With 20 years of experience in the art industry, Alyson Stanfield is a tried-and-true expert in the business of art. Through blog posts, weekly newsletters and consulting, she’s provided guidance on topics such as leveraging a contact list, pinning down a marketing schedule, and more. We asked Alyson to share her top marketing tips for artists at any stage of their career.
10. Break out from venues you’ve outgrown.
You won’t reach your goals by playing it safe. Break out of your comfort zone and stop exhibiting with the same artist guild or local coffee shop year after year. Continue to think of your next step and know when it’s time to get uncomfortable and move on. Expand to increase your market.
9. Get involved with your local artist community.
You will learn all sorts of different things by connecting with other artists. You will gain new contacts, discover opportunities, and build confidence by being involved. More importantly, fellow artists offer support and will be your cheering squad. These connections play a central role in your success.
8. Frame your art as the focal point of your marketing.
Don’t distract from your artwork with excessive formatting. There’s no need for fancy typefaces, elaborate website buttons, and whimsical logos. Drop them! All this distracts from your work. Your art is the focus and is all you need.
7. Invest in great photography.
Photographs of your art need to be at least the same quality as your art, if not better. As stated in tip #8, your art is the main focus and presentation is everything. Get rid of clever backdrops and make sure your camera is properly positioned so no background edges show. You don’t want anything that distracts from your work.
6. Plan your marketing schedule to stay focused.
It’s hard to pin down the best marketing schedule, but it’s important to know what you can and should do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. A plan makes marketing simple and manageable, allowing you to effectively grow your business. It keeps you focused and on track, so you can spend more time creating art.
5. Test your marketing for better results.
Nothing you do in the marketing realm should be considered untouchable. You need to continually test your tactics and keep only what is producing results. Track what generates the most clicks, shares, responses, etc. The more engagement you create with your blog, newsletter, and social media, the more sales you’ll make. It is important to know what’s working so test it!
4. Commit to exhibiting in live venues.
The more people that view your art, the more potential there is for them to love it, buy it, and collect it. How do you make that happen? Show your work in live exhibitions. The Internet is an easy alternative, but it will never measure up to experiencing art in person. Neither can it replace the joy of interacting with viewers while surrounded by your work. If you don’t have a venue, create your own and invite your connections.
3. Advocate for your art.
Are you a well-spoken champion of your art? It does not, and never will, speak for itself. You must be an eloquent advocate of your work before others will be inspired to do the same. It starts with conversations and journaling. Make sure you have a compelling artist statement that empowers your work. It is one of your greatest promotional tools.
2. Cherish your contact list.
The people you know are unique to you, and those who know and like you have a higher chance of becoming your supporters. Get out there and meet people! Keep your contact list organized and up-to-date, and use it! Many of my clients track and leverage their contact lists easily with Artwork Archive.
1. Devote yourself to a studio practice.
If you are not consistently producing art, then you have nothing to take out of the studio and market. Remember you are an artist first and foremost. Your career starts in the studio. Get back there and create art!
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