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An Artist's Guide to Online Marketing

Updated on February 14, 2018

Become Your Own Art Marketer

Does the term 'starving artist' sound familiar?

You're used to being resourceful in your career, and fortunately, being a cash-strapped artist doesn't mean you can't enjoy the benefits of marketing. You just have to take the reigns yourself.

You can't have marketing without creativity, so here are five ways you can leverage your talent to generate buzz online.

1. Inspire User-Generated Content

Your own audience is a powerful marketing asset. Their comments about your work, buyer testimonials, and social media comments are all examples of user-generated content.

A strong user-generated content strategy is ideal for up-in-coming artists, but how do you spark engagement?

Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Participate in a relevant hashtag campaign or create your own!
  • Post regularly on Instagram and respond to comments
  • Pin to group Pinterest boards and pin regularly
  • Put an art blog on your shop to encourage more participation
  • Encourage buyers to leave Google reviews

On that note: consistent authentic positive reviews from buyers are a great way to control your reputation online and counter negative reviews. It's also critical to understand online defamation and business law to avoid reputation problems. If you're focusing on user-generated content, make sure to regularly moderate any and all activity associated with your brand.

Social Media Marketing Basics

It's true: a picture is worth a 1,000 words. So you can imagine what great art can do.

And the stats are on your side:

  • Tweets that have images receive up to 150% more retweets.
  • Facebook posts with images see more than double the shares than posts without.
  • Instagram users like more than 4 billion visual posts per day!

So what does this mean?

Social media is an undeniable asset for your marketing strategy. Furthermore, your art alone cuts out much of the legwork of social media content creation. However, this doesn't eliminate the challenge of consistency. To make sure you're consistently posting, use a social media management platform like Hootsuite.

Start a Newsletter

In the age of social media, email marketing may not immediately come to mind as an art marketing tool. But it's not just about the newsletter itself, it's also about that contact list.

And contact lists are invaluable to artists. These contacts are your past, current, and future patrons. They're also individuals who could open doors to more gallery shows and overall opportunities. Sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter keeps your art relevant in their minds and grows your contact list at the same time.

If your contact list is small, you can start building your list and newsletter for free with Mailchimp. Other platforms include Smore, Constant Contact, and Mad Mimi.

Start a YouTube Channel

You don't have to be a videographer to leverage YouTube as an art marketing tool. Everyone from illustrators to makeup artists are using videos to market their art to new audiences. In fact, videos also give you a rare opportunity to show off your technical skill in practice in addition to the finished product.

Before launching your channel, research similar artists in your niche that are using YouTube to promote their work. How often do they upload? How long are their videos? How are they shot? What are their viewers saying?

Stay Relevant

Consistent research keeps your art and brand relevant online. Not only should you post content consistently, you need to research trending conversations your audience and artistic community are responding to.

Don't forget that social media is a communication tool first and foremost, so remember to broadcast your upcoming gallery shows, product launches and new artworks across all your social media channels.

Now it's your turn! Take these tips and start crafting an art marketing strategy that works for you.


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    • unicornblogger profile image

      Elissa Capelle Vaughn 7 weeks ago from New York

      Thanks! I'll update the list with more soon :-)

    • Lauren Flauding profile image

      Lauren Flauding 2 months ago from Sahuarita, AZ

      Great list of ideas! I’m terrible at self promotion so I’ll have to give these a go.