In the age of digital media and social platforms such as Instagram at the forefront, barriers to entry for visual artists have been significantly lowered. Having a popular and mainstream platform that would help them get their work seen by a large audience became a great tool for artists, to market their work.
Today is the best day to become a visual artist…
Art has become more than ever a viable solution for a stable financial future and the masses have flocked to chase their passion in the arts. While the early adopters profited the most from the emergence of these platforms, they slowly became a noisier and oversaturated.
Other businesses saw the power of social media and Instagram and began to embrace these platforms, creating more and more noise. Instagram suddenly became much more than that. No longer was it a place to just share personal moments or share art. It became a marketing tool for all, and not just artists.
This shift in what the platform represented would change the climate for artists for years to come. Some will say it is for the better, others will say it is for the worse.
There are countless Instagram guides which will guide artists to grow their presence online, it has become more apparent that to become successful in the visual arts field it required a more holistic marketing approach that requires a diversified strategy.
Build an Online Portfolio Website
The use of an online portfolio website is a sure tool to help visual artists curate their work and present it in a professional manner. Potential clients expect a certain level of professionalism which sometimes can only be reached through a great website. Any professional or business that offers a product or service, a website is a foundational business asset. Call it your digital store-front of the future.
Emerging visual artists like any other businesses should mark their online presence through a website to broaden their reach and online footprint.
Only once this foundation is built, will the businesses flourish. Any marketing efforts which are undertaken should be directed towards the website. Future success will depend on building your website as the foundation of how you do business and serve your clients with professional experience. These experiences can be anything from offering your potential customers:
- Online booking features
- An online store
- Newsletter subscription for valuable information or future deals
- Private proofing galleries
- Contact information and forms
- Pricing information
- Service or product details
These are all some of the things that someone who is relying solely on building their business on social media or Instagram could never provide to their potential customers.
There are many online solutions to build your online portfolio websites, but a report published in 2016 named Format as the #1 online portfolio builder for visual artists.
Join the right Online Communities
Whether you’re a photographer, videographer, designer, artist, illustrator, there is work to be found online in the right communities. For example, if you are a photographer you can look for Facebook groups in your area that connect photographers with potential clientele. For example in Ontario, the province I live in, I have used the Ontario Models/Photographers/Designers Connect with good success. When traveling to The Bay area in California I’ve used a similar Facebook Group that can be found here.
Wedding groups are another great source to advertise all sorts of services. From wedding photography and videography to designing invitation cards, custom hand lettering, or anything else that you might imagine. Look for a wedding group in your area and you might find lots of opportunities.
Paid Media Buying
The power of digital advertising should not be underestimated. Facebook is especially a powerful tool for any visual artist to easily showcase their work in visually driven ads. Whether you run a regular ad you use to run a special sale or promotion for your products and services, or a carousel to showcase multiple bodies of work, there is a solution for every artist.
The power of Facebook ads lay in their ability to target very specific interests and geographic regions. One thing to note is there is a distinct difference between a Facebook ad and a Boosted Post. Boosted Posts are not advised for businesses who are trying to sell a product or service.
A well-known strategy amongst more marketing savvy wedding photographers is the ability to target newly engaged couples on Facebook to serve them an ad for their wedding photography services. Maybe you’re a painter and you’re looking to sell your prints, you might target art aficionados to boost your sales.
Google Search Ads are also a great option, and often the preferred method of advertising. Search ads are usually driven by intent while Facebook Ads serve a more
a desktop computer in a creative office