art marketing

Marketing Strategies For Independent Artists That Work

What Are The Best Marketing Strategies For Artists?

This is an important issue that I do not wish to lead anyone astray on.  I promise you that I will not lead you down the fluff path of other materials you read.

The best marketing strategy for artists exists within a composite of different methods which come together as a whole unit.

In other words, you will have multiple art platforms you utilize for growing your art audience.  The real trick is in isolating the platforms you are good at using for marketing art.

Social Media Strategies For Artists

Please understand I do not wish to make anyone upset here.  The reality is that social media is not enough to help you and please stop making how to art videos.

Social media strategies for artists can exists within two key hemispheres and they meet at the proverbial equator.  First is public relations and outreach.  Second is communication and networking.

Notice marketing is not one of those two.  There is a reason for this.  Your success depends on your creativity and holistic action behind it.  What do I mean?

If you are not improving as an artist by creating rare and unique ideas for this world, then it doesn’t matter.  The problem with social media as a vehicle is that by itself it will own you and your time.

To market well with social media requires two key components.  Time and money.  You are competing against big corporate brands today not just other independent artists.

By all means use social media as a strategy but use it wisely to your benefit.  Do not become the hamster on the wheel spinning all day to get nowhere.

Beyond these very critical points know the dangers of social media and how to avoid the pitfalls.

Online Art Gallery Marketing Strategies For Artists

If you do not have an online art gallery that you own, get one.  This is one of the most critical components that you should have.

If you can use Microsoft Word then you can have an art gallery online.  WordPress is there to help you with this.

Own your domain, have hosting for your site, and control your world.  Get out of the trash platforms like the big E

They will suck your wallet dry while you only exist within a sandbox they created.

An online gallery as a marketing strategy is not enough for artists.  It is a critical component.  Yet it has no visibility on its own.

What is its purpose?  The reasons for having it are many ranging from establishing brand legitimacy, or being a shopping platform you own, and most critically you control your policies.

Places like the big E love to dictate your business terms.  If you do not follow all the rules you are punished on their platform.  So as an artist you should create your own world.

This marketing strategy is really about freedom and legitimacy.  This translates into greater value to your art.  It offers exclusivity.

Using A Blog As A Marketing Strategy For Artists

This is one of the most overlooked components by independent artists.  It is sad because this is one of the most useful tools for marketing art.

Nothing can match the power of a blog in our present online world.  This is why major corporations invest in blogging just as much as they do other marketing vehicles.

This is not a hypothesis, it is a data driven fact for corporations.  It should also be a driving force for your art marketing platform.

Why is it so powerful?  Two key concepts play into this at the most elementary level.

First it is evergreen, in other words it lasts forever and keeps working for you through many years.  Secondly it works while you sleep.

With social media your new post will die in minutes, to hours, and certainly within days.  A blog post can survive forever with a few updates across time.  They never die.

The problem with this strategy is most often the artist lacks the patience to continue the blog.  It takes a lot of time to cultivate a blog.  This strategy is for long term growth not short term gains.

Realistically you can put 3 to 5 years of dedicated work into this platform before seeing serious results.  In the end you will be glad you did, if you build real value into your art blog.

The Best Marketing Strategies For Artists Involve Real World In Person Marketing

There simply is no better marketing strategy for artists than getting out into your local town or city by using your feet.  This is the heart of public relations.  Know it and live it.

This marketing strategy should be like the air you breathe and the food you eat.  It is not something you do; it is who you are.

I come from a generation that was born on the outside curve before the internet.  The problem today is that too many younger artists have lost these in person marketing skills.

My wife thrived in this world where event driven marketing was at the heart of business.  This is where you establish real relationships, grow real roots, and establish a real brand behind your name.

Coffee shops, bookstores, locally owned downtown shops should all have some of your art on their walls.  You should be making friends with other local artists building collaboration, not competing with other artists.

If you do not have money to push a marketing ad campaign, then get involved in nonprofit work where your name will spread.  In hindsight of past years, the nonprofit work you do will pay better dividends down the road.

Truly this marketing strategy for artists is not only essential, it is the heartbeat which will drive the pulse of your brand early on.

Know the best places to sell you art

Art Exhibitions As A Marketing Strategy For Artists

For some artists this will work well as a marketing strategy.  Then for others it will not work at all.  Art exhibitions should be researched well and placed within cost to benefit analysis.

There is a very wide range of possibilities here.  Art showings through a generalized marketing event can cost you a little but also show little return.

More exclusive art gallery showings can increase your return but also remove some of your independence.  Know the terms before entering this arena if you were to be accepted.

I will tell you that this article is not inclusive enough on this topic to handle each situation.  I will give you one piece of advice from my past years of art marketing.

I work with wood art thus my art is unique from the accepted classical styles.  Traditional guild systems is where I would find myself if I chose this method of marketing.

In past years there has been a severe decline in these systems.  I hope they recover, and I believe they are a great asset to the world of art.

Personally, I would not invest in the showings I would qualify for.  Having said this, what you can qualify for can be an altogether different world, so investigate accordingly and decide what is best for you.

Problems Exist Within Each Marketing Strategy If Used By Itself

Early on I stated that you will need to develop a holistic strategy.  In other words your strategy needs to incorporate different vehicles.

How many different marketing strategies should be used for art?  The answer depends upon how much time you have to dedicate to them.

I would list the priority as follows: In person marketing and public relations locally, local art exhibits or exhibitions, online gallery, and blogging. 

Social media is not a marketing method but a tool of communication.  This only changes if you have the money behind the campaign to push it far and wide enough. 

Trust me when I say independent artists do not have enough.

If any of these are used by themselves then you will find difficulty in finding success.  It is not impossible, but it will be more difficult.

An online gallery alone with no other marketing strategy will require a lot of advertising.  Money becomes an issue.

A blog by itself requires so much time to gain traction most give up before it becomes truly beneficial.  Furthermore, too few take the time to really learn this platform and how to use it well.

Local art marketing in your hometown only can serve you well without any other support.  The problem here is that your brand resides only within those borders and growth stagnates.

Further complications come in terms of your art value being isolated to that location.  This may or may not be a problem for you.  For me it is a serious challenge due to local economics and art value.

You must tailor your art marketing strategy to your world.  Your art platform must serve your strengths while improving your weaknesses.

The holistic marketing strategy comes together as a whole unit working together.  It is a vehicle to take you to where you want to go.

Will Advertising Work As A Marketing Strategy For Artists?

Advertising will require experimentation as a marketing strategy for artists.  Why do I say experimentation?

There are a lot of elements which play into this scenario.  In my case, wood art does best being displayed and sold in person but within historical settings or vacation spots.

Advertising for me can do okay, and I have used it.  Still I prefer to not use it.  My position should not dictate your choice.

Presentation also matters.  Art is really a visual thing that is best seen in person and felt in the hands.  It is hard to translate this well onto a screen.

In my art, those who purchase online almost always send me an email being shocked at how impressive it looks in person.  This is a testament to the point of how in person sales are always better.

Much will depend on how unique and beautiful your art is.  What is the artistic expression within the art?  Does it speak to someone or is it a widget that you just decided to call art?

Research ad marketing and experiment if you have the ability to do so.  I do not see this vehicle as a requirement when there are so many other options.

To an artist that is not lazy there really is little to no reason to use ad marketing.

What Artists Should Avoid As Marketing Strategies

I have detailed in other articles how so much really bad information exists online.  Marketing strategies for artists should never exist as spam in a can.  Unfortunately, many treat it this way.

Each platform has this problem.  The most notable are the many issues surrounding social media.  In short, if you follow the broad path others take you arrive at their same destination.

Herd mentality rarely serves the individual well.  As an independent artist you wish to stand out from the herd.

There is a wealth of bad information pertaining to online galleries, blogs, and other assorted egalleries.  You will be required to invest some time into your education process in order to achieve anything.

It is this education process that will help you decipher what will benefit you, and what will not.  If you begin this education and develop a marketing strategy you will soon discover that you will need to adapt through time.

There are also many other qualities which will determine your success in art marketing, or your failure.  Non quantitative qualities such as your personal character will play a significant role within your journey.

No amount of marketing strategy can overcome poor character.  Who you are as an individual and artist will make or break your endeavors along your path.

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