Art promotion is an acquired skill, but it should not intimidate you. Learning and instituting basic techniques to publicize your work can assist in expanding and engaging your audience. By utilizing social media and your various networks, you can publicize your creative brand. Several tools are at your disposal to generate interest and put eyes on you.
WHAT TOPICS ARE TRENDING FOR YOUR ART PROMOTION?
Social media has become essential for art promotion and artist visibility. Along with making regular posts of your work, learning who to follow is equally important. Becoming familiar with trending topics and engaging the creative community in response to them gives you a seat at the table. On Facebook and Instagram, this can mean re-posting news or announcements from other influential creatives. On Twitter, it’s as easy as following trending topics and using the hashtags that are currently popular to gain exposure to a wider audience. Think of these posts as free advertising for your art business. Seek methods of art promotion that are organic: be sure to represent your brand, even if you are interacting from a personal account. Use caution when responding to any posts and/or comments that are inflammatory or politically motivated. You can learn more about the pros and cons of doing this by reading “Should Artists Share Their Views on Social Media?“
Arts editors, curators, institutions, art collectors, and funding organizations are only a search away on social media, and engaging with them on a regular basis is easy – and the key to building a greater understanding of their interests and mission. This information can assist you in targeting opportunities and connections. Engagement with influencers and thought leaders in your field on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook can also provide you key insights.
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Shadow your peers, pay attention to who they follow and engage with. Make sure to follow colleagues so you can support their efforts and witness ways they navigate promotion. When possible, share images and posts that show you engaging with influencers: attend openings and take photos with them for Instagram, tag them, and others that can further your network. Share and show that you are an active participant on the scene, someone who is knowledgeable about current events and willing to support those you admire. This will net you more exposure and, most importantly, new followers.
IN SOCIAL MEDIA, TIMING IS EVERYTHING
In addition to choosing the right topics and influencers, make sure you investigate the best time to make posts for the widest audience. With social media, timing is key: choosing the right time of day to either schedule your posts or to post “natively”, without third-party apps like Hootsuite (arguments for both can be found here on Buffer), be sure to keep up with the latest updates to reach the widest audience. For creatives specifically, there are a variety of resources related to art promotion across social media at New Artist Model, among others – a simple online search can reveal many more options!
TAP INTO YOUR NETWORKS
Get ready to network, promote, and shout out your achievements by joining in with professional development networks across social media. Facebook can be handy for their wide variety of networking groups alone – thousands of professionals across creative sectors are members of targeted groups who share job postings, opportunities, tips, and tricks for others who are struggling with similar problems. There is also feedback on particular opportunities, funders, dealers, and even clients available in many of these groups. Not sure where to start? By searching on Facebook for groups with a specific keyword – “creative networking” for example – the wide range of opportunities can be sorted efficiently. Not a fan of Facebook? There are always Meetups and other online networks where artists and creatives engage and offer opportunities to talk about their accomplishments and share open calls and opportunities.
Know anyone who works in public relations? Have a college friend who is an expert in marketing? Take a friend’s relative, long-lost cousins, college buddies, and anyone else with an aptitude for marketing out for coffee to chat about trends. What works for them? Have they noticed an increase in engagement in any one platform versus another? Have they recently attended a social media marketing conference? Do they have a few spare tips for you? Many marketing professionals are sympathetic to the plight of freelancers and artists. They may gladly share a few tips here and there.
Finally, don’t be afraid to dip your toe into paid advertising – it is becoming easier to approach integrated, cross-channel marketing as a creative professional. By setting up a business account on Facebook and Instagram, ads and promotions you set up to targeted audiences on one platform can now extend to the other. Especially for professionals in the visual arts and new media, this can be integral to engage with audiences interested in work similar to yours, and making a name for yourself with a new set of fans.
Have you tried our tips? What other strategies have worked for you? Let us know!
Audra Lambert is a curator, arts marketing consultant, and editor.