Development

Selling Art on Facebook – 10 Fan Page Content Development Ideas

Building a unique Facebook Fan Page for each of your artworks allows you the opportunity to build a following for a piece while you are creating it. There are a number of ways to create interesting, engaging and unique content as you work on a piece. If you take advantage of the opportunity available in fan pages dedicated to each artwork you will be building your potential market for what you are currently working on, possibly creating opportunities to generate income from it while you are working on it and maybe even sell the final work as you finish it.

Here are 10 ways you can easily provide content for your artwork’s fan page while you work on it Get more facebook live viewers:

1) Post your initial concept on the wall of the fan page as the first post. This will usually be a short narrative stating your initial thoughts and intentions as you are about to get started. This will set a baseline for your fans that you can then develop along or against as the process of working dictates. Watching this authentic development of your work will serve as one of the many points of entry for the fans to connect to both your process and your finished artwork.

2) If you develop initial sketches or studies as part of your process, post and discuss these as you create them. This allows the fans of this piece to really connect with you and your process in addition to this particular piece of artwork. The more your audience connects personally and emotionally with your artwork the more powerfully it will operate as a statement as it is released into the larger society outside of your studio.

3) At the end of each session, or other natural pause, capture and post a digital image of the current state of your work. Post a primary thought or two along with it that seems pertinent at that moment and at that point in the progress of your piece. Do not interrupt a hot workflow to do this. Take advantage of natural pauses or the breaks and ends of sessions to do this documentation for your audience. It also affords you the opportunity to step back from your piece for a moment to think and communicate about it at that time.

4) Have a periodic random drawing among the existing fans of the piece as part of your strategy to prevent attrition and help associate your artwork with a sense of value to the fans whether they end up owning it in the end. Do not use your artwork as the award in these drawings. Your artwork is what you want to sell and what you want to associate with real value, both emotional and financial. Use something with widely accepted intrinsic value as the drawing awards. Otherwise, you will find your audience just waiting to win your work for free rather than committing to purchases or engaging in auctions or however you are choosing to get your artwork out of your studio and into society.

5) Occasionally have a friend shoot some video of you at work on the piece that is the subject of this fan page. Post the video along with a thought or two you would like to have on viewers’ minds as they see you working on whatever passage of the piece your focused on in the video. Let the fans into your studio no matter where they live in the world. Let them into your creative process. If you do these things they are far more likely to let your artwork into their hearts, minds and spirits.

6) Raise money for your work as you go. Do you or could you develop any of your sketches and studies into something saleable? Maybe they already are in that state when you have taken them as far as you needed for the final work. Sell these work products along the way and you will be giving the fans a way to participate directly as well as to generate the funds you probably need to keep working consistently.

7) Engage the fans of the piece in conversation on the wall of the fan page. You will likely need to get the ball rolling by addressing specific questions and fishing for feedback. However, once you get the ball rolling the relatively safe environment of the internet and fan page walls will likely kick in and the conversation will take on a life of its own. Allow this to happen. It is tempting to jump in and “correct” people who are making statements different from your intent. However, the power of good artwork goes far beyond artist intent and actively engages people of different backgrounds and perspectives. Allow this engagement to take place to give your artwork room to breathe and develop its own audience out there in the world.

8) Run an auction on the fan page for some of the piece’s development work products or even for the piece itself. You can conduct the auction either publicly right on the wall or privately through the messaging system between you and the fans. Make sure you create a trusted and strong transaction environment and create a tab with the rules of the auction to refer everyone to before they participate. The auction session can take place over hours (not recommended if you are doing it on the wall…though you could do that in a live webinar type environment), days or even over the whole process of creating the piece with the highest bidder some number of days after completion of the piece willing the honor of ownership. Make sure you set a price under which you will not sell so that you do not end up letting it go cheaper than your current market level.

9) Create a tab for each saleable work product developed along the way. This includes sketches, studies, journal notes or whatever else you use to develop your ideas “off canvas”. There is often a market for these bits and pieces of what makes up your finished work. On each of the tabs dedicated you have more space to discuss what you were doing and what you learned from the sketch or study or how you applied it to the main piece. You can refer back to these tabs in the discussions taking place on the wall to add more depth to those limited size posts and to bring attention back to the studies that have not yet sold. In addition to building a real and strong body of thought, process and snapshots of your work process you are giving yourself some opportunity to raise funds along the way and to keep a public record of the level of interest in owning the bits and pieces and, by association, the strength of the market for your final piece. Such a well developed record and fan base for a piece may even present an opportunity for more income at the end if you offer to sell the fan page along with the work itself.

10) Set up and announce a variety of events around the artwork. Maybe it is going to be in an exhibition or you are going to have an open studio. Announce these on the fan page. Since your audience can be from anywhere in the world you might also want to consider some events that can be seen from anywhere in the world. Conduct a webinar where someone interviews you and open it up to fans to interview you as well. Or you could offer a live feed where you are working on a particularly interesting passage in the piece. You could tie this into a live auction for some of the sketches and studies generated so far if that market seems lively enough and you have a friend who can run it well if you do not have that skill set. Use your imagination here and in any case, record the event in some form and put it up on the fan page on another dedicated tab along with any thoughts conducting the event created in you and encourage others to contribute their thoughts as well.

For all of the items above that involve money make sure you are creating a high integrity environment in which to conduct the transactions. One example would be to not take the transactions online at all but merely provide the information necessary to contact your studio (or gallery if they are your representative for sales) to complete transactions. Put that information on the “ground rules” tab and bring it to everyones’ attention to prevent anyone from hijacking your fans and convincing them that they are the representative of you in sales transactions. Keep everything up front and above board and you reduce your worries about that sort of behavior ruining your online reputation. Of course, beyond that, make sure you do not ruin your own. Do what you say and deliver what you promise…always. Honor any other agreements you have made as well. If you are represented by a gallery that has any claim to the piece you are producing on this fan page include them in the process. They can help drive fans to the page and you will preserve your reputation in the gallery world. Those are just a couple of examples. A little thought and preparation and you will be fine. Also, make sure you follow all the applicable laws and pay all the appropriate taxes. Your audience can easily be worldwide so it is a good idea to involve professional accountants and attorneys as you set things up that involve anyone buying anything from you. The overall message for this paragraph is simple. Conduct yourself and your sales with integrity throughout all transactions and processes. While nothing can guarantee everything will work as desired that is the path that is going to get closest with the most regularity.

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