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5 Simple Marketing Ideas for Visual Artists

Creativity coach Monica Hellberg provides her top tips on the creative life.

Eric Maisel
Creativity Coaches on Creativity
Source: Eric Maisel

Everyone who is obliged to sell something, which most definitely includes creatives like novelists, painters, and craftspeople, is deluged with ideas about how to market and confounded by all the possibilities confronting them. Should they try this, that, or the other thing? Or all of them at once? Which is best, which doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, which actually works? In today’s post, creativity coach Monica Hellberg explores this theme.

Monica explained:

Are you wondering how to market your creations for tangible results? Would you like to build awareness and trust around your brand and gain attention in a noisy world?

These five tips can help get you known in both your local community and online and build relationships with collectors and art buyers.

1. Think Local First

People in your community are more likely to support you and your creations once they know and trust you.

Start by attending local networking events. Most are virtually held now but will resume in person. Ask attendees for permission to add them to your email list. Follow up, keep in touch and let them know about your upcoming shows and sales.

Do you have a unique skill? If so, ask your local Art Council if you can give a short presentation at their next event. Provide the audience with your social media handles and email address and encourage participants to contact you after the event with questions. Answer participants' inquiries, build those relationships and they will be more likely to follow you on social media and buy from you.

2. Connect With Art Buyers

Actively attract the attention of collectors. You can meet them at art fairs, craft shows, and gallery openings. Furthermore, locate art directors and designers on LinkedIn and other social media channels. Their profession entails finding arts and designs for walls, fabrics, stationery, and even event staging, so anticipate that they would be delighted to hear from you. Introduce yourself and your story, and invite them to view your portfolio. Follow up and ask how you can possibly assist them.

3. Social Media

If social media overwhelms you, focus on one or two channels at first. Trying to learn five platforms at the same time can be too much.

Instagram is an excellent place to start for visual artists. Think of it as your private gallery to showcase a collection of your best works and aspects of your creative process.

Share inspirational photos of behind-the-scenes activities, favorite art materials, and what you love outside of creativity, such as travel or family time.

Engage with your followers and let them know that your art is for sale and where to buy it.

4. Video Creations

You have probably heard by now that video is the way of the future. If you are new to video, start small. Commit to learning and making 15-second or 30-second reels.

You don’t have to be perfect to deliver a video, as it is about your message and the value you can provide to the audience. Share a quick tip, teach a creative process, or tell an inspirational story. End all videos with a call to action. If you are so inclined, you can personalize your videos with text and music.

Don’t let a lack of equipment hold you back. A smartphone is good enough in the beginning. Later you can choose to purchase more elaborate video equipment such as light rings, microphones, a video camera and a tripod.

5. Build an Email List

To build your email list, make a free gift to give to your audience in exchange for their email address. This can be a PDF, an e-book, or a calendar with your artwork. Promote the gift on social media channels and include a download link.

Once potential clients download the opt-in gift, follow up with a sequence of nurturing emails. Welcome the subscribers to your list, tell them your story about how you got started in your career, and talk about your struggles and successes. Let them know what they can look forward to, now that they’ve joined your list. Provide valuable tips, lessons, and tools, and include images of your works and instructions for where to buy your creations.

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