How to Sell Art on Facebook – One Artist’s Way

by guest artist/author: Caren

When I joined Facebook, it wasn’t to sell art. Originally, I was looking to find old friends and make new ones. My list of friends grew, and I started posting my paintings in a photo album on Facebook. Suddenly, people wanted to buy my paintings.

So here’s what I did to sell art on Facebook:

  • I posted purchasing information in each photo caption and instructed potential buyers to be first one to leave a “Sold” comment below the painting they wanted to purchase.
  • I accept payment through Paypal, which is by far the easiest and most common way to send and receive payments on the internet without having a credit card merchant account.
  • Or you can add this FB application: LiqPay or Liquid Payments > http://www.facebook.com/#!/apps/application.php?id=24834960039&ref=ts

At the end of 2009, I discovered a group of people on Facebook who rescue horses destined for the slaughterhouse. The funds for rescuing horses and finding new homes for them comes from donations raised weekly on Facebook.

  • My favorite painting subject is horses, so I decided to post some horse paintings and donate 50% of the proceeds to this cause.
  • In spreading the news about my paintings for sale to benefit the horse rescue.
  • I tapped into the membership of this group (which has over 6,000 members!) by posting a note on their Facebook wall that I was selling paintings to benefit their horse rescue cause.
  • The first batch paintings I posted sold out in hours.
  • Payment for the paintings comes to me via Paypal, and in turn I send 50% of the proceeds via Paypal to the horse rescue group.
  • Paypal is simple:
    1. Sign up with an email address and link your new account to a credit card or bank account.
    2. This serves to verify who you are and also becomes a payment method if there are no funds (and there won’t be when you first sign up of course) in your PP account.
    3. When someone sends me payment for a painting, they just log into Paypal, enter my email address, and the money gets sent to me.
    4. Funds from my sales collect in my account.
    5. There are Paypal tutorials and FAQs at: http://www.facebook.com/l/2ffd5;paypal.com

The whole experience of selling paintings and learning how to sell art on Facebook for this cause has given me purpose, excitement, and direction in my art. It is a collaborative effort that benefits all involved:

The art buyer receives a painting to brighten their walls or give as a gift, the artist gets to sell paintings, and the horses have a second chance at life.

horse painting horse painting

In a down economy, people still do what they can to help causes important to them. If you can find a popular cause in which to donate part of your art sales, it just might help you in return.

*****

For 20 years Caren  galloped Thoroughbred racehorses but now she is a full time artist, selling her art weekly on FaceBook. I met Caren on Facebook and asked her to share her foward thinking art marketing tips with us. Hopefully this article helps inspire others to “Think Outside the Frame.” ….and, Let’s connect Facebook! ~Lori :-)

*****

What are your tips and tricks for selling on Facebook or other social media site? We would love to hear your story, so please comment!

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:

How Artists Can Use YouTube Video to Improve Marketing

SEO Tips to Rank Your Facebook & Twitter Pages Higher on Google

Art Marketing Success Tips for 2010

5 Reasons Why Artists Need Social Media & Eye Opening Stats to Back it Up!

Newsletter Art Marketing Tips that Work!

5 Common Traits of Successful Artists

Finding Your Own Artistic Voice



About Lori McNee

Lori McNee is a professional artist who specializes in still life, and landscape oil paintings. She is an exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of Idaho, serves on the Plein Air Mag Board of Advisors, and is an Ambassador Artist to Royal Talens. As the owner of FineArtTips.com, Lori blogs about fine art tips, marketing, and social media advice for the aspiring and professional artist. As a social media influencer, Lori ranks as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and named a #TwitterPowerhouse by The Huffington Post. She is a keynote speaker, has been a talk show host for Plum TV, writes for F+W Media publications including Artist’s Magazine, Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market, Photographer’s Market. Also, Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips & Tricks for Small Businesses.

Comments

  1. Terrific post about artist Caren and how she began to sell work on Facebook. I applaud her contributions to the horse rescue. Artists can open many doors by donating proceeds or artwork to charity. I became involved with a boxer rescue after adopting a dog. I annually donate a custom portrait. This year I had the opportunity to develop their theme and advertising image for thier Art of Rescue event, where they auction off artist’s works.

    This has taught me so much, I now know how to complete the process of creating a giclee, I have donated my original piece for the auction, but the rescue is also selling giclee prints and prints on paper, which I will recieve a portion of the sales. I have posted this piece on my Zazzle store, on tshirts and sweatshirts and have been successful with the rescue group! Requests for other portraits have come in! I am too busy!

    Thanks for sharing this great idea, hopefully it will encourage more artists to become involved with charitable organizations. It’s a win-win!

  2. Supporting causes is a great way to sell art. Eleatta Diver is doing a great job of this with her Durham Dreams project.

    There is a company that allows you to embed a music store inside your Facebook fan page. It’s called Top Spin. I’m wondering if/when someone will create a similar store for visual artists.

    Thanks for the article!

    • Hi Cory. I don’t think I am familiar with Eleatta, but I will Google her. I like your ‘Top Spin’ idea…hmmm, you got me thinking!
      Thanks for the comment.
      Best – Lori

      • hi, my name is andrew, and i am from india. I love paintng but was wondering how to sell them and use some percet of wha i earn out of it to help less fortune kids, got some nice tips from you guys.

        Thanks very much,
        Andrew.

    • Hi Cory,

      I founded Socurio an online art marketplace and creative community. We just launched a facebook application called My Socurio. Its free and you can easily display your art on your profile AND fan page. Its really easy to install, all you need is an account with Socurio, which is also completely free :)

      Feel free to contact me through the website if you have any questions or problems!

      Cheers,
      Sasha

  3. I am loving your blog and all of your great tips articles! I just subscribed and would love to link to this post if you didn’t mind.

    • Hi Rachel – I really appreciate your nice comment and taking time to ask if you may link to my post. I am glad you find this article useful to your readers. You may use it on your site, but will you please email the link when it’s up? I’d like to see it on your site.
      Thanks again, Lori :-)

  4. Nice story. But forget about it. The only way to sell art and make decent living is on ebay. You may sell a painting or 2 on face book .. but on ebay you will sell 100 times more

    • Thanks Art. I am happy to hear that you are seeing well on eBay because I have heard that the art sales have been slipping on that site. Would you like to share an article about using art eBay for sales???
      Thanks – Lori

  5. Wow – I love this idea. Sounds like a win win. I am passionate about horses too and have drawn or painted them since the age of eight.
    I don’t paint them much these days, but I do have a couple of horsey scenes in mind for the future.
    This blog has got me thinking big time!

  6. You’re wrong that there’s no way to sell on Facebook (other than the way you’ve mentioned here) there is an App called Payvment, which allows you to set up a shop on Facebook. You should check it out, just put ‘Pavyment’ in the search box at the top of the Facebook page.

  7. Hi – I’m kinda new starting out with making things, and do not paint, but instead make some things with seashells that I’d like to sell (I hope it’s ok to post here?)
    I looked at some of the suggestions to start marketing with Facebook, and made a page apart from my main profile that just showcases some of my finished pieces – but now I cannot figure out this next problem: when I post to other pages, why does my main profile show up instead of the page that just showcases some of my finished pieces?

    I guess the idea behind making extra pages in facebook is that it would be more easily found in a search, right? I think I saw those extra pages being labelled as “community pages”, right?

    Sorry, I am real confused with Facebook right now, but would like to start using it to my advantage

    • Hi Maise-

      Do you go into your account and the to ‘manage pages’ when you want to find your fan page? It is tough for me to know exactly what you mean via a comment. There are many support forums for FB. The new layout has been confusing for many of us. Check out this link and hopefully you will find the answer >>> http://www.facebook.com/help/ Let me know if this helps…

      Lori

  8. I don’t sell my paintings yet but I am selling my jewelry and have a few cat pendants… maybe donate some sales from these to a cat shelter or something like that! Great idea! Thanks Lori; you always have great info!

    • Hi Heather, thanks for coming back for a visit and commenting. I am glad this post helped you. Good luck and let us all know how it all works for you.

      Best-
      Lori

  9. Sandra J. Haley says:

    Lori,
    Great article, and advice. I do enjoy reading your articles and learning from your experience. Great ideas and this one got me to thinking I might have to do this as well to help the wild horses. I found I love to paint them too. I recently downloaded the large formatted free photo references of some wild horses from BLM. I chose a good clear photo and did a rendition of it in oils. It was also my first attempt to paint a horse, just to see if I could. I love it, but if it might be sold and some proceeds go to help the horses I might consider sellling it. LOVE YOUR WORK! Thank You Very much, I know your time is valuable.

  10. I am a Hyper Minimal Realist fine artist. I like Lori’s work. She is good at what she does. My latest works are about CHARNGING MOODS. This is the name of my paintings I am working on this year. Gravity and infinity are two ideas I want to study in my art. Take a look at my web page and see my work. I think that Lori could develop into a Hyper Minimal Realist if only she gave up the still lifeless of her work.

    • Hello Ricardo,

      Wow, I really enjoyed visiting your website. Thank you for taking time to comment. I appreciate your positive feedback on my art. I would like to learn more about Hyper Minimal Realism…would you like to share a blog post about the process?

      Thank you for considering,
      Lori

  11. want to sale my miniature paintings . pls guide me for this i m very thankfull of u

  12. Dear Sirs
    How can you help me selling these 4 rare oil paintings that my late father had purchased from the famous Egyptian artist “Salah Taher 1911-2007”
    Kindly reply to my message, and then I can forward you the asking prices .
    The link of the pictures are here
    http://www.avcit.net/st/gal.htm
    Thank you

  13. This is awesome post to learn about selling our art olnine. :)
    Thanks for sharing. :)
    http://www.caryljean.com
    A creative and inspiring artist. Do check talent of Caryl Jean. You will forget about rest.

  14. As far as Selling prints of your work, there is etsy, cafepress, zazzle, and deviantart. Etsy for me is too much of a hassle b/c I need to actually handle the shipping and printing and everything. Personally I use SMugmug.com as a printer and shipper of my work. they give you a whole gallery option and pricing plans. They have their bare minimum prices, and you keep anything over that amount. Say it costs them $2.30 to print out and ship an 8×10 print. if you price it for $12, you get 10 bucks.

    Here is an example of my smugmug gallery.

    http://obilex.smugmug.com/Art/Obilex-The-Artwork-o

    Also, you want to get all of your social media networks on par with one another, make it easy for people to be connected with you. on my homepage http://Obilex.com you can see that I have links to all of my different outlets (twitter, facebook, instagram ebay etc.)

    Hope this helps, and keep up the hard work!

    Sam

    • Thanks so much for sharing these other great ways to sell our art! Sam, you are always welcome to share a guest blog post if you are inspired. I enjoyed looking at your artwork…

  15. mariagorretti mueni says:

    This post was very helpful to me,i dont paint but i do another type of art,i make hand made mats that can be used on door steps or hang on walls as pieces of art,even carpets with animal prints,can you help me learn how to sell them,am in Kenya. Thanks

    • Hello and thank you for visiting my blog. You can apply these marketing tips and principles to any art form. Have you tried using Pinterest? That is another great place to share your art and make sales. I will be starting an art mentorship program in May that might help you. Let me know if you are interested.

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