Just starting out? How do you get your work out there, find opportunities and move forward?
As frustrating as it may seem, making art or handmade work is only half of the equation. You simply cannot “make it and they will come.”
Getting eyes on your art, and traffic to your art website, are basics that cannot be ignored. You must make plans to do this by reaching out and putting your work in front of others.
Plan to “see and be seen” to establish yourself as an artist and creator in the places where you will be doing business.
Start by seeking personal connection through attending events at local art venues and events that will put you in front of the public. Not only will face-to-face contact provide feedback on your art and help you identify and target your ideal customer, it serves to help you become known to others. There is no substitute for an in-person meeting.
Network with as many people as you can. These might be people at art-related salons, openings, festivals, and so forth. They may be business people at a networking event, or they may be members of the general public attending an event that serves a niche that you also serve.
There is power in sheer numbers. The more people you know and who know you, the better. You must get out and be seen. Without that factor, your audience remains small and your opportunities for sales diminish.
Likewise, online art sales depend on getting traffic to your website and eyes on the images that you have uploaded there. This is issue #1 with many artists; they simply do not get enough website visitors to do business. Traffic can be increased by:
Social media marketing – Establish profiles on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter. Follow others, interact with them by sharing and commenting, and post links to your website on a regular basis. Groups on these sites give you lots of opportunities to engage. Look for groups in a niche, or even art collector groups.
Online advertising – Facebooks ads, and ads on Pinterest, Instagram, etc. are ways to gain visitors. You can target your ads to reach out to prospects more effectively.
Gaining backlinks – Getting press on blogs, listing your site in directories, and even making comments on articles can create links that lead back to your own site.
Get found – Since you will want your website to come up in a search, prepare your site to be found through using smart strategies for SEO (search engine optimization) – learn more about that here.
Blog – Adding new content on your art website helps with your ranking and in search. Therefore, blogging is a valuable activity – and it allows you to share your blog post link on social media, and in your email newsletters. Guest blogging will give you an opportunity to share your link on someone else’s blog, thereby pulling more traffic to your own site.
Email marketing – This incredibly effective sales tool reaches out on a regular basis to drive readers back to your website. And, they can forward your email to a friend, bringing new eyes to your site and your artwork.