Easy and Cost-Effective Ways to Promote your Art

how to market your art

Don’t let the phrase starving artist apply to you.

In today’s digital world, there are numerous cost-effective resources and methods to help you thrive as an artist.

Here are a few ways to promote your art and build your brand:

Get active on social media

It only makes sense to start with social media — considering there are 3 billion users on social media globally. Social media marketing can give you high visibility.

It can be time consuming, so focus on the platforms where you see the highest engagement and that your ideal customer uses the most. All of these social platforms may not be for you and that is okay. Master one or two social media channels well instead of all of them half-heartedly.

For a younger demographic (under the age of 35), use Instagram to chronicle everything from your artistic process, your studio, various inspiration, the finished project and your happy customers. Consider investing in preset filters to give your Instagram feed a consistent look. Don’t post because you feel like you must post daily. Make sure your photos are good and your content engaging.

With social media, remember quality over quantity.

Use Facebook to cross post your Instagram posts. Facebook is the No. 1 social channel used by marketers, with the highest return on investment. According to Pew research, 43 percent of U.S. adults get news from Facebook. You can organize photos into albums, create events, and share your work in relevant community groups.

Social Media is truly only limited by your own creativity. Growing a strong social media fan base is important when building your brand and reaching new customers. A fun and creative way to grow your audience and engage with the community is to collaborate with a local business, influencers or bloggers to offer a free giveaway in exchange for likes and follows.

For all you wordsmiths, use Twitter to drop your expertise, voice your opinions, engage with like-minded individuals, seek inspiration and motivation from others, and ultimately lead people back to your website.

Use Pinterest to drive traffic back to your website with engaging photos of your work and clever how to’s. Studies show that people have the ability to recall 65% of the visual content that they see almost three days later — which makes Pinterest a frontrunner for any artist. 

Website Design

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Connect with local media with press releases

Promote your art exhibits, open receptions or even an award you’ve received by sending a press release to the local media. Without public relations, your marketing is only doing 75% of the job.

Here are some quick tips when writing a press release:

  • Write an effective headline
  • Include your contact information — phone number, e-mail and website
  • Don’t forget time, date and place of your event
  • Send high-res photos with captions at the bottom of the press release
  • Create a database of editors and reporters
  • E-mail the press release to your database of local media
  • Upload the press release to high traffic local websites, such as the chambers of commerce

For a step-by-step blog on how to write a press release that gets noticed, click here.

A press release is not a sure way to obtain coverage of your event, but it is free and a journalist might pick it up. Strive to write your press release in a way that it could easily be turned into an article. Include quotes and photos.


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Start a Satellite Gallery

It’s every artist’s dream to have a gallery to showcase their work. Satellite galleries are fabulous and cost-effective options with almost no downside for everyone involved. These are typically high traffic public spaces to display your artwork — including doctor’s offices, banks, libraries, community centers and more.

As the artist, you display your work in a public place — which increases your visibility and potentially sells your work. The business owner benefits, too! They can decorate their office with original local art art for free — with the potential to make some commission. Both parties benefit from the positive press that satellite galleries generate.

The key to a successful satellite gallery is to find a location that your ideal customer frequents and whose atmosphere complements the feel of your work. The only downside is the potential of your artwork being damaged or stolen. However, you may find the potential to reach new customers worth the risk.

Join a Club, Organization or Association of Artists

While joining a club or organization of artists isn’t free, there are numerous benefits. For example, you have the chance to display your work in a professional setting, the added publicity of that association’s marketing efforts and the opportunity to connect with other like-minded artists to grow your professional network.

The Society of Bluffton Artists (SOBA), a non-profit art gallery in Bluffton, offers a variety of membership levels — including the opportunity to host a solo exhibition as a featured artist. Their gallery is located in a high traffic area in Old Town Bluffton, where local artists regularly display their art for sale. SoBA also operates the Center for Creative Arts, a creative venue with endless possibilities for artists: host your own pop-up art show or lead an art class! Additionally, like many art associations, SOBA provides continued education opportunities to enhance your artistic skills!

Develop a Website to Showcase Your Work

I’ll finish by recommending a well-designed website because websites are where every customer goes for more information. A website is a huge asset for any artist looking to take their art career to the next level. Not only does a website give you an added sense of professionalism, but it allows you create your own platform to inform your customer, curate content, and, most importantly, sell your work.
Utilize a blog to drive traffic to your site with content demonstrating your expertise. Share your blog posts on your Facebook page to attract people to your site. Cross link all of your social media profiles to your website to ensure traffic is directed to your site and to increase your site’s Search Engine ranking.

Finally, connect your website to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system with an e-newsletter capability, such as MailChimp, Constant Contact or HubSpot. Through online forms, collect emails that automatically saves to your CRM.

Keep your subscribers updated with a monthly newsletter. The people who sign up for your newsletter are arguably your most important contacts you will have, because they have willingly expressed interest in you and your work. Share things in your newsletter that keep them informed and engaged — including upcoming exhibitions, your most recent blog posts, contests and giveaways.

If you’re trying to find alternative sources of revenue, consider condensing your area of expertise into your own e-book and sell it on your website.

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