Art Marketing Ideas
By Lynda Baxter – Owner Art In Canada Inc.
Art marketing ideas that work!
The journey of an artist is not easy. So lets explore what your ongoing art marketing efforts might look like.
You create your artwork. You’re passionate about it. You need people to see it (and buy it). How do you do that?
Before the Internet, artists might have joined art groups and participated in local art exhibitions with their group, or solo exhibitions at their local Art Gallery, Library or any space that would have them. They had a faithful clientele who purchased their art.
When I started marketing artists online in 1999, I couldn’t give away Internet exposure to an artist. There was a terrible fear, with most artists I talked to, that should one put up their art, it would be stolen, or copied… which would then also make it stolen.
The Internet changed the playing field, from being seen locally, to being seen worldwide. It also changed who could play. The professionals, the up and coming and the amateur were all given the same ability.
All of a sudden, you weren’t the ‘local’ go to artist anymore. Potential art buyers could now search and browse fine art from a multitude of artist’s websites without leaving their house. I’m not saying art collectors didn’t, and don’t still go to Art Galleries to find fine art, I’m just saying, they have Art Gallery websites and individual artists websites to view now in addition to going to their favourite galleries.
It does seem a bit harsh and unfair in some ways, but you can take this two ways.
The Internet makes it easier to discover new artists.
You can take that same theory and turn it around.
The Internet makes it easier for new artists to be discovered.
If you haven’t taken that step yet, to have an Internet presence, it’s time to get the facts, and make your decision.
Staying in your studio creating art isn’t going to get you discovered. Finding new ways to market your art could.
Marketing your own art is not easy. It’s become a huge industry, with massive competition from other artists. Yes, you have all these new tools to use, such as artist personal websites, social media and there are many online and local courses you can now take on SEO marketing, so you don’t have to depend on professionals, you can do it yourself, if learn the correct things, keep current on the many changes that occur, and if you are persistent and consistent.
Is that always the best choice? That depends on you. How much do you want to do? Some artists know they can do all of the above on their own, but they prefer to continue to create their art and hire someone that already knows now to market their art on the Internet.
You can ask yourself some questions.
Is your art good? Have you spent the time needed to hone your craft before you try to market it?
Once you know you are ready, decide who your target market is, and how you will reach them. Will they be of the age that will spend most of their time on social media, or search engines? It’s not just the middle age who can afford to buy art, or who have an appreciation for art. Art collectors seem to be getting younger all the time, which is good for you! It’s likely wise to have both an artists website and an Artist Fanpage on Facebook to reach both markets.
How do you accomplish that?
There are many companies out there who only charge by the month for a template website, most of the fee is for hosting your domain on their server. You can go that route, or hire a professional from the start, so you know the job is going to get done properly the first time.
How do you find a professional website designer and developer? Just Google one in your area, are you even more confused now? You should be. You will likely be overloaded with results. How do you know which website company to go with? You don’t. And the problem with searching for website companies, is just because they know how to build a website, do they know how to build them so they do well on the search engines. More important yet, do they focus on developing artist websites?
If they don’t work with artists, chances are you’re going to be disappointed with your design. It might not have the artistic flare you are looking for to give yourself credibility online. After all, your website is likely the first thing someone will see. Will it make a good impression, and give your work a professional look, or will they take one look and move on to the next artist website?
If you spend time looking at artists websites, how they are designed, how the navigation works, is it easy to get around the site? Does the art display professionally? Look on the main page of the site, on the ‘footer’ of the page. You should see who created the website, with a link to their website. Click on it. See if they specialize in artist’s websites. Look at their portfolio. Do you like what you see? Read about them. Are they also an online marketing company? What else can they offer you besides building your website? How long have they been in business?
There are a lot of companies who are companies, because they can be, because of the Internet… You need to make sure it’s a company you want to trust with your hard earned money and your online art gallery. Contact other artists in their portfolio. Find out if they had a good experience with the company. Call the company to get a feel for them yourself.
Make sure they build responsive websites. With more people searching Google on their phones and ipads, you need to have a mobile website. It’s just a need now. Period.
Google is looking for content.
Artist websites are full of graphics. How do you get content on your site, and still have time to paint?
You can blog. You are the expert! Blogging can be done once a week. You write and article specific to the art world. Every time you publish your article, it is like adding a new page to your site, and to the search engines. They will see your site is active, contains good relevant content and will keep coming back to get your new pages.
You then take that url from your new blog and post is on your Facebook Fanpage! They have to come back to your site to read the article. Brilliant!
You can blog about all sorts of things that are art related. You can do demos, stages of your painting, you can add Youtube videos (another good marketing tool for artists) Tips and trick of paintings. Painting techniques. The sky is the limit.
In the same sense that you think about art, all the time… now is the time to think about how to market it. Where to market it, and to whom you will market it. You’ll be surprised, when you start thinking about it, the many creative ways are going to come to mind. If you need to, start doing searches on the Internet for Art Marketing Ideas. Take that ball and run with it so it works for you and your art.
Ultimately, you are in control, and there are lots of decisions to make if you want to have a chance at being an established artist.
In the end, my advise is to find a good professional website design and development company with a good reputation, that focuses on artists. They will help you get to the next level with your marketing efforts, and be a part of your marketing team.
Painting by Andrew Kiss