Get out there: how to increase exposure for your art

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No one goes into art because of the business opportunities involved or the possibility of making money. As a result, many artists struggle when it comes to business acumen and especially marketing and self-promotion.

Marketing your art and yourself as an artist can be a difficult, time-consuming, and sometimes expensive task. However, if you regularly set aside time each week for marketing, you will find that you can slowly develop an online presence and forge valuable professional connections. Below are some of the best, most straightforward ways to boost your art’s exposure.

Build a website

It may seem obvious, but you would be surprised by how many artists are reluctant to create a website or online portfolio. It is now essential for all small businesses – and creators – to have their own websites, and artists need more than just a social media platform.

Starting your website does not mean you need to shell out thousands of dollars for a digital marketing company to build you the perfect website. Instead, take an afternoon and make yourself a website using one of the free platforms such as Wix, WordPress, or Squarespace. You can buy a domain name for your website on these platforms for a modest fee, or you can opt for the free platform with a slight change to the domain name.

When you create a website, you should include Contact, About Me, and Gallery sections of the website. This will help visitors to navigate through the site easily. As an example, the artist Jordan Wolfson has developed the perfect website for his art – it is sophisticated and streamlined but does not leave out any essential information or details.

Maintain a presence on social media

Another “must” for artists these days is to maintain a presence on social media. This does not mean that you need to be tweeting all day or focused on hitting a specific number of followers on Instagram. It just means that it is crucial to have social media accounts – especially Instagram – linked to your website.

When you use social media, make sure to include high-quality photos of your work together with “lifestyle” posts that feature more of you and your artistic process. This will help followers to gain a sense of who you are and what your art means. You should also try to use hashtags, location tags, and tags for the gallery you are selling in – these will all help increase exposure to your art.

Another way to engage with those who might be interested in your work is through online forums and digital artist communities. You can find these types of communities on Facebook, Wet Canvas, and Meetup, along with other, more specific forms and digital platforms.

Network with other artists

Introverts beware; this is where the marketing “gets real.” It is vitally important to network with the artists, galleries, and art groups in your area online and offline. Most of us dread networking and try to avoid it to some degree. However, at the end of the day, building connections is essential in the art world because so much happens through word of mouth and social relationships.

Not all networking has to take place at designated networking events where everyone awkwardly tiptoes around the room and makes frequent runs on the snack table. As an artist, you can build meaningful professional and social connections just by attending gallery events, art evenings, and live drawing or painting sessions and making an effort to talk with the other people there.

Do not forget traditional marketing

Today there is a temptation to focus solely on digital marketing and social media when developing a marketing plan. That, however, is a mistake. Traditional marketing methods can be just as effective as online marketing, depending on where you live.

There are many different forms of traditional, in-person marketing that can be successfully used in the arts and humanities world. Business cards, networking events, posters, and taking out ad space in printed and online publications are all important marketing tactics to keep in your toolkit.

It is also possible to effectively blend both digital and traditional marketing. One example of a hybrid marketing strategy is to have a QR code printed on one side of your business card. Many people – especially if they are busy, rushed, or young – are more likely to visit a website by scanning a QR code rather than typing it into a search bar and looking it up. Small steps like that can ensure that you are reaching out to the broadest audience possible and not prematurely alienating yourself and your work from one sector of the population.

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