During the ongoing pandemic, many people have had to make adjustments and change the way they do things. For artists and craftspeople around the province, COVID-19 has meant no more craft fairs, markets or similar events for the foreseeable future, meaning they have had to come up with new ways to promote and sell their work. But how does one navigate the online marketplace and successfully switch from selling in-person to online? And why is a strong social media presence so important?
Alex Antle is an emerging Mi’kmaw beadwork artist and the Experience Development Officer at Qalipu First Nation where she works with Indigenous tourism, culture, and craft. She also holds a bachelor of commerce with a concentration in marketing and runs an e-commerce website. On May 20 at 1pm, Alex will share her experience and some tips and tools during her free session “How to Sell Your Art & Craft Online” hosted online via Zoom.
We caught up with Alex recently to chat about the importance of consistency, promotion and how to get your work noticed.
Business & Arts NL: What, in your experience, is one of the biggest challenges for an artist who is trying to sell their work online and how can they overcome this challenge?
Alex Antle: In my experience, the biggest challenge that craftspeople and artists have with selling their work online is getting their name out there. Becoming a known name and pushing traffic to your online platforms are some of the most important and the most challenging parts of selling your work. To overcome this challenge, makers need to be very active on social media and search for opportunities to highlight their work in the media. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a local magazine and ask for a feature! There is not often a fast track to becoming popular; makers need to be consistent with their online messaging, have high quality photos and constantly promote themselves.
Business & Arts NL: For those artists and craftspeople who may not have much of a social media presence, what would you say to them about the importance of putting themselves out there?
AA: If you want to be successful in selling your work online, you need to have a presence on social media! Social media is usually the first place people go to look for a business. If you can’t be found on Facebook, people may think you don’t exist. Social media is also a great tool to drive traffic to your website or in-person events. It takes a bit of work, but being active on social media will definitely benefit your business.
Business & Arts NL: What are a couple of the most important questions that artists/craftspeople should ask themselves when choosing an online platform to sell their work?
AA: When you’re deciding which online platforms to use, you need to ask yourself “Where are my customers?” and “How much time do I have to commit to my online store?” The first thing you should consider is which social media platforms you need to be on. The bare minimum for most people is Facebook and/or Instagram, then you need to ask yourself if you have time to manage any more social media platforms. When selling online, you can use social media as your main platform for sales or you can set up your own website. The most important things to consider when choosing a website platform is user-friendliness and fees.
Business & Arts NL: You yourself are a beadwork artist. Where can people check out more of your work?
AA: My work can be viewed online at bunchberrybeadwork.ca and on Facebook and Instagram @BunchberryBeadwork.
Workshop: How to Sell Your Art & Craft Online
Date/Time: Wednesday, May 20 from 1-2pm
Location: Online via Zoom
Registration: Click here