Are you frustrated that you aren’t  getting art sales from facebook or your other social media outlets? Chances are you are expecting too much too soon and with too little work on your part. Crap, don’t you hate it when you get an answer you didn’t want?

“But only my family/friends/other artists follow me on social media”

Here’s the thing, when you start out with your facebook page, most people who you get to follow you are going to be your family, friends and other artists. These are probably not the people who will be buying from you. Does that mean they are the wrong people to have following you? Of course not! They are likely going to be the ones who bring future buyers to you when you create something they wan’t to share with their friends!

Your family and friends are NOT your target market!

While family and friends may occasionally buy something from you, they are NOT your target market. Let me repeat…YOU’RE FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE NOT YOUR TARGET MARKET FOR SALES!! Don’t get frustrated when they aren’t buying things from you!! Have you had a friend send you a PM about a product they are selling (looking at you who sell that weird tarantula mascara)? Did it irritate you that they put you on the spot like that that you now have to decline buying whatever it was they were selling? Did it make you feel uncomfortable? Your art may be far better than tarantula mascara  but pushing your family and friends to buy it isn’t going to irritate them any less.

Well, how am I supposed to get sales then?! 

First, don’t just rely on social media to make your actual sales. That is a terrible plan. List some of your work on Ebay or Etsy. That is where people who are LOOKING for things to buy are congregating. People do not go to Facebook to buy things. They go there to be social. That doesn’t mean sales won’t come through facebook, but don’t push it too hard there or you will lose your fan base. Share when you have something listed for sale on ebay/etsy/your website. You can even pin it to the top of your facebook page, but don’t just post there and expect the sales to roll in.

How I made sales through Facebook

When I got started with facebook I had a hard time getting followers at all. I would send out invites to like my page every couple of months (that irritates people by the way), and still I got very little growth from that. What changed was when I started doing giveaways. I would get little cheap canvas boards and paint an Italian Greyhound or other sighthound on two of them. I had a lot of friends who had sighthounds so this made the most sense to build activity.  I would list one for sale on ebay and one as a giveaway on my facebook page where I advertised the one on facebook and ebay. The goal isn’t just to have the little cheap canvas board painting sell on ebay, but to get buyers to see your other, larger pieces for sale there too. You can do the same thing with your website. I had one giveaway where I set up a contest where I had people submit photos of their pets. I posted all of those photos on my website where they could vote for their favorite to win a portrait. This did two things for me. One, it brought people to my website where they could see my other work for sale or hire me to paint their own pet (this was back when I took commissions). Remember, one of your biggest goals is to get people off social media and to your website where they can sign up for your email list, buy things and learn more about you and what you do! The second thing it did was get those who entered to send their friends and family to my site to vote. That brought even MORE people to my site and helped to significantly grow my facebook page. Remember, because of Facebooks TOS you can not ask people to share your post or like your page to enter a giveaway. But if you have a reason for people to WANT to share, then you can get the same results without breaking the rules!

I had a giveaway and I didn’t get any sales! 

You need to consider the long term. The point is to generate activity and get potential buyers to follow you. You may not get one of those new followers to buy something from you now, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to be watching what you create in the future and possibly hire you to do something special for them!

Think outside the box!!

You are an artist. This means you HAVE to be able to think outside of the box. Don’t just use those brain skills for art, apply them to the business side too. If something isn’t working, what do you need to change or add to the plan to make it work? If you can’t get followers, then what do you need to adjust? If sales aren’t coming in, what can you change? Sitting there and complaining online that you can’t get sales is useless at best, and harmful to your brand at worst.