A Practical Guide to Promoting and Selling Art on Redbubble
When you start putting your art online think of this first – the audience wants to like it. Share it. Buy it. As a consumer I’m looking for a clear path to finding your entire body of work and as someone who writes about art I am on a steady search for something new. A new artist. A new design. A new take on an old thing. The art directors I know do the same – they scour Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and shops like Redbubble in search of new artists. We want to find you.
The following list of tips is meant to help you be found as many practical ways as possible. I’m looking at this from my own personal perspective as a consumer and someone who spends hours a day looking for new work. These are just some of the ways I’ve noticed that help me like, share, buy, and connect with artists and the work they make.
Link Across Multiple Platforms
Your Redbubble store should have links to your other social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc.) and each of those should have links to each other as well as your Redbubble store. If I find you through Twitter or Tumblr, make it easy on me to find your Redbubble shop.
If I see an image on Facebook I like, I want to easily find your store to buy it. If I share that Facebook post, I want a link to your store embedded in the post so my friends can find your store too. The below image from Redbubble user thepapercrane perfectly illustrates this — if this post gets shared, anyone who sees it on my feed can not only find his Facebook page but also the item’s page in his Redbubble store.
Facebook Individual Page Versus Facebook Artist Page
I see a lot of artists using their personal Facebook page as an artist page, so in order to follow their work the audience needs to either follow the page or send a friend request to a stranger.
If you don’t already have a Facebook Artist Page set up, it definitely helps to separate the professional artist “you” from the personal “you.” You can run ads and also not bombard family and friends with promotions unless they opt in to like your Artist Page. Plus, once you start doing repeated posts of the same image, it won’t be bothersome coming from a professional looking page.
Custom Posts for Each Platform
Apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to create one post and have it publish across all of your accounts simultaneously — this is an easy way of being ‘active’ on all your accounts at once, but it is not something I particularly like to see. This is probably just a pet peeve of mine, but when I see the same exact content multiple times across all social media, I can’t tell which app the artist uses the most, meaning, if I’m to comment, which platform am I likely to get a response?
My suggestion — use the same image but change the wording on each post. Twitter has 140 characters, so be brief. Instagram has hashtags and the ability to tag others, so do that. Choose a ‘voice’ for each. Want to be funnier on Twitter than on Facebook? Discuss process more on Instagram? This is your chance to use the same image but highlight different aspects of it. This may take a few minutes more than just doing one post across all platforms, but it shows a willingness to engage with an audience and with your own work in different ways. Try it. It’s at least a fun experiment.
Custom Images For Posts
Instagram crops all images into a square, so take advantage of that and create custom images. The above is an image from an item in my own store. I pulled the image from the store and the Redbubble logo from a Google search. It took a few minutes in Photoshop and once the first one was done, I can now switch out the item and re-use the .psd file as a template.
This same image can be posted across all platforms, and for those that allow it, I’d embed the link to that specific item in my store. The text can be changed for any sale or discount information, or a holiday themed item.
Don’t Be Afraid To Post the Same Image Repeatedly
You created a design you are proud of and posted it in your Redbubble store and across all social media. Now, do it again next week. Then the day after. Change the text a bit each time and keep posting it. With the speed that the digital feeds of Facebook, Twitter, and the rest move don’t be ashamed of posting the same illustrations over and over. Just do it. It might take me a few times of seeing the same image before I bother to follow the links and see what the artist and image is about, but the more I see it the more likely I am to go down that rabbit hole.
Show the Same Image in Different Ways
In the above example from artist JMFenner we have three different versions of his work “Behind the Scenes,” just shown at different stages of the project. Each of those three images could be their own post (linking to the store where you can buy the final image of course) and after you’ve done that just put them all together for a fourth post. Including the final image, that’s five unique posts of the same image and bonus, people love to see the process.
Also, don’t be afraid to buy your own work — get it on a mug. A t-shirt. Post images of them out in the real work. Close up photos or detailed crops to show off your skills.
Easy Contact, Easy Connect
Checking out papercrane‘s example above, look at all of the ways I can contact and connect with him right from his Redbubble store. I love that. What if I really like a certain design but it isn’t available as a t-shirt, I can connect with him through any of the social media outlets right there.
Below is Redbubble user Julia Blattman‘s store which prominently shows her real name and her personal website. When you click the link to her site —
She has a contact page with her email address and a link back to her Redbubble store for those that may have found her online through other avenues. Pretty damn smart move right there.
The whole point of these suggestions is to present a united version of you, the artist – the professional. These are the same tools that giant corporations use, yet it’s the independent business owner, the freelance creative, people like you that have taken to social media and showed the power of doing business online.