Artists in 2020 are finding themselves in a loop of more creative time spend on their work, but less opportunities to sell their work. Many artists rely on vendor events to sell products, gain new customer leads and bring in the income they need to survive. Musicians are struggling in a similar way and are unable to tour or even perform at local bars during the pandemic. Since these options aren’t available like they used to be, it’s time to rethink your strategies for success.
So how should you market your work to bring in income? Learn the basics for running a business online and try new applications for your art.
Artists are like small business owners. If you are a full time artist or want to be, you need to adapt with the uncertainty and focus on building your brand online. It can seem very daunting to take on the skills needed to succeed online. But hey, you’re an artist, so GET CREATIVE!
Here are five tips for marketing your art!
1. Go from B2C to B2B Customers
It’s time to apply your artistic talents to more uses in the world in order to increase leads and sales. Let’s say you’re a painter and you need to bring in extra income. Your usual target market may be experiencing the same struggles you are with work. If your customers aren’t making enough money for extras like home decor, they won’t be able to support you and purchase your art.
Your skills are able to be applied to more fields than you think, and could help other businesses market their work too! For instance, you could create unique signage or images for both online and offline businesses. From murals and business signs, to eye-catching Instagram posts or promotional pamphlet graphics.
You likely have a niche style and are used to working with a specific canvas for your art. Imagine other places you could see your art being useful and think of who your new target market might be.
An easy place to market these skills is on Fivver. Start picking up freelance jobs online while you work on building your online portfolio and client network.
2. Network on Professional Platforms
It’s important to continue to get your name out there and show customers why they would want to work with you! My personal favorite networking platform is LinkedIn. From a professional viewpoint, LinkedIn has everyone. The best tips for LinkedIn are:
- Don’t be afraid to add strangers to your network. Ever. It’s normal and expected. Since LinkedIn is about growing your network instead of adding people you already know to it, there’s no shame in adding people you want to know better after scanning their profile.
- Share your skills, your story and don’t fear the professional rhetoric. Lots of people have fearlessly shared their need for work in 2020 on LinkedIn and are always met with kind responses ready to do whatever they can to help others find work.
- Fill out your profile and add at least 500 people right away. When I was in grad school, this was a requirement for one of my classes. I didn’t realize how important it would end up being. Add anyone from schools you attended and jobs you had in the past to start. You can also look up professionals from your town, community representatives and individuals from the art world. I once watched a documentary which featured a famous artist from San Francisco. I ended up finding him and connecting on LinkedIn. It’s that easy.
- Get people you know to endorse your skills. Getting your skills endorsed is an incredible move. This is how strangers on the network come to trust your abilities. Don’t know who to ask? Share your work with others and ask questions about theirs. Be genuine, no fluff. After creating a professional dialogue you can always ask someone to look over your profile and add endorsements to help you in your job search. This is not something you should be spammy about. Always be genuine. This isn’t Facebook.
Another networking platform that is geared towards connecting with people local to you is Alignable. Alignable is more popular for rural communities than LinkedIn. LinkedIn is quite worldly and the two are not incredibly comparable when it comes to connecting with others, but both are helpful in their own ways.
3. Create a Website for your Brand
Creating a website can sound overwhelming. If you are considering this option, here are some tips for a successful start.
- Use a self-hosted WordPress website. Trust me on this. There are a lot of bad ways to start a website but this is not one of those. This is also one of the cheapest options out there for beginners, especially if you go with Bluehost to start (only a few dollars a month).
- Use a Template. Do not try to create the entire design of your website from scratch. There are thousands of paid and free templates online that you can use as a foundation for a great website.
- Auto-Publish your content (blog posts, products, etc.) to Pinterest. Pinterest is one of the only social networks that allows users to click directly to your website from their site directly from posts. Most users won’t take the time to go to your bio on Instagram and Facebook to get to your website, so make it easy on yourself and more effective in the long run by sticking with Pinterest.
- Blog. It does not matter what you are selling in this world, blog about it. Blog content allows Google to know more about your website and list it higher in search engines. If you are not confident in your blogging skills, outsource them to someone on Fivver or another freelance website.
Create every step of the way with your website visitors in mind. Focus on them, not yourself.
Video Marketing creates the most viewed content on the internet. Create a YouTube Channel to talk about your art, give tips to other artists and to show viewers your process. You can share these videos on your website, Instagram, Facebook & LinkedIn to bring in more traffic to your website or to gain leads.
If it fits with your brand and customers, try apps like TikTok to share videos as well!
Video content can go further, faster. It applies to a larger audience than blogs due to the ability to share them on more social networks with ease of access for viewers online. Many people look at their phones at the beginning and end of their day – when they’re not quite in the mood to “put in the effort.” So watching a vlog allows them to relax and engage, whenever and wherever.
5. Collaborate with Other Artists, Small Businesses and Musicians
Collaboration is what comes with good networking. Artists collaborate with others more than any other field out there. Think about it, every industry needs artists in one form or another. Musicians create soundtracks and commercial music; graphic designers create advertisements and labels; and artists create everything from products, design, textiles and even city aesthetics like murals and sculptures.
Once you begin to recognize how much artists are relied on for various steps in each industry, you can open a window of possibilities for your art career.
6. The Silent Sixth Step
Never Give Up.
Your creative skills are of immeasurable worth in this world. Being an artist can be trying and discouraging, especially for those struggling in 2020. We have all had to adapt but it’s completely possible to grow from the experiences and come out with a new set of skills to move forward. If you ever feel like giving up, think about what the world would look like without art. Blatantly boring. We live in a society that consumes art every day – take advantage of this opportunity in your career.
The Bright Orange Poppy is geared towards helping artists share their work and their stories with the world. Take your first step in online sales and marketing by creating a vendor store with us today – and let us help you grow from there with weekly tips and tricks! Have questions? Visit our Vendor FAQ page for more information.