Maybe you’re wondering how to find more buyers for your artwork, or deciding if a blog is worth your while. Or, you’re simply in the market for some fresh art marketing ideas. Whatever the case may be here are my top 7 savvy marketing ideas to promote your art.
Marketing and branding is something that comes naturally for me, but it doesn't for most artists. In fact most artists would probably tell you it's a complete pain to brand and market their work. It's not a natural extension of how most artists think and it is certainly not an easy task by any means, but one that is vital for your sucess as an artist.
Some artists will rely ONLY on gallery owners, or curators to market their work for them. Explaining that they only want to focus on creating the "work." While this is an option I don't recommend this approach and for two reasons:
Gallery owners simply don't have the proper amount of time needed to fully market ever artist they agree to take on as clients.
You as the artist should remain in control as much as possible when it comes to your art and where it ends up.
1. Reinvent Yourself by Branding.
Never underestimate the power of branding.
As a working artist, it’s not enough to produce art: you need to promote your art as well. Your artistic path may be more about your inherent need to create and leave your mark on the world. However, this won’t help introduce your work to the art community.
Be willing to take risks. In fact using controversy to sell your art brand can be a powerful statement in itself. Today's audiences crave fresh content and quickly lose interest if businesses fail to move at the same speed. People get bored, but quality outweighs quantity any day. So be sure to walk that tight-rope carefully.
Design a logo and come up with a color scheme for your art brand. Develop a style you like and want to work in regularly. Bouncing around from style to style and tackling different subjects each time can create confusion about your brand identity. For example let's say you want to paint retro pinup girls from the fifties. I would sugest that you use a color scheme and font that fits well within this paticular genere.
Once you have your logo and have decided on a color scheme for your brand next is having your own branded website. There are several ways now to create your own website that is affordable and relatively easy to create. For example, my site here www.savvypalette.com, I created using WIX. I am really pleased with WIX's ability to meet my design needs. With their plug 'n play atmosphere it's not difficult to claim your real-estate on the world-wide web.
WIX has literly hundreds of templets to choose from, or you can start with a blank canvas and create your site from scratch which is the route I took. I'll be honest there is a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the basics down it's really up to your design imagination how far you take your site.
You'll defiantly want to purchase your own domain name as well and a matching professional email address. These are key elements in your branding efforts that send a strong message to collectors and clients that you are a professional and want to be taking seriously.
Promoting your art should not feel overwhelming. You don’t have to do everything at once. In fact, one of the important things about successful promotion is that it is targeted to the specific aims you have in mind. This means that the very first step in promoting your art effectively is to decide what you want to achieve.
2. Be Real. Be Personable.
People who express an interest in your art will want to know you on more of a personal level especial if they ever plan to purchase some of your work for their collection.
So being personable, easy-going and able to communicate with most people will do wonders when it comes to generating a fan base for your art and eventually collectors. This of course turns into more gallery shows and more sales as well.
Gallery owners and curators like artists that are capable of being open and have established a strong following on their own. If you want to connect with your clients and audience, be relatable. The old adage "people want to do business with people" exists for a reason and artists are no different. Meaningful conversations with those who express interest in you, or your work will go miles. I promise.
Get your followers involved in the processes that make your business run, and keep them engaged. Most of all, be responsive. You’d be surprised how client feedback can influence future clients and your business' direction and its growth trajectory.
3. Use The Power of Storytelling.
Why should you be using storytelling? Well, for starters - stories establish a purpose and help drive action. They help audiences relate to concepts that consumers otherwise may not have understood, or taken an interest in.
Walt Disney was a master at crafting and delivering concepts that sold. Disney would not be what it is today without stories. Walt created compelling ideas based around characters that others related to and he presented his belief to his staff which in turn inspired them to act.
Learn to craft a story about your work and you'll create intrigue. Intrigue produces sales. It can also generate free press coverage if done really well. Never shy away from "free press." One way of approaching this would be to write a strong, engaging press release. Of course it should be noted that there are professionals who will do this for you, for a fee.
4. Be Social. On (Media)
Expand your horizon with social media channels. Post regular updates and hashtag to gain more followers. I personally use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Linkedin. My favorite of these sites would have to be Instagram and Pinterest. Remember though that when creating your social sites that it is important to brand yourself the same across all platforms.
Also stake your claim on your @name for all your social sites and your own hashtag-name. It's extremely important to start this process as early as you can in this game. By doing so, you create a dated trail so to speak by hash-tagging your art with your own hash-tag.
I would also shy away from posting political, or personal stuff on your business social media channels. There is a time and place to express your views outside of art and your art social media pages are not the best resource.
Like blogging it best to stay active on these sites and post decent updates at least twice a week. Try not to be over zealous though and post too much. Followers will quickly get tired of your posts if they see them too often. It's fine line to juggle, but one that pays off tremendously if done correctly.
5. Express Your Art in Words
I'm willing to bet you have, or are procrastinating writing your artist statement and bio. This is again one of those tasks that just does not come easy to most artists, but it is very important to understand how and why this document is used in your marketing efforts for your art.
I'll be focusing a future post on writing these two documents. So please check back, or sign up for email notifications to get updates.
Gallery curators are going to request this statement before they agree to show your work as they'll want to know what motivates your work. Plus prospective buyers will also be interested in knowing more about you as an artist and why you create what you create.
Having a well written artist bio and statement will help you market and reach a larger audience over time. Just remember that the artist bio should be written in third person; while the statement should be penned in first person.
6. Share Your News(letter)
Having an email newsletter branded in your style is very important as well. Develop and grow your own list, but be patient with this as it does take time to fully develop.
Having access to your own list of people to tell them about what you got going on is going to work better in the end then relying on companies completely like Facebook who like to control who sees your posts. By developing your own list your in control.
7. Bring People in With a Blog
Google loves blogs and new content posted to sites.
You'll be able to reach new people you wouldn't even think of by writing and posting a regular blog on your own professional artist website. I suggest posting a blog post at least once, or twice a week. The best blogs that work well with Google tend to be at least 1500 words and utilize strong "key words" throughout. Don't forget, you can also inlcude pictures and hashtags to reach even more people.
If you're not a writer, or writing decent content is a challenge for you - there are freelance writer's on sites like Fiverr who will pen blogs and articles for you. Most charge anywhere from five dollars to twenty dollars per blog and will have it ready within a couple days. If you go this route, take your time and find a provider with decent ratings. You may have to try a few out before you find someone you want to work with on a regular basis.
I typically post at least once a week on my blog sometimes more. It's by far one of the best resources to promote your art and what you have going on in your art career. I also use my blog as an educational tool for young, or new artists who may need assistance on topics that I can offer advice on. Like this article here.
Also having an active blog will increase your website's ranking within Google and this of course is something you defiantly want.