I know I’ve blogged about social media until I’m blue in the face. While I still maintain that social media is one of the best ways to market your work, it shouldn’t be the only thing you’re doing to get your art out there!
A successful marketing plan is a well-rounded one. There are three ways to get your art in front of buyers through marketing--mail, internet, and in person. Many artists default to social media because it’s the easiest platform to master. Of course, having an active presence on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram are important, but you’re only reaching one segment of art buyers.
That’s why I’ve come up with seven alternative ways to get your art out there and noticed that are not social media.
Build a Professional Website
Living in the digital world, a website is now a necessity for artists, new to the game or established. I know many artists sell directly from their Instagram, but art buyers do their due diligence and research artists before the initial point of contact for a sale. Having a professional website is key to the decision-making process for art buyers. It’s what establishes you and your art as legitimate. And by professional, I mean layout is easy to navigate, artworks are current and available, and your images represent your artwork well and are optimized for the web.
Get Active on Pinterest
I know many of you are thinking, “Hey, you said this blog was about alternative ways to get your art out there that isn’t social media!” Pinterest is not a social media platform, but a search engine. I know. Mind blown, right?
Pinterest can be particularly effective if used wisely. Establish an account and create several boards that you pin to regularly. The boards can have a combination of your own artwork that you upload from your website and other artwork or home décor that inspire you as found on Pinterest.
Remember that Pinterest is a search engine, so when users are looking for content, pins populate based off what they type in the search bar. When you’re building a pin, remember to include your artist name, a visual description of the artwork, and link back to your website. Ultimately, you want users to find your pins, be inspired, and visit your website to learn more or buy a painting.
Create a Monthly Newsletter
With the advent of social media and a host of new ways to market your brand and products online, many businesses forget about the power of email as a marketing channel. Sending out a newsletter on a regular basis is a great way of staying in touch with the people who love your art and are interested in hearing more from you. People might not think to go to your website or blog on a regular basis, or simply forget about you altogether, even if they did like your art. When viewers visit your website, give them the option to subscribe to a newsletter, so you have their details on file. It’s best to keep it simple and only ask for their first name and email address.
Participate in Trade Shows and Art Fairs
Trade shows and art fairs are great in-person opportunities in brand new art markets that you otherwise would not have the chance to access. Plus, people attending trade shows and art fairs are there to buy (even if they don’t know it). Unlike monthly studio openings, trade shows only happen once a year, so people come out in droves to attend and see what’s new on the art market.
Blink Art artist Mary Johnston has participated in her fair share of trade shows and art competitions. Mary knows that shows can be costly, but they’re worth the investment. “They’re where you meet people. You have to put your work out there in front of the world if you want to sell,” she says. She also advises artists to come prepared with their wholesale and designer prices, because trade professionals and gallery owners attend these shows with the intention of scouting new work. “I go to many shows each year and they’re all important to my business,” she says. But she also knows that you have to be willing to diversify. “Galleries sell my work as well, but you shouldn’t rely on one source for sales. Each dealer’s clientele is limited so having a presence all over the country is the best way to explode your art career.”
Submit Your Art to Art Competitions
Art competitions are an excellent way to get your work exposed to new audiences. The jurors in an art competition typically will be well-known in the art world, with considerable experience and a good sense of the current art market. This makes art competitions a great networking platform and the task of being “discovered” much easier. Prizes are generally chosen to benefit artists in ways that matter, whether it’s the chance to participate in an exhibition, cash, or promotional material or opportunities.
With so many companies now hosting online-only art competitions and exhibits, in-gallery exhibitions are far and few. That’s what makes Art Comes Alive, our annual art competition and exhibit so special. We work hard year-round to secure the best jurors, build up $300,000+ in awards for artists and host an exhibit for the finalists in our gallery space!
Get Active in the Local Community
This is a great chance to be creative and get people in your local community to take notice of you and your artwork. Here are a few great ways to get involved:
- Volunteer with local charities. Often non-profit organizations ask for donation items to raffle off at fundraisers. Think about donating a certificate for a percentage off one of your originals. Or you can offer to create the cover art for the invitation to an upcoming event in return for a mention of your name on the artwork.
- Go to local art markets and sell your art. While it’s great to have your artwork online, many buyers prefer to buy artwork in person. So, research a list of your local art markets to get involved!
- Collaborate with other artists. This is a great way to cross-promote your art and gain exposure to a new audience with similar interests.
Expand Your Digital Presence
One great strategy to expand your digital presence is to partner with an existing art platform. There are different benefits and features to online art marketplaces, like Blink Art. But the main thing is that this allows you to take advantage of the existing audiences and marketing strategies that these platforms have in place.
Each one of these platforms is completely unique and some of them might not be suitable for your art practice. If you are focusing on fine art, maybe selling prints is not a good idea, or if you are a pop artist, maybe creating a merchandising line is a good move. Here is a list of art marketplaces where artists can sell their work online. Some of them are print-on-demand websites, others are online art galleries or art commission websites.
Original Fine Art
Print on Demand
Thanks for reading!
The biggest and best art competition in the nation!
As I mentioned above, one of the best ways to get your artwork noticed by a new audience is submitting to art competitions, and I have the perfect one for you! Our annual art competition and gallery exhibit Art Comes Alive is accepting artist entries!
Known as the “Academy Awards for Art,” ACA is embarking on its 10th year of helping artists get their work in front of art-industry professionals such as interior designers, art galleries, private art collectors, and corporate collections. Each year the art competition gets bigger and better, and this year over $300,000 in awards will be given to artists through gallery contracts, purchase awards, publishing contracts, and more!