How to market your art online

How to market your art online – words Alexa Wang

As a working artist, you are in a unique business situation. You create a product, in a sense, but that product is generally unique, not mass-produced. Your business may also offer services, if you create commissioned or on-demand work.

You might operate as an influencer brand, where your business identity is closely tied to at least an aspect of your personal identity, and it’s possible you don’t think of or approach any of what you do as a business in the first place.

 

Marketing an artist isn’t easy. But if you’re a working artist and are paid for your art, you are a business in a legal and functional sense, and learning how businesses succeed can increase your reputation, income and ability to continue making art in the future.

All businesses need to know their customers. In many cases, this is not only so they can market to them effectively but so that they can meet their needs in other ways, including in product or service design and development. However, when it comes to art, you may or may not have the capacity or inclination to adapt what you create to a specific customer profile.

Instead of identifying ideal customers and adapting to their preferences, work on identifying actual customers. What sort of person enjoys, values and buys your work? What other things are they interested in? Where do they spend their time? Understanding your customers can help you market your art to them more effectively.

Another part of marketing is discoverability. You want to be memorable, easy to find, and appealing. Online marketing is great for optimizing and improving this. Get a website. It has to be part of your art marketing strategies. Its design and content should be in keeping with what you produce artistically (this is your brand). Find out what social media your customers enjoy and establish an active presence there. Don’t make it hard for past and potential customers to find you.

In terms of content for your site and social media, you’re in a much better position than most businesses because you already do something interesting that connects with your customers and adds value to their experience. Lean into your art for content, but go beyond simple photos and portfolio galleries. Bring people into your process.

The right format will depend on the type of art you create and your creative process. In general, video is more engaging and gets you better results on every platform. In its most basic form, you can film yourself talking about your creative process, inspiration or other anecdotes, or take footage from events such as a gallery show.

If you’re not comfortable on camera or tend to ramble, try a time-lapse video showing how you created a portion of an artistic work, or use simple explainer video software to tell a story, detail your process, post an update or communicate anything else of interest. This is a great way to build a community of not just customers but connected, invested fans who keep coming back for more.

Market your art online by understanding your customers, meeting them where they are and helping them feel like invested insiders, using video insights into your content and creative process.

How to market your art online – words Alexa Wang

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