The Beginner's Guide to Online Art Classes - How to Sell Art Online | Online Marketing for Artists - (2023)

Teaching art classes online is a fantastic way to grow your student base, increase your passive income, or add an income stream that will prove extremely valuable in difficult times like these.

We recently sat down with artists from around the world to discuss how artists can conduct art classes online while isolating or quarantining. We've embedded the original CrowdCast video at the bottom of this page, along with a link to download the transcript.

Even if you have never taught any class before, you can successfully teach your art techniques to others online! Read this beginner's guide to teaching art classes online and give it a try.

The Beginner's Guide to Online Art Classes - How to Sell Art Online | Online Marketing for Artists - (1)

Decide what you want to teach

If this is your first time teaching an art class, you must first decide what you are going to teach. This can seem overwhelming, especially when you're doing a lot like Doreen, who creates digital illustrations and hand-drawn art. Doreen's rule of thumb will be the same for you: find the easiest thing to do and start there. Of course, simple is relative, and the curse of experience can make you feel like creating lush digital landscapes or doing quick cartoons isn't a big deal, but remember that anything you do long enough will add up—it's going to look great. easier for you than for a beginner. Some examples of "simple" techniques to get you started:

  • Basics of drawing (perspective, shading, etc.)
  • grind clouds
  • make a small pot
  • Draw or paint still lifes

It might help to grab a pencil and paper, write down each technique you use in your craft, and break it down into the smallest steps possible so you have a good idea of ​​what to teach. If at this point you feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of material, you can start teaching, great!

What if I already teach art in person?

If you've already prepared courses and just need to transfer them to an online format, you still need to make some decisions about how to transition to teaching online. If you're already teaching, the first course you bring online shouldn't be your longest and most expensive option. Maybe I'll teach a month-long intensive course, as well as half-day workshops. Start with the shortest workshops and break them into smaller manageable chunks, as recommended above. This is a good time to experiment with video length: try a few short 5- or 10-minute videos that explain a single technique, and try an hour-long video that covers a bit from start to finish. See how they are received by your audience and ask for feedback!

Decide on a format

Does the idea of ​​teaching a live class and interacting with students excite you, or would you rather record yourself creating a play and then go back and narrate over it? There are a few format options for online art classes:

  • Teach a live class to a small audience, interact and provide real-time feedback to your students.
  • Pre-record a short lecture and package it with images and PDFs to passively sell for a low price.

Some teachers combine these two formats for longer courses, like Flora Bowley's. blossom true, including downloads of recordings and other materials, and the ability to participate in live calls to ask questions and interact with other students (The Abundant Artist does that too!)But if you're just getting started, don't worry about the more complicated lesson formats. Just choose to teach live or pre-recorded and get started!

Live chat platforms

There are many live chat platforms to choose from, allowing you to interact with your students in real time, see each other's faces and write using a chat feature to share links, etc. Here are some of the most popular live chat platforms:

  • Expansion.Zoom is a great place to start: It's free to sign up, and it only takes a few minutes to set up your first call. There are some limitations for free accounts: you can chat live with 3 or more people for up to 40 minutes. If you need more time, you can subscribe for $15 a month.
  • Crowd of Caste.CrowdCast doesn't have a free option, but it's only $20 a month (when paid annually) for 50 participants and up to 5 hours a month.
  • Hangouts the Google.Google Hangouts is free for up to 10 people and for unlimited time, but the quality and usability are inferior to Zoom and Crowdcast.

assemble your team

While you can go down the rabbit hole for equipment, it doesn't take much to get started, especially if you plan on teaching live classes.

There are two main options for recording devices:

  • HD-Webcam-This option provides the highest image quality. The factory-installed webcam on many laptops is generally not of high enough quality to produce good video. However, if you can't afford an HD webcam, you can make up for it with an inferior camera with very good lighting. Do your best to eliminate shadows, especially in the area where you will be creating the artwork. For more lighting options, see ourLive art guide.
  • smartphone with tripodIf you need to use your smartphone to record or live stream, be sure to use a tripod to keep the image steady. An iPhone 10 or 11 or the latest iPad Pro have high-quality cameras that are good for capturing video. Previous generations may not have the same quality. Again, you can compensate with good lighting and a tripod. Check out the live stream link above for a list of cheap smartphone tripods.

If you choose to teach a live class from your desktop or laptop computer, connect directly to the Internet using an Ethernet cable whenever possible. This reduces video lag and creates a much smoother experience.

Prepare for technical problems

If this is your first time teaching online, especially through a live class, be prepared to spend some time troubleshooting technical issues with microphones, cameras, etc. This is normal and an unavoidable part of involving multiple people in a video chat. Allow a little more time at the beginning of your course to consider these questions. An easy way to avoid potential technical issues is to send your platform's "quick start guide" to all students ahead of time. A quick search on most video chat platforms should reveal something.

As mentioned above, another way to avoid video/audio lag and poor quality issues is to make sure your computer is directly connected to the Internet if possible.

(Video) How to SELL YOUR ART ONLINE for BEGINNERS 2022 l How To Make Money As An Artist or Creative

The first place you should sell your online course is also where you should sell your art, if possible: on your own website. This way you can keep customer information as well as 100% of the profits. There are also dozens of online teaching platforms available that will help you quickly create a course and sell it through the site, but keep in mind that this will affect your results and you may not be able to maintain access to customer information for future commercialization.

How to sell courses on your own website.

To sell courses on your own website, you need certain skills:

  • Record your videos and upload them to a file-sharing platform like Dropbox or to a password-protected "Members Only" section of your website.
  • Send automated emails to customers who purchase a course with the download link.
  • Accept payments through your website.

If you already have a WordPress site set up that can accept payments, there are many great online education plugins you can integrate:

However, if you are new to using a WordPress site, now is not the time to try to learn. Instead, use the recommendation above to email a video download link once customers pay, or use an online teaching platform.

How to sell courses through online teaching platforms.

The best thing about online teaching platforms is that they can get you up and running easily and quickly with a well-structured course that is easy for students to navigate. Some of the most popular platforms are:

You can also attract new students looking for courses through these platforms, but due to the huge saturation of low-cost courses available, you shouldn't rely on the search function to find students.

How to attract students to your online art classes

If you already teach face-to-face classes, email (or even call!) all of your current and former students and invite them to join your online classes. You can offer a discount for early registration or for students taking their first beta course.

If this is your first course, send personalized invitations to carefully selected students—friends and family and any collectors you already have—inviting them to join your first online course. Announcing it on your social media platforms is another way to generate interest.

You can also try to build interest by recording a short promo video to share on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram (or other social platforms you already use frequently) previewing your course.

Email marketing platforms

The best way to invite students is through an email campaign. There are a multitude of platforms to choose from. Abundant Artist Recommends ConvertKitGenericName*. Other popular options include:

Don't let the options overwhelm you. Just like online learning platforms and social media platforms, the best email marketing program is the one you'll be using consistently, so pick one and get started.

As you begin to set up your first course and email potential students, we encourage you to be honest about any fears you have. Use the trip as part of your story and invite students and collectors to join the trip. Here's an example:

"Hello friends!

If you're like me, take this strange new insecurity one day at a time. I have been looking for new ways to bring my art to you even during the quarantine and I am very happy to announce that I have just launched my first online art class! I'm still learning, but I want to invite you to join me on this journey. The first course takes place on Sunday at 12:00. You want to join my? I'd love to see your face, chat and teach you a little of what I know."

If you're selling directly from your own website, make sure your email campaign is set up to automatically send the download link once the customer pays for your course so they don't have to wait.

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How to quote your course online

Their prices vary according to the duration and style of your course. For live online courses, which are very similar to face-to-face classes, you will need to charge the same as for face-to-face classes. It's okay to include a small discount to make up for the change in location if you're actually moving from in-person to online.

Courses that include multiple recordings, additional downloads, and/or a live chat session typically cost $300-$500.

The shorter recorded introductory courses and one-on-one workshops lasting about an hour typically sell for around $20 and in greater volume than the original works.

Do your own research: check current prices for comparable courses on the most popular platforms. Most importantly, check with your students. You should never fall short, but in times of uncertainty it will help you work with your students to get a price they can afford and are happy to ask for.

If you've never taken an art class online before, spend a little time clicking through to see what other artists are up to. You don't have to copy anyone else, but pay attention to what you see a lot of artists do: chances are they're doing it because it works. Here are some posts to get inspired:

The Ultimate Guide to Online Art Courses

The 5 best online watercolor courses

How to make 6 figures to teach art online

See guide ofSale of online courses.

This is a section of transcript from our online workshop where Cory answered specific questions from working artists.

q: I see tons of artists at all levels selling for tons of different prices. From master painters selling 6 hour tutorials for $20 to painters selling 2 hour tutorials for $150. My art hero is someone selling 2 hour tutorials for $20. How can I compete with that?

A:Pricing is 90% psychological and 10% strategic. It's just a mess and it's really hard to understand. Generally speaking, a well-known artist can sell tons of courses depending on his name and brand. What they are trying to do is sell a pre-recorded lesson for a low price to sell tons and make money on the volume.

If you can pre-record and sell a class, take a $20 one-hour or $20 two-hour class, whatever. Then marketing is the challenge for you. I'm not convinced this is necessarily better than getting 5-10 people together for a 2 hour one-on-one session where you can work with them directly. People who want to take a class with you don't necessarily want to take a class with that other person. Maybe they want to take a class because they like you. And that goes for every other teacher out there. People want to take classes from teachers they know and love, especially those who have a strong local following. Not only will you find another online teacher if you offer classes, they will take them away from you.

Q: Most of my students in my classes are retirees enjoying their retirement. Their pensions are having great success. Do you think it is a good idea to offer a reduced price?

A:If you put a price on it and people say it's too expensive or their pensions are suffering because they're retired, yes, you can offer a discount. There is a lot of flow. There are many changes, a lot of dynamics in the market. Listen to your people and respond to them. Let them know, "Hey, I'm taking this class. I'm thinking about that price, let me know if you're interested. And if people don't respond or say it's too expensive, listen to them and talk them into it." Respect yourself, respect your worth, but also listen to your people and allow them to tell you what is really going on.

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Q: I have personally taught a few evening classes. I want to start teaching online, but there are so many course hosting sites that I don't know where to start. What should I take into account when choosing a location for my class?

A:The best you can do is look at 3 or 4 and pick one, otherwise go for good. I personally think Teachable is a great platform. It's made for stuff like that. But there are plenty out there, and none of them are necessarily bad, it just depends on which one works for your particular style. All of them will allow you to do things like upload a video, upload some images, upload some PDFs. All of them will allow you to accept things like payments and restrict access. They all perform these basic functions. If you want to combine feedback in real time like we're doing now, you can use Zoom. Zoom is the easiest.

Q: Besides the iPhone 11, what other recording device would you recommend for pre-recorded video?

A:If you have an iPhone 11, just use an iPhone 11. You can also use a DSLR, but it's $500. Then you might as well buy a new phone.

Q: How do you ensure that your students have the correct materials?

A:What I've seen with other artists in the past is that you can buy all the materials in advance and then send them out to people. It's a big pain and you have to charge a big premium because it takes time. The other thing you can do is put together a shortlist of the materials you would use for this piece of art. Then register the materials in class and let them know that you need to purchase materials. You have to give them enough time, you have to give them a week or two so they have time to get the supplies and send them home. And say, “If you sign up for this course, be sure to request these materials.” And you have links where they can buy the materials online, whether it's Amazon, Blick or whatever. Make sure it has links to where you would buy the specific consumables you would use.

Q: I am a studio artist. I have been teaching face-to-face classes for 5 years. I like the dynamic that arises in a class of 6-8. I can give them a lot of individual attention. Something about being able to see what they're doing in class while they're doing it.

A:You can do this with Zoom, and you can also have many people on the screen at once with CrowdCast. So you can see what they're doing as long as they have their cameras pointed at the easel. If you give them some instructions and after 10-20 minutes to work on what's next, make sure everyone has their cameras pointed at the easel and then you can see them just like you would if you walked across the room. . Then you can use the audio and talk to whoever and say, "Hey, I noticed you were doing this, make those adjustments."

Recommendations from a Teaching Artist

Jennifer C. Vigil nailed a process that works well for her and so kindly shared her secrets with us here! You can see her classes, her retreats and her artwork at

I use the LearnDash plugin for my online courses:

I use the zoom andWebinarNinja.

video libraryis a great smartphone app to easily edit videos right on your phone. You can add still images, do voice overs, add text and music, and much more. There are updates in the app that may be helpful to some.

I also usevimeoto store my videos online. I link to or embed videos from Vimeo.

bodyIt's a great way to create well-designed brochures and marketing materials. You can create slides for your presentations and easily add images and text. There are many predefined formats and easy access to free images and graphics. You can also purchase additional images or graphics for $1.

Regarding best practices for teaching online, here are some links. While not specifically geared towards art courses, the content is useful and relevant, so keep the content focused and have clear expectations about what the course will cover, how it will be taught, access to the teacher, and what they will learn.

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How to make your classes more exciting:

Some advices:

  • Add warmth to your writing and content.Convey your support. Find ways to encourage and support even when giving feedback. Creativity requires taking risks, so make sure people feel supported and safe with the jumps. Set clear guidelines for your online community spaces that explain what is allowed. Discourage marketing, negativity and complaints. Build support, share resources, and provide positive feedback.
  • Show your personality.Write while you talk. Share your mood. Imagine that you are talking to someone while recording a video. You can even print a letter-size photo of someone you care about and hang it in front of you. Imagine teaching/talking to them if that helps.
  • Don't worry about being perfect.Nobody is. Sure, you have a basic level of perfection in what you do (videos), but don't get sucked into making high-end professional videos. You can spend a lot of time editing and not finish. Also, people can relate to you better when they see that you are human.
  • Don't overload your students with too much contentor ruffles. Make sure what you add makes sense and supports the top 3 goals of the course (what 3 skills/concepts will you take away from your course). Be clear when organizing your content. Don't get too creative with your class titles. You want information to be easier to find. For example, resources would be where they could find supply lists, places to buy supplies, other books, and pamphlets.
  • Under promise and delivered.You will get raving fans if you add additional information. It does not mean that you cover everything you know. Think of it like good customer service. What could excite your students? Could you offer office hours online? You can provide critiques/commentary on the student's work (this is given in the advanced or live online courses, but is also a nice addition as hot seat options to a permanent course's office hours). Send encouraging personal emails and try to get to know your students. seek compromise.
  • After completing your course, you can view it in the student viewand see if it makes sense. If possible, ask someone else to see if the organization makes sense, is easy to follow, and finds any errors or flaws.
  • Share a sample video about your sales and marketing.Give them an idea of ​​what they are going to learn and your teaching style. Let me meet you. Make sure the sample video is yours and that you sound energetic and not monotonous.
  • Make sure you have a welcome video.that guides them through the classroom portal, where they can find things, what to do if they get stuck, can't get in, lose their password, etc., and all the other information. Think of it as what you would tell people right away.
  • After completing the course, take a survey as part of the final module.Gathering feedback will help you improve the course and also give you the opportunity to get testimonials to add to your sales page.
  • Consider offering transcripts of the videos.It is useful for people who learn in different ways and also for people with hearing problems.
  • While his videos are mostly focused on watching you create (paint your hands, etc.), give him a try as well.include talking to them directly. It is difficult to connect with a disembodied person. If they regularly show you videos where they see your face or speak directly into the camera, they'll feel connected to you.

Another thing I recommend is that the description and title of the course be clear and direct. Make sure students know what media they will be using, what level they are at, and what they can do next. How long is the course (how many modules, total duration of the video content, bonuses or additional features).

Consider having payment options.Paying the full amount is less than paying in a few installments. However, don't make this difference too big.

Here is a link to a free checklist I made for artists, Course Planner Checklist for Artists: this applies to face-to-face classes, most of this is also relevant to online classes.

Some teams:

Bluetooth Shutter Remote Control for Smartphones:

Stativa smartphone adapter:

GorillaPod Compatibility. It wraps around things and is adjustable on many surfaces:

sticky tape Ideal for sticking your phone to a surface like a wall in front of you. Leaves no residue:

This is a strange and challenging time for everyone, but need is often the catalyst for explosive new growth. Don't be afraid to try something new, be honest with your collectors and students and see where your new journey takes you!

Have you ever taught an online course? What advice would you give your fellow artists?

(Video) 14 Ways To Make Money Selling Your Art Online (A Guide For Beginners)

Download transcript:

How to sell transcripts for online courses


1. How to sell your art online? A Web Class by Stephan van Kuyk, art dealer & Artist
(Stephan van kuyk)
2. How to Market and Sell Your Artwork Online and via Social Media 2022
(The Painting Stoof)
3. How to Become a 7 Figure Freelance Digital Artist (How to get started)
(Stylized Station)
4. Teach Your Own Art Classes Online
(The Inspiration Place)
5. How to SELL ART COMMISSIONS ONLINE for BEGINNERS 2022 l How To Make Money As An Artist
(Honey & Absinthe)
6. How To Sell Your Art Online Course Welcome: Module Seven - Marketing For Artists
(Lori Randall Stradtman)
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