(Image by mkhmarketing under the Creative Commons license: mkhmarketing.wordpress.com)
Marketing is an important skill for any artist or creative freelancer. Whatever your field, you need to make sure you’re reaching your potential clients and customers and letting the world know your work exists. We’ve talked a bit in the past about different ways you can promote your work, such as social media and marketing for exhibitions, but here are a few extra tips…
1. Don’t try and do everything at once
Here at ArtWeb, we’re often recommending various channels to get involved in and promote your work, from the benefits of blogging to the potential of Pinterest. But that doesn’t mean you have to do all of these things straight away, as this could end up becoming overwhelming and time-consuming.
If you find you love Facebook but can’t get your head around Twitter, then focus on that for now. You’ll end up reaching more people by engaging in the things you enjoy, because part of that will come through in what you post (of course, you could always sync your Facebook to you Twitter account, so that at least anything you pin will go out to any Twitter followers you have!)
The key is to be consistent, rather than coming in an out of lots of social media networks. Sticking with one and doing it well is far more beneficial. As you build your networks, you can start to branch off onto other platforms, but start with the one that inspires you the most.
Helen Nock uses the ArtWeb Facebook app to easily sync her website with her Facebook page
2. Make a marketing plan
Making a marketing calendar is a great way to ensure you stick to a routine. Set yourself reminders for when posts, newsletters or postcards need to be sent out. This also allows you to think about the best times of year for maximising your sales, such as the run up to Christmas, Mother’s Day etc., and means that you won’t suddenly get to Christmas Eve and realise you haven’t told anyone about your handmade cards! This kind of structure will make marketing seem less stressful, less daunting, and much more manageable.
2014 Calendar by Louise Scott
3. Budget for your marketing
This ties in with the tip above. Things like business cards, post cards, thank you notes for packaging all end up costing money. It’s important to make a clear budget for your marketing for the coming year, so you don’t fall short. When writing your calendar plan, also make estimations of how much money you’ll need for each part of your promotion. Build on the free services out there, like the majority of social media networks, but also think about the pros and cons of the more costly methods. Putting some postcards in your local cafe could have potential reach to your target audience, so don’t necessarily dismiss it because of the initial outlay.
4. Keep at it, even when you’re busy
‘Queue’ by Drusilla Cole
It’s all well and good having a brilliant plan, but that plan needs to be stuck to! Many artists make the mistake of getting caught up during periods of high sales and success, and forget about their marketing altogether. It’s imperative that you continue to build your marketing even during the good spells, as it will be setting up your art business for continual growth. If not, you may find yourself out of the spell of sales and into a drought…
5. Don’t expect instant results
Be patient. No one manages to build 1000 followers overnight, so you need to be prepared to give it some time, and let your network build. You may not see instant results, or make 10 sales overnight, but you never know who’s made a note of your website or has stuck your postcard on their fridge for a later date. These gradual reminders will eventually come to fruition, and when they do, ride the wave (but don’t forget about your marketing plan…!)
Do you have any marketing tips you’d like to share with other ArtWeb members? Feel free to use the comment box below if you have any further advice…