Artists are creators by nature. It’s their calling. Marketing, promoting, and distributing art, on the other hand, takes a different kind of skill.
In today’s competitive market, it can be difficult for artists to stick to only creating art, without putting some energy into carving a place for themselves in the art market.
The good news is that you can learn how to market your art without going crazy and putting a lot of time, energy, and resources into it. There’s no need to take a marketing class, obsess over copywriting, or preoccupy yourself with what to post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your blog, etc. Remember, you’re a creator at heart so this kind of thinking will only slow you down.
Always put 70% of your energy towards doing what you’re good at – creating. There is no question that should be your main focus. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore everything else. The key is finding the delicate balance between creation and building your art as a viable business.
If you’re someone who has been creating things for years but never quite found your groove in promoting and marketing, here are 3 simple tips on how to market your art to kickstart your personal brand.
Step 1: Talk to People You’re Comfortable Around
The first step to sharing the labor of your hard work is knowing how to describe and talk about it. And the easiest way to do this is by talking with friends, family, and colleagues who you’re comfortable around.
Next time you’re hanging out with a friend, try to describe to them your latest project in detail without worrying about what they will think. After a while, this conditions you to not be scared of making mistakes when you talk about your work.
You also get yourself ready and open to receiving feedback since you know your listeners are coming from a place of support and love. Take any feedback they give and tweak your words. Start to expect the kind of questions people will ask you and weave the answers into your initial story.
What you’re doing by talking with people about your work is building your story. Your story will be the thing publicists, collectors, people who attend your exhibits, and fans want to hear. This is how people will connect with your work and is probably the most important part of marketing yourself.
Another thing to remember is not to focus on talking about yourself, instead talk about the why’s, the how’s, and your creative process.
Here are a few questions to consider focusing on:
- Why do you love creating art?
- How did you become an artist?
- What inspires you?
- How do you feel once you’ve created something?
Step 2: Set up Goals for Yourself
It’s always good to see the big picture and to know what you’re working towards. This will help you to not get caught up in the small stuff. Really think about where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, etc. Write down all your goals and make sure you include specific dates next to each goal.
When things get tough (and there will always be bumps in the road), you will have these big goals to keep you going. Once you have written down your goals for the future and sealed them in with a date, it’s time to stop thinking about how they will happen and just have faith in yourself.
Try imaging how you would feel once you’ve achieved one of your goals. According to the leading author on creative visualization, Shakti Gawain, imagining an outcome you would like can actually help you produce that outcome. The mind is a powerful tool!!
Remember to go back to your goals frequently. Having goals will keep you on track and will let you know when to not put your time and energy into something that doesn’t work towards your goals. Set up check points for yourself as frequently as possible and always take a minute to think about how far you’ve come.
Step 3: Be OK with the Competition
Competition is good. No really, it is. It means there’s a market out there with buyers. So get out of the mindset that there are too many people who might be better than you doing what you’re doing. That’s self-destructive.
Instead, see the competition as a resource – because there’s no better way to learn then to see how other people are doing something, copy their successes and learn from their defeats.
Unlike creating art, a huge chunk of successful marketing is copying what has already been proven to work.
See your competition as case studies. Study other successful artists. Really try to learn as much as possible on how they get their artwork out there. Take a few of the critical things they do and do the same things in your own way.
Maybe they send a Thank You email to anyone who buys their artwork. You can take this to the next level and send a customized Thank You card with the piece of artwork. Really wow your buyers.
You don’t need to be a marketer to be successful at getting your creative work out there. You don’t even need to hire a marketer. It just takes making a conscious effort in the right direction. And don’t forget that what you’re put on this planet to do is create, so never stop doing that.
We’re here for you! Let us know some of the challenges you face when marketing yourself in the comments below.