Why Do Statistics On Your Art?

Michael J Fox quote “Do the next right thing, as opposed to doing the next thing right.”  When we track what we are doing, what results we are getting, we can get better and better at tracking what is working and what is not.  For example, this past year I added up where the money from sales came from.  It turns out very little of it came from traditional routes such as gallery and art fair sales.  Instead, more than half of my income came from online sales. This doesn’t mean I’ve completely ditched the idea of doing shows, but it does mean I’m making sure most of my activities this year are online based rather than show based.

If I didn’t have statistics and monthly and yearly analysis – I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint what the next “right thing” for me is.  Instead I would be spending time, money and resources on doing things that aren’t garnering a good ROI (return on investment) for me – but doing them spectacularly well.  For example, for me, given the very niche nature of my art, most art fairs are not a good fit. There are some that are, but if I’m at the wrong show for my art, even if I have the best tent, the best location, the best spread of products – it doesn’t matter if this isn’t where I’m target market shops.

So I try to make it easier on myself.  I figure out where the majority of my sales, leads, and activity comes from.  And I focus on those.  This is the only way I can tell what the “next right” thing for me will be.

What type of statistics do you find most helpful?

For more about keep statistics, see Keeping Track of the Wrong Statistic



Artist Organized

6 Responses to “Why Do Statistics On Your Art?”

  1. Liz Ruest January 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Makes sense to me. What can be measured can be controlled, or changed, or something along those lines… Don’t have my management quotes memorized, apparently! But I agree with your thinking. It’s also something I can easily overdo, so at the moment, I’m only measuring how often I do art (goal: every day) and results, which improved over the year.

  2. Alice Thaggard August 26, 2014 at 1:11 am #

    I agree with what you said. I wonder which online sites you feel have given yu the most sales of your art work?

    • Artist Organized
      Artist Organized March 1, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

      Hi Alice. I have used my own website as well as Etsy. I just started also on Amazon. I use social media to push people to all these sites. Hope that helps.

  3. Dai Wynn October 22, 2016 at 10:27 pm #

    This is all very well and rather encouraging. However, despite constant online exposure of my work, which I believe has improved in quality over time, the number of views according to various analytics counts, is steadily declining from 4,500 per week to barely 3,000. Of course the number of views bears no relationship whatever to sales.
    Is this a seasonal effect, a subject matter issue, jaded viewers, a redefinition of what constitutes a “view”, being lost in an avalanche of online art, no longer being “on-trend”, a member of the wrong art sites, or something else? Or a combination of two or more effects?

    • Artist Organized
      Artist Organized March 1, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

      I would agree Dai – exposure is not the same as people looking to purchase art. There is this myth in art that “exposure” is important. I would suggest that instead we focus only on exposure to people most likely to purchase our particulate type of art. So in marketing terms that would be “our ideal client” or as some people call it “out avatar.” And yes, some platforms do end up having less exposure, which can also lead to less sales. I have noticed this on Etsy where their overall views has gone down significantly. (Their entire site as tracked by independent people).What this means is we have to make sure to use our social media and our email list of existing clients to sell our art on theses sites. And also to test out advertising. So that we are getting our art in front of the people who matter, not just people looking for something to do online while standing in line at the bank.

    • Artist Organized
      Artist Organized June 12, 2017 at 5:49 pm #

      Hi Dai, I can’t answer your question completely because I am not sure which views you are referring to, as I don’t have your stats in front of me. However I will answer in a few ways, which can hopefully help:

      For example if it is on Etsy – Etsy has made certain changes to relevancy. And people have complained that their views have gone down. However, many people are not reporting that their sales have decreased. Why? Because their views actually are now more likely to be people who really desire their work.

      Etsy also made a decision (which they have now said they are reversing) to not put a lot of money into marketing online. Which meant that the site overall for a period of 2 years kept getting less and less views. So yes, the platform was getting less views as it was getting lost in the amount of people online. And yet, if sellers took control of their own SEO they didn’t tend to see a negative impact to their sales. (I was recovering from a car accident, and did not update my SEO for a while – and so my sales did decrease.) I then spent, and continue to spend time updating all my SEO not just on Etsy but other places to increase views of people who actually desire my work. And I do use some trending words as well.

      If you are seeing a decline in views, I would ask more questions. Like – what has the platforms your clients tend to use to see and buy your work (or funnel to your work) done recently to change viewership? Sometimes it is because overall views have gone down – as they move somewhere else. Sometimes it is because maybe your key words are now out of sync. For example, are there long tail key words that would give you targeted and better results?

      Any time my stats go down I ask questions about external causes. And I also look for the opportunity (even though it is boring and has nothing to do with creating art) to then update and rework my SEO. And also at times update my social media marketing as well. Taking a little time each month – maybe a few hours once a month – to update SEO on one or more of the sites you use is always time well spent. And I spend time each 6 months updating my social media strategy as well.