Recently my teen-age daughter asked me about working as a freelance artist online. Now I have personally done a little bit of this type of work, but I transitioned into writing after realizing that was not my gifting.
If you’ve got the talent that’s your first step to success as you will really need to stand out from the rest in order to attract clients and/or sales.
Many people say that you can never make money as a digital artist — I tend to disagree. You just need to have the right approach and resources along with patience to build your business over time.
Would you like to monetize your creative talents?
Here are 5 different ways to get started:
Set Up Your Home Base
What do you want to brand yourself as? You can choose your own name or a catchy title. Whichever you decide this will be your first step to getting an online platform. Next, you’ll need to do a search in a place like GoDaddy to see if your name is already taken.
Popular website services for creatives are tumblr, Etsy, Shopify, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and WordPress. Here’s a break down of each:
- tumblr – Allows you to create a free blog and feature your art. This is also a great way to network with other artists and attract followers to your page.
- Etsy – This a long-standing creative marketplace for just about any type of art that is not digital. If you have something that can be printed such as on a mug, t-shirt, poster, ect. then this is your place. The fees are low to get started and they have some good tutorials on how to set up shop.
- Shopify – Sell just about anything through this robust ecommerce platform. You’ll be able to set up a custom domain name and choose from a large selection of built-in themes for your website. You try it out for 14 days before making a final decision.
- Wix – If you’d like to custom-build a shared hosted website then this resource can be very affordable to get started. There are drag and drop features, tutorials, and free packages to see if you like the place. Once you agree to sign up there are add-ons that are offered at an additional monthly cost.
- Weebly – Similar to Wix, this also helps you created a shared hosted website for free before you decide to buy. This one lends itself more to ecommerce, and includes more add-ons in its monthly package. You can easily create your own store and even add a blog.
- Squarespace – Create a clean, simple website that is also on a shared network through their free trial. No credit card is required to sign up, so there aren’t any surprises. What I like about this platform is its simplicity and professional looking templates.
- WordPress – If you have some technical and website design knowledge then you will enjoy the flexibility and options on this self-hosted platform. This will require signing up with a host provider and then downloading the software from there. You can always start with a smaller service first and then transfer your domain to this type of website later, especially as your business grows.
Start Your Sales Funnel
If you are a digital artist then I recommend places like 99Designs, Fiverr, UpWork, iStock Photo, and BigStock where you can set up seller accounts and feature your work. These places are good for graphic designers, photographers, cartoonists, illustrators, animators, ect. Once you have your own website set up you can create a link to any of these places and direct your visitors directly to your profile page.
A good way to get your name out there is to create branded mugs, t-shirts, calendars, comics, ect. There are a few print-on-demand websites that have been out there a while where you can get started. The commissions aren’t very high, but this is a good way to make a little money each month from your art.
The top places to check out are Art (dot com), Zazzle, CafePress, and Merch (Amazon). It’s amazing how many different types of products can be sold through these websites — you can customize your own cell phone covers, a jewelry, clocks, canvas art, ect.
Join an Online Community
Decide right away to create a network because these are the people who will later on become your customers. Not only should you be active and engaged on places like Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, but you can also join in on art-specific groups.
One of the most popular places is DevianArt where you can check out other digital artists, make great connections, and feature your original artwork. You can include your website on your profile as well as sell prints of your designs. It’s free to sign up and can help provide some creative inspiration as well.
If you’re more on the graphic design end of things another good social network for artists is called, Dribble. Not only can you feature your work, but also get hired. There’s a free, basic version or a yearly paid option available.
Become a Teacher
Once you’ve been established as an artist you may want to share your passion with others and help them learn to do what you create. There are a few different ways to do this — one of which is setting up a YouTube channel, which can be complimented with Facebook Live. Another way to go is through Teachers Pay Teachers, Udemy, or through your own membership program with exclusive webinars or classes.
The best way to make an income from this is through advertising and affiliate links that can be included on your website and YouTube channel. Advertise your classes through Facebook and Instagram Ads, and include a banner on your landing page along with a good email optin that provides a valuable free offer to attract interested students.
To be successful selling your art online you will need to be consistent, persistent, and offer high-quality work that stands above the rest. As you build a strong network you can tap into word-of-mouth marketing for your business, including testimonials from buyers and feedback from your followers online.
It’s not hard to become an online freelancer while working your day job. Just download my free eBook, and get started on your career today: