The world of an artist can be a challenging one. You need to find that spark of creativity and work hard to produce pieces that you are proud of. In addition, in order to make a living as an artist, you need people to purchase your work. Sometimes that can be a challenging prospect, but it doesn’t need to be.
Once you’re ready to start marketing and selling your art as a professional, you need to determine who your intended audience is. Do you create beautiful works to be displayed in a gallery or have your art sold online? Or is the work you create more inclined to sell in smaller prints? Either way, getting your name and talent recognized can be easier if you have a plan.
There are a few great ways you can market your art and create a brand for yourself. Producing great art isn’t enough; you need to promote it as well. If you need some ideas these four things can help you boost your image and help you become a successful artist. These ideas may even give you a chance to be creative in a whole new way.
How often have you seen something inspiring on Instagram? Or watched a short tutorial on TikTok? Artists know that in order to be successful they need to showcase their talents. A great way to do that is by gaining a social media following.
One method to gain new followers is to make posting to social media a priority. Consistency is key when it comes to social media. If you don’t post frequently enough, the algorithms of each site will make it harder for people to find you. They may even cause you to not be seen on the feeds of those who are actually following you already.
Set a schedule. Some social media sites like Instagram allow to you schedule posts so you can even work ahead without skipping a day of posting. When you post your art to social media, you’ll want to be sure to include hashtags that will help your posts be found by newcomers who may be searching for similar hashtags.
You don’t need to spam your audience with an abundance of posts either. Posting too frequently can be detrimental. The last thing you want to do is annoy your fans and followers with over posting. Space out your posts and relax. There are different peak times to get the most reactions so spend some time with your specific metrics to decide when to post.
Going live and engaging with your followers directly can also help increase the number of people who are seeing your work. Videos can be more engaging than a captioned photo, so add short snippets of your work in progress. Ask your followers questions and actually read and respond to their responses in the comments.
Think about what you would like to see from the artists you admire. Check out what other artists are doing with their social media content and see how you can emulate them. The world of social media moves pretty fast so you will need to pay attention to the trends and what seems to be popular.
Remember as you gain a following; give your connections other ways to keep following you. Include links in your bio to your gallery or website so interested people can take a closer look. You want to be accessible to your audience as needed.
Avoid stagnancy with your posts, so that there is some variety. Your social media should be an accurate representation of you, but if you post a little sketch every day, people may forget about your talent as a painter. Showcase your talents and remember if you’re not willing to brag about yourself on social media who will?
YouTube has grown in popularity and is visited by over 2 billion people. It is also ranked second for search engines, only after Google. So go where the people are and create a YouTube account for yourself and your art.
There are many ways you can use YouTube to your advantage and be found. If you want to attract new interest in your work, consider creating an instructional video for beginning artists. A short video with tips and tricks could not only help them become better artists themselves but also inspire them to follow you and even buy your work.
With video equipment so easily accessible, and with so many people looking for interesting ways to pass the time, being connected with YouTube is easier than ever. Have your videos link back to your social media and websites for the highest impact.
You don’t have to make each video a commercial for you as an artist. Simply getting your name and work into the forefront of your audience’s minds will help you market yourself in a new and hopefully fun way. Be sure to brand your video with your name and logo if you have one. Building your brand image doesn’t need to be complicated.
Cold calling and pestering gallerists to show your work can backfire big time. If you send unsolicited art to galleries for their consideration, they may even spread the word to their community to avoid working with you. The art world is one based on personal interactions so ask around with your friends and fellow artists if you can get an introduction.
Gaining representation as an artist is important in building your brand. However, if all you are doing is emailing galleries with links to your portfolio you can likely expect a lot of rejections. Make personal connections, even remotely by reaching out to people you already know, can earn you a promising lead.
Mass emailing can come off as pushy and can damage your reputation before you even get started. Spend a little time researching who may be the best fit for what you have to offer the art world. See if you can find a possible connection with them before you reach out. Putting in some effort for the right people is worth it.
By networking well you can build your brand and market yourself in a completely different way. If someone reaches out to you via social media, feel free to connect with him or her. You never know where your network could take you. However, be careful of unsolicited requests for information and pricing for your art, as many scammers will approach artists this way. Always do your research and due diligence when it comes to a potential buyer and/or collector of your work.
There are art competitions any artist can enter that will allow your work to be displayed with your peers. The chance of a prize is a good reward, but the chance to be noticed and gain name recognition is also a great benefit. Never underestimate the power of visibility. It is the building block of branding and marketing.
Contests allow you to get feedback on your work from gallerists, other artists, and industry professionals. It is always good to know where you stand and what people are saying, and you can market yourself and build your brand at the same time.
Competitions can lead to reflection of who you are as an artist and perhaps personal growth that will take your work to the next level. Choose a contest based on your career goals. Is there a specific market you’re hoping to break into? What contests are in the area?
If you’re looking to expand to the national level or even go internationally, online art competitions are a good way to start that journey towards greater exposure and more marketability. Many private art collectors like to buy award-winning art, but you can’t win anything if you never enter your work.
It may seem daunting and time consuming to sell yourself as a brand, especially when all you really want to do is create art. However, by spending time on social media and other marketing outlets to build a following of fans, you’re promoting yourself and creating a future for yourself as an artist. Spending time creating content and videos can also become a creative outlet for you, it may turn out you enjoy it.
Build your network, enter some contests, and keep your name and work in view of an audience. You’ll boost your brand and create lasting connections. If you want the world to recognize you as an artist, promoting yourself can go a long way in finding audiences who appreciate your work.
Guest Blogger: Gabe Nelson is a content specialist of over 7 years of experience, currently working with macfineart.com. Just out of high school he set off crab fishing on the Bering sea in Alaska. From there he went back home to finish his college degree at the University of Montana. He has written hundreds of content pieces in numerous niches. Currently, he lives in Missouri with his wife and kids.
Fusion Art, LLC
Santa Fe, NM