If you spend any amount of time on the web, and I know you do, you’ve seen many discussions on all forms of business struggling to adjust to “The New World of Business”. This is seen as more and more Web 2.0 companies are being started, then finding their audience, then acquired by a major corporation, oh yeah and forgotten by all when they are neglected by said corporation.
And if you read any magazines or blogs about business then you’ve no doubt read about the struggles of “brick and mortar” businesses floundering their way around the Internet and failing in their attempts to reach a new audience. Doesn’t it sound great to be in business for yourself?
It should. The small businesses are nimble, flexible, and able to adjust and roll with the punches.
You need to think of yourself as a business if you want to succeed as an artist. But I’m not telling you something you don’t already know… right?
So consider that most artists aren’t changing with the times. Most artists are still trying to fight for the same piece of cheese not realizing that the cheese in question is getting smaller, and smaller, and… well, you get the drift.
Recent article by A Photo Editor talks about the problems facing editorial photographers.
With more and more photography headed online where the distribution and printing is virtually free it seems like publishers could still manage to pay for original photography so their publication doesn’t start to resemble google.
While it may seem that publishers could do that, they aren’t. You’ve got micro stock photography sites that have just about destroyed Getty. Think Getty isn’t scrambling? How about Photoshelter’s take on Getty’s relationship with Flickr?
You have many choices when it comes to selling your art online. There are sites that will allow anyone to “dump” their images (whether it’s photography, painting, sculpting) on a site for free. All you do is just sit back and wait for the sales to come through (yeah right).
So what’s wrong with that?
The problem lies with having your work displayed next to mediocre (and sometimes worse) works. People have been “sold” on the idea that if you take a ton of pictures and upload them to a site then something is bound to sell. When it doesn’t then they just abandon that account and try the next site.
Do you really want to display your works next to that?
I say take control. Go with someone who is pushing your target market. Work as a team with other artists to help push you to the top of all of this “noise”.
Build an online presence! This is the direction that every business is heading. Having a website and adding it to a couple of directories doesn’t cut it anymore (it really hasn’t for a while).
There is good news. It’s still early in this game. The majority of people (including artists) do not use their ability to build a real online presence to their advantage. The sooner you start, the better your results will be in the long run.
This is going to be the key to successfully selling your works on a consistent basis, whether your intentions are to sell them online or to garner enough attention to land exhibits, shows, and publications.
So what are you waiting for?