It is no gainsaying, that every business needs to do some good marketing if they would make a profit or even convert sales. Note that the creative art market is a delicate one, and the most skilled artists are not necessarily the most paid. This is why in art marketing, there is an emphasis on “good marketing”, and this must be sustained for as long as you are into commercial art. If you’re an artist at this time of the 21st century, then you should be up to date on the best marketing methods and ideas that could effectively bring your work to the limelight.
In this article, you would be gaining useful insights on how to promote your art in the best possible ways that guarantee results. Many of the suggestions and steps are a rule of thumb, and although things are always changing, you should be able to get going with all the tips here.
Better off with a strategy
Ideally, you probably should have decided on what marketing strategies you would be adopting, right from the planning stages- before the take-off of your business. But even if you didn’t, it is also never too late to change tactics, and get it right on your business and/or product marketing.
In your career as a commercial artist, having a strategy is one of the best decisions you can make for your business growth. As an artist with all the great skills, adding the right marketing strategy increases your chances of getting the type of results that anyone would desire. Essentially, a strategy would simply mean a proposed line of action that you want to take at different points- and sometimes based on the outputs from a previous action. If you do not have a number of strategies, then you would most likely do things and not get great results.
Now, there are different basic strategies which we shall still discuss, but that’s not all you need to know. In the course of adopting these strategies, you should also be able to decide on things like whether you need to write out a series of blog posts before using social media advertising, or whether/when to join an online or offline exhibition, etc. Sometimes, the order you follow on executing these strategies, also go a long way in determining how much you can get. For instance, you don’t want to be like Joe- the beginner artist who immediately organizes an art show, without any real publicity and without haven built some fellowship over time. He consequently had only his extended family members in attendance, and he had to sell his most priced artwork for a small change.
You could be doing the right thing at the wrong time if you don’t know how to properly make use of all the proven art marketing strategies. Note that the fact that one artist makes use of a marketing strategy does not necessarily mean the same would work for you. That is why artists are always encouraged to carefully choose their strategies, based on their individual goals and progress levels.
The best contemporary art marketing strategies
The following are some of the most effective contemporary art marketing strategies that you too can make use of today:
• Build an online portfolio for your brand
The internet has become a very viable tool for art marketing, and if you understand the nitty-gritty of using it, then you’ll acknowledge the advantages it has over the offline marketing means. As an artist, the importance of building an online portfolio cannot be overemphasized. Keeping an online portfolio of your artwork is a good idea because it makes it less tedious and cumbersome showing your work to a lot of people, at almost the same time. It also tells a lot about your skills and tendencies, and it is an avenue to sell yourself without much stress.
When you’ve built an online portfolio, you can easily direct prospective clients to see your various artworks or someone might just come across them at random- and they end up becoming one of your biggest clients.
However, you must make sure that you have the best of your collection on display. Thus, it is not just about having a portfolio but also having something that would make people pick an interest. Hence, while it is good to have a significant number of your previous work on display, the quality of what you’ve put up is more important.
• Blog with good content
At some point in your art marketing journey, you may need to start a blog or your website. As much as possible, make it interesting so that people would always want to stop by. It also needs to be educative and enlightening. For this to happen, then you have to be consistent with uploading good and attractive content. Try to tell stories about your images, sculptures, or whatever artwork you’re selling.
If you’re able to build a mailing list from the traffic that goes to your blog or website, then you could also still reach out to people through emails and newsletters. This shouldn’t be too frequent, but you should try to create an effect that makes them look forward to the next one.
Remember that these strategies may take some time before you see obvious results, so you need to not give up on them. If you’re not so good with creating these contents, then you probably should hire someone good at it. You can also hire a manager for your blog/website, to have some more time for producing your artwork.
Now, except you can conveniently afford it, it is advisable to use a low-cost website, as well as modest but captivating templates.
• Host art shows
Art shows require quite a lot of planning and efforts, but they can be the most rewarding for your art career. Once you’ve got your artwork together, you may want to give the show an exciting theme, and get the word out. Although there are no definite rules as to when you can begin to host your art shows, it is important to have passed some basic steps. For instance, you should be sure of haven reached out to possible attendees through some other form of adverts. This could be through word of mouth, news media, organized publicity campaigns, etc.
Artists who have developed an online or offline community could easily invite members of their fan community. You could also get a good space somewhere with an advert poster around the junction. Note that organizing a physical art show would usually cost you some money, so you need to have truly decided you’re ready for this.
Co-hosting the shows with other artists could also be a great way to organize art shows. This way you would be splitting the total cost of the setups with others. It also affords you the opportunity of showcasing your artwork to the fans and followers of your co-hosts. This type of synergy is an advantage to all the artists involved because it ultimately helps their network somehow.
• Actively build your network
No artist gets popular by staying put in their studio all day, without connecting with people. Note that the quality of your network goes a long way in determining how much reach and sales you can make. As an artist, one thing you should be constantly conscious of is how much progress you’re making in connecting with the world. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the bigger your network, the bigger the sales you’re likely to make.
One great way to get started is by registering for and becoming a member of relevant art groups and organizations. Asides from the fact that this could help boost your connections and fan base, you would also be benefitting from the insights shared in such forums. Furthermore, being a member of none related groups too can do some magic for your career.
• Use Social Media
In some marketing sphere, building followership may also be referred to as lead generation. As an artist, social media is another place to win the world to yourself. The best part for you is the ever-growing number of people who use the various platforms. If you leverage well on this, you can continuously make yourself and trade known to several millions of people across the world. Through your continued stay and activities, you gain followership and subsequently, you could utilize ingenious means of getting people to develop an interest in your work.
Artists- like Jeff Koons, have been able to make money and fame, from using social media. Currently, social media is still considered to be one of the most efficient art marketing tools that could help you promote your art in impressively no time. However, it is also not mandatory that you make use of every platform available. Simply decide on what platforms have the best options for your marketing and followership building goals, and stick to them.
How to use social media platforms for art marketing
As an artist- whether beginner or professional, one basic thing to do on social media is to create a profile page for your brand. This is where most of your activities would go down. From the posting of important updates and upcoming events to the posting of educative and informative content, special offers, community engagement, etc.
Always remember that you need to be able to create a good impression about yourself. Firstly, this means you would need to give your pages an official and formal look that significantly clears people’s doubts. After that, be mindful of the type and quality of content that you put out there. Usually, social media pages are also a common way for people to make inquiries, orders, and requests. Hence, it is good that you are almost always available or that you have a good response time. Furthermore, it is also important to post some of your recent or archived artworks from time to time and get interactive with your fan base. Artists can take advantage of boosted page and ads view options. This improves visibility for your pages and posts while increasing your overall reach.
Note that when using social media for such purposes as this, it is good to keep track of how well you’re doing, using various metrics. There are different measuring indices for different platforms, although they all try to measure such things as user engagement, page visits (traffic), lead generation and conversion rates, etc.
Depending on the size of your outfit and the income, you may hire the services of a social media expert to oversee this end of your activities. This is important because social media marketing may require some specific expertise, which you may not readily have.
While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, are probably the most common platforms for promoting your art, artists are continuously discovering ways of effectively promoting their arts on other platforms. Over the years, there are a few platforms that have consistently helped artists promote their artwork online.
Let’s consider five of these most popular platforms:
• Facebook (Profile pages and brand groups)
When talking about the best places for artists to promote their art, Facebook would most likely come top on the list at this time. With a user base of, well over 1.5 billion, there are great market prospects for artists who know how to use this space.
Asides from having your own dedicated Facebook group, you may also search for and join other groups dedicated to artists and people of like interests. When you join these groups, you can connect and interact with other artists, and by so doing prove your worth. Such arrangements like these helped upcoming artists gain popularity with support from more established ones.
Additionally, Facebook ads have since become an accepted trend, and you too could make a big difference in your business by paying for these services.
• Deviant Art
The Deviant Art platform is another platform that can help you gain good traction for your art business. This online community is over 20 years old, and it has successfully attracted several million users who post millions of posts and comments per day.
Once you’ve created an account, the art social platform allows you to upload as much as you want so that people can see them, comment, and recommend you to other users. If you wish to promote your art within a relatively short time, then Deviant Art is probably one of your best options. You can even write a bio for yourself and direct traffic to your main website.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Instagram is another option you may want to explore. Several artists say they prefer Instagram to Facebook because it still presents a better organic reach. However, your preferences would be up to you, but know that both options are great in their own right.
Since the platform is picture-based, you have all the opportunity to display all of the arrays of artwork that you’ve been wanting to show. You can even direct specific persons to your page, using Instagram tools like hashtags. It is no news that many artists now sell directly on Instagram, and they’ve had impressive sales all along.
Note that Instagram also provides a paid advert service, so you may also pay to advertise- in addition to the organic reach on your posts.
Ideal art marketing entails displaying your work in full glare, as much as you can. YouTube videos are some of the best ways artists can showcase their artwork, in another form than photography.
You can create a YouTube channel for yourself and post videos of your artwork, while also using the opportunity to tell the stories behind the concepts. If you’re good enough, you’ll likely get tons of subscribers in no time, and you can gradually convert sales from these.
However, like in many of the other platforms, you may need to also learn how to optimize your content so that they appear more often on search, and are easily seen.
Although relatively new, Pinterest has shown massive potentials for helping artists scale up their influence and reach their marketing goals. If you have a business website detailing your work and services, then you can easily use this platform to send traffic there.
Once you’ve got a Pinterest account, you can simply take pictures of your artwork, and “pin” them. This way, your products can reach a large audience in no time, and you may get people reaching out to you. Since it operates as a virtual search engine, note that using the right captions and hashtags for your pinned pictures is also important.
Now, this list is not exhaustive, as there are a few other platforms and software that you can leverage on. Importantly, however, artists need to list down their individual specific goals and see which of these platforms is more suitable for helping them achieve them.
As a commercial artist, your marketing strategy should be able to incorporate a good number of these digital frameworks. Their advantages include ease of use, efficiency, and even cost-effectiveness. However, always remember to reach out to an expert on the most technical aspects of using them, so that you can get optimum results.