Michelle's Mystery Art Sale Success


Michelle Harton is a lovely artist who recently reached out to me to share about how she adopted my Mystery Art Sale idea for her art business. It was a wonderful success for her to say the least. She sold over 30 paintings in a month, increased her follower engagement, got local press coverage and even used the challenge to help her secure an exhibition! I had the pleasure of getting to sit down and chat with her about her experience and we recorded the conversation to share it with all of you! 

She went above and beyond with this idea and I am so impressed. I think you'll find Michelle and this conversation inspiring! 

Follow Michelle on Instagram - @michellehartonart and visit her website at http://michellehartonart.com/

To learn more about the art sale idea we discussed, check out my previous blog "How I Sold 40 Paintings in 30 Days on Instagram"

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How I Sold 40 Paintings in 30 Days on Instagram


Over the course of 30 days, I sold 40 paintings on Instagram through a daily pre-sale promotion. It was a little different than your regular sale - watch the recording of my Instagram Live video where I share all about how it worked and what the results were. 

Many of you asked what I used to package and ship my paintings, I have added links below.

Here are the items I purchased to matt and package my paintings:  

Orders managed through Shopify: Get a free trial of Shopify - click here! (Affiliate link)

For tips on how to use Instagram, check out my free workshop - click here!

Interested in running your own promotion like this? Steal how I did it!

Below is the copy I used for my Instagram posts:

I am painting a series of abstract watercolors over 30 days that you can pre-order for $25. But there is a catch, you don't know which painting you're getting until you...

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Grow Your Email List

Social Media platforms will come and go. Remember MySpace…? If you are investing all of your time and energy only reaching your audience on Instagram or Facebook, you’re putting yourself at serious risk. 

You NEED to get your followers over to a mailing list - like, yesterday! 

Here are some tips on how to do that.

  1. Sign Up For An Email Provider

The first thing you’ll need is a way to manage and market to the list you’re going to create. I recommend signing up for a free account with MailChimp. MailChimp will provide you with all the tools you’ll need to collect, manage, and email your list. (YAY for free stuff!)

  1. Create A Sign-Up Form

MailChimp provides simple forms you can use to collect email addresses and contact information. 

  • Embed the form on your website. 
    • It is common to have a “Sign Up For My Mailing List” form on a website. It should at least be used on your contact page. 
  • Use A Pop-Up Form.
    • Pop-ups...
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Artist Websites - Shopify

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a platform that allows anyone to create an online store and sell products. Since its launch in 2004, Shopify has established itself as a significant player in the e-commerce site creation sector. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs from over 175 countries, trust Shopify to help sell their products. Entrepreneurs have sold more than 34 billion dollars in products since the company started over 10 years ago.

Shopify has a cool origin story. It’s founder Tobi Lütke, wanted to sell snowboards online but couldn't find an easy to use e-commerce platform. So, being a creative and tech-savvy entrepreneur, he decided to build the kind of platform that he, as a small business could easily use. Shopify was born! Shopify has its roots in entrepreneurialism, and it shows. It is the kind of platform that is built for people who don't want to spend forever building a site and need tools to help them be efficient with their business. For artists who are...

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Pinterest for Artists

Here are some amazing stats about Pinterest.

There are currently 200 Million users on Pinterest.

40% of these users have a household income of $100K or more. This is probably due to the fact that more adults use the platform than teenagers or young adults. 29% of users are actual adults. (This is nice, adults buy art.)

Here is where it gets interesting...

93% of users said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases and 50% have made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin!

So, not only do the users intend to purchase things they see on Pinterest, they often do it.

And here is my favorite, 48% of users on Pinterest are pinning art. Some of this % is art supplies and hobbies, but a big portion of the users are looking at and pinning art. Many will go on to buy art from Pinterest.

And YOUR art should be there for Pinterest users to find.

Ready to learn more about Pinterest? Download my free eBook all about it! 

Are feeling unsure as to how to market your art online? That's why...

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Start A Newsletter & Engage Your Audience

As an emerging artist, it is essential that you stay top of mind with your audience. While you may have a website and/or are active on social media, a monthly newsletter is an ideal and intimate way to build a relationship with your buyers. It can help them understand you as an artist and the inspiration and imagination behind your work.

A thoughtful and open newsletter each month will be something that potential buyers will look forward to receiving and take their time to read. Once a month you will have an opportunity to share and ignite the passion and perspective of your work that comes from within. And, when it comes to producing the newsletter for your audience remember “Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it” - Salvador Dali. I’m always saying, done is better than perfect, just get it done and you’ll see results!

What’s in it for me, as an Artist?
Why is a newsletter important? There are several key reasons but at the heart of it, they...

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Get Started with Art Licensing Deals!


I received some questions on art licensing which I chatted about on my Instagram Live - Art Talk with Andrea. You can watch the video recording above.

You may want to diversify your artwork revenue streams by licensing your artwork to brands or for limited use. Here are some tips to get you started.

First of all, to make any amount of money with licensing, your images will need to have a broad appeal and audience. The percentage you will receive in a licensing deal will be based on wholesale costs. So, if your percentage is 5% and the item is $10 wholesale - your cut will be $0.05. So, you are going to want to make sure this product is getting out to a broad market with a large distribution so that many units will be sold. This is just one example of a licensing scenario though, so don't get too scared away.

Licensing your art gives a manufacturer or brand the rights to use your image. Basically, they will be using your art on their stuff. A contractual agreement is...

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Hit Up The Inbox!

Part of what makes an entrepreneur successful is having control over their business, especially their audience, the same goes for artists who are independently marketing and selling their art.

It's so important not to depend solely on one channel or outside organization to reach an audience. Diversifying your sales channels by selling on your website, through social and in brick and mortar establishments will help you achieve greater and more stable success. The same goes for channels to communicate with your audience and one overlooked channel for artists is an email list.

Email is your most direct path to communicating with your audience. It has the potential to stand the test of time and will give you access to your audience, any time you want to reach them! Start thinking today how you can collect emails from your audience or grow your email list.

Start collecting a list by trying the following tactics:

  • Add a collection form to your website, invite people to sign up for your...
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Get That Money! (Pricing Your Art)

“Being an artist doesn't mean that you are just his wreck that deserves to be locked away in some cubby hole while some gallery takes 50% of your money. It means society needs you. You are special, you are defining our culture right now, you are a gift, you are sensitive. You deserve to get paid, you deserve to understand your audience, you deserve to understand your business. Take it, get it, make that money.

- Ashley Longshore

Pricing your work...while I would love to tell you that there is a magic formula for pricing your work, it's just not that easy.

There are formulas out there that are something like materials + an hourly rate for your time. But I disagree with these formulas in most cases. You are not providing a service, you aren't punching a time clock. You are creating a unique one of a kind piece of art. In any case, do you actually know how many hours your work takes you? Some pieces take years, some pieces come easy and quick. Why is one piece worth less...

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How to Approach A Gallery

1. Prepare yourself to connect with galleries

Before you can even consider approaching galleries, you need to already look like a pro. Now, don't let that statement scare you, you can do this, it just requires getting focused with your work and packaging it up so it's ready to present to the right gallery.

You just need to have a few key points dialed in:

Your Portfolio

You need have a body of work that is cohesive and shows that you have your style established and that you make work consistently.

  • Galleries do not want to work with artists that aren't going to produce enough work or are going to disappear on them. You don't want to look like a hobbyist. Its ok to be an emerging artist, but emerging means you’re taking things seriously. You are just at the beginning of your career, this is ok!

Your Artist Statement

You need to have an artist statement and bio. Be able to articulate why you do what you do and what your work is about and then share who you are. If...

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