a search for ‘printmaking’, it brought up over 11,000 results! You can join as a buyer only, or create your own shopfront as a seller, join an Etsy online community, join a chatroom and more. It’s free to join and only takes around 5-10 minutes to set up.
Etsy fees and charges
You set the price for your piece of artwork. Etsy charges you in USD to upload/list an item (20 cents for a four month period). A sales fee of 3.5% of your total selling price (not including shipping fees) is calculated only when you sell an item. You receive a monthly statement for any listed or sold artwork!
Selling on Red Bubble
www.redbubble.com is more of an image-applied merchandising business – call themselves an online art gallery. They really allow the customer great control, as it’s the customer who selects firstly the art image they like, then whether they’d like it on a t-shirt, as a framed digital print, a calendar, or greeting cards.
Perhaps more easily available for digital photographers or digital artists, as you upload a high quality digital image. Red Bubble creates and dispatches it to the customer, all for you. You always retain copyright, choose which products to associate with your piece of art and set your own prices.
Add your profile to the Hunter Island Press website!
www.hunterislandpress.org.au is our own website and we have many member profiles on board already, which is great – according to our own website statistics, they are some of the highest viewed pages!
If you have a page already (visit http://hunterislandpress.org.au/sub/galleries) let me know if it requires updating. If you don’t have a page, there is no excuse! There is plenty of room to include a biography and examples of your work, along with your CV. Contact me to discuss your requirements.
I hope this presentation has been full of useful information to get you started.
Please feel welcome to contact me and we can get you web savvy ASAP!
 www.twitter.com is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?
 A wall is public space for writing messages onto your friend’s Facebook profile, for them and their other friends to see and comment.
 An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works (such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video) in a standardised format.
 Go to https://www.google.com/accounts/Login to setup your free gmail account.
 Meta data is hidden information that give a description and keywords of a web page, which allow search engines to index the page.
© Anita Wanless, 2009. Please contact me if you wish to reproduce this information.