Sell Your Art Masterclass Part 2 | Melanie Greenwood | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (1h 29m)
    • 1. Trailer Sell Your Art Masterclass Part 2

      1:53
    • 2. Choosing Selling Platform Etsy

      16:48
    • 3. Choosing Your Selling Platform Shopify

      10:58
    • 4. Choosing Your Selling Platform: Amazon and Handmade at Amazon

      21:03
    • 5. Choosing Your Selling Platform: Other Platform Options

      14:58
    • 6. Personal Website Pros and Cons

      9:16
    • 7. Personal About Section

      7:08
    • 8. Selling policies

      4:13
    • 9. Part 2 Project

      1:15
    • 10. Sell Your Art Masterclass Part 2 Final Thoughts

      1:14
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About This Class

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Welcome to the Sell Your Art Masterclass, Part 2 of 4!

In this 4 part course, you will learn how to sell your artwork to real customers online and marketing strategies to build awareness and a loyal following for your art business.

NOTE: This course is PART 2 of 4. This is due to the length and depth of the course content. This way you can take each part one at a time. 

In this course, you will be guided through a process to:

1. Choose your art selling platform (Etsy, Shopify, Amazon, Amazon Handmade, Other Platforms...etc.)

2. You will learn the pros and cons of building a personal selling website

3. You will learn how to properly set up your About section 

4. You will learn to set up your selling policies

The remainder of the content will be in part 3 and 4.

I hope you enjoy Part 2 of The Sell Your Art Masterclass course!

Melanie

Vision City Design Studio

Meet Your Teacher

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Melanie Greenwood

Designer & Founder of Vision City Studio

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Welcome to the Print On Demand Course for Beginners!

In this course I am going to teach you how to create your own Print On Demand Products using Printify.

"Print On Demand" is when you add your own art or words to a product (shirts, hats, aprons, mugs etc...) and add that product to your online shop. When a customer buys the product, your print provider prints it, packages it and ships it directly to the customer for you. This eliminates the need to carry large amounts of stock and spend the money up front. Hence the name "Print On Demand". It's a wonderful thing!

In this course, you will learn:

1. Why I Chose Printify As My Print On Demand Provider.

2. How It Works! (5 Steps)

3. Pa... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Trailer Sell Your Art Masterclass Part 2: Hey everyone. Melanie here at Vision City Design Studio. I want to welcome you to Part 2 of the Sell Your Art Masterclass. Now for those of you who have taken Part 1, this is a really great extension of that course. If you haven't taken Part 1 yet, I encourage you to check it out. Because in this course, over all, what I'm teaching is how to take your art and make it into a real product that you can sell online to customers all around the world. I've been doing this for over seven years now and I've learned so much that I want to put all of my knowledge into this course and make it really simple and easy and concise for you guys to go through. I've even created worksheets that you can download and fill in as well as checklists to make it really, really easy to make right decisions and then move forward in your art selling business. In Part 2 of the Sell Your Art Masterclass, I'm going to teach you how to choose the right selling platform. There's a wide range of platforms to sell on nowadays as an artist. I'm hoping that by going through the different selling platforms and really breaking them down as far as the pros and cons for each, that you can then make the right decision for yourself. I'm also going to be going over how to decide whether or not to do a personal selling website. A lot of my students have been asking me this question. I've been teaching thousands of students over the years, and this is probably one of the biggest questions I've been getting asked. I'm going to answer that question in this course and show you the pros and cons of both. I'm also going to be talking to you about the selling policies as well as your personal about section in this course. Now as you share more about yourself on your website or on your online selling platform, this is a really great way to gain art fans, to have people find out more about you and I as an artist, and this is actually one of the ways that people become loyal to you as an art buyer. I want to encourage you to check out this course, the Sell Your Art Masterclass Part 2. I'll see you inside. 2. Choosing Selling Platform Etsy: This specific step in the process of setting up your online art business is actually a really important one. That is selecting which platform you're going to sell on or which online selling platform you're going to join your store to. Now, there's a variety of amazing choices out there, but in this specific video, I'm going to highlight some of the most popular and I find the most relevant, as well as the best-rated selling platforms for visual artists like us. Now, I personally have been selling on Etsy. That's the platform that I have chosen so far and I've actually been branching out as well into a few different other options as well that I will discuss with you. I feel like having a home base for me in one platform has been a very positive thing. It's having one place where you can then grow and that can become your home base. Then you can always expand from there. But building your actual fan base from one location online is a very powerful tool because then it's easier for people to refer you, it's easier for people to say to their friends where they can find you, and so on. It's something that I find is very important and I'd rather have people set up one effective store online rather than just spreading ourselves so thin and not really having success over any of the platforms because we're spreading ourselves over all the different avenues of selling. See, we have the luxury of choice, where even years ago there wasn't really as many online platforms for us to sell on, but now we can choose between a variety of great options. There are benefits and drawbacks to each of those options, which I will discuss with you in this video as well. Now, alternatively, you may want to just sell your art on your own personal website, may be on a WordPress site, or Wix, or a variety of these simple templated websites that are quick and easy to set up, and you can also add products to and then drive sales that way. There's also benefits and drawbacks to doing that as well, which I'm going to discuss with you. The real purpose of this video is to research the variety of different ways to set up shop online. Then you can really make the decision for yourself and write that down on your worksheets. Because ultimately, the whole point of this video is to how do you decide. I know that it's a big decision, but I definitely want you to choose one place to sell your art online for now. Again, you can always expand later and take over the world. I know we all want to take over the world, but it's really important to set up one great effective online selling system and place where we can actually go from there. Now, from there you can always expand and have people reference your work for say, licensing deals. Or if you want to sell wholesale, or if you want to do a variety of different things like applied to trade shows, a lot of times they like to see your online shop set up to see what you have going on. It could also be a place where you springboard from to grow your social media, which I'll talk to you about in a moment as well. Within your online selling platform, you can also be promoting your social medias. All these things work together, and ultimately, our goal again, guys, it's not just to just put of the art out there or feel like we're doing something, our ultimate goal is sales. This is a sell-your-art masterclass. Ultimately, this is really about how are you and I going to have the most effective location online to sell to our own customer. Now, this really does go back to where does our actual customer hangout. Remember we were talking about that earlier in the program, the actual defining of our audience. This is where this comes in extremely handy because we want to know, where do our actual audience hangout? Where do they shop? That will actually affect our decision when it comes to our selling platform as well. I hope that this video is helpful. Let's go on into the next point of this video where I'm going to really begin to break down the variety of different online selling platforms and the benefits and drawbacks of each. The first online selling platform I'd like to discuss with you is Etsy. Etsy again is where I've been selling my online art products for several years now. It's where I began selling and it's where I continue to sell. Etsy has a lot of really great things about it. It's a real online artists community. They specifically target handmade, vintage, and crafts supply items so they don't sell everything. That's why it's a very specific, curated environment where people who come to buy from Etsy know that they're buying those type of products. It's got a very high ethical standard within Etsy policies. People that are buying from Etsy are very specific customer. They often like handmade products. They often like one-of-a-kind custom products. They like things that maybe they're not finding at their department store. They want to find things that are unique and that are original and are slightly different than what you're going to find in a general decor store, for example. I find that Etsy in general also has a very much of a community vibe where you can actually connect with other sellers very easily and learn from each other. I've actually contacted several different sellers and had a great conversation and learn from each other in that way. You can always favorite things and show love to different artists and they'll do the same for you. There's a lot of ways within Etsy to create those sense of community, which I really appreciate. Now, Etsy system is built in a way where every time you list a product on Etsy you pay a $0.20 fee. That is their listing fee. That does not change, it is something that lasts for four months. At the end of the four months, you can have a choice whether you want to renew or not renew that item. That's something that you could do depending on whether it's selling or not or whether you find it's getting a lot of feedback or responses at all. It's something that you can actually decide on. You can also even do automatic renewals. In case you're busy and you have a lot going on, you can have it automatically renewed for you. There is no additional fees if you want to list your products on Etsy Pattern. Etsy Pattern is Etsy's version of your own.com. It's taking all of your listings from Etsy and then setting them up on what looks like your own website. That's really handy if maybe you want to sell on Etsy, but you're not really wanting to have the.etsy.com, or you don't want to have Etsy control the actual structure of how you're selling and the visuals of your brand. You can actually create your own Etsy website on what's called Etsy Pattern, which is also very handy. It's something that is automatically updated as you're updating your listings on Etsy. That's something very specific and different. It's something that you can actually add on to your Etsy account. When you sell a product on Etsy, there are transaction fees just like the majority of any other selling platform. Now, previously, they were 3.5 percent, and recently as of the middle of 2018, that fee actually went up to five percent and it also includes shipping cost. This was a little bit of an uproar among sellers and some people got a little bit upset about it. However, the reason why Etsy has done that is because they want to actually pour more money into marketing, which I found is actually been an increase in sales for me. It's interesting how sometimes paying a little bit more of a fee actually works out for your benefit. It's five percent of anything you sell, as well as five percent of your shipping cost. When you add those all up together, so for example, me, I actually have products that sell for, let's say $20. Then if I have $10 shipping that I add on top of that, I would then be paying a five percent fee on the entire $30 and not just on the product amount. Again, that's one of the things that people weren't sure about when people were actually getting charged for a percentage of commission on their actual shipping. However, I find that overall for me anyway, this is just my own perspective, it hasn't actually slowed down sales at all. In fact, it's actually increased them on my end. I find that by Etsy doing this, by increasing their fees, they're basically generating more income for themselves so that they can bring in more investors and spend more money on marketing which they have to do in order to stay afloat in such a really volatile market. When you have companies like Amazon and Shopify, which I will discuss with you later, Etsy is more of a boutique style of seller online, and so they really had to keep up with their game as well. Etsy has recently rolled out what they call subscription fees. This is actually a really great option as well for people who want to take their shop to the next level. There is an option to just keep the actual Etsy shop at zero monthly fee but for people who want to go on and do these subscriptions, these are their subscriptions as follows. Etsy Plus is a subscription model that you can actually pay into monthly, which enables you to unlock more tools and more options for your Etsy shop. It really takes things to the next levels of professionalism. I personally have upgraded my Etsy shop to the subscription model. Currently, it's $10 per month. However, as of January 2019, so depending on when you're watching this, so very soon, the actual Etsy subscription for Etsy Plus will go up to $20 per month. When you sign up for Etsy Plus, you actually get a few different bonuses. You get 15 Listing Credits. You get basically 15 credits for free, or I would say included within the cost of your subscription. You also get $5 US and promoted listing credits, which are visible in your payment account and that you can then use to promote specific listings. It's like creating an ad on Facebook. In the same way, you can actually create these things called promoted listings within Etsy, so that you can actually promote specific pieces. Credits for those things do not roll over for the next month, so if you don't use your credits in May, for example, then in June, those credits go away. You can't accumulate them all and save them for Christmas season, you have to use the credits allotted to you each month, or else they literally go away. You can't go back and use the ones from last month. Etsy Plus subscribers have the option to register a free.store domain, or they also get 50 percent off select extensions like.com.net or.ca through a third-party provider called Hover. This is a specific, separate entity from Etsy. That's a hosting place where you can actually get your domain from them. But by going through Etsy, you're going to get 50 percent off that cost. Etsy has also set up this thing for Etsy Plus where if you're, say, at an in-person event and you're selling on a Square Reader, for those of you who don't know what a Square Reader is, it's actually a little device that you can actually attach to your phone, and you can then take credit cards and swipe them on your actual phone while you're at an event. Square Reader usually has their own system. Again, it's a third party, it's a separate company from Etsy, but it's a really great handy thing to be selling with when you're in-person. Maybe you're having a launch party or you're having an event, or you're at an event where you're selling products in-person to people. Let's be honest, most people don't carry cash, right? So it's really important to be able to take credit cards in person no matter where you are. If you do that through Etsy, and you actually sync Etsy, to the Square Reader, you will actually still be able to just get charged the same 27 renewal fee as listings with multiple quantities on Etsy. Non-synced listings will be charged $0.20 transaction fee which will appear on your bill. That's something that's really important to note as well. You can actually connect those two different things together. That's really handy for those of you who do a lot of craft fairs, holiday markets, and such. It's very, very handy for us because we can then sync those two things together. But again, this is all within Etsy Plus. Some of the other things that I like about Etsy in general are it's a really great place to offer customizations. The Etsy customer is very attuned with that and they are looking for that a lot of the time, so I find that people who offer customizations do quite well on Etsy. That's a really great place if that's something that you're into doing. I personally don't offer customizations, but I still have found that Etsy is still a great place for me as well. Etsy is also something that can be integrated with other platforms. For example, there's an integration for QuickBooks for your accounting, there's an integration for Printful. Printful is the print-on-demand website. That's super handy if you are not really sure which way you want to go with things, or you want to really test out different things, or you just don't really want to spend the money upfront to actually create products upfront. So you can actually integrate Etsy with Printful and it's a really seamless integration. You can actually set up your Etsy shop and then when you get an order, Printful will actually print it, it's called print-on-demand, and then they will ship it for you. There's a variety of different really great integrations like that within Etsy, and I find that that's a really handy tool to have within your selling platform. One of the other things I want to mention about Etsy in general is that they are their own search engine and so they've got a really tight-knit algorithm for their own titles, tags, and descriptions. I'll go more into SEO later on in the course but the basics that we need to think about are the way we title things, the way we put tags. Tags are another word for keywords. It's like the words that you type into Google when you're looking for something. The titles, the tags, and the descriptions within Etsy, it's a very tight-knit system for pulling different listings forward. The better we are at doing our job to actually title, tag, and describe our products, the easier they are to be found. So I find that there is a lot easier ways to actually be found within Etsy because the algorithm is getting more and more advanced as time is going on. Even in this year of 2018, I've found that the algorithm has gotten tighter and tighter and it's changed in a good way, especially since Etsy has increased their fees and they've actually had more money to pour into the system. I find that Etsy is a great selling platform and that might be right for you. Etsy also has an online integration with an SEO research tool that's called marmalead.com. But marmalead.com is the exclusive Etsy SEO search engine research tool. It's very, very important for people who are on Etsy to know about marmalead.com not marmalade, Marmalead, L-E-A-D. This is where you're going to actually put in your keywords and really find the right keywords to associate with your products so that they can be found in search. That's not a thing to be really aware of. Marmalead is exclusive to Etsy which I find very interesting because obviously, Marmalead could open up their doors to a variety of different things, and maybe they will. But as of right now this moment it's an exclusive Etsy search tool for keywords. I find that that's a very, very powerful thing to have in your tool belt to really find the right keywords for your Etsy shop. Again, Etsy is a great platform, and that might be the one that's right for you. I encourage you again to go in and look around, check it out, see what kind of products they're selling, and how they relate to your audience, okay? Is your audience going to be on Etsy? Are they looking on Etsy? Are there already living there and shopping there? If so, then Etsy may be the right platform for you. 3. Choosing Your Selling Platform Shopify: Next up, we're going to talk about Shopify. Now, Shopify is another amazing option for your online selling platform for your art products. My husband actually uses Shopify currently for his merchandise that he sells, he's an actual rock musician. I too am also very familiar with Shopify. It's something that I've also considered to branch out into as well because it has so many benefits to actually selling on Shopify. Shopify is something that you can go to and you can set up in moments. It's very intuitive and easy to operate. You can select from a variety of different preset templates and you can actually plug in a variety of different plugins, and actually have control over HTML coding if you're so inclined or if you know anyone who can help you, you can always hire that out to somebody as well to really make it your own. Now, Shopify is something that is very easily integrated in a variety of different things, whether it be other platforms to sell on. It also integrates very well with Printful, which I've talked to you about already, but Printful is a print on-demand site. Shopify integrates with other platforms similar to that in a variety of different ways. Now, Shopify offers a 14-day free trial. You could always try it out, test it out, see how you feel about it before you commit. The monthly fee once you do commit to selling on Shopify and making that your home base for your online art shop, the minimum is $29 per month and that's US dollars. That is the lowest or most basic coverage package. Then it goes up to $79, and then the highest one is $299. Now, depending on which package you choose, you're going to get a few more different exclusive features. For starters, if you go with a basic package of $29 per month, you're going to get an online store, obviously, unlimited products. You're going to get staff accounts, 24/7 support, you're going to get sales channels, manual order creation, discount codes, free SSL certificate, and abandoned cart recovery. Abandoned cart recovery is really cool actually because that's when people actually put something into their shopping cart, and maybe they go off and they don't buy. An abandoned cart recovery will actually send them an email on your behalf and it'll be offering them some gift code, maybe a discount to come back and buy. Abandoned cart recovery is also really, really powerful as well. Now, by the way, that's also offered on Etsy as well, I forgot to mention that earlier. But abandoned cart recovery is really handy to keep those people actually buying rather than just putting things into their shopping cart. Because I even do that myself when I'm shopping, I might just put something in the shopping cart because I'm thinking about it and I'm not sure if I want to go ahead and take it yet so that's a really, really powerful tool. Now, if you go up to the $79 per month model, you're also going to get the option to have gift cards as well as professional reports. The reporting just to get some more elaborate, more detailed. It's also really handy. If have a team of people that are helping you, maybe you have grown your business and you want to get other people involved in the finances and helping you to just track everything and where sales are coming from. For example, are sales coming from Facebook? Are they coming from Google? Where are these different people coming from? Where is the audience purchasers coming from? Those kind of reports are also very handy for you and I to know as we're growing our business, because we want to find out where people are coming from so that we can target those places even more. Now, the $299 package, which is the most expensive package, it has all of the above, all the things that I've already talked about, plus it also has an advance report builder, an even more advanced builder. It has third-party calculated shipping rates. It shows calculated rates with your own account or third-party apps at checkout. That again is very, very handy for you and I so that we're actually giving the most accurate shipping cost so that we're not wasting money on the shipping on our end, or we're not overcharging our customers. That is something that customers do appreciate. Mind you, the $299 per month might be hefty for some of us, but if you're selling, maybe you're selling originals, and each item is $500 and you're selling 10 a month or something like that, then obviously, you can go ahead and you can afford that. Depending on the price point of what you're selling and how many you're selling of them, how well the business is going, this could actually be something interesting because Shopify allows you to grow into your growth. You could start out at the $29 per month option and then as you get more sales, you could work your way up to the next levels, and the different tiers of not only your fees but also the actual options of services that you get from Shopify. Now, with each of the different fee tiers within Shopify, you get specific discounts on shipping which is interesting. For the first tier for the $29 per month, you get a 31 percent discount on shipping. For the second tier at the $79 per month, you get 37 percent, of a discount on shipping. But if you go all the way up to the $299 per month fee, then your shipping cost, you actually get a discount of up to 40 percent. Those are numbers from Canada Post. Depending on where you're basing your store, like if you're selling on a Canadian version of Shopify or an American version or wherever you're selling from, that may fluctuate a little bit because of obviously the different currencies and such. But it's interesting, the more you pay in your fee, the better discounts you get in other areas. Shopify is a very structurally intense platform. They give you a lot of different options of ways you can do things and how you can really customize to your own needs. Again, it's something you can also grow into. Within Shopify, similar to that of Etsy, they can integrate into other online platforms. For example, you can obviously self from your own online Shopify Store, so people can come directly to your store and buy from you. But they can also buy at point of sale. Maybe if you're out at an event, you can actually integrate again with your Square reader directly into your Shopify Store. You can also have a Facebook Shop so that you can actually integrate your Facebook page, your actual Facebook page for your business. The same goes for Etsy as well, but you can also integrate that into your Shopify Store so that people can buy from your Facebook page. It's like having a multiple of your Shopify Store and having it located as well on your Facebook page. I find that that's really important to do across the board no matter where you're selling from, but in this case, Shopify does have that integration. Facebook Messenger, as many of you may know, is another way of directly messaging people on Facebook. You can also integrate that with your Shopify to create a conversation with the people who are following you on Facebook and drawing them over to your Shopify Store. Maybe offering them a deal, offering them some kind of an incentive to come over to your Shopify Store, maybe it's a coupon code, but these are all different ways that you can do that. These are just some of the things that you can actually do within Shopify. I find Shopify is another really, really great option for selling your art online. Now, Shopify also integrates with Amazon, with eBay, with Enterprise, with a variety of different other platforms as well, as well as financial platform. There's a variety of different things that you can integrate your Shopify Store into. There's so many to go over and it's one of those things that you have to just dig in when you get into your Shopify Store, but those are some of things that you can do. I find that Shopify is a really good option in general, I feel like it's something that everybody is aware of. Maybe in some circles, people may or may not know of Etsy, for example, or they may not know of other platforms but Shopify is something that is a very household name that people are comfortable buying from. They know that they're secured payments, people feel comfortable buying from Shopify. It's a very recognized name, and so that could be the option for you if you want to consider selling your art products on Shopify. Shopify has a whole system that they've set up when you sign up for Shopify where they actually send you courses, they send you different videos, tutorials, Q&As, there's so much support with Shopify. I wanted to be sure to highlight that because Shopify is very, very heavy in support and so there's a lot of different things. You can also integrate Shopify so that it's on your phone, so that it's literally easy to update things, update your listings, update your inventory. All that stuff you can do from the comfort of your phone. I'm calling the phone the home, that's like a Freudian slip. But it's true, when you can actually do a lot of these things from your phone. That goes as well for Etsy as well, as well as the support. There's a ton of support within Etsy as well. But in this video specifically, I wanted to focus on Shopify, that Shopify again is a really great platform to choose from. Now, it goes without saying but pretty much all the different platforms I will be discussing with you, they all integrate with social media of all kinds. That's something that is a standard now. The ones that I'll be discussing with you including Shopify, they can integrate into all the different ways of selling and announcing your online art shops. If you're announcing products on Instagram, you can actually tag your products through Shopify. Same thing if you're doing that through Etsy, same thing for Amazon. You can actually tag your products directly onto your different social media platforms through the different selling platforms that I'm discussing with you. I just want to make sure to say that too because those are really, really important things to know about when you're deciding on which one to go with. Again, Shopify is a great option. It's different than that of Etsy, it's got a different customer. You're going to want to again find out, where does your customer hang out? For example, if your customer is more found looking on Amazon or looking on Shopify or on Etsy, you're going to want to then consider setting up on those shops. I hope that this has helped you get a bit of an insight into Shopify and that it could maybe be the platform that you choose for your art business. 4. Choosing Your Selling Platform: Amazon and Handmade at Amazon: Another really great online selling platform that you may want to sell your art on is Amazon. Now, anyone who knows anything about Amazon knows that it's literally a monster of a online selling platform. Amazon is a dominating force of online selling. They sell anything and everything online. You can set it up in minutes and you can really become a seller on there fairly easily, and it's one of those platforms that has a huge, huge draw to people all over the world and that may or may not be the right place for you to sell your art on. Now, there are two different variations of Amazon that I want to talk about and one of them is the main Amazon website, which is maybe amazon.com if you're in America or.ca in Canada, or depending on where you are in the world. However, there's also Handmade at Amazon, which is its own handmade sector of selling products, and that one you actually have to apply to in order to be accepted, which I will talk to you about in the next video. By far, Amazon is definitely the number one seller of products online in general. Now that is something that goes across the board. Compared to say, an Etsy or Shopify, Amazon is multiple times more people who are looking on Amazon every single day. There's just way more buyers there. It's like comparing Walmart to like a mom-and-pop store as far as the volume of people who are on Amazon every single day. It is a very trusted platform and everybody knows what Amazon is, even in different cultures, different parts of the world, it's Amazon. Everybody knows what it is. There's also Amazon Prime, which is an option for people to be able to upgrade their account, pay a monthly fee as a buyer, and then be able to get products sent to them within days or even within the same day that they actually buy the products. Amazon has just a massive, widespread selling platform in general. They sell anything and everything, so, it may be the right place for you to sell your art products. Now, when selling on Amazon, you can either sell as an individual or as a professional. If you're selling as an individual, every time you make a sale, you're going to have to pay Amazon a commission fee of 99 cents. If you're selling as a professional, you pay a onetime fee of $39.99. Now, in order to qualify for somebody who's selling as a professional, you need to estimate whether you believe you'll be selling over 40 items per month because then obviously it makes sense for you to pay the 39.99, because that's pretty much $40 instead of actually continuing to pay the 99 cents after that. It's a way of really saving overall when it comes to actually selling on Amazon, and so that could be a good option for you. Depending on what you feel like you're going to do, you may want to start out as an individual and then later upgrade to a professional, then that way you can, as like what I was saying with Shopify, you can grow into your success and grow into the next level of fees, and what really makes sense for your business. For the individual plan, you can add new products to the Amazon catalog, you can have Amazon handle customer service, shipping fulfillments, with Fulfillment by Amazon services for Amazon.com orders. However, if you upgrade to professional, which is 39.99 per month, you also get to sell products in the US, Canada, Mexico or all three, and you can also control what you selling and where and manage your business from a single Amazon seller account. You can use bulk listings, report tools. You can also customize your shipping rates, which is really unique. You can also offer special promotions and gift wrapping for your customers, which is a very cool touch. You can also be eligible for top placement on product detail pages. Those are some of the benefits of selling on the professional level rather than on individual. Basically, Amazon's wanting you and I to commit to the $39 per month rather than just 99 cents per sale. If we're paying the 39.99 per month, and most likely we're going to work harder to build our online shop. I think that that's really the theory behind what Amazon is doing here. Similar to any other online selling platform, you're going to really decide on what you're selling, which by now in the program you're probably already really deciding on, what art product you're going to sell to your customer and then obviously knowing who your customer is, how are you going to really angle this whole thing towards those people. You're going to decide what you want to sell, list them, put up great photos of your products, great tags, titles, descriptions of your products. Then you're going to register and start selling on Amazon and this can actually be done fairly quickly. There's a lot of different things to input, but it's really intuitive the way that they have it set up so it's really not too difficult. They've made it clearly easy for artists and sellers like us to sign up to sell on Amazon. There's two different ways to list products. You can list products already on Amazon.com. In this case, that is maybe not relevant to us because we are artists, so we're creating our own products, or you can list products that are not yet on Amazon, which in our case will be ideal because these are products that are from our own business, our own store, our own art studio. Then obviously, when you sell your products, you're going to then pay the fees to Amazon and then you're either going to ship it yourself or you're going to have it fulfilled by Amazon, which again depends on your lifestyle. You cannot have all these decisions selected within the process of setting up. But as a side note, Fulfillment by Amazon may be a great option for some of you because again, it's like the print on demands thing where you can actually have Amazon print and then ship your products. You can also have them just hold your products so you can actually have them printed yourself and then just ship a certain amount of your products to the Amazon Fulfillment Center, where they can actually store your products and then ship them once the orders come. There's a few different ways that you can actually do this with Amazon or what's called Fulfillment by Amazon. That is very convenient. They take care of all the packaging, all the shipping, even the customer service back and forth if the customer has a question. Now, obviously, when you're doing this, it feels a little bit further removed from you as an artist. Some artists may like this because it's very hands-off, whereas other artists they want to sign their own notes to their customers or they want to have their own hands on each order. So, you can do so if you want to and you still have that freedom. You could try that. You can always try the Fulfillment by Amazon option and then see how it works for you. I believe you can even actually send in extra goodies to be inserted into every order as well. These are things that are really beneficial to us as artists because it gives us some choices that are not feeling like we have to be overwhelmed when we get a bunch of orders, and this could be a way to really grow your business because Amazon is still by far the number one place where people are going to buy things online. Again, choosing the right actual plan will really affect your specific experience when you're selling on Amazon. Whether you sell as an individual or as a professional, that will affect things. Again, the individual does not pay a monthly fee, they just pay the 99 cents on each order, and the professional, they will pay 39.99 American, and this is specific numbers for the American.com website so they may fluctuate depending on where you live in the world. But those are the general numbers to be working with, and so say if you are going to sell them more than 40 items in one month, then that makes sense for you. One thing to note is that only professional sellers are able to offer gift wrap so, If you want that to be included in your service as an artist and in your products, that's something to be aware of that is only available on the professional plan. Now say for example, you're considering to go with Fulfillment by Amazon. I wanted to give you a brief overview of the expected costs that would incur, because there will be additional costs for them to fulfill your orders. Now, Fulfillment in monthly charges fees are as follows, let me just zoom in here so you can see that better. Now, if you're sending a small package, they have standard size and oversize. But small standard would be $2.41, small oversize would be eight 13, excuse me. Now, to find out exactly what those are, you would just hover over these little eyes and click on it and it'll give you a bit of a description. Small standard, for example, is any package item that is 12 ounces or less with its longest side 15 or less and it's shortest side, 0.75, meaning the height or less and it's medium side 12 inches or less. Basically that would be like a 12 by 15 envelope, with a thickness of 0.75. That's in that case. Next you've got the large, so that would be up to one pound or less, that'll be three 19, that's the charge for Fulfillment. Medium oversize will be nine 44. Large on the standard size would be four 71. Large oversize would be 7318. That's obviously a lot larger, it's way heavier, way bigger. Large over two pounds would be 471 again and special oversize. This is for something that's an unusual size. Let me click on that one to show you exactly what that means. Any package unit that exceeds one or more of the following, over 150 pounds, over 180 on its longest side, over 165 when the longest side is added to girth. In addition, products that are determined require special handling. This is maybe for very specific types of arts. Now, a lot of these may or may not be applicable to us because a lot of our art may be two-dimensional. But I just thought it'd be thorough to go over these costs with you guys. Now, it says you add 40 cents a unit for a clothing item so that it would be if you were also sending out your art on clothing. Now, monthly inventory storage, those are just fulfillment. Inventory storage, so say you want to actually ship your products to them and then have them hold on to the products before they're shipped out, from January to September, it's 69 cents per cubic foot. Now, the beauty of this is that a lot of our art is probably flat or two-dimensional so we may not take up as much space depending on what you make. Now, from October to December, it goes up because obviously, December is Christmas, it goes up to $2.40 per cubic foot. Now, oversize items from January to September is 48 cents per cubic foot, and October to December is $1.20 per cubic foot, so it's interesting, they credit you if you have larger items. Now, estimate your fees, you can actually calculate your fees based on the standard FBA storage and fulfillment fees as LN above. In other words, you can actually go ahead in here and compare your costs. Now, this is all on the Amazon website obviously, so you can go in and actually press that button and compare your cost to find out. Product examples. They give you a bunch of examples here of what you can actually do. But I wanted to give you a bit of an overview of the actual fulfillment costs in this case. Then you can really decide whether or not this makes sense for you. Now, some of you, it may not make sense for you to do fulfillment right away. But if you're growing and things are starting to get a little crazy at home as far as juggling all of the fulfillments and shippings, this might be a really good option as well. Now, when you're deciding to join Amazon as a seller, for certain categories that you'll be listed in, you may require to actually apply for approval. For example, if you are selling within the fine art category of Amazon, you do need to go through an approval process where you actually contact them. You let them know what products you are going to be selling and you fill in a bunch of information that they will take you through in this process, and in that way, they can approve you that way. However, if you're selling within like a general category, like home decor, for example, that does not require an actual approval process. Depending on where you want to land, there may or may not be an approval process to go through. As you can see, selling on Amazon could be an amazing place for you, especially because Amazon has a massive built-in audience. There's just millions and millions of people on Amazon at all times and it's a constant, massive source of traffic, meaning traffic of people that are constantly looking for products. Some people literally exclusively shop on Amazon online. That is how large of a conglomerate monopoly that Amazon is developing. Now, one of the benefits of that is obviously the amount of traffic, or in other words, the amount of eyes that are going to potentially see you in my products. However, it does also mean that on Amazon, there is just an amazing and incredible amount of people selling too. Yes, there's a lot of people on Amazon, but there's also a lot of competition. It's really important to stand out and to really focus on your own niche, your own marketing, your own messaging, to really make sure that your SEO is intact, because SEO, you need to bring yourself to the top of that search lists, otherwise, you can be like a little fish in a really big pond. I want to encourage you to think about those things. Now, obviously, Amazon, it goes without saying that Amazon will take you through a process to set up your own internal shop within Amazon where you actually have a name, your logo, a description of your products, and then you can list your products there. You can also integrate amazon with a variety of different things. Obviously, all social medias integrate with Amazon. You can tag products from Amazon onto your social media platforms. Again, it's a very interactive experience, so you can pull your Amazon products into other online experiences that you're drawing your customers with. For example, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and a variety of others, there's lots of ways to really be interactive with Amazon. It also integrates with a variety of different plugins, things that can actually give you reports and things. It's a very, very attractive platform to sell on as well. Now, one of the categories of Amazon is what is called Handmade at Amazon. Now, this is actually a specific category or a sector within Amazon that is specifically designed for people like us who are creatives, maybe crafters and artisans, who are selling handmade art products or even craft products in that case. Now, a lot of you who may be taking this course, you may more fall into the art side of things, maybe you're a designer, or illustrator, or a letterer, and maybe you sell two-dimensional products. For a lot of you, this may actually apply, so I wanted to be sure to highlight Handmade at Amazon. In the next video, I'm going to actually show you on screen a few of the features of Handmade at Amazon and how you would apply if you so choose to. As previously mentioned, you can actually also apply to sell at Amazon Handmade, and this is a really unique and fairly new sector of Amazon. It's specifically crafted for people like us who are artisans, sell unique, handcrafted products, and you can actually reach a very specific, targeted audience within Amazon. It's the best of both worlds in a way it's like Amazon meets Etsy, I think, because it's very much targeted to people who make handmade products. What is Amazon Handmade? It is a store on Amazon for artisans to who sell unique, handcrafted products, reaching hundreds and millions of customers worldwide. They actually waive the professional account monthly fee and they pay only when you make a sale, so you're going to go back to paying the individual fee. They also have a 15 percent referral fee included when you have payment processing, marketing, seller support, and fraud protection. Then you can actually also check in on your application, so if you have applied, this is where you do that, this is actually on the Handmade at Amazon website. You can actually check on your status. In order to actually apply, you go through a whole process where you actually have to send in photos, describe your processes, that's the most important thing, to really see if they will actually allow you to even sell on Handmade at Amazon, or Amazon Handmade, depending on how you want to say it. Now, benefits of selling handmade products on Amazon, reach millions of customers. You've got lots of support from Amazon. They're very support-driven. You get your products fulfilled by Amazon, so you can actually let Amazon fulfill your orders for you so you can focus on creating your products, which is a very cool tool. I've talked about that in previous videos, but in this case, it's specific for your own products. You can also do custom orders easily, so if you have customizations, they can actually help you in that process as well. You can join associates program so you can sign up and earn 10 percent back on Amazon sales. It's a really great associates program. You can apply to sell your handmade creation. As I mentioned before, you have to actually be approved. Only approved artisans are invited to join Amazon Handmade, so they literally send you an invitation once you're approved in order to be a featured artist on Amazon Handmade. How Amazon Handmade works. Number 1, you've register to sell on Amazon Handmade, you create your artists and profile, you set up a Handmade shop, and you start selling. Now, obviously, you can't do any of that until you're approved, so there's an approval process you need to go through. You can go to Amazon.com or.ca or dot wherever you are and you can apply simply and easily. It's a fairly detailed application and I actually applied one time years back. The application I actually put in didn't get approved and that's because I don't personally hand make my products. I actually have them printed for me and so at that time, I was actually not allowed to be a part of Amazon handmade, which is actually fine because I went in a different direction anyway. But just so you know, it is possible to get unapproved and so that's something to be aware of. At the time, the rule was that I wasn't allowed to use an external printer or a production partner, so be aware of that if that's something that you do as well. Now, something else I want to make note of is the actual eligible items that can sell on Amazon Handmade. I'm going to zoom in so you can see this. It says, what categories are available on Amazon Handmade? Oops. Okay. There we go. It says here you can actually sell jewelry, which in this case, we may not apply to that, but a home decor product, so arts is listed there, which is what we are. Then apparel, so maybe you're putting your art onto apparel beauty. Personal care may not really apply. Stationery, that may apply to some of you, and so on. Again, your products, a lot of you who are actually on this course, you're an artist, or a designer, or a letterer, illustrator, a lot of the products that you and I might do by hand, and that's handmade is the main key thing here, they can be applied to Amazon Handmade and then that way, you can sell them here as well. Now, they've made mentioned on this information as well that say you sell on another platform. You can also sell here as well, so you don't have to only sell exclusively on Amazon Handmade. You can sell on other online platforms as well, which is really great. I always encourage, even as I'm discussing the general information about these different platforms, always be sure and do your own research as well. Dig a bit deeper, find out how it really applies to you because you're going to have very specific needs for your own business, and make sure that whatever selling platform that you choose will really serve those needs. It's not just about what I say or anybody says, it's really what's going to work for you. These are just some of the ones that I find are the best as far as right now for artists and that's why I'm really highlighting these ones. 5. Choosing Your Selling Platform: Other Platform Options: Another platform to be aware of that many of us probably already are aware of is eBay. Ebay's been around forever and it's one of those things that just hasn't gone away yet, and the reason why is because it's very interactive. Instead of having set prices, you actually can set a certain price to purchase now or you can actually have your customers bid on items. The one thing about eBay selling though is that you have to be very aware of it, it's not something that's out of sight, out of mind. I feel like it's a lot more hands-on than the allowed of the other platforms because you need to see when your actual bids are ending and so on, so it's a bit more interactive. But eBay may be something that is interesting to you guys. As artists, there's a huge online section of eBay for art and collectibles that may or may not suit you. Another really great online selling platform is DeviantArt. Now, DeviantArt is actually the world's largest online art community. It has a ton of art pieces and a ton of registered users and enthusiasts. The site was actually created way back in 2000. It's a really great place to find things like digital arts, animation type of art, comics, and so on. People who are really into illustration do really well on DeviantArt. It may be worth looking into as well because there is so many different types of art exposed on this actual platform. You can actually submit your art for consideration and for mass exposure, and if you're lucky enough, to make the cut. It's one of those things where you actually submit your art to them and then go from there. Another one I want to talk about is Zazzle. Zazzle is an online website where you can actually submit your art too. It's a marketplace, and you can actually apply your art to custom clothing, artwork, electronics, and other products. It's called the Zazzle Make Engine, it's a tool and marketplace for customizing just about anything you can imagine, from posters, to t-shirts, to coffee mugs. This is the kind of a website where you can actually really branch out and try different things and experiment. Maybe you're not really sure what products you want to create yet, this may be an exploratory type of a website for you. They pay you a royalty on anything that is sold, so it's different than that of selling on Etsy or on another platform that gave you your full amount. In this case, you're getting paid a royalty. Now, Redbubble is actually similar in a way because it's an art gallery and a community for wall art, clothes, and cards, iPhone cases, and other customizable items. You can actually customize all those items on Redbubble, and it's a great way to get your art out there and to get exposure to a variety of different customers who are looking for things like gifts, or specialty customized items specifically for maybe Christmas or certain holiday gifts, and so on. It's a really great online platform as well and I find that it's one of those things too that you can really explore and really find new artists that may not be found otherwise. It's a really exploratory and fun online platform, so this may be something that's suited for you. Now, if your goal and end dream, so to speak, is actually to get your art onto t-shirts or any apparel for that matter, then you may want to look into Threadless. Now, Threadless is something that you can actually do and set up your own shop, and you can sell prints and high quality glass paper or canvases, and they make everything for you so you can actually apply to submit t-shirt ideas. Sometimes if they have a lot of contests and things, you can actually submit ideas and then get your art featured on one of the actual official Threadless t-shirts. But you can also have your own online shop and you can sell your own gear as well as art prints and canvases. This may be something that works for some of you as well. Society6 is another platform that will give you a royalty payment as they actually apply your art to a variety of different cool art items including framed prints, stretch canvases, clocks, everything you can imagine. They have things like t-shirts, cups, pillow cases, and so on. All these different items, I find that I was actually looking into them at one point. I'm not going to lie, I do find that the actual payout from Society6's a little on the low side on the actual percentage. It may be something to look into if you're experimenting. I personally would rather see artists, though, selling on platforms in general where you're actually getting the full payment. That's the stuff that I find as really more effective for really building an online career and actual art business. But it is definitely worthwhile to try things and to test things out, so Society6 could still be a very good option for some of you. Last but not least, I also want to highlight Printful. Now, Printful is similar to that of Society6 and Zazzle in the way that you can actually take the art that you make and actually digitally upload it to their platform and then apply it to other products, maybe pillows, or t-shirts, hoodies, or mugs, all kinds of different products. They actually show you the mockups right in front of you, so it's actually a really nice process, where you can actually set up your own store on Printful. Now, the really cool thing that I like about Printful is that you can actually integrate it with other platforms. Say, for example, somebody buys a t-shirt from you and it's being fulfilled through Printful, it will actually notify and sync back to your Shopify store and update your Shopify store that that sale been made. The actual process will still go through your main hub of your Shopify store in that case. I personally have just started using Printful and it's been really great. I just uploaded my art pieces, the same ones that I sell on Etsy, I uploaded some of them and made them into pillows and mugs, and I've been selling them this holiday season. It's actually been a nice experiment for me and a way to expand the products that I'm offering. The cool thing is I didn't have to spend any money up front. A lot of people like Printful for that reason, or even Society6, or Zazzle because you can see your art on different products and see what's going to work for your business. You can even test them out among your customers. A lot of times people do that. Even people that are not in the art world they might do this. Even my husband, he's a rock musician and he's even testing it at some some his t-shirt designs on Printful, and he's trying them on different colored shirts or different types of hoarded sweaters and so on. Maybe you want to be in the arts scene, so to speak, but you might want to try putting your art on to throw pillows, for example. This could be a good place to experiment with that and also still be sinking them back to your other store if you have it. Maybe you don't want to have another store, maybe you want to make Printful your main hub, that's totally cool as well. Then that way they're taking care of all the physical production, so they make everything. They ship everything and you can even add your own customized sticker that they make for you and apply it to all of the actual products being shipped out. The other day I actually had the fun time designing a sticker that I was going to have them apply to all of the boxes that they ship out for me. Then that way it looks like it's coming from my shop, not from Printful. Printful is considered a white-label companies, so they're not going to put their labeling all over everything, they're going to wait and actually get my own logo, my own branding, whatever I want to say so people who buy my products through Printful I can actually offer them a coupon code to come back and buy more on my Etsy shop. It all works together. Printful is a really great solution, whether you use it individually on its own or if you integrate it into a store that you already have. Maybe some of you already have a store, maybe on Shopify, or Etsy, or wherever you might be, you can actually integrate Printful as a print on-demand site into your actual online selling platforms. In that way, they all work together. Sites like Society6, or Printful, or Threadless, or a variety of different sites, they have royalty that they pay to us as artists. I'm not going to lie, I have a fairly strong opinion about this and a lot of people may or may not agree with me, but I do have an opinion about these sites, and it's not that there's anything wrong with them, I think they're all great, depends on your goals and it's really up to you, but I personally believe more in making a profit on everything I'm doing so I want to make sure that I can actually have control over as much of the income as possible. For example, I sell on Etsy and I pay a five percent commission fee to them, but I'm making then the 95 percent of the cost of the actual product, or of the retail of the product. That's why I like selling on, I guess, a place like Etsy, or Amazon, or Shopify for example and that's why I highlighted them first because I feel I can control the overall experience in that way with the finances. Whereas when you're selling on a site like Society6 or on a Zazzle for example, the royalties will range between 10-12, sometimes 15 percent, and that's all you get. I don't love those margins, to be honest with you. I don't think that they're a bad company, I think that those are all great companies. Threadless, Zazzle, Society6, I think that those kind of companies still have their place in online selling and in creating of products and customizations. I think that they're great. However, I almost feel like Society6 and Zazzle, for example, maybe more of an add-on on the side of your main store. The reason why is because it's a really hard to make a real income when you're only getting paid 10 percent of your actual art piece. Now hater is going to hate, maybe they'll say that I'm wrong on that, but this is my personal opinion based on the experiences that I've had building this business for the last several years now. I want to be able to make the most income, and I want you to be able to make the most income. I would rather see you add-on Zazzle and Society6 and a couple others that I mentioned previously, those that offer you a royalty payment, I'd rather see you offer them as a side thing to your main business than to make them the main thing. Now, with one exception I would say is Printful, I do believe that they pay a fairly better price as far as royalty goes. They pay around 40 percent generally, which still, I mean, it's still not a 100 percent, but if you really, really, really did not want to go ahead and spend the money to create the products, or you really do want to shift the products yourself and you just have a really busy lifestyle, out of all of them, I feel like Printful is the best that I've seen right now that's on the market that will pay the highest royalty payment and give you the most creative control. Again, that could also be something that you tie onto your main platform, whether it be your website or whether it be Shopify or Amazon or Etsy for example, and I know I'm really highlighting those ones specifically. There's several different platforms that integrated into Printful, but I feel like by making Printful a really great add-on, then that's got a bit more potential than making it the entire main pie. Again, this is my perspective. I would be lying if I didn't give you that perspective. I want to make sure to say that and makes sure that you just basically want to be making the most you can possibly make on every sale. You want to maximize your income on every sale, and so that's why I would say that. A lot of times people want the easy way out and they just want to throw their stuff up on a site and just get paid a little royalty, and it feels good, it feels cool, we can see our art on pillows, we can see our art on t-shirts or mugs. That's awesome, it's really fun actually. That's fine if it's a hobby, but if you and I, we want to sell our arts and make that into an actual business, then we got to be a lot more serious about what income is coming in with each of those sales. It's going to take a bit more work, a 100 percent, it's going to take maybe a little bit upfront spending when it comes to actually creating the products, but then again, you can always sell digital products. Having said all of that, and this is a lot to be said, and this is a really, really big topic, and I know this has been a very long video, but I wanted to be sure to offer you those options. I want you to really consider, at this stage in the program, where you're going to make your home base? Where are you going to sell your art and actually build your own online shop? Is it going to be Etsy? Is it going to be Shopify? Is it going to be Amazon or Amazon Handmade? Is it going to be DeviantArt? Where's it going to be for you? Now again, if you really choose to make your main platform on one of the royalty sites, that's great too. But again, I've already given my opinion on that, I think that they're great add-on, but I would actually advise you to choose one that where you can actually incur the entire payment for yourself and then be paying them a commission rather than the other way around. I want you to maximize your income again for all the art that you're making, because I'm an artist and I know what goes into making art, I know how much energy and time and sweat and emotion goes into every single art piece. I want to make sure that you are making money right away. Okay guys? I want to thank you for your patience, I know this is a long video, but it's thorough because it's a big decision. This time I want you to make that decision, write it down on your worksheet and we're going to go onto the next section. We're going to keep building this art business of yours and really building up something that could actually become a real income source for you. 6. Personal Website Pros and Cons: Now when it comes to selling your artwork online, there is obviously a variety of platforms you can choose from. However, some people prefer to set up their own custom website. Maybe they go ahead and they hire a web designer or they design it themselves by may be getting a template website like a Wix or a WordPress site for example, which I actually did for a while. I did have a WordPress website, so I do also recommend them if that's something that would suit you. But in this video, I wanted to discuss with you the pros and cons of setting up a personal website as opposed to selling your artwork on a platform. First and foremost, let's go through the pros. One of the pros of selling your art on your own personal website is design. You are the one who gets to design your website from beginning to end. Now maybe you're hiring a web designer or maybe you're doing it yourself. There's a variety of different templates that you can actually purchase. For example, a WordPress template, for example, where you can actually have something structurally in place, but you can change the colors of it. You can change the interface and how it actually looks, how the fonts look, how the overall textures feel. That's actually a pro of setting up your own personal website to sell your artwork on. Another pro of selling your art on your own personal website is that you get to create your own custom URL. For example, when somebody is selling on Etsy, a lot of times they will have, for my website, it's actually visioncity.etsy.com. A lot of times people don't really want to have Shopify or an Amazon URL or an Etsy URL or whatever it might be within their actual website URL that they're sending people to. When you're setting up your own custom website, obviously you're going to be able to have your own custom URL, in other words, your own domain address. This can also be a real attractive thing. Some people just frankly don't want to associate with one particular online selling platform so that could be another plus for setting up your own website. Another real bonus to setting up your own personal website to sell your artwork on, is that a lot of times, not always, but a lot of times you get to have a wide range of plugins that you can actually apply and actually customize your website. For example, maybe there's different gadgets or different ways of actually getting things set up within your actual website that maybe you can't customize on a selling platform like Amazon, or on Etsy or on Shopify. There may be more limitations structurally within selling platforms because obviously, they have thousands and thousands of artists selling on them. They only allow us to customize very limited things. That may be another reason that you may want to create your own website because maybe you want to have a very specific type of a form, or a interaction, or a pop-up Window, or something very specific that you want to have your customers interact with you and you want to really control the experience. That's definitely a plus of setting up your own personal website. You are definitely more of the architect of the experience that your customer is having. Now let's go through a few of the cons of setting up your own personal website. Now one of the first cons that I can think of in most cases is that a lot of times setting up your own personal website to sell your art on is just more expensive in general. Now sometimes you have to hire a web designer or you may need to by an actual template. Maybe you're hiring a web designer to customize the template site that you bought a lot of times in my husband's in my businesses that we run, not just in my own personal business, but in my husband's music business, we've had template sites that we then hired in a web designer to come in and do specific coding and every single time a web designer touches the website, it's like hundreds of dollars. That can really add up over the course of a couple of months or weeks or gosh, even a year. A lot of times if you want to have that customized personalized touch, you have to pay for it by having it be customized, and that in turn just drives the bill up when it comes to actually the expenses of putting together a personal website. Another one of the cons that I would consider when it comes to setting up your own personal website, is that you're not gaining the immediate organic traffic that you would if you were say, setting up on an online platform that people are already looking at. Now, for example, Amazon, if you're selling on Amazon or Handmade at Amazon, Amazon, as we've discussed earlier, is a giant monster of a website. Obviously, it's got everything and anything you could ever need, it's just growing at the speed of light. People generally will just search there for the things that they're looking for. Maybe they're looking for a very specific artwork for their bathroom, for example. They're just going to go to Amazon and start plugging in keywords, which I've talked about in other videos in this course, which is your SEO, the key words that you associate with your online items that you're selling. Amazon for example, is somewhere that people are naturally going to go, whereas your personal website is honestly going to be off in a quiet place online until you and I go ahead and make a lot of noise about it. Then that means you have to do all of your own marketing, all your own promotion, all of that just to get people to know number 1, that you're existing, that you're there, and number 2 that you have products that they may be interested in. It's really starting from Ground 0 whereas if you're selling on an online platform, like for example, when I look at my stats in Etsy, a lot of times a lot of my traffic happens to be coming from within Etsy. That means people are already on the Etsy platform and they're already plugging in the things that they're looking for. Then because I've SEO in my store, then they're seeing me. There's a bit of steps as they're on their way towards me whereas if I had my own website and maybe I was just starting out, I didn't really know how to do SEO yet and I was figuring out all those first steps, if I had just put out my art products onto my own website, then I probably would have had less of a chance of being seen and if you're not seen, it's a lot harder to obviously to be purchased. It's impossible to be purchased in fact, because if people can't find us, then they don't even have the option to know that we exist so that they don't know if they even want our products. I wanted to just make you aware of these different things. This is an open conversation. I'm not saying creating a website of your own, is at all negative, I'm not saying it's the answer. But what I am doing is presenting this to you because depending on where you're at, you may or may not want to do that. These pros and cons of setting up your own personal website are going to be different for everyone, they're going to impact everyone differently, but I want you to think about that and really decide. As we've been talking about the different selling platforms, there are pros and cons of selling on each of them as well. It's a thing to look at personally because I can't tell you where to sell, and frankly, if you were to tell me where to sell it wouldn't be relevant either because we are in our own journeys. I want you to really decide one place, at least to sell your artwork on and go with it. Stick with that one place for a while until you really get your products off the ground rather than trying to just spread yourself all over the Internet and not giving any of the locations of where you're selling any attention or love as I would say. I want you to think about these things as you're deciding, but make sure to make a decision, and then we can move forward. It's really impossible to go on forward in any of the other steps until you and I have made this decision. For me, for example, I've been selling on Etsy and I've loved it. I've had a really great time selling at Etsy, I think it's a great interface. However, I've also, now that I've got more of a customer base, I'm now expanding to Shopify, but I wouldn't be doing that until I was ready to do so. I wouldn't be doing that until I had certain things in place. Until I had an email list going and had certain things happening. You want to stay in one location long enough to be recognized there and to be growing a fan base there. That's really my opinion. Not everyone would agree with that, but in my experience, it's definitely been something that's been true. I encourage you to choose one place to set up your store. Whether it's on your personal website, or whether it's on one of the selling platforms I've discussed in previous videos. But go ahead and make your decision and we will move on and keep on building your art selling business. 7. Personal About Section: This is an area all about how to really create your About section and really share more of your personality in your online art shop. Now the thing that's going to differentiate your store from everybody else's store is just that, it's you. Creating personality and an About section that really displays more about who you are as an artist, as a creative and really shares your story, is going to be what actually pulls people in. Now one of the things that I've learned in the last several years of building this art business is that, it's not just about the art, it's also about the artist, so the creative mind behind the art that is as equally as fascinating to people as the actual physical art that they're looking at. Believe it or not, people want to hear our stories, they want to know more about who you are, about how you even started doing this, have you been creating art since being a child, or is this something that you fell on by accident and now you just fell in love with. Share a little bit of your story in your About section. Now, depending on if you're selling on a platform, a third party platform like Shopify or Etsy or Amazon, or maybe you're selling on your own personal website, all these different areas will give you an opportunity to share something about yourself. I encourage you to show at least one photograph of yourself, maybe you're just friendly and you're happy, I definitely want to encourage you to appear friendly and approachable in your photo and have fun with it. You could have your artwork with you in your photo. You could be in your studio like myself right now I'm surrounded by my studio. I could just be in a shot like this and just be talking and telling my story with words in a paragraph with a friendly shot, just a view in your studio. But by telling a little bit of your backstory and sharing the journey of what even made you start to sell your art and what you hope to accomplish with the art that you're creating, by sharing those things it will pull people in to realize that you're not just a business, but you're a person. People connect far more with people than they ever will with a business. I want to encourage you to get a little bit personal and allow people into that side of you. You might even want to show some behind the scenes photos of maybe you sketching or in-process. Especially in my Instagram and Facebook course, I talk about this specifically. Showing a little bit of your process and the mess, so to speak, is actually a really good thing. People love to see that. They want to see that you really are the one making this art, because sometimes when we just see a finished product, we just think, oh, that's so cool, but it almost like we can glaze over. But when we see somebody actually making something, like them actually working on it, that just takes us to a whole another level of inspiration. We love seeing that as humans. We want to see how you made this stuff. People that are looking at your art, they want to know, did she really make this or is this somebody else's art? How did she even do this? By showing more of who you are, allowing them in, maybe giving a blurb about your backstory, you might say, hey, I used to be a lawyer and really not into art at all and then I came across this style of art and now I've just fallen in love with it. Now my whole purpose is to create art that will inspire people. Maybe it's for the sake of the planet or maybe it's for the sake of something that's a cause that is very important to you. Those are the kinds of things you want to share. You want to really get it out there, share it in photographs. Another great way to share things in your About section is in your video. Maybe you are in that talking situation just like this and you're sharing a bit of your story, you're welcoming people to your store, telling them a little bit about who you are. Now, disclaimer, you don't need to go overboard, you don't need to tell them everything about your childhood and too much information. right you're going to do a video, I would keep it 3-5 minutes and really short and fun and just introduce yourself. Share with them why you're so passionate about the art you're creating, and how you think that the art that you're making can benefit them. Because ultimately it's not just about us, we can't make it a meat fest. You want to encourage them to have a reason to buy. You might want to be talking about your art style that you make, but you might say, I really picture it being hung in children's rooms and it makes me so happy to think about how moms can then decorate their kids' rooms. Just slightly refer to the fact that it could be a real benefit and something that would really be a blessing to the people who are going ahead and purchasing from you. You're always thinking about them in mind as you're talking and as you're sharing. It's always the, what inspired you, as well as the, how it'll inspire them. I had somebody speak with me once over the phone and he was a consultation actually. He said, ''Tell me what you do and tell me why should I care.'' It was such a blatant statement, I was taken back by it, but it's really true. What do we do and why do we do it? Then, why should somebody else who's looking at your website or my website, why should they care,? We need to answer that in your About section. Go ahead and fill in your About section on your website, or on your Shopify, or your Etsy, or where you're selling your artwork online and share a little bit about who you are, push the boundaries. If they give you an option to include your social, so your social links to your other social medias, maybe they have that already built-in like in Etsy they do. If you have that option, go ahead and include that so people can look further and begin to follow you, follow the journey that you're on, because a lot of times on our website, we may not always show as much of the messy journey, but I find online we will. Maybe on Facebook or on Instagram, we might share a bit more. You might want to engage people that way to follow along with your journey. I want to encourage you again that it's good to share the process with people. You don't feel like you have to just be all put together all the time, it's actually cool and people enjoy being let behind the curtain, so that they can see your process. I encourage you to set up your About section, your personal profile. It's called different things on different platforms, but really enjoy it. Have fun with it and be creative and allow yourself to really shine as an artist. 8. Selling policies: When you're setting up your selling platform, another thing that you really need to do is to set up your selling policies. Now, no matter where you sell, you're going to need to do this. I encourage you to go ahead and set up your policies at the very beginning so you're not running into a bunch of questions from customers later that maybe are feeling confused as to whether or not you take certain forms of payment and so on. What are policies? Policies are the way you run your store. They're the rules of conduct when it comes to people interacting with your store. For example, how many different types of credit cards or which credit cards do you take in your store, make sure that that is clearly visible on your listings, as well as do you take PayPal? Do you also take gift certificates? A lot of times selling platforms will offer the ability to have gift certificates gifted between members of the actual platform. Are you able to take gift certificates? If so, that should be very clearly marked as well on your listings. Your selling policies is also where you're going to include things like your refund policy, your shipping policy, how many days until you ship an order. For example, if I receive an order on Monday, how many days until it's shipped out from my actual studio. For me, I believe I have between one business days. In order to accommodate that, then I have to actually include that on my actual policies. A lot of times people like to scan over this information to just get an idea. For example, if I'm buying from you and I need the actual order next week, I'm going to check through your policies really quick to see if the order is going to arrive on time. Sometimes people have things that are already ready, whereas other people have things that are more made to order. Like say you sell customized items, then it might take you 3-4 days to make the item. Maybe you do customizations by hand lettering on wood or something along those lines, maybe a custom order for a wedding illustration or anything, then there may be even a back and forth between you and the customer. Maybe they have to approve something before you can then print it off to ship it out. Depending on your policies, you're going to write all these different things in your policies. Make it so crystal clear, and I would use short sentences, don't go on for long paragraphs. Keep it really quick and short. People like to scan over this information. They're not going to sit there and read on the Internet for a long time. That's actually been overwhelming for a customer which might be a turnoff. You want to keep this information quick, really short sentences, clear and organized, almost more like point form to be honest with you than large paragraphs of reading. People don't like to read on the Internet as much because it's just frankly not as comfortable on our eyes than it is on paper. Think about that when you're actually writing your policies, but make sure to really clearly outline the rules of conduct when it comes to all these different areas. Another area to note, as I've mentioned before is digital items. If you sell any digital items, what are your policies to do with that? You might even just want to give your instructions right there of how to download the digital items. Maybe just give some tips on how to make sure that's a smooth process. Maybe just give instructions like number 1, purchase the digital item; number 2, go to the actual receipt and download the digital item; number 3, then you can print it whether at home or at a local printer; step 4 could be, choose to frame or not frame, and so on. Enjoy your print kind of thing. You might want to actually include that information in your policies as well. As well as mentioning digital items, there is no refunds on digital items. I want to encourage you to do that as well. That's just my personal preference, and I really encourage you not to offer digital items refunds. Again, be sure to fill in all these details. There may be more depending on what you're doing. So fill in all this information and details on your selling policies for your online shop. 9. Part 2 Project: Hey, everyone, I hope you've been enjoying the sell your art master class part 2. In this video, I want to share with you the project that I outlined for you in the project section. Step 1, you're going to go ahead and print out the sell your art masterclass part 2 worksheets. Step 2 is you're going to go through the actual video content of the course. During this course you're going to be asked to select your selling platform to set up your About section and establish your selling policies. Step 3, you're going to fill in your worksheets. Step 4, you're going to then go ahead and share your worksheet answers in the project section. You can do this in a variety of different ways. You can type it out. Or you can actually just go ahead and photograph it with your smartphone and share it that way. Whatever way is best for you. Step 5, you're going to go ahead and share a second image of your artwork. We want to continue the conversation from the first course of part 1. This way it'll be a great way for us to get to know you a little bit better and to see a bit more of your process. Feel free to share your process images or even a photograph of your workspace. Thank you guys and let's keep going onto the next section. 10. Sell Your Art Masterclass Part 2 Final Thoughts: Hi guys, congrats on completing the Part 2 of the Sell Your Art Masterclass. I hope that you've enjoyed the course and that you were able to download your worksheets and fill in all of your details and make some great decisions for your art business. I want to encourage you to please leave me a review. I'd love to hear how you felt about this course and how it helped you. I want to encourage you to go on and check out Part 3 of the Sell Your Art Masterclass. We're going to delve even deeper into your art business. We're going to talk about how to photograph your art beautifully, how to create mock-up stylings of your art to make it look like it's already in a room. I'm also going to talk to you about how to create an effective art listing. There's a lot of things people don't know when it comes to actually creating a listing properly so that people know exactly what they're buying. I'm also going to talk to you about SEO keywords, as well as writing great descriptions, and I also even have a template for you for the description that you can actually download and use that as a reference point so that you don't even have to figure it out at all. I also want to talk to you about shipping settings and how to properly package your artwork for sale so that it will arrive beautifully to your customers. I hope that you'll go ahead and check out Part 3 of the Sell Your Art Masterclass, and I'll see you on that side.