Monday, February 6, 2012

Marketing for the starving artist

Toast to Love - art by Anne Vis
If you thought marketing for an artist in the traditional media was hard, think again about digital artists. Not only is the reputation of digital art not that of fine art, but the competition is wild ...
And as many artists do not have a budget for marketing, nor the skills and expertise ... you have all the ingredients for "The Starving Artist" ... (maybe until they die, as after death their artwork seems more attractive?!)
Anyway, I decided I did not want to wait till I die and started some attempts at marketing without a budget. Of course happy enough not to be hindered by any knowledge or skills in the field whatsoever ... :-)
So today I would like to share my experiences so far with free marketing tools.
  • Blogger
    I have been writing a blog for many years, first on Wordpress, but after my site got hacked, I decided to continue on Blogger. As a marketing tool it does not do much for me as far as I can tell. The images cannot be found in Google and apparently my rantings don't seem to entice enough visitors to make it a useful instrument for marketing :-). But then: I may not be using the correct details and I am all over the place when it comes to topics. I have now started a second blog that is only to promote artwork, not only my own, but also from other artists. It has a different format and I see it as a new experiment and will give it some time to see what it does. The main thing is that I just like writing ...
    By the way, my new blog is called
    Inspiring Gifts.
  • Squidoo
    I started years ago with a lens called Inspiring Art, mainly featuring artists that I find inspiring. I usually add one artwork a month and it is now adding up and becoming a genuine source of inspiration, not only for artists, but to get inspired in daily life.
    By now I have added a couple of other lenses (a lens is basically a webpage on some topic). The trouble with lenses is they only work if you get a lot of traffic ... see my point?!
    So this has turned out to be yet another one of my "fun projects" that does not necessarily do much with regards to selling my artwork.
  • Facebook
    I regularly post thumbnails with a link to one of my artworks on Facebook. So far it has not led to any sales as far as I can tell. It is interesting however to notice that although there is usually not much response, when I meet friends in person, they turn out to have seen my work. So maybe more people are familiar with it now than when I would not have posted on Facebook. I also have to add that all the tools mentioned here may work differently for other people. Like on Facebook, I sometimes see art that gets a lot more response. It could also be that my art just does not speak to a large audience, but the tools themselves would work fine ... Who knows?
  • StumbleUpon
    This is not only a real fun tool, but also one that can generate a lot of traffic. People browse through sites that you normally do not find on Google, based on recommendations. So it generates brief visits, but in my experience not the serious buyers generally ... but again: who knows ...?
  • WeHeartIt
    This is a site that allows members to recommend images. I have seen some of the images that I put on Weheartit on Google and as many people search for products or art with Google Images, this is a good thing.
Of course there are more tools, but believe me, if you are using all of the above, it is already a miracle if you still have time to create new art, let alone develop new skills!
The best thing in my experience is that someone who is very good in attracting lots of traffic to their site, loves your art and features it on a regular basis ... once people know the way to your stores and are happy, they will come back!
Good luck!

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