How To Sell Your Art Online

Promote Your Threadless Artist Shop In 5 Steps
If you just started selling at Threadless, then you've probably read a ton of success stories on how independent designers became best selling artists, and you are willing to do whatever it takes to reach that level of success. Luckily, this guide will go over the 5 steps you need to follow to promote your Artist Shop like the pros. Read on.

Listen To The Hype

Whether you swim with or against the flow, it’s important to know what’s going on out there, what trends, styles, themes and topics are building popularity.
Don’t mistake being aware of current tendencies for taking sides with a style that has a raging demand but doesn’t represent your t-shirt business at all, it’s important to stay true to your brand’s core identity and not let it be defined by the market's inclinations.
But if a certain Instagram hashtag is trending, you might as well use it.
Making a Valentine’s Day tank top won’t affect your brand’s identity, and joining this seasonal trend can be a great move to promote your Artist Shop.

Shop Visibility

SEO in a nutshell: search engines such as Google and Bing determine which sites are relevant for a user. How? Based on the info you put on your site.
Realistic images are a decisive factor on how much customers can you get.
Want to make it easier for people to find your artwork? Step up your SEO game, here’s how:
  1. Find the right keywords (try Keyword Planner) and use them on your product’s description and title. Make sure to target both broad and long tail keywords. E.g. t-shirts and Game of Thrones t-shirts.
  2. Start a blog. Make frequent posts on topics relevant to your brand, your processes and the t-shirt selling industry. Guest posting is also a good practice, especially if you trade posts with a blog with a similar audience as yours. If you write about “Making a Passive Income by Selling T-Shirts”, it doesn’t really make sense to do a guest post with a foodie or traveling blog, regardless of its popularity or rank.
  3. Make relevant sites link back to your site and blog. This sometimes means spending money to be featured on a list, post or directory but hey, if the site is important enough, it pays off.
  4. Encourage your clients to spread the word by sharing links to your Threadless shop, website or articles. You can do this through social media.

Social Media Ads

If you plan on promoting your artist shop through social media, you've got to have compelling visual assets to accompany your adverts and make sure they meet the results you are expecting.
Visual content tools like Canva and Placeit allow you to create powerful graphics and product shots to really allow your artwork to stand out and make the most out of your advert budget.
Before spending time and money on adverts, make sure to think about what you are most likely to re-share on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest; then go and make shareworthy stuff yourself!
The photo on this ad was created with Placeit. Pretty neat, huh?
Spending time on setting up audiences for Facebook Ads is key. You will want to dive in to all the targeting options available to be able to reach your brand's niche market.
A quick tip is to make different audiences based on topic or demographic. For example, if you make an ad about a beachwear sale, select your audience based on related interests, and so on.
Tip: Read more about Facebook Custom Audiences.
The guys at WordStream made a great job on this article and infographic on social media advertising. Have a look:

Engage With The Community

The secret to effectively promote your tshirt designs and shop is to network and interact within the community. You are here, you are a t-shirt designer, we want to hear what you have to say.
  1. Join Facebook Groups about selling t-shirts online, you'll be surprised about how much great insight you can find from fellow artists and designers looking to promote their designs and websites. Here are a couple to get you started: T-Shirt & Apparel Masterminds and T-Shirts Strategy, Tips and Tools.
  2. Dive into forums! It may sound like a 2008 move to make, but there are tons of subreddits, threads and forums for t-shirt artists out there. Not to mention the ones at Threadless itself.
Here's the thing about forums: you've got to be helpful, honest and respectful. Remember there are all sorts of people here, from successful sellers to newbies and enthusiasts; keep a positive attitude, share and listen to as much piece of advice as you can, the community will appreciate it and your Artist Shop will eventually be rewarded.
“Respect the artist and trust the community” 

–Jake Nickell, Threadless Founder and CEO

Have Fun

Threadless was built upon the idea of being a community for sharing outstanding artwork, it's a place from and for artists.
Promoting and selling t-shirts online is a tricky thing to do, it can exhaust all of your resources without results if you forget the creative and fun part of the process.
Make use of this P.O.D. platform as what it is, a meeting point for t-shirt sellers, graphic designers, artists and people looking for a truly unique t-shirt design.
Do you enjoy watercolor painting? Is Illustrator your go-to tool? Are clever graphic tees your thing? Whatever your talent or interest may be, be sure to pursuit it and have a good time while doing so.

The Takeaway

• Threadless is a marketplace, but it is also a community, join and be nice.
• SEO is important, pay attention to the wording you use when describing your products and designs. Also, blogging is important.
• Monitor current trends to be up-to-date and jump on the bandwagon.
• P.O.D sites like Threadless allow you to make a t-shirt business without upfront risks; but success won't come easily, be prepared to spend time and money promoting your Artist Shop on Social Media, it will pay off.