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Art Marketing Strategies | How To Tell What Kind Of Art Marketer You Are 


Effective art marketing strategies are the cornerstone of a thriving art business; they are the calculated strokes that shape your success, the hues that bring your artist journey into focus for the world to see and appreciate.

— Barney Davey

Developing effective art marketing strategies and navigating the art business landscape requires a solid understanding of oneself. Whoever leverages their self-knowledge in their marketing efforts will excel because they understand how to align and propel their strategies with their personality, abilities, and available resources.

The Definitive Guide to Art Marketing

The following is an excerpt from my definitive art marketing guide.

What Is Art Marketing? 

At its basic level, marketing, including art marketing, is a systematized process of creating awareness and interest in a company, product, or service. It leads to a desire to engage buyers to own its goods, use its services, or do all of the above.

New "Blueprint for Art Business Success" book with bonus "Self-Empowerment Journal for Artists"
New “Blueprint for Art Business Success” book with bonus “Self-Empowerment Journal for Artists”Blueprint for Art Business Success

Successful artists rely on marketing to grow awareness and demand for their artwork, establish a reputation with trust and authority, and build a brand. They use it to communicate their offerings, promote art, identify and engage new prospects, and strengthen bonds with their target audience and existing customers.

Exploring Art Marketing Strategies and Types

Please read this post to learn about various art marketer archetypes, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, and get recommendations for enhancing their strategies. Understanding your art marketing plans and sales objectives will help you clarify what you can and need to do to achieve your goals. Answer these questions to get clear on your art marketing strategies:

  • Where are you going?
  • How will you get there?
  • What tools, skills, and techniques will you use?

It’s All Good

There is no “best” kind of marketer; only the one that suits you best, considering your personality, abilities, and resources. So, gear up for an exciting journey of self-discovery. Your success lies in embracing and nurturing your unique marketing strengths while acknowledging and addressing your limitations. Together, we will carve your path in the art marketing world and make your art shine brighter than ever.

art marketing strategies for artists

Breaking Down Art Marketing Strategies for Artists and Archetypal Art Marketing Types 

In the following sections, we discuss various artist archetypes like The Social Butterfly, The Art Educator, The Masterful Salesperson, etc., and provide tailored suggestions to enhance art marketing strategies for artists using them. 

There Is So Much Value in Knowing Yourself

Finding your way through the art business landscape requires a solid understanding of yourself. Whoever knows themselves and uses that information to their advantage in their marketing efforts will succeed, not only because they do the finest job. We’ll look at the many kinds of art marketers out there now, analyzing their advantages and disadvantages and making suggestions for improving their strategies.

Free Art Business Checklist Download
Free Art Business Checklist Download

Knowing where you stand in marketing and selling your art will make it easier to determine if you have the correct insights. There isn’t a “best” kind of marketer; instead, only the one that works best for you in light of your personality, abilities, and available resources. 

I encourage you to venture on an exciting journey of self-discovery. Your success is about embracing and nurturing your unique art marketing strategies for artists’ strengths while acknowledging and managing your limitations. What you learn will be the light to your path in the art marketing world, and your success will make your art shine brighter than ever.

This list is arbitrary and not inclusive. Nonetheless, I believe you will find yourself in the descriptions below. Think about what you are doing and how you can do it better. Let your mind wander to types you could associate with, given help and encouragement. There are always so many ways to improve your marketing. Trying new things is among the best ways to achieve new goals.

How To Tell What Kind Of Art Marketer You Are 

Being successful in selling art requires not just artistic talent but also a good marketing strategy. As an artist, understanding your marketing strengths and weaknesses is essential to growing your business. Here, we discuss different types of art marketers, highlight their strengths and weaknesses, and provide suggestions to help them achieve success. 

Free Art Business Checklist Download
Free Art Business Checklist Download

You may find similarities to your situation in one or more or know the type doesn’t describe you. No one does everything; insufficient time, money, or bandwidth makes it impossible.

The Social Butterfly 

Strengths: The Social Butterfly artist thrives in social settings. They are constantly attending events, chatting with people, and charming audiences. They are adept at using social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to share their work, connect with fans, and gain collaborations. 

Weaknesses: This type of artist can struggle with time management, as social activities often carry them away. They can also face issues with consistent quality in their work due to a hectic schedule and lack of discipline. 

Suggestions: The Social Butterfly should invest in a scheduling tool for social media posts and create a content calendar to ensure consistency. They should set aside time for focused work in the studio to maintain their artistic output’s quality. Networking with galleries and art organizations can also offer opportunities for exhibitions and sales. 

The Art Educator 

Strengths: The Art Educator is passionate about imparting their knowledge and experience to others. They are skilled at hosting workshops and webinars and writing blog posts or articles to share their expertise and interests. 

Weaknesses: These artists may lose track of their goals and projects, consumed by their passion for teaching. They may also experience burnout due to juggling their art practice, education, and marketing. 

Suggestions: The Art Educator should prioritize self-promotion alongside their teaching content. Actively seek opportunities for guest posting, speaking engagements, or partnering with art supply companies to reach a larger audience and increase sales. Don’t forget to set dedicated studio time aside to focus on your projects. 

The Masterful Salesperson 

Strengths: The Masterful Salesperson is an exceptional negotiator and deal-maker. They excel at selling their work in galleries, art fairs, and private viewings, often forging solid relationships with collectors.

Weaknesses: Sometimes, these artists may appear pushy, putting off potential buyers. They may also neglect their online presence, missing out on opportunities there.

Suggestions: Develop a more personalized, empathetic approach to sales by understanding your potential buyers’ needs and preferences. Keep your online presence updated, as it is crucial for showcasing your work and reaching a larger audience.

The Quiet Creator 

Strengths: The Quiet Creator is intensely focused on their artistic process, crafting compelling work. Collectors often appreciate their approach and ability to provide a unique perspective through their art. 

Weaknesses: They may feel overwhelmed or anxious by self-promotion and social media, which hinders their marketing efforts and visibility. 

Suggestions: Delegate marketing responsibilities to a friend or partner, or hire an art marketing expert to help manage your online presence. Consider collaborating with other artists to exhibit work in group shows or pop-up galleries, sharing the responsibility of running the event. 

Strengths: If you are a Gallery Guru, you have built strong relationships with art galleries and regularly exhibit your work in these spaces. Galleries offer the advantage of exposing your art to a different audience, one that is specifically interested in buying art.

Weaknesses: Relying solely on galleries to market and sell your art can limit your reach. Additionally, galleries usually take a significant commission on sales, which can impact your earnings.

Suggestions: While galleries are an essential channel for selling art, consider diversifying your marketing strategy to include other avenues like online marketplaces, social media, and your website.

The Online Marketplace Maestro  

Strengths: Online marketplaces like Etsy, Saatchi Art, and Artfinder offer a platform for artists to sell their work to a global audience. If you are an Online Marketplace Maestro, you have successfully navigated these platforms and regularly make sales.  

Weaknesses: These platforms are highly competitive, with thousands of artists vying for the attention of buyers. Additionally, they often charge fees and commissions on sales.  

Suggestions: Focus on optimizing your listings with high-quality images and compelling descriptions. Consider offering promotions or discounts to attract buyers. And don’t forget to promote your listings on your website and social media channels.

The Website Wizard  

Strengths: Having your own website offers complete control over your brand and how your art is presented. If you are a Website Wizard, you have created a professional, user-friendly website that showcases your portfolio and makes it easy for buyers to purchase your work.  

Weaknesses: Building and maintaining a website requires technical knowledge and can be time-consuming. Additionally, driving traffic to your website can be challenging.  

Suggestions: To simplify the process, consider using a website builder like WordPress or Squarespace. Use SEO best practices to improve your website’s visibility in search results. And don’t forget to promote your website on social media and other marketing channels.  

The Networking Ninja  

Strengths: Networking is all about building relationships with people in the art industry, whether they are fellow artists, gallery owners, or collectors. If you are a Networking Ninja, you excel at making connections and leveraging them to advance your career. You attend art fairs, exhibitions, and networking events and are unafraid to introduce yourself and your work.  

Weaknesses: Networking can be time-consuming and may not yield immediate results. It also requires good social skills and the ability to sell yourself and your work. 

Suggestions: Set clear goals for each networking event you attend. For example, you may aim to meet several gallery owners or connect with other artists you admire. After the event, follow up with new contacts and look for opportunities to collaborate or support each other.  

The Email Marketing Maestro  

Strengths: Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to stay in touch with your audience and encourage repeat purchases. If you are an Email Marketing Maestro, you have built a substantial mailing list and regularly send newsletters featuring new work, upcoming exhibitions, and special offers.  

Weaknesses: Building a mailing list can be slow, and creating content that engages your audience and encourages them to open your emails can be challenging.  

Suggestions: Offer a discount or a freebie to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list. Segment your list based on past purchase behavior or engagement levels and tailor your content accordingly. Experiment with different types of content and track your results to see what works best.  

The Introverted Artist  

Strengths: Introverted artists often have a deep sense of creativity and can produce thoughtful and emotionally resonant work. They may also find it easier to connect with their audience on a deeper level, mainly online or in written communication.  

Weaknesses: Introverted artists may find it difficult to put themselves out there and struggle with self-promotion. They may also find networking events and social media particularly draining.  

Suggestions: Focus on online marketing strategies that allow you to connect with your audience in a more controlled and comfortable environment. For example, you might consider starting a blog or a newsletter where you can share your thoughts and your work more in-depth and personally. Also, consider partnering with extroverted artists or hiring a marketing professional to help with self-promotion and networking.  

The Part-Time Artist  

Strengths: Part-time artists often have a more relaxed approach to their art business and may find it easier to maintain a healthy work-life balance. They may also have a steady income from another job, which can take some pressure off their art business.  

Weaknesses: Part-time artists often have less time to devote to marketing and may struggle to maintain a consistent online presence.  

Suggestions: You should focus on marketing strategies that require less time and effort but can still yield good results. For example, you might consider setting up an online store and using paid advertising to drive traffic to your site. Also, use scheduling tools to plan your social media posts and consider outsourcing some marketing tasks.  

The Passionate Part-Timer  

Strengths: This artist is juggling a full-time job or studies while pursuing their art on the side. Their passion drives them to create despite time constraints, and they often have a fresh perspective because they are engaged in activities outside the art world. 

Weaknesses: Time is a significant constraint for the Passionate Part-Timer. They often struggle to find enough time to create art, let alone market it.  

Suggestions: Time management is crucial. Prioritize tasks and focus on marketing strategies that yield the highest return on investment (ROI). Utilize weekends or free time for creating art and allocate specific times during the week for marketing activities.  

The Overwhelmed Optimist  

Strengths: This artist is incredibly enthusiastic and has many ideas for their art and how to market it. They are always willing to try new things and are optimistic about the possibilities.  

Weaknesses: The Overwhelmed Optimist often struggles with focusing on one task at a time. They might start multiple projects but find completing them difficult because they are spread too thin.  

Suggestions: Create a detailed plan and stick to it. Break down tasks into smaller, manageable chunks and set deadlines for each. Use planners, apps, or sticky notes to stay organized and focused.  

The Modest Maestro  

Strengths: This artist is exceptionally talented but tends to downplay their abilities. They create high-quality work but often struggle with self-promotion because they don’t want to appear arrogant.  

Weaknesses: The Modest Maestro may miss out on opportunities because they are hesitant to put themselves out there and showcase their talents.

Suggestions: Practice self-affirmation and focus on building self-confidence. Remember, marketing is not bragging; it’s about sharing your passion with others who will appreciate it. Seek feedback from trusted friends or peers to better understand your strengths and gain confidence in your work.

The Hesitant Hustler  

Strengths: This artist is hardworking and dedicated to their craft. They are willing to put in the effort required to succeed but often hesitate to plunge into full-time art marketing because of fear of failure or financial instability.

Weaknesses: The Hesitant Hustler may procrastinate on essential marketing tasks because of their fears and insecurities.

Suggestions: Set small, achievable goals and celebrate each success. Create a financial safety net before diving into full-time art marketing. Consider taking business or marketing courses to build confidence and skills. 

The reality is there are no poor choices regarding marketing techniques. You run your business uniquely as an artist; not everyone is an all-out gung-ho marketer. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you choose the best. Remember to focus on your art and authentically connect with your audience; success is just a brushstroke away.

Understanding Yourself as an Art Marketer: A Realistic Assessment 

Knowing the kind of artist marketer you are is the first step toward a viable, efficient marketing strategy. Here are some ways visual artists can realistically assess their marketing abilities: 

Self-evaluation 

Start by critically examining your natural inclinations and behaviors. Art marketing, like any other type of marketing, requires specific skills. Are you a gregarious networker, a verbose educator, a persuasive salesperson, or an introspective creator? Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is vital. 

You might be a social butterfly who loves events but struggles with time management or a quiet creator who produces exceptional content but hesitates on self-promotion. Be honest and open about your capabilities and preferences. 

Assessing Technical Skills 

Using technology effectively also plays an essential role in your marketing aptitude. Can you effectively navigate social media platforms, website development, or online galleries? If you lack these skills, are you willing or capable of learning them, or do you have the resources to hire someone to handle them?

Willingness and Ability to Learn 

Some marketing skills can be acquired through learning. If you struggle with, for instance, social media, would you consider training or researching to improve? Some artists may embrace this challenge, while others might find it overwhelming or impractical. 

Evaluate Your Network 

Networking skills are a valuable asset for an art marketer. You might lean towards the Masterful Salesperson or Social Butterfly categories if you already have an extensive network. If not, consider how comfortable and willing you are to meet new people online and in person. 

Art marketing strategies should be tailored to your capabilities, skills, and personality. Not everyone can be proficient in every marketing type, and that’s perfectly okay. Understand that working to highlight your strengths and seeking help in areas of weakness can lead to a holistic marketing strategy. 

For instance, if you’re a reserved artist, you might consider hiring a publicist or marketing specialist to handle the aspects of marketing, such as sales and networking, with which you are less comfortable. If you excel as an Art Educator, you might think about expanding your reach by guest blogging, speaking at events, or offering online workshops. 

Recognize what’s beyond your reach as much as what’s within it. This realistic understanding will allow you to invest your time and resources more effectively. You should constantly reassess this as your career progresses. We should push boundaries but also understand that our limitations can sometimes shape the most successful strategies tailored to our unique situation. 

Actions to Take to Benefit from Reading This Post

  1. Self-Reflection: Identify with one or more marketer types to better understand your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Create a Personalized Strategy: Use your strengths to create a personalized marketing strategy that suits your personality and style. For example, if you identify as a ‘Social Butterfly,’ leverage your social media presence and networking skills.
  3. Address Weaknesses: Recognize and address your weaknesses. For example, if you are a ‘Quiet Creator’ and struggle with self-promotion, consider delegating marketing responsibilities or collaborating with other artists.
  4. Continuous Improvement: Regularly evaluate your marketing efforts and adjust your strategies. Being aware of your marketer type can help you stay mindful of potential pitfalls and areas for improvement.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing. Your success lies in embracing and nurturing your unique strengths while acknowledging and managing your limitations. By understanding your marketer type, you can create a more effective and authentic marketing strategy to help you connect with your audience and achieve your goals.

Conclusion

Finally, remember that identifying your unique strengths and weaknesses as an art marketer is critical to creating successful art marketing strategies in this competitive landscape. Once you’ve pinpointed your marketing type, you can adopt creative marketing strategies that align with your skills and resources.  

This tailored approach elevates your business and enriches your artistic journey. Thanks for reading, and here’s to letting your art shine like never before. Keep your eyes peeled for more actionable art marketing insights right here. Success is not just a brushstroke away—it’s also a well-planned strategy. 

Stay creative and keep marketing! 

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  • Beth Jones says:

    So many art marketing articles only touch on this subject and call it enough. You, on the other hand, have clearly considered it from as many angles as you could possibly think of — and in doing so, you’ve helped this part-time artist-hobbyist, who generally gets shunted aside in favor of a focus on presumably more “dedicated” full-time artists … as if finding the time to learn to how to create technically “good” paintings and then to actually create them within a curtailed time frame somehow isn’t “dedicated” enough. 😉
    My professional artist friends sometimes say they envy my freedom from the “musts” of marketing and sales. I paint whenever I can, and for now that has to be “enough”, no matter what the social media & marketing gurus incessantly recommend.

    • Thanks for your comments and insights. You get it. I’m not out to tell you or anyone else how to live your life or market your art. It’s a waste of time. I do want to help artists be aware of what is realistically possible and then to decide if what is there is worth pursuing. And meanwhile, to learn to accept their decisions so they can live their lives in harmony with their art and creativity and their ways of marketing their art.

  • Thank you Barney and for your comment, Beth. I see bits of myself in more than one of the various descriptions. My feet, however, are firmly planted in the “Passionate Part timer”. lol I think this is one of the few marketing articles that hasn’t left me feeling overwhelmed. Thank you Barney. Very helpful, figure out where you stand, no judgment and then….go! Always room for improvement but as long as you keep moving in the right direction (for you) you are solid.

    • Thanks for your comment, Anna. I’m happy to know you found a description that resonates with you and your marketing style. Accept who you are, and play to your strengths is a way to avoid overwhelm.

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