I thought of making this small guide, based from my personal experience, to give tips to artists, mostly beginners,
to be more successful at selling commissions, since seeing from my previous journal many had difficulty with it. So here are some tips to help boosting your sales.
Have your commission info somewhere visible
Possibly, people won't even know you are taking commissions or if they are open if you don't put your commission info somewhere they can see. You can do this in a journal, that I mostly recommend, since it will be showing into your watcher's inboxes and most of your watchers probably rarely visit your profile page. You could still also use the commission widget, or donation poll to write your info. You can also link to your commission info in your signature or the artist's comment of new drawings you upload.
Keep it simple
Don't add too many unnecessary rules or info. Keep it as short and simple as you can. If it's too long or complicated to read, people might get bored or find it more complicated to do than it is and will go do something else instead.
Be clear about your pricing
If you are not sure what prices you are selling your art for, people probably won't be sure if they want to buy either. Most people don't have more than a specific amount they can/want to spend and like to be sure before requesting. If you, for example, state that you charge $10/hour, you could show some examples of works with the amount of time you spent of them, so people can have something to base on.
This is an extremly important element
. Most people are lazy and won't bother looking into your gallery for examples, and they also want to be sure of what they are going to be paying for. Most people won't buy if they are not certain of what they will be getting. For example, I've tried offering a much cheaper commission type in the past, but without any visual examples. I didn't get any sale for it, yet my other commissions with examples got many sales. As soon as I put a visual example up, people immediately started to show interest.
Don't publicly "undervalue" your art or products. Avoid saying things like "It didn't turn out as good as supposed, sorry!" "This looks terrible" "I could of have done better""my art suck". You need to be more confident or people won't be confident of buying something from you either.
I way too often see people blaming they don't get commissioned on the fact that they are not popular enough. Popularity is only one of the factors
, it is a big plus yes, but it is something everyone had to work for in a way or another to reach. People complain that is it much easier for popular artists to get commissioned, they have more watchers, get more favorites, comments and attention... of course, but you know what? Popularity is not about chance. Popularity don't happen magically. I've been on deviantART for 8 years, since that time I didn't stop being active and build myself a fanbase, by working hard and improving my art. You can't get tons of potential clients overnight. It is something you will build over time. keep improving your art, be more active, and you will slowly gain more popularity.
Lower your prices
This is probably the last thing you will want to consider doing. Make sure you don't underprice yourself! Avoid selling anything lower than a price you are comfortable with, otherwise you might end up losing motivation to work on it and procrastinate too easily. Cheap products can make clients think they are not worth it but if it is sold for more expensive, people will see the product as something of higher quality.
Remember that 100 points =$1
1 point is not one dollar. If you are selling something for 20
, you are only making a profit of 20 cents. If you want to make a profit of $20, the price in points should be of 2000
You cannot please everyone
There will always be someone to complain about your prices. Don't bother about them, most likely they have no idea what they are talking about, and see artists as slaves and expect art to be free. Be prepared to receive many criticisms, most often from people who don't agree with the way you do your things and sometimes, from people who are jealous. It might be very hard at first, especially if you already have a very low self esteem, but you will gradually build a better tolerance to it if you keep going.
If you don't like to draw for others, commissions might not be for you. This is going to be much more difficult (if not impossible) to success at something you don't like doing. You will need to truly enjoy what you are doing. You need to enjoy drawing A LOT. If you do and have the time to draw everyday, your chance to succeed is much increased!
Probably the most annoying part that most people fail at. It takes a lot of time, determination and work, more mistakes than successes, to stand out among the rest. You will often be discouraged, feel like it's not working, lose motivation. Don't give up!
Persevere, try something different, gather new ideas. Try again. Rome wasn't build in a day. If you want to someday be able to sell your art for as much as all the popular and skilled artists, it is indeed possible!
But you need to be very dedicated to your art, spend a lot of time drawing, trying to improve, and constantly gather new potential clients by being active and uploading a lot of art.