Podcast: Get people to sell your art for you

An affiliate program can reward your fans and encourage them to promote your art.



These resources are mentioned in the podcast:

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.

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

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15 comments to Podcast: Get People to Sell Your Art for You

  • Once I met Bill Wyland, he goes only by his last name, the whale and dolphin painter. I commented that I am a painter, butI don’t paint much because I’m no good at selling my paintings. He replied, “Oh! You get someone else to sell your paintings! You don’t try to do that yourself!”

  • I read this article in your newsletter. Great ideas. I’m really excited about exploring this and the discovery of two new artists! I also have to say I am soooo jealous of your 70 degree weather. I read this after I had just walked several blocks in our continuing sub zero temps and for the first time thought about moving to a more moderate climate. I love winter but this is ridiculous! Thanks for more great tips and suggestions!

  • This article is very timely. I have been saying the same thing lately, I need someone else to start the selling for me… after all, you can’t really tell someone how great you are as well as another fan. I especially appreciated the comment regarding how much to pay a referral… I was thinking the same thing, that the amount the affiliate can earn needs to be enough to motivate them… I’m anxious to see how others implement this practice.

  • The timing of your podcast couldn’t have been better! I’m working on my business plan with my SBDC counsellor and we’ve been looking at affiliate programs suitable for artists. Unfortunately, up till now, most of the programs we’ve found have either been attached to a shopping cart that is overkill for a portrait artist like me or over-the-top expensive (i.e., “affordable” = $500+ a month — Yikes!). I appreciate the leads in the article you linked to, as there are several less expensive possibilities there, particularly those that install on your own server and aren’t part of a huge affiliate network. Here are a few of the affiliate program challenges that my SBDC coach and I have identified for my business that other artists may share: 1. Low cost, of course, because we have low sales volume that is likely to stay low for original work (this would be different for prints or ebooks). 2. A way to handle commission sales (portraits, in my case), which generally involve a partial deposit followed later with payment in full. Often, these payments come in different forms, too: A check for deposit, but Paypal for the balance, for example. 3. How to incorporate phone or in-person sales into the system. Many times, people contact me by phone first, so their referral is verbal. 4. Integration with existing shopping cart or payment system without requiring major site revamping (like signing up for complicated shopping cart program). 5. Ability for affiliates to “self-serve”: sign themselves up, install their own banners and links, etc. I had considered doing it by hand — assigning affiliate codes, creating special landing pages for each, giving them their own banners, etc., but soon came to my senses when I realized I could easily spend more time hand-administering an affiliate program than doing art! Plus, such a hand-crafted program can’t go viral, so you lose the main affiliate advantage. Some of the programs in the article you cite allow you to add commissions manually, which solves two of the issues above: multi-part sales and offline sales. Several low-cost systems just install on your own server, too, which is a low-impact way to get started. I’ve started a table to compare features of the low-cost programs from the article above. I’d be very interested to hear what other artists have tried or are considering: I’ll add them to my list and share the result with anyone who contributes. Maybe together we can come up with a list of affiliate programs suited to artists!

  • Um…well… I just put a paragraph on my site saying to send me an email with a person’s name who you know is considering buying a painting of mine…If that person buys something with the Paypal button on my site, I will send the referrer a commission…( I wrote half, ’cause that is what my gallery gets, & this would be a direct from the studio sale…)(I may eat my words tomorrow…)(only studio works, not gallery ones…& I’m experimenting with just one at a time…)So far, the internet has been nil in sales for me, so half the sale is worth it to me…)

  • Alyson Stanfield

    Melissa: That’s easy for Wyland to say! But he had to sell the idea of the paintings to someone in the first place. Right? You have to sell the idea of your paintings to any affiliates. WHY would they want to sell your work for you? Susan: Thank you for your list! I may pull it out and make it a new post. Sari: I think that’s fine, but I really think you have to work it–and I think you have to have a super “unique product” (for lack of better phrasing) in order to get your fans excited about it and believing in it.

  • Gosh…since putting up the little paragraph last night, traffic has increased substantially & an old collector got in touch…(it looks like offering 50% for a buyer referral is ok for uniqueness…-but I just got your ‘generate buzz’ mp3 just to be safe…thanks…)

  • Your podcast about getting others to sell your art was so timely. I was just trying to figure out how to sell more art in 2009. I’m going to try to set up an Affiliate Program! Mine will be very low end — with payments by check. Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas of how to pull it all together.

  • Update…I took the affiliate offer off my websites…husband says we are not paying a finder’s fee…sigh…he’s probably right…(but it certainly piqued a lot of interest…) maybe use this as a secret weapon, sparingly…(also, I think my gallery gets jealous when I do stuff without them…)

  • Update…I took the affiliate offer off my websites…husband says we are not paying a finder’s fee…sigh…he’s probably right…(but it certainly piqued a lot of interest…) maybe use this as a secret weapon, sparingly…(also, I think my gallery gets jealous when I do stuff without them…)

  • dinayen Wirba Henry

    Dear I will like you to communicate with me and to lead in in my artistic works. I am still an amateur who is looking for links in the world. The world of arts is such a large one. I hope to hear from you. i am a catholic priest, I do liturgical arts as well. I hope to get new ideas from you. Bye and God bless you.

  • Rodney Maraist

    Thanks for the information. I am new to this and this is a big help.

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