When Christine Goldbeck first opened her brick and mortar art gallery in Middletown, Pennsylvania in 2008, she never thought she would rely so heavily on the Internet for both sales and promotion. Online selling was far from her mind.
At first, Goldbeck said she used a few online promotion methods, including an email newsletter and online advertising. She used those in conjunction with more traditional techniques like direct mailers and print advertising, which she does very little of now.
As time passed, Goldbeck decided to dive further into online promotion with a blog and some “photo of the day” and “painting of the day” features. She then graduated into online selling. She began selling those daily works on her own website, ChristineGoldbeck.com.
“It’s great because when I’m sleeping or out at a show, I can come back, check my email and have sales waiting for me,” she said. “So I can be asleep and my brick and mortar store can be closed, but the online stuff is still out there and it’s selling.”
This year, Goldbeck said that about 50% of her business’s overall sales have come from her website. She uses the website to sell different types of art compared to what she sells in her gallery and other local shops.
“Right now I primarily sell bigger products in my physical location and other galleries around town,” she said. “My smaller products and prints tend to sell better online.”
Goldbeck continues to employ some more traditional promotional techniques along with her online presence. In particular, she enjoys going to local art shows and events. But she maintains that using both online and traditional methods are essential to her success.
“If you’re not at least promoting yourself on the Web you’re at a distinct disadvantage,” she said. “I would advise any visual artist to at least have their own website or blog, even if they don’t want to sell directly online.”
She also had some other advice for artists and creative entrepreneurs looking to sell or promote their work online.
“I try to tell a story about each photo or painting that gives potential clients an experience,” she said. “I’ve had clients tell me that they’ve been to my blog and read the stories before ever buying anything. By creating an experience you can build a following and keep people interested and coming back.”
View a slideshow of Christine’s work below.