How to Sell Art Commissions Online: Tips on Process, Pricing & Professionalism | Shea O'Connor | Skillshare
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How to Sell Art Commissions Online: Tips on Process, Pricing & Professionalism

teacher avatar Shea O'Connor, Illustrator & Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.

      Introduction

      1:30

    • 2.

      Choosing Your E-Commerce Platform

      2:38

    • 3.

      Setting Up Your Listing

      2:21

    • 4.

      Collecting Client Info

      3:41

    • 5.

      Boundaries and Communication

      3:05

    • 6.

      The Creative Process

      2:58

    • 7.

      Offering a Print Add-On

      3:04

    • 8.

      Setting Your Prices

      8:57

    • 9.

      Marketing and Selling

      5:25

    • 10.

      My Best-Kept Secret

      1:59

    • 11.

      A Final Recap

      1:52

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About This Class

Learn the Ins and Outs of Online Art Commissions! In this class, I'm going to share how I handle my art commissions to help give you a foundation for how to organize, price, and sell your own commissions successfully.

Art commissions have been a huge source of income for my small business, but with that said, they can take a lot of time and energy, and I've learned a lot of ways to help protect both so that you don't overwork yourself and so that you can get paid fairly.

There's room for all of us here in the creative community, and my goal is to help you thrive as an artist where you're at. This class is structured for beginner to intermediate artist freelancers, but there are certainly some nuggets that can apply to advanced artist entrepreneurs as well. Lookin' forward to seeing you in class!

Shea

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Here's 1 Free Month of Skillshare, on me!

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Meet Your Teacher

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Shea O'Connor

Illustrator & Designer

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Hey! I'm Shea. I'm an illustrator and graphic designer currently creating in Atlanta, Georgia. I have a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Georgia and I've worked in the creative industry for over 10 years at animation studios, design firms, and now full-time for myself. From selling my art on Etsy to designing bespoke brands to illustrating children's books, I love bridging a vintage style with modern values. My designs are colorful, diverse and I fear no sparkle.

 

 

I've learned lots of industry secrets and design tidbits over the course of my creative journey, and I'm so excited to share them with you as I begin teaching!

 

I love making friends with fellow creatives, so pop o... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hey, lovely as I am shale Connor, I'm an illustrator and graphic designer from Atlanta, Georgia. And in this class, I really want to talk about how to sell art commissions online. As an artist and an entrepreneur, it's important to diversify your income streams. So for me, I sell my art online in my Etsy shop. I take on freelance work as a graphic designer, designing logos and branding. I paint murals, I teach, but one of my biggest sources of income is selling commissions online. I've been offering commissions for the past five years and have sold hundreds of them over that time. I've really streamlined my process. I have learned ways to clearly communicate with my clients and set boundaries. I've learned how to set my prices to make it worth my time and my energy. And I've learned how to sell my commissions and promote them really successfully. I'm going to share all of that with you. So by the end of this class, you should have the knowledge and know-how to be able to start offering art commissions yourself no matter where you are in your art journey, I truly want to help you thrive as an artist because I really think that there's a space for all of us here in the creative community. I also want you to be able to earn money from your art without overworking yourself. And I'm happy to share all the tips and things that I've learned over the past five years, the hard way so that you can just jump in and start being able to offer art commissions now. So there's gonna be quite a bit of talking by yours truly in this class. So grab a notebook or a sketchbook, and I will see you in class. 2. Choosing Your E-Commerce Platform: Let's start by talking about which e-commerce platform you want to use to sell your commissions on. Some examples would be Squarespace, Shopify, Wix, or Etsy. I personally use Etsy as my e-commerce platform, but you're going to be able to apply all the concepts that I'm going to talk about two, whichever e-commerce platform you prefer. I personally like Etsy because it's organized and trustworthy and established. And while I am responsible for bringing a big chunk of my customers over to my shop via social media. C is already established and they have a pool of shoppers who are looking to support creative small shops just like me. So it's a great place for me to be on. That being said, at C, we'll take a cut of your profits. So you just have to do some math and decide What's worth it for you. I set up my commissions as digital listings, not physical listings. This means I'm going to send the client a digital file like a jpeg, not a physical item when the order is complete. And what's great about this is that you can select made-to-order, since it's not a physical item, you don't have to set a time window when this order will be completed or shipped. And working with each client is different and you never know how long the process is going to take based off of communication or the amount of revisions. So setting up orders as digital and made-to-order makes it to where you're not facing a time crunch and you're not beholden to your clients communication style. Also, by setting up your listing as digital, you can sell commissions all over the world and you don't have to face a super high international shipping costs. It's also really nice because when you're done with each commission, you just say complete order and you attach your digital file there, and then Etsy will send the client that actual attachment. And it's just super tidy. I also offer a print ad on option for my clients if they want to be able to hang up their portrait in their space. This is a separate purchase that I set up for them once the commission is complete. And then that way you're not rushing to finish their commission within a certain window of time. And I'll tell you more about how I set this up later. But let's get back to setting up your listing. So if you're not a digital artists and you create commissions by hand, that's totally fine, but you will have to figure out shipping costs and timeline details a little bit differently than how I do it. This is totally doable and also very marketable, but it's just not quite as tidy as creating digital art and delivering the files digitally. So to recap, figure out which e-commerce platform you want to use to sell your commissions on. Ask other artists what they're using or try and find a way to make the platform that you're already using work for your commissions. 3. Setting Up Your Listing: Alright, now that you've decided which e-commerce platform you're using, it's time to get your listing setup in a visually and verbally clear way that explains exactly what your client will be purchasing. Etsy allows you to use several photos in the listing. And I think that this is a great way to show examples of previous commissions that you've done so that people can get a sense of what they're about to buy. It's also a great place to add informative texts like instructions or pricing. I often add an image saying, please read the description for details on process and pricing to remind folks to read about what they're going to buy. I used to set up my commissions all in the same listing based off of how ever many figures, but it was just getting way too complicated. So I've ended up separating out all of my commission types and different listings. So one listing will be for headshots, another listing would be for one figure, another listing for to figure and so on just helps me keep everything compartmentalized and keep better track of my orders versus putting all of those Commission types in one single listing. I also don't always offer every type of commission. Each time that I opened my commissions. Sometimes I just only want to be able to do head shots. Those are a little easier for me to tackle. So I'll just open a couple of those. Let's say that it's a specific holiday like Valentine's Day is coming up, then I'm going to offer a to figure portraits so that people can have a couple's portrait. Or let's say that the winter holidays are coming up. I will add more figures as an option for if people wanna do a family portrait for a holiday cards, it's really just dependent on how much time I have in my schedule and how much money I need to make over the next couple of months. So to recap from this lesson is start a draft of your listing and brainstorm what type of commissions you're going to be offering. So how many figures and what art style? I mean, maybe you're not a portrait artist and you're going to be doing more flora or fauna. You just need to figure out exactly what it is that you want to offer to people and start setting up that listing and a really clear, concise way. Find examples of your previous work so that folks can see what type of art they're about to be buying. And also write a clear description of your process and make sure that your pricing is transparent. And in the next section, I will be talking about my process and pricing, which might help you define your ears a little bit better. 4. Collecting Client Info: The first part of my process is collecting information from my clients so that I know where to get started. So what I need from clients, I need some reference photos. I usually need three to five pictures of them, maybe a close-up of their face, a full body shot. And I just want a couple of different angles. I really just want to collect as much information visually as I can so that I am not making assumptions or making up information because this can get really murky. I could offend somebody or hurt their feelings by drawing their body type inaccurately or missing a key facial feature. The point of my commissions is to elevate the client in my drawing style, also still making sure that they are recognizable. And it can be a little bit of a delicate balance. But the more photos that you have, the better of an idea you're going to get of how they look, how they pose, how they dress, do they smile a lot or not? It's just going to help you fill in a lot of those details versus just making some things up and potentially offending somebody. So three to five photos is what I recommend. But honestly, the more the merrier, the next bit of information that I need are specs. I need to know what dimensions to size my canvas tube before I can draw anything. So I usually recommend sizes that I can offer as a print add-on. A lot of times clients don't really know what size they want and what the options are. So this is a really great time to actually sell the print add-on. I'll say something like I offer these sizes as a print ad on option if you're interested in and here are the corresponding prices. No worries if you're not interested, but just thought you might want to have all of the information. And I actually sell a lot of print add-ons this way, most people really do want to have a physical print of their portrait that they can frame and hang up in their home. I'll share a little bit more about my print add-ons and which vendors I use and how I print them in just a little bit. But for now, just remember to collect the specs and understand which size you need to format your art too. The next bit of information that I want to gather are some design details. So I want to know if there are particular hairstyles or clothing accessories, poses, color palettes that they want to be drawn in, anything like that. And I want to gather that information now so that I can include it now versus having to add it later and keep tweaking this sketch. So the more information that you can acquire before you even start drawing, the better. Some plants are really, really great about explaining exactly what they want included and providing all of the information that I've asked for. But others don't really know what they want. And in that case, I usually try and send them over to my Instagram and ask them to shop my art and give me some references from things that I've already created. I would rather them use my art as a reference because they're choosing me to draw them. So if I've drawn it before, I know I can draw it again. So that is a lot of information to acquire. Some clients really, they are so good at getting you everything that you need. But a lot of times they forget to give you something like even the specs, which seems so simple and basic as an artist because we know we have to draw according to a certain size, but they might not know. So I've made a little commissions guide and that has really helped. So as soon as somebody orders a commission, I send them this PDF saying, Hey, thank you so much for ordering your commission. Here is a little quick guide of all of the information I'm going to need in order to draw your portrait. That has really helped give people an actual checklist of the information that I need from them. Your homework is to create your own commissions guide. Create a list of all of the information that you need, the things that you will want your clients to give you. In the next section, I'm going to talk a little bit more about communicating with clients clearly and also setting boundaries. 5. Boundaries and Communication: Okay, the next thing that I wanted to talk about is communication and boundaries. My biggest recommendation to you is that you would keep your conversations to Etsy messages if that's the platform you're using or email, don't let people cite into your DMs. Don't share your phone number and have a text thread going on. So it's really going to help you keep track of the conversation a lot easier and it makes it feel just a little bit less casual or that they can reach you at any waking hour. I will say most of my clients are wonderful about respecting the boundaries, especially once I establish, hey, let's please keep the conversation to Etsy messages. It will help me keep better track of your order and respond more promptly. They will totally understand. But if some people don't, I just have to keep reiterating if they sign into my DMs, I just say, Hey, I really I'm having a hard time keeping track of our conversation and I would really prefer to chat via Etsy messages and then they'll get it. Yeah, DNS and texts can just get really casual and friendly and boundaries can then start to get blurry. So I would just say talk to your clients how you want to be talked to, be respectful and courteous to your clients. And when you think about it, they've chosen to pay for your artistry, which is super flattering and it's really vulnerable for them to have somebody analyze how they look and then to draw them. But that being said, you don't have to be friends. So maintain a friendly professional attitude. Use complete sentences with proper capitalization. Maybe don't use exclamation points after every sentence, which is a hard one for me. And also steer clear of emojis. If you can reread everything that you type before you send it and make sure that you have a really friendly, respectful, and still approachable conversation style. Most of my clients are truly delightful to work with and they're very kind and excited. And I haven't really had too many tricky clients, but when I do have one of those, I just kinda go by the mantra, kill them with kindness. And I know the customer is always right, doesn't gel with everybody. But for me it helps me sleep better at night if I know I was really polite and kind and I handled everything the best way that I could. And also because I use Etsy, I am really beholden to customer reviews. So I really want good five-star reviews because it helps give my shop a lot more credibility and it pushes my shop to more eyes. If I am a star seller or if I have five stars. So I really do want to make my clients happy for that. But then also just so that I feel like they're delighted and have had a great experience with me as a human and as an artist. Okay, So the homework and the recap was really easy on this one. Just to keep the conversation to Etsy messages or email, not to texts or DMZ, and then speak to your clients the way that you want to be spoken to. 6. The Creative Process: Thank you for hearing my little tirade about communication. And of course you don't have to follow everything that I'm doing to a t. I'm just telling you how I've done it and how it's worked out successfully for me so that you just at least have a foundation or a place to get started. Now, I want to talk about my actual drawing process, which is pretty simple. Okay, so let's say that you have gotten all of the information from the client that you need to get started on their commission. What I start with is just a black and white sketch and I don't have any limit to the amount of revisions during this process. The reason for that is that clients have reached out to me because they want to be drawn in my art styles. So there's already enough trust established between my artistry and what they're looking for. So I haven't really actually run into any issues with a crazy amount of revision that being said, maybe it's a good idea for you to include maybe two to three rounds of revisions in this sketching phase. And you can say that that will be charged at your hourly rate, but I would make sure to really clearly communicate this to the client before you start making any actual art. So the reason that I start with a black and white sketch before adding any color is that if they want any revisions made to say the pose or the alphabet that they're wearing, or an expression that they have. It's so much easier to make that change. Now while I'm just doing some rough sketches versus when I've added color and I'm really trying to finalize the artwork. It's just going to help protect you before you move into color. Also, for clients who don't know exactly what they want. Doing a sketch sometimes just really gives them something to be able to react to and to see what they do or what they don't. And it will just help you understand their needs a little bit better. So once we're in the color phase, only revisions to the colors can be made from this point on. And I make sure to really clearly communicate that with my clients before we jump into color, I like to give them a couple of days just to mole over the sketch. Just think that they want any changes made at all versus rushing right into the next phase of the commission's process. I have no limit to color revisions. Again, if that's something that you want to add into your process and really clearly communicate to your client. That's totally fine. I just haven't run into an issue with it in the five years that I've been working on these. But again, I think that's because I have a really clearly defined style and process and people just already had that sense of trust with me. And it's really helped. One thing to think about with colors is that let's say you're going to be offering that print add-on. You want to make sure that the colors depicted on your screen, we'll translate really well to an actual physical printed piece. Okay, so your homework is to define your process and write it out so that you can verbally communicate that with your client in a clear way. And you also need to figure out how you want to handle revisions. Also, you're going to need to decide if you are planning to offer a print add-on, which we will talk about in the next section. 7. Offering a Print Add-On: So as we've chatted about, my commissions are delivered digitally, but oftentimes the client would like a physical print of their portrait to frame and hang in their home. I used to print these printed add-ons on my home printer, which is an epsilon x p 960. I love it so much. The print quality is great, but it takes a lot of time and money to buy all the ink levels and to do all of the test prints. And it's a pain when the client orders multiple prints because each print has to match colors perfectly. So it was just becoming a bit of a headache. I also had to figure out my shipping cost and packaging everything up to so it was doable as I was getting started, but eventually it just turned into more of a hindrance than an extra added bonus. I would just rather not offer a print ad on at that point. So as a result, I ended up partnering with a print on demand company called printf full. And I chose them because they have an Etsy integration. So it works really seamlessly with the way that I set up my shop. Using principal has really allowed me to offer more sizes. Previously with my home printer, I could only print up to eight by 10 ". And now using printf full, I could offer an 18 by 24 inch poster if that's what the client wanted. The print quality is really wonderful and I also don't have to fulfill the orders myself. I clearly communicate to my client that I will get there, print out on listing setup for them after their commission is complete. The reason I do this is so that I don't have to choose a specific shipping time and then feel like I'm in a time crunch because I have to get this commission done within two to three weeks. And the reason I do that is because every client is different. There might be multiple revisions. Their communication style might be a little bit slower. So just getting it set up after the commission is complete is really just going to save you a migraine. So you're going to want to define your prices for your print add-ons ahead of time. And again, I usually talk about the printed add-on offered with my clients at the very beginning of the process when I'm trying to collect information from them about specs where I'm like, Hey, here are the specs that I offer. I do actually have a print ad, an option. So here the corresponding prices for those specs. This way, the client isn't just going to have this unexpected surprise of an extra added price. And you won't feel like that kid who is just like making up new rules as they explain the rules to a game. So if you're using a print on demand company like prideful, keep in mind that they are going to take a cut of the profits. So you just need to define your price in such a way that you will actually still make a profit, but that you're not charging an exorbitant price to your clients who have already paid good money to commission you. And I actually will be talking about pricing and the next section. But for now, your homework is to decide if you want to even offer a print add-on option at all. If you want to print it yourself at home, or if you want to partner with a print on-demand companies like print full. 8. Setting Your Prices: Okay, pricing, I'm happy to be very forthcoming about my pricing. I feel like there's a lot of gatekeeping and a lack of information being shared about how to price your art with specific numbers. So I will be an open book so that you can see where I'm at with my pricing. Figure out where to start with your pricing. Or if I'm totally wrong with my pricing, you can let me know. This is a platform where we can all learn together. I'm teaching you what I've learned along the way, but that does not mean that I'm not still learning. So within this entire video, please feel free to chime in with ideas or things that you've learned so that everybody here taking this class can grow and learn together. One of the main factors that helps me to define my pricing is knowing how many figures will be drawn. So the more figures that are going to be drawn means the more time it's going to take to be able to complete this commission. I offer from headshots, which our shoulders up all the way to five figures. And I also offer Pet Portraits. Another thing to think about is will a background be included? A lot of times with my commissions, I don't include a background. I just have a solid color background. Just because drawing a background is more time and more energy and more effort to include it. But I also will say, I don't love having backgrounds in general. I really liked the people to stand out the most. So I have found that when they're on a solid backdrop, the figures really just pop more. So it's definitely easier, I guess, to not include a background, but I just liked the look of it to one other factor to think about is turnaround time. How long will this take you? I like to communicate with my clients that my commissions take 4-6 weeks to complete. They could take less, they could take more depending on how quickly the client communicates with me. Some clients do have a specific timeline in mind. So if they want something done really soon, I want them to be able to let me know, but I also I think it's a smart idea to charge a rush fee for that because they are asking to be bumped to the very top of the list. And for me, my commissions are first-come-first-served. So I worked from the first-order all the way down to the last order because it just seems very fair that way. So out of respect for all of my other clients, if somebody really does want to get bumped up to the top of the list, they just need to pay extra. I'll say the only time that that issue really ever comes up is if there's a special occasion like an anniversary or a wedding, and that's when people want the portrait done quicker. But usually I try and really get ahead of that issue because let's say for holiday commissions, I will offer those in October so that I've got up to two months to be able to complete them so that they have them in December. So I just kinda cover myself a little bit that way. I charge a flat rate for my commissions, but I use my hourly rate to help me decide how much to charge. But I think whenever you share an hourly rate with clients, I have found that it usually freaks them out because they don't understand how long it's going to take. And I also don't like to box myself and by saying, cool, I think this is going to take me somewhere 8-10 h to finish and my hourly rate is 100 an hour, but it could take more time, it could take less. That kind of freaks clients out. I think what I have found is that clients prefer just to know a flat rate and understand that they're gonna be guaranteed this really cool product at the end. So they don't need to know the inner workings of your hourly rate and how you've defined what that is. But you need to know the inner workings of that, so we'll talk about that in just a second. Okay. So your hourly rate is usually defined by your years of experience in the field and by your skill level and by what industry you're in. So I've worked in the illustration and graphic design industry for over ten years now. I work very quickly and efficiently because I have a very streamlined process. I offer a one-of-a-kind product. So I charged around 100 an hour, which I think is a fair rate. So you can just use where I'm coming from, maybe as a foundation for where you're coming from and what you think you should charge. But I would definitely recommend just looking online, seeing what other artists are charging in your field, like even on Instagram or even in your specific location, just do some research. But for me, I'm based in Atlanta, been in the industry for ten years, pretty solid, creatively. Hundred and our fuels really fair for me. And I will just keep increasing it every single year because of inflation and because I keep growing and my skills as an artist at the end of the day really tried to undersell yourself. You are drawing something custom for a client who specifically seeking your skills and your style. And that has value, so make it worth your time and your energy. If you sell your commissions for super cheap, not only are you undervaluing yourself as an artist, but you're also bringing down the whole creative community. And it brings down the market price for other artists and just hurting all of us together as a creative community. So for me, I feel like pricing is a moving target because you're always trying to figure out who are your clients, what can they afford? What are they willing to spend their money on? How much money do they want to spend on art? And then trying to figure out yourself and what your own value is based off of your years in the creative industry and your skill level and your expertise. So there's just a lot of different factors going on. But I also don't think you have to totally be locked into your prices. So let's say I'm 100 and our now, but next year I definitely want to increase my prices again because inflation and I've grown more and my skills when you think about it, every single business, they raise their prices too. So we should as well. For reference, like, I think I was totally under selling my commissions at the beginning. My head shots used to sell for $45.20, 17, and they sold out so fast. So I realized that I was super under selling them like there was demand for them, but also people didn't even wait to consider. Is this something I can afford is something I really want. Like they just went like that and I was like, I probably shouldn't be selling these for more. And so I ended up charging $70 in 2,018.20, 19, which was a huge jump from $45. But they also sold out just like that. Then I sold them for $100.20, 20.20, 21, and now I sell my head shots for $125 in 2022. So I think it's fine just to play around with your prices. I mean, I think there's definitely a balance of changing your prices often. That can be a little bit of whiplash for your clients. But I also think that if they're good clients, they will already have valued you and they will be willing to pay that money. The clients that I had in 2017 who paid $45 for their head shots are recurring clients. They've come back, they want headshots again and they're now paying $125.20, 22. My advice would be, start by pricing your commissions higher than you think they'll sell for. Because it's easier to lower the prices than it is to raise them. Again, I felt really uncomfortable raising my prices by 30 extra dollars and just a year. But then I gain some confidence when people were buying them, but it did make me feel like I was jumping around a lot. So just price them higher. If it helps, just think about it this way. You could sell your commissions for super cheap, which is undervaluing yourself and also the creative community. Or you could do, We're commissions for more money and still make the same amount. And also spare yourself some grief and protect your time and your energy. So I would rather do the latter because I can really devote for me, it's all about time and energy. I really want to make sure that I can protect my little artist's heart so that I'm not overworked. And I also really just want to make sure that I am giving my clients the best art that I can give them. I want their portraits to be elevated. I want them to all feel special and unique and I don't want to feel resentful of my clients because you'll see that reflected in the art. You'll see it if I'm tired, you'll see it if I'm annoyed. So having fewer commissions for a higher price has really helped protect me and hopefully will help you to. Your homework is going to be to decide if you want to charge a flat rate for your commissions or if you want to charge hourly, but keep in mind, if you're charging hourly, you do need to be doing some time tracking. So that's a little bit extra work. I really would recommend flat rate, but you do you then either way you have to define your hourly rate so that you can know what you're worth. 9. Marketing and Selling: Okay, so now a part that I think is super fun is actually selling the Commission's, the biggest, most obvious thing is to make sure that your portfolio of commissions is awesome. People need to see examples of what you make so that they know whether they want to buy it or not. So for me, I treat all of my commissions that I get as opportunities to sell more commissions. If you haven't gotten any commissions Yet, I would say make up some of the type of work that you want to be doing, that you want to be selling so that people can reference that. I know that I'm going to be selling commissions Soon. I know that I need to create a marketing campaign just to raise some hype and bring some awareness so that other people know that my commissions are coming soon. They have time to adequately prepare and budget. And it's really just going to, again, get that hype and get people excited about commissions. My commissions are first-come, first-serve, and they go really quickly. So I like to give my clients and my followers a proper heads up so that they have time to prepare and budget. I like to make a static feed post on Instagram sharing the date and the time that my commissions will be available on Instagram. There are calendar reminders on those static feed posts too, so that people can set their alarms and be ready on the actual day. I also like to share a count down in my Instagram stories so that people can also receive a notification that way. But it's basically important for me to communicate, Hey, you need to set your alarms because commissions are going live at 12:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time on September 22, just so that they know when they're coming in that static feed post. And in my stories, again, I really like to show all of my previous commissions as examples because that really helps people shop and understand, oh my gosh, I would love a portrait with my cat. I want like little flower details there. I love how Shae turned this couple into this vintage Christmas theme for the Christmas cards, I love this Halloween vibe. It's just really helps them to see sort of the broader scope of work that I can offer and helps them to picture themselves into what a commission could be like for them. The last thing for social is to post on the actual day that Commission's open. So this could be a feed post, it could be a real, it could be a story, it could be all three. But the whole reason we're using social media is to inform people really clearly when commissions will be opening. Also get them really hyped up about them. We can't always assume that everybody is on social and following and getting all the post notifications for every new thing that you share. So having a newsletter is also a really great way to reach your audience. So similar to social, I will send out an e blast for all of the subscribers to my newsletter about two weeks in advance saying the date and the time that commissions will be open again. And then I also share in a blast on the day of that commissions are open. I really loved my newsletter subscribers. They feel like they are my ride or die people because they actually subscribe to my newsletter. They signed up to get notifications on when I'm releasing commissions, when I've got really cool projects going on, when I've got things in my shop that are new or live updates, so they really want to be informed of what's going on. So I will say using my commissions has been a really great way to get new people to sign up for my newsletter. Because if they send me a DM on Instagram saying I would love a commission of you. I can just say really quickly like, Hey, I'm so sorry, commissions are currently closed, but I really hope to reopen them the next couple of weeks or months or whenever you're going to open them. I'll make sure to announce on social two weeks in advance when they're available again. Or you can also sign up for my newsletter to receive notifications when there'll be available again. And then a lot of times people do sign up for that newsletter because we don't all want to be beholden to social media all the time. But when they sign up for your newsletter for that Commission's announcement, they're also going to get all the newsletters that you send out based off of the things you're doing as an artist. So it's a cool way to bring them into the fold. And don't forget to include your newsletter sign-up link in your bio. I use Link tree, which means I can have multiple links in my bio, so I can have a link to my Etsy shop, my newsletter, sign up all of that kind of good stuff. But they have an actual place and a link that they can click on to join your newsletter. One key thing about the marketing campaign is that I don't share my prices at that time. The reason I don't share them is so that people can't go back and reference them later because I'm honestly, I'm always changing my prices based off of what my audiences, where if the market in general is, I would rather just have the prices become known the actual day of but if somebody does reach out asking for a ballpark figure of what the commissions will be. I will say my headshot start at 01:25 and the pricing increases based on the number of figures, but my prices are subject to change. And then that kinda covers me. Your homework is to create a Commission's marketing campaigns. So make a social media posting plan, get your newsletters drafted up and just start creating some hype. And in the next section, I'm going to share my best kept secret about commissions with you. 10. My Best-Kept Secret: Okay, So I've saved my best to prolapse, which I just kind of stumbled upon. But it's to not always have your commissions open all the time. So I used to always have my commissions open, but I started getting really booked up and just really overwhelmed and stressed out. So I had to close commissions and only offer them in batches just to protect my time and energy. But I also realized by doing that, it led to this sense of scarcity. So if my commissions only open up three or four times a year, people pounce on them. When they open, they sell and a single day they sell within an hour, which is super exciting. And I do mind first-come, first-serve. So I don't have any kind of a waitlist. So they've got their two-week heads-up of when I'm going to be offering them. But once those commissions go live, like people need to get in there and grab them if they want to commission by me. So it's really helped me sell them. So yeah, I really only opened my commissions three or four times a year. I have maybe somewhere 10-20 commission slots around that time. And originally I did this just to help protect myself, but it did turn out to be this really smart strategic thing that made people feel like commissions are really exclusive, which they are. I mean, at this point I really, I can only take on so many because at the end of the day, it's so important to me to be able to give my clients the best portrait that I can give them. Like, I want to pour my heart into it. That's just the type of person that I am. And I also really want to enjoy doing it too. I don't want to be stressed or low-energy that will reflect in the artwork. So I really would recommend not having your commissions open all year around. And you can also add that in your bio saying commissions closed. It might also add to that sort of elusive, exclusive idea. But it's really worked for me and I hope that it works for you too. 11. A Final Recap: Okay. That was so much talking, but we finally made thank you for being a trooper and for listening to my tips on how to sell art commissions online, they have really been a great source of income for me. I hope that they will be for you. I again want you to just totally thrive as an artist. But before we close, I am just going to do, I love Greek camp. The recaps really helped me just to like log in information. So I'm gonna do another recap for you because I really did just word vomit so much to you. The first one is to sell digital commissions because you'll be able to reach more people in the world and it's easy delivery system. The next one is to be super-duper clear and you're listing description about your pricing and your process, and show examples of your previous work so that clients understand what they're about to buy, make a commission. Guys. Did that clients know what information you need from them in order to get the commission's process started. Keep communication in one place, whether it's Etsy messages or email. Don't let people cite into your DMs or your texts. Be professional and courteous and your clients, and speak with them the way that you want to be spoken to. Create a Commission's marketing campaign on both social media and in a newsletter, offer limited commissions. So make it a fun and rare occasion when commissions open. And last but not least, create beautiful, meaningful work that your clients will cherish and that you are proud of. Thank you for learning with me and I really do hope that this class has helped you feel better equipped and prepared to open commissions and a way that protects your time and energy and that you are fairly compensated for them. So you can follow my art journey on Instagram and also on TikTok and YouTube at designed by shame. And you can also shop my art and surprise, my commissions on Etsy stay sparkly.