How to sell your work
Get advice on pricing, invoicing and selling your work as a designer, maker or artist.
The web is a powerful marketing tool and can be used to advertise and promote businesses, services and products through individual’s websites, news and blog sites and via social media.
A website, blog or online store is a good way of establishing your presence. Connecting these sites to social media networks can send your message a lot further and help you reach more potential customers.
Decide what you want to achieve with your website and start thinking about how you want to present the content.
There are two options for building a website:
Blogs are a good platform to present you, your business and your work or ideas. There is less freedom to create exactly what you want but enough flexibility to change the style and alter templates to suit your needs.
Wordpress.com is a free service that is hosted for you. You can pay for more space and design flexibility when you need it, so if you are learning, this is a good way to start.
Wordpress.org gives you much more control and you can add your own code to create a design that suits you and your work. You also have to host this yourself and you need to know how to keep your site secure. Differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org can be found on this page.
There are other free blogging platforms such as Tumblr or Blogger. You can also build a free site with a service like Google Sites (where you can also create wikis). Another option is a service such as Squarespace. It is a paid for service, but you can create slick looking websites with no technical knowledge.
These types of service allow for mobile responsiveness. Mobile access to sites means people can use your site on the go, like an extended business card.
Remember, content is king. Make sure your writing is clear, without spelling or grammatical errors. Include relevant images.
Social media is crucial to marketing and social media platforms allow you to share and connect for free. They also offer advertising opportunities at a price.
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are popular with both businesses and individuals. Visual platforms like Instagram tend to be popular with creative businesses who work in visual art, fashion, advertising and design.
Set up a page about you and your business and keep it professional and separate from your personal accounts. This is where you can publish work, add links to your blog or website, and promote yourself.
Choose the sites that are appropriate and relevant for you. Having a dormant account could have a negative effect.
Once you have set up these networks, you will require some dedication to build an audience or gain followers. There’s a fine line between promotion, conversation and maintenance, so here are some tips to help you get that balance right.
Your professional social media profile should provide content that is relevant to the industry you are working in.
Avoid repeat posting. You want lots of people to discover what you do, but if you post the same thing over and over again, it is considered to be spam. A quick look at a profile where the same content is repeated can make you seem like a promotional robot rather than a human being.
You can follow metrics of your social media platforms – the statistics which show how many followers you have and how they use your pages.
If you decide to run several accounts you should consider applications like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. These tools enable you to run a number of accounts at the same time and keep track of all the conversations on a busy day.
You need to think about the timing of your posts. At what time of day do your posts generate the most attention or the biggest response? If you are aiming at a market in the country where you are living, it doesn’t make sense to post content in the small hours of the morning.
Aim for daytime or down-time hours such as lunch, when people are more likely to have a moment to go on to social media.
There are tools to help you time your posts when approaching an international audience who are keeping different time. SocialFlow and Buffer allow you to set up a timer to post content when you think it will gain most audience
Depending on your industry or service, having a balance of genuine personality and professionalism within your social media profile is effective. Promoting your passion and the story behind your work helps to engage people.
A social media account that simply adds links to your shop or website for no other purpose than promotion can seem empty.
Starting out with just a few followers is a good time to experiment and see what works well for you.
Social networks are an opportunity to research.
You might find people who are presenting themselves in interesting ways online. They may play with the visual design of their pages or the timing and methods for updates.