Looking to expand your audience and gain exposure for your work with a crack art promotion team – of one? Artists who are resource-poor can be savvy about how they share their work, tapping into trends, identifying keywords and creating promotions to publicize their work to an audience receptive to their practice. Art promotion is an acquired skill, but it should not intimidate artists who are new to marketing strategies. By learning about some basic skills to publicize artwork, artists can expand the tools available to them and better share their work with an engaged audience of adoring fans.
Art Promotion is for Everyone
Learning more about art promotion will embolden you to not only expand your audience but also learn more about the creative field around you. Most importantly, you’ll become a part of a wider conversation – and gain knowledge that will re-affirm the concept that art promotion is for everyone! Arts editors, curators, institutions and funding organizations are only a search away on social media, and engaging with them on a regular basis is easy – and key to building greater understanding about their interests and mission. Target the influencers and thought leaders in your field and find them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Keep an eye on your peers who are also engaging with their posts and – just as importantly – who these influencers are following and creating a conversation with. Make sure you are following your colleagues who are a few steps ahead so that you can support their efforts and learn vicariously from them. Most importantly, when possible create images and posts that show you engaging with these influencers: show up to openings and snap a photo with them for Instagram, tag them and others who are supporting their efforts. Showing that you are an active participant on the scene, someone who is knowledgeable about current events and willing to support those you admire will net you more exposure and, most importantly, new fans.
Along with learning who to follow on social media channels, it is equally important to learn about trending topics and to engage in these. On Facebook and Instagram, this could 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 and engage accordingly. Seek out methods of art promotion that are organic: be sure to represent your brand, even if you are interacting from a personal account, and steer clear of any posts and/or comments that are too inflammatory or politically motivated, unless this is part of your persona.
In addition to choosing the right topics and influencers to engage with, make sure you are up to date on the latest algorithm advice from a timing perspective. With social media, it is really all in the timing: 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), make sure you are keeping up with the latest updates and posting when you are likely 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 Wider Networks
Ready to dive into the art promotion deep end? 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 and 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 one another opportunities to brag 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 a coffee/drink 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, and have a few spare tips for you? Many marketing professionals are sympathetic to the plight of freelancers and artists who are trying to make their way forward independently in art promotion and are happy to share a few tips here and there. It is crucial to stay in touch with professionals in the field, as marketing – particularly for social media – can change practically overnight. Find blogs or influencers online whose insights are relevant to your practice, and subscribe and/or set up alerts for when they post new content. 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 engaging with audiences interested in work similar to yours, and making a name for yourself with a new set of fans.
Are you a viral social media star? Seen any new updates or changes that have affected art promotion across different marketing channels? Share your insights in the comments!