Creating art feels right. Yet promoting art can sometimes be a real hurdle for an artist. Whether you like it or not, promoting your art is how you will survive as an artist, especially if you completely rely on it financially. Circumstances and challenges can bring multiple solutions to different problems, so if the market is quiet for your art right now, it is time to set get started developing new solutions. There are so many marketing opportunities out there waiting to be recognized–all you have to do is focus on one and start the work. Creating your online presence is definitely worth it; in fact, it’s one of the best ideas you’ve had in a while. Here are some proven methods for getting started. Good luck!
Create an online portfolio
Building an online portfolio is a must if you want to promote your art on social media or other online channels. It’s the first natural step to take. Here are the steps to get going:
- Choose the proper platform for you and your business. You can choose this by asking yourself, “what are my goals and needs?” or “what do I want to achieve in the long run?”
- Focus on the best work that you have and leave the other work aside. Also, focus on storytelling. It’s essential.
- Think about the number of reviews you have. Ask for offline reviews and note down collectors’ and critics’ reactions. Know where you need to improve—and where you receive accolades.
- Learn SEO and use it effectively to help promote your website and work.
- Switch perspectives from a “me, me, me” mentality to a “me and you” narrative. Make your stories about people, for people.
Start a blog
Next thing to do is start a blog. This is highly recommended as the second step because a blog becomes the platform you can redirect customers to whenever needed. That means, when someone is interested in your art, you don’t have to direct them to wander around ten webpages and five other blogs to let them see your complete art package. You can send them a link to your website’s blog and you’re all set. They will learn your story, see your work, and hopefully become more interested in owning your work. Starting a blog is not even that complicated. You don’t have to be a great writer, a blog is really a place to communicate a personal perspective on things, so, like most bloggers, you can write in a very informal and conversational style.
Create your website
After you’ve created your blog, next step is to create a platform for selling your art pieces—a website is exactly what you need. To get started, you will need a domain name, a website platform such as WordPress, and a host. Then, you can customize and structure your website exactly as you need it. You might even add an online store to it to make things easier for your collectors. Make sure that your blog has a presence on your website and is linked to it. You want to give your collectors a one-stop place to learn about you and see your work.
Have a strong About Me
It’s important that you have a strong About Me section in order to connect and sell well. Collectors want to check you out, learn about you and your story, before they commit to making a purchase. They want to know who they are buying from, so it is really important to give them the right details. Fill the space with engaging content and interesting comments about your work. Keep it as original and compelling as you can.
Rely on social media for promotion
Some of the best platforms for marketing your art are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Tumblr also works great but gives off a more hippy-ish vibe. Picking the main platform to market on is the next essential step to consider, as it will serve as a bridge between your art and artist qualities and, ultimately, income. Since the number of people using social media is continually expanding, it is an excellent means of connecting and convincing potential collectors about the quality of your work. Make sure you choose a platform that you are already familiar with or, if you need help figuring things out, watch online videos of how to use social media for marketing purposes. Get in a groove and get social!
Add video content
I’ve noticed that webpages with higher Google rankings usually offer video content to their customers. You don’t have to be a movie director to create a video–your iPhone camera works just fine. You and make a short video of your art and post it on YouTube. Then, connect your YouTube channel to your website and there you have it. You’re done.
Don’t forget–video content is relevant because people are very visual; they love to see something and learn about it before buying it. If they see it, the chances of turning it into a purchase automatically increases. Be smart and use this tool to your advantage.
Promote yourself on other blogs
Another way to attract customers to your art blog is by posting on other blogs. Find other professional artists online and see if they would like to cross-promote. Maybe you can write an article for their blog. Once you share your story on their page (and hopefully include a link to your website or blog or both), you have an opportunity to generate additional traffic to your site. This kind of promotion is a great way to share your work across multiple sites.
Win art competitions
Art competitions are another way you can receive promotion from an outside source. Entering various art shows and competitions will help you promote yourself, your story, your art, and eventually, your online business. They can draw attention to your work and can even result in engaging with various artists around the world. Even if you don’t win, submitting your work is a step forward and can give you additional exposure.
Participate in online debates and discussions
Adding valuable input to online discussions can also be a way to promote yourself. Becoming active in your artist community is important–the more you engage, the more attention you draw to yourself and your work. I know what you’re thinking. “I’m not an expert.” You don’t have to be one to participate in these discussions or have an opinion. People are often looking for answers to their questions online, so you could be the one attempting to answer. You never know where your next collector might come from, right?
Besides the online activities that you are pursuing, you could also engage in offline networking, or what I like to call real networking. Attend various art fairs and exhibitions to engage with the artists there. Bring your business cards with you so you can promote yourself in a professional manner. Think about joining artists organizations and meeting up with different peers to discuss various art concepts. The workshops, conferences, and meetings offered by these organizations and the knowledge and experience—and contacts—you will receive can pay long-term benefits.
Apply for more money
Last but not least, if you need more funds to develop, you can consider applying for artist grants. Winning it will draw serious attention to your work and some cool benefits to you. Maybe you don’t get the grant, but you get the experience and you have nothing to lose.
Create your online portfolio, learn how to engage with your online community, network both online and offline, enter various art competitions to promote your work, apply for grants if needed, and start your blog to promote yourself! This is the basic summary of the above points. You’ve got this. Go get ‘em.
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