Get people to sell your art for you

Artists are telling me all the time that they wish they had someone else to promote and sell their work for them. Guess what? You can get other people to sell your art quickly and easily!

All you have to do is create an affiliate program.

An affiliate program is a system for referrals. Someone refers a friend, family member or colleague to your art, and you pay them a referral fee when that person buys something from you. Instead of paying a gallery or retail outlet, you’re paying a friend–someone who is part of your artist community and someone you might like to reward.

Sherrie York
Sherrie York, In the Shadows (Ptarmigan).
Reduction color linocut. 18 x 12 inches. ©The Artist

Here are five thoughts on creating an affiliate program . . .

1. Target your fans. You want affiliates to be people who genuinely love and support your art.
Who better than your fans to rave about you and your art?

2. Make sure your referral fee is worth the effort for your affiliates. If you offer a 10% referral fee on a $5000 piece, that makes $500 for someone. That’s a pretty good deal! But 10% on a $50-100 piece might not tempt anyone to go out of their way for you. If your price range varies greatly, consider two or three fee levels.

3. Get your ducks in a row before you announce your affiliate program. Look at other programs and set up clear guidelines. Know how you’re going to track and pay your referrals. There are many methods to do this, from the honor system to a sophisticated shopping cart. However you choose to set up your system, write out the guidelines so they’re easy to understand.

Chris Bolmeier shares her guidelines for her affiliate program.

John T. Unger uses E-Junkie affiliate links and has extensive instructions.

I use a sophisticated shopping cart system for my affiliate program.

4. Promote your affiliate program. Add a page to your Web site or blog describing your affiliate program and providing a painless way for people to sign up. Mention it in your newsletter, on Twitter, and in special emails to your contact list.

5. Provide the proper tools for people to promote your art. For the best response, send special announcements to your affiliates that contain affiliate links to your art or other products. Give your affiliates suggested promotional language and images so that they don’t have to spend a lot of time figuring it out. You’ll get a better response when you do most of the front-end work that makes it easy for your affiliates to copy and paste text or code into their emails, Web sites, and blogs.

KNOW THIS———-~> Someone out there (especially one of your fans) is ready and waiting to help you sell your art.

THINK ABOUT THIS—~> Who are your fans that you’d like to reward by offering them the opportunity to help you sell your art?

DO THIS————~> Get people to sell your art by creating an affiliate program. Once you have established your affiliate program, you will have a seamless method to keep the buzz going about your art through referrals.

I found a great article on how to start an affiliate program, which has plenty of resources for you.

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