7 Fresh Ideas to Make Your Art Marketing Stand Out

Artwork Archive | May 13, 2016

Even as creative types, artists can get stuck in a rut with their art marketing.

Coming up with new ideas to captivate your art customers can be a big challenge.

You know that using the same techniques day in and day out can become monotonous amidst your fans’ daily bombardment of marketing messages, but what will make you stand out? Unleash your creative energy and help your art business rise above the rest with these art marketing ideas that your fans will love.

From giveaways to sharing your studio secrets, check out these seven fun ways to re-engage your art customers.

1. Hold a Giveaway

Your customers already love your work, and holding a free chance to win one of your creations is a great way to get them excited all over again.

Start by picking the perfect prize. Choose artwork that will excite people enough to enter, just not your most expensive piece you’ve spent years creating. Ideas could include a small print of a popular piece or a sketch you did on location.

Next, choose how fans can enter and for how long—we suggest a week to create urgency. This can be as simple as having them reply to your contest email with their names. Or, if you want to have a bit more fun you can have people vote in their reply on which piece you’ll give out to the winner as a print. Then just select one of the voters as the winner.

Once you’ve selected the winner promote the outcome on your next newsletter, artist blog, and social media pages, so that other people can see the value in following your art business more closely.

2. Stream Live in the Studio

Your fans will love to see how you create your art, so try recording live when you are working in the studio. Just let your fans know when you will be on, set up your laptop with a webcam, and create a YouTube account to begin live streaming. Luca Cusolito of CreativeEnabler.com recommends using the Periscope app for your art business—a live stream you can do straight from your smart phone.    

Practice your best Bob Ross, and talk about anything from your techniques to your inspiration while you wow viewers with your artistic talent. Fans will love sharing this personal experience with you and feel lucky that it’s only available to them.

Artwork Archive artist Lawrence Lee does live streams in his Tucson studio and shares when he’s “in” on Facebook.

3. Create Art Demos

Want to share demos of your work, but live streaming sounds too intense? Try sharing shorter videos where you demonstrate specific techniques in your newsletters, website, or on social media. Apps like PicFlow let you create double time videos that you can upload to Instagram—see how artist Marla Greenfield uses the app.

You can also share step-by-step images of your work from sketch to final piece. Customers will enjoy witnessing your inner workings as an artist. Check out Debra Joy Groesser’s sage advice on demos and selling art from your newsletters.

Six watercolor demos by Artwork Archive artist Anne Kullaf, who uses demos to propel her art business.

4. Make Funding a Fun Experience

Your fans love your work and want to see you succeed as an artist. Try asking for their support in a fun way! Use a subscription service where admirers can receive items from you in return for monthly funding.

Creative Web Biz’s Yamile Yemoonyah suggests using websites like Gumroad or Patreon where you can create different tiers for fans to donate, such as $5, $100, or $300 dollars a month. Then depending on how much they choose to fund you, you can send your subscribers a corresponding gift as small as a downloadable image or as big as a print of your art.

Yamile explains this process and more about subscription services in “How to Make a Regular and Predictable Income as an Artist.”

Artist Suzi Blu has a Patreon page supported by 149 patrons, with lots of tiers and rewards choices to entice them.

5. Surprise With Handwritten Notes

Delight your fans with something they won’t expect—a handwritten note. “In an increasingly informal digital world, continuing to pull out pen and paper is a way to distinguish yourself,” reminds etiquette master Emily Post.

You wouldn’t be a thriving artist without their support, so go the extra mile and show your customers how much they mean to you. Whether it’s a quick note thanking them for purchasing your latest piece or checking in on your closest contacts, recipients will enjoy your thoughtfulness.

You can even write notes to your top collectors on postcards of your latest work. They might fall in love with the image and call you up to buy the original.

6. Send Exclusive Show Invites

Another fresh way to engage your art customers is by inviting them to your newest art show before you open the doors to the general public. Your collectors will be flattered and excited about being invited for an exclusive preview, while you get to reap the benefits of having an interested audience looking at your work up close.

Follow the path of a handwritten note by creating physical invitations or include the invitation in your newsletter.

7. Surprise Clients With Special Offers

Much like a giveaway, people love knowing they are getting special treatment. It doesn’t need to be anything over the top, but you could offer complimentary shipping or framing for a limited time. Try positioning it as a special event to create buzz and a sense of urgency.

Another idea could be including a 10% off card in a few of your thank you notes. It will be a welcome and unexpected surprise, and could lead to another sale.

Give it a shot!

Your customers are fighting marketing messages all day long, so break out of the crowd with fresh ideas like sharing behind-the-scenes content, sending your appreciation, and treating them to exclusive deals on your art. Engaging your art customers can help reenergize your art business.

Want more ideas to engage your customers? Check out “9 Artist Newsletter Ideas to Delight and Excite Your Fans.”

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