So you are really good at what you do right? But somehow you are not getting your name out there in a way you’d like. Or it’s taken you many years to find a sales outlet or establish yourself professionally, let alone make a great living from your creativity or art. This is often simple down to understanding how to market your art business. I’m excited to share with you 35 ways to market your art business here today.
If you want to start with the basics, then check out: Effective Marketing For Creative Businesses.
This is unfortunately an age-old story. But one I hope is now changing with the online world being much more accessible. Here I want to simply share 35 ways to market your art business, so you can make a start planning out some marketing activity.
After you’ve looked through, I would suggest high-lighting 10 that you could do, then think about your target audience. Where exactly are your buyers, and how can you best get in front of them. Then narrow your selection down to 4 or 5. These will be your on-going strategies to market your art business.
Let’s dive right in…
35 Ways To Market Your Art Business:
1. Facebook – love it or hate it, this is a visual platform, so set up your profile, create a business page, join some groups, and post regularly. Let your likers know what you are up to, with studio shots and maybe you at work.
2. Instagram – this is possibly the single post suitable form of marketing your art business, as it is all about pictures. Instagram is an app on your smart phone, so you can take photos, edit them, and post direct to your account on the go. Use lots of more specialised #hashtags to be found.
3. Twitter – surprisingly this is growing for artists as a great way to build relationships fast, find prospective galleries or shows, and be seen by a global audience. Now images are more widely used too, and not forgetting #hashtags that group things together.
4. Google+ – most people neglect Google+, which is a shame as it has all the functionality that Facebook, does, and is very image heavy. Create a profile and page, and join ‘communities’ where your customers might hang out.
5. Pinterest – another absolute must to market your art business. Made up of boards where you can pin images either direct from the web, or up-load yourself. This is the perfect space to show off your brand, and sell your work direct.
6. Periscope – more of a new kid on the block, Periscope allows you to love stream video direct from your phone. Yes another ‘app’, not available on the web except to watch. Why not stream from your studio, or out and about on your travels. It’s a great way for your audience to really get to know you.
7. YouTube – similar to Periscope in that using the medium of video allows you to connect in a more intimate way. YouTube is the second largest search engine, and people are looking for video all day long. Beat your competition and create some simple videos.
8. Podcast – why not think outside of the box a bit. If you like talking (or is that just me?), then consider setting up your own Podcast, publish on ITunes and interview other artists or creatives about their work.
9. LinkedIn – still a good place to have your online CV, and connect with galleries, agents and other people in your industry. Simple to set up.
10. Your website – these days you can build your own on WordPress for free, design it to suit your needs, and for a very small fee, add an online shop facility. Use other marketing methods to drive people to your site, where you can capture their details and stay in touch.
11. SEO – yes, Search Engine Optimisation. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what this means, just think about what phrase you type into a search engine to find the result you want. That is called a ‘keyword’ or ‘keyphrase’ and you can make sure all your website and Social Media is fully ‘optimised’ with these, so people can find you.
12. PPC Google Ads – this is the first ‘paid for’ strategy and is one you would need to learn first. But then having your ad pop up on Goggle when people search for your type of work would surely put you ahead of the game.
13. Facebook ads – work with Facebook to get in front of a larger audience, and send them direct to your latest gallery page. These are all forms of PPC (pay per click), which means that you can set your daily budget and not worry about exceeding what you can afford. Again you would need to get some education around this.
14. Instagram Ads – connected through Facebook, you can also now advertise or promote your posts on Instagram. So, what if you have your latest piece finished and you’d like to make a sale…promote that one image, with the buying instructions in the description, and you are away. Of course if you build up enough followers you wouldn’t even need to do that.
15. Twitter Ads – you are probably getting the idea – get your post in front or many more people that currently follow you. Grow your fan base, gain enquiries and make sales.
16. Blogging – yes that’s what I am doing here. By creating high value content I am gaining followers.
17. Guest Blogging – this is a really fast way to be seen by many more people. Find a blog that you could add value to you and ask if they would like a guest post from you.
18. Networking – get out of the studio or house and go to your local business networking events. As an artist you will be in a minority and therefore will stand out. Take an original piece with you and make a big statement.
19. Email marketing – one people arrive on your website, make sure they have a way to sign up to join your community, and then stay in touch with marketing emails. First you can send up-dates and news, then of course your latest work for sale.
20. Joint ventures – find like-minded people who already have a community that may be interested in your work, and work with them to promote to that audience. It would be usual to give a high percentage financial cut of course too.
21. Referral schemes – let people who have already bought from you spread the word. Offer them discount vouchers of their next purchase, or a gift they would really value, for letting others know about you.
22. Direct mail – yes this is still alive and well. In the day of the email you might ask why bother with the hassle of letters. Because they stand out, that’s why. Get in front of people who are interested in your work, with a physical image. You can use this to also send out discount vouchers etc.
23. Post-cards – these are a great way to show off your work. Don’t forget to send them to your website, where they can opt in to your email mailing list. Most people don’t really use the post-card to its best advantage…
24. Radio PR – get in front of more people locally by calling up your radio stations. They are always looking for new stories, so this is super easy and fun to do.
25. Magazine articles – write an article (or spruce up a former blog article), and submit to a magazine in your field to be published. See if you can get a regular spot, especially if you love writing.
26. Press releases – having a show? Then you absolutely want to be writing press releases for all the local papers. This is how I built my art career the first time around; I was always in the paper.
27. Hangouts – via Google+, why not put your web-cam in your studio and teach something live via the web. The recording is there for people to watch later as well (unlike Periscope which only lasts 24 hours). This builds you up as an authority in your field.
28. Art fairs – these are not just for selling! Yes, over the years I watched so many artists just sitting reading a book while hundreds of people walked past. Only one actually had a strategy (win a portrait) to gather people’s name and build his mailing list.
29. Own book – compile your work into a book, or write about your artists journey, or interview others…. There are so many ways to creating a book and having it self-published in no time.
30. Free Report – this is where you put together something that your potential buyer might value (example: a Free Report on how to hang paintings in you home so they enhance the surroundings), have it on your website in exchange for a name and email address.
31. E-Books – do you teach what you do? If so, why not create lots of ‘how to’ guides and corner a market with simple e-books on Amazon.
32. Talks – people love to go to artist’s talks, so put on an open evening with a talk on a certain subject. Maybe these could be monthly, with different guests sharing things too.
33. Workshops – again for those of you that teach what you love. Running some simple one-day workshops is a great way to get your name out there, as well as offering your artwork at the end.
34. Vehicle sign writing – if you have a car, then you are missing out by not having your website, logo or some sort of simple ‘call to action’ on there. These days this is a very cheap thing to get done, and means you are being seen every day.
35. Guerrilla marketing – definitely one of my favourite strategies, but it won’t be for everyone of course. Doing something outrageous to stop people in their tracks…think outside the box, and then don’t forget to video it or produce some sort of Social Media post afterwards. These often go viral and you can massively increase your following.
There we have it, 35 ways to market your art business. Look out for many more articles on all of the above subject, so you can really benefit from this wonderful world of marketing.
Here’s to your success.