How To Sell More Art With Your Writing
Updated: May 16
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Your words are killing your sales. Probably.
Being a creative often means working without words to express and give life to your ideas. While not all creative fields tip-toe around the world of writing, quite a few of them do. Despite that, writing can be an excellent tool to help creatives expand their reach.
Knowing how to write well is a vital skill for anyone looking to promote themselves and their work. There are plenty of successful creatives who use writing as their secret weapon. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at copywriting for creatives in order to build a stronger connection with your audience.
What is copy writing?
Copywriting is the method of strategically delivering words (whether written or spoken) that get people to take some form of action.
5 things that can really push your copy to the next level:
Be relatable - write plainly, using everyday language and let your personality show. This helps people 'get on your level' and makes you appear more like a friend than a salesperson. People always listen to their friends advice and recommendations over a salesy stranger. Ashley Ford shares some really, really great tips about this in her online course Creative Personal Writing: Write The Real You
Show emotion - Conveying some type of emotion can often work as a catalyst for people to take action on a particular request. It can help connect and bond you to an audience who feel similarly or empathise with your words.
Have a hook - What Marie Forleo calls ' bleeding on the first line'. This is that very first word or sentence that captures the readers attention, and seduces them to read the second and third sentences to keep on reading. Kinda like what we did in the beginning of this post.
No one cares about the features - Share and sell the benefits, not the features. People looking to buy your art don't really care that has a semi-gloss finish or that it was created with a Copic marker, but they do care about how the colours are going to match their interior because you've used neutral tones throughout. See?
Now, lets look at where your online copy can convert into action (and buy action, I mean sales)
Where your copy matters
Words on your website
If you don’t have a website, are you even real? In the globalised and technology-obsessed world, we live in; it’s hard not to contemplate this question. When likes, follows and shares equate to clout, having an online presence means a lot. As a creative, being able to use that to your advantage can have a huge payoff.
Whether it’s a full-fledged website, a Shopify page, or a well-kept Instagram, there are plenty of cyber spots to sell your art. Of course, a proper shop requires details. Customers will expect a brief overview of what the product is, its dimensions, materials, shipping details, why it was made and any other relevant information. Mancunian creative Juno Birch is an example of how to write practical descriptions in order to sell art in an online shop. What are some ways you can include some personality in your descriptions? Let us know in the comments.
Words in your captions
A stellar item description can be just as important as the perfect caption. Creatives of today know that social media is one of their best tools on the road to success. Not only does it help grow your sales and fanbase, but it can help get you noticed, too. Therefore, your profiles must be on point. Coming up with the right captions (and hashtags) will ensure that your posts get more engagement.
If you expect your audience to take action, you need to make that abundantly clear in the caption. From purchasing a new print to checking out your latest interview, be sure to use words and spell it out for your followers. LA-based creative Kristen Liu Wong has got this down to a science. Most of her captions have a call-to-action and relevant tags within the first two lines. These great captions help her posts stand out in the flood that is an Instagram feed.
Words in interviews
When there is a lot of interest in your work, journalists and magazines will come a-calling. Of course, that doesn’t mean that all of your interviews will be in person or over the phone. So, it’s necessary to have excellent writing skills to be able to adequately and eloquently describe yourself and your work. Furthermore, being able to write well will also help your personality shine through. Check out the artists we've interviewed on this blog.
Words in your art
It’s possible to take control of your public persona and how your work is perceived with your writing. Take Aussie illustrator Celeste Mountjoy aka @filthyratbag for instance. She regularly uses words in her work and to describe her work, thereby adding profound meaning to both of them. Despite rising to fame at the ripe age of sixteen, Mountjoy has always used her writing skills to elevate her work in person, as well as in interviews.
Using writing to your creative benefit isn’t impossible. When it comes down to it, writing is a very accessible tool to help grow your influence. Pencil in some time to write about your work and your creative process, you might be impressed by what ends up on the page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashuni Pérez was born in Arizona's red rock country, grew up on the Texas-Mexico border, and now resides on Spain's east coast. She is a co-founder of The Skinned Knee Collective, an international webzine, and works as a freelance eco writer. Find her online or on Instagram.