Marketing is an essential aspect of any business, and that also applies to artists. For artists, marketing helps to promote their work, connect with potential buyers, and build a reputation. It is a way of getting their art out into the world and making it visible to a wider audience. Marketing can help artists to establish themselves as professionals, and showcase their skills and talent to the public.
Marketing can also help artists to build relationships with their audience, and create a loyal fan base. By sharing their work on social media, attending events, and collaborating with other artists, they can create a strong network of supporters who are interested in their work. This can lead to increased exposure, sales, and opportunities for future projects.
In short, marketing is crucial for artists because it helps them reach their target audience, build their brand, and establish themselves as professionals in their field. By investing in marketing, artists can increase their visibility, expand their reach, and ultimately, achieve their goals.
Now that you know why marketing is important, how and where do you start? The easiest way to start is with social media. Instagram is the top platform for artists because it is focused on imagery. You are able to build a timeline showing the progression of your artwork. Collectors are attracted to your development as an artist, and how certain styles from early works continue into later works. This is an area where the longevity of the internet plays to your benefit – the timeline framework of Instagram provides a logical flow.
Effort = Success
The great part about social media is that you can create an account and start sharing your art quickly. Unfortunately, Instagram and other platforms cannot be mastered quite so quickly.
The amount of effort you put into something often determines the level of success you achieve. That being said, there are many other factors that can also play a role in determining success, such as natural talent, resources, and luck. However, putting in effort is a crucial component to achieving success. When you put in effort, you demonstrate dedication, persistence, and a willingness to work hard to achieve your goals. This can lead to improvements in your skills and abilities, increased confidence, and a greater likelihood of achieving your desired outcomes. So, while effort alone may not guarantee success, it is an essential ingredient in the recipe for achieving your goals.
Remember, this doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to grow and build anything. As you are building and growing, you are also learning. Pay attention to what people are reacting to when you post. Be sure to comment and reply when someone leaves a comment. Follow and comment on other artists and art-related accounts as well, aiming for at least 15 minutes a day. All of these things let the algorithm know what you are interested in.
Now, this can be difficult for those of us with lived experience, and it can be an excellent opportunity to leverage tools such as social media managers to help you plan content so you don’t feel the continued pressure of posting daily.
One in particular that offers a great free plan is Metricool. It gives you analytics tools for monitoring website or social account traffic, but more importantly, the Planning tab allows you to post to multiple platforms at once for days in advance.
Using Create New Post, you can create and schedule a post out months in advance! Say you have a holiday sale you know you want to promote that you don’t want to forget about.
Scheduling posts can help make content and engagement feel more manageable, especially as we manage our own health – which must always come first.
If the above seems overwhelming, start by scaling. Or create different types of post content that require less prep work, but still get engagement from your fans.
Don’t make this mistake
Keep your personal account personal and your art account about your art. If you already have a “personal” account, great, keep it for just that. Create an artist account that is only for your art & you as an artist. Your Instagram is essentially your digital business card. Yes, galleries do look at it, and yes, potential collectors do view it. If I find an artist whom I am interested in, I go to their feed and see what they are sharing. If the art is scattered within other random posts of your life, I am not going to follow. Why? Because I am here to see your art and follow you on that journey.
Key Marketing Points to Remember
- To see results, you need to post more than once a week.
- Engage in other art-related accounts by commenting and sharing.
- Comment and reply to people who engage with your account.
- Keep your personal and art business accounts separate.
The sooner you start, the sooner you will see results. Just start posting: Don’t worry about it being perfect; just post. Oh, and let go of the idea of it ever being perfect, because it won’t be, and it shouldn’t be. Marketing today is very different: it is about sharing your story and your journey. You are inviting people to follow along as you make and share your artwork. Have fun with it, and be yourself!
About the author: Alexis Arnold is the founder and president of Art Connective, Inc, a non-profit art organization dedicated to helping artists gain more time to create by understanding the business side of art. Want to learn more? Enroll in any of Art Connective’s online courses at www.artconnective.org.
You can follow her on Instagram @theartconnective for exclusive live sessions on Thursdays as well!