A Guest Post by Victoria Rose Martin
Last month in my first Marketing for Artists post, I described ways to begin your marketing strategy. Hopefully you’ve started a simple business plan by establishing the who, how and where of selling your art. In this entry I will discuss phase 2 of marketing your art through building an online presence. Social media is king and it’s never been easier for your art to be received by a worldwide audience. With a quick google search I discovered that Facebook reportedly has 1 billion users worldwide, Youtube has 4 billion views per day, and Etsy has 20 million users selling over 100 million products. All of these people are searching for something, and it could be you.
If you don’t have some sort of online presence for selling and promoting your art you need to start now. Here are a few of options.
1. Facebook Fan page. Create a facebook page with the sole purpose of promoting your artwork. Be professional and take it seriously. Give the world a glimpse inside your studio or even inside your creative mind. This is your opportunity to reinvent yourself as the artist you always knew you’d be. Entice people to like your page by holding contests or give away art or pdf tutorials. You could also offer a coupon for a discount on a future purchase or a free shipping voucher.
2. Create a free blog on Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Your blog will be a place where you discuss your art or maybe the art of other people. Treat your blog as if it were a journal and as a networking tool. Perhaps you could write about artists that inspire you or friends who are artists. Who knows, maybe they’ll return the favor and write articles about you on their blog. It’s all about connections.
3. Why not set up a tripod and record video of yourself working in the studio and upload it to Youtube? The things you might consider busy work could be spellbinding to another person. Perhaps you could record video of what you described in the tutorials on your blog. Remember, short clips because you’re not writing a novel. Most people have short attention spans. Try to keep the videos in short and succinct. Check out other videos you like and see how long they are and use that as a guide when making your videos.
4. Sell your work or services on sites such as Etsy.com or ebay.com. People from all around the globe are exposed to your art. And your online shop never sleeps, it is open for business 24/7. If you do set up an online shop treat it as a business, be professional and to build good relationships.
5. Share beautiful images of your work on sites such as Flickr and Pinterest.
6. And finally, a personal web site. Whether you build your own, use a template, or hire/barter with someone to build it a personal website is a great investment. To create a website you need three key components; a domain name, hosting, and the website. A domain name is your web address, such as VictoriaRoseMartin.com. You can find several companies that sell domains quite inexpensively (such as GoDaddy). Hosting a site basically means that a company has a server/computer space where they store your files. There are companies like Intuit, Wix, and GoDaddy that allow you to use their templates and easily build your own custom site and you pay a low monthly fee. You could also build your own site from scratch using a program like Adobe Dreamweaver. Now before you cringe in horror at the very thought of it, you could sign up for an adult education class or at a community college to learn how. It really isn’t that complicated. In a later blog entry I will cover the basics of creating a simple website.
In closing, as an artist I would suggest that your website be more visual incorporating photos rather than being too text heavy. People want to see your art in big, bold beautiful images.
It’s also important to have links coming off and leading to your website. That is easily done because you can link to your facebook page, blog, Etsy and any other place where people can find you. If you have friends with websites ask if they’ll link to you and vice versa. So get busy building your online presence and next month I will discuss creating traditional marketing materials.
Victoria Rose Martin is an artist and designer currently living in South Florida. She is the Department Chair for Fine Art and Graphic Design at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Florida. You can visit her website at: VictoriaRoseMartin.com.
You might also like The Artist Unique by Carmen Torbus.
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