So you've read about the importance of art marketing, and you're ready to take the leap. Congratulations! Now, as with anything you try to do, there are a few things you need to put into place before you begin. For example:
- Do you have the proper tools and supplies?
- Do you know where your market is?
- How long will it take for art marketing to start working for you?
These and other questions crop up frequently when you first get started on your art marketing plan. Whatever you choose as your marketing strategy, know that other artists are struggling to be seen, too. So you're not alone. With that caveat, let's get started!
Art marketing doesn't always mean social media marketing
Everyone knows the power of social media, but it's not the holy grail. Especially not for artists. Selling art online isn't exclusively about social media, although social media marketing can certainly help.
In many cases, platforms like Facebook and Instagram are too crowded. Meta, after all, is a business. They want your money. So marketing efforts and social media strategies are going to need ads to be successful. And if you're running ads, strongly consider the return on investment.
I've done ads in the past on social media, and I've gotten much better returns in other places: like on search engines or YouTube. Sometimes spending $5 on an ad for one click gets you more than $1000 in return. It just depends, so experiment!
So instead of immediately tweeting about your first sale or updating Facebook with your latest accomplishment, think about what social media used to be – a place solely for friends and family to catch up with each other. While some artists do use social media presence, it can also be intrusive to people who are just looking to spend time with friends.
Art marketing does mean getting exposure
Have you ever been in an art competition? I haven't done many of them, but marketing art is much easier when you have a hook like a contest or competition.
The art marketing benefit is that people are voting for your art. When they do, you get exposure. And winning, even if it's an online competition, can be a fantastic way to create buzz about yourself and your work. Your personal brand will grow as your target market gets invested in your success.
Even better? Getting press for something like this will only help the cause. Practice your press release skills and get it in front of media outlets. Local newspapers love original art, emerging artists, and even established artists.
Don't feel slimy about art marketing
I often feel slimy when I think about art marketing and sales. I feel like I'm somehow forcing people to look at my fine art or art business. But here's the thing – people WANT to buy your art. They just don't know about it yet. Art marketing is really about connecting the dots.
The art world is big, and art sales are plentiful. You just want a piece of the pie. So keep trying to create art that fits squarely within your brand, and you will have a successful art career.
Use art websites / get your art online
Professional artists posts their art online. They use an artist website, they use other marketing tools like Pinterest. They use Fine Art America. Your marketing strategy needs to get your art in front of art buyers.
Talented artists that are undiscovered aren't marketing art very well at all. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that the art will sell itself. Art sales are about exposure and marketing efforts, so don't skimp out.
Be consistently adventurous.
Post your art on Deviant Art. Participate in guest blogs. Make an online portfolio. Reach out to gallery owners and figure out where your art fits on their website. Use word of mouth, friends and family, and online marketplaces to get your work listed. Seek out media coverage.
Look at what many artists are doing, and copy them. Your art marketing strategies don't have to be brand spanking new: they can be consistent instead. If it works for other artists, chances are, it'll work for you.
Keep making art.
Selling art is also about making art. You can't just be a one-and-done sort of artist. Keep making art, and your target market will find time to buy art. Share your new art online, on your artist website, and stick to your marketing plan. Things will work out. Your art career will thank you.