Learn to market your art & or blog in a way that leads to sustainable growth and sales with these helpful marketing tips.
Marketing art is a bit challenging because the market isn’t as accessible as others. However, with the internet and the ease of making portfolios, establishing yourself as a freelancer is not impossible! Whether you want art to be your side hustle or your main job, marketing is important. Hopefully this guide will help you out!
It’s essential to create a sound marketing strategy and stick to it.
First and Most Important Step
Pick a niche to start with
Though this sounds limiting and anti-art in a philosophical way, (sort of, but hey, artists need to eat.) picking out a specific niche is helpful for you to build your audience. Expanding and diversifying is easier to do later.
Picking out a niche and building your presence there might help keep yourself sustainable. I’ve seen many great mixed media artists, but a lot of the big name artists I follow actually stick to one genre or two.
Create high quality work
None of the other tips will really work that effectively unless your content is something worth seeing.
I find it easier to worry a bit less on marketing in the beginning and just work on improving your art. This will make you feel less stressed and able to establish your own style.
If you love your own work, and are genuinely proud of it, chances are others will too!
Next, Establishing Social Media Presence
Create a portfolio
This can be done on a variety of platforms. My first recommendation is to create your own website and portfolio, and I wrote a guide on how to do that for free, without many limitations.
If you can’t purchase and host your own site or domain, I recommend using a professional, social media platform to host your portfolio.
You could also create your own coffee table book if you want to promote your art in person. Blurb is a good option, and has relatively cheap options. I’ve done a project with them, and I enjoyed the quality. This code will let you Sign Up & Save 35%.
Great options include:
- ArtStation - aimed at “games, film, media & entertainment artists”
- LinkedIn - can add work to your profile to use as a pseudo portfolio
- DeviantArt - can also sell prints. Less professional than it used to be, honestly.
- Tech savvy? Use a staticsite generator + netlify and make your portfolio site from scratch. Then you only need to pay for a domain which you can can get for pretty cheap.
- Full tutorial on how to create a free portfolio and blog site.
Cross post to social media
Now get out there and post your content!
Remember, numbers are not everything. However, if you want to create a business out of your art, a social media presence is important.
Consistency is key for many social media alogorithms.
I think pinterest has great conversion rates, and I am going to try that soon, but right now I am using tumblr to convert and it’s working quite well. In fact, I started this blog there initially.
Also, be sure to pay attention for the best times to post.
Consider making a blog
This is time consuming, but a great way to engage potential art appreciators and purchasers. I recommend doing thorough research on this topic.
- SEO is important, theme optimization, headlines, content, keywords, consistency, etc.
- I wrote an article on how to create a portfolio for free. It takes some setting up, but the setup that I describe is the one I use to host this site for free. I run this site serverless and manage it with a headless CMS, which cuts out security issues and speeds up performance. I only use tools that have free tiers, not free trials (I am a college student haha).
Monetization & Art Marketing
Now that we have an audience, here are some ways I recommend monetizing!
When first trying to monetize, consider directing products towards tight niches, which is often the most effective.
- Set up a gig on fiverr. Probably my most valuable monetization strategy so far. You offer to do something, and you get paid.
- Here is my most successful gig, as an example.
- Set up a patreon. A very popular platform for indie content creators to make money.
- Set up a ko-fi page, like this. I now use buymeacoffee.
- You can sell your art on Amazon
- Etsy & if you can’t print yourself, try printful
- Threadless, Society 6 , Zazzle, inktale.com & Redbubble offer print on demand services where you receive a portion of the sales.
- I currently use inktale.com.
- Go set up at a craft far, exhibition. Pricy because you need to print stuff, but helpful for contacts and exposure. Exhibiting your art is a great way to build up credibility and gain connections.
- Similarly, try submitting to magazines.
For your website / blog [not directly related to your art]
- Affiliate programs - there are many, but I will list the ones I am using right now.
- Advertising - I don’t really like traditional ads, so I sort of stay away from this but I have heard success stories.
I hope this post helps! If it did, please consider sharing it with your friends!
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