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Here are the Five Need-to-Know Keys for Art Marketing Success


Tips to boost your art marketing.

  1. Galleries are not the answer. They can help, but there are not enough to go around. You cannot rely on galleries to make your career happen.
  2. Social media is a tool, not a magic wand. Use it to market your work, but know it is not the answer to building a lifetime career. Never rely on social media as your primary source of marketing your work. You can’t control what you don’t own.
  3. No one gets found. It’s a slick snare and a dream to think that you and your work will be discovered. It doesn’t happen. Besides, should someone take over for you, you give up precious control of your career in the process?
  4. You have all the tools you need. You may not use them all or know how to use them, but they are at the ready. The array of powerful marketing assets for you are both available and affordable. It would be best if you learned how to use them. (Hint. That’s what the Art Marketing Toolkit program is about $4.99 per month with no contract.)
  5. Collectors are out there. Collectors are active buyers. They like artists. They like buying many pieces from artists. You can use a variety of marketing tools and techniques to find and sell your art to them.

Let’s Break These Down Point-By-Point.

Galleries are not the answer.

FuggedaboutitIf there is one universal marketing success story artists want to tell about their careers, it is this. They have many galleries that love their work and make them oodles of money. Unfortunately, it is a fairy tale.

Let’s start with there are not enough galleries to go around.

The number of galleries is, if anything, on the decline. Even in the fabled good old days, galleries were not able to support all artists. You had to be good and lucky to have a chance to make that work then. Today – fuggedaboudit 

Bottom line: You need to take charge of your career and build your own distribution network. The more ways you have to sell your art, the less dependent you are on any single method.

Social media is a tool, not a magic wand.

I want to believe most of you know this already. Yes, there are stories of artists killing it on eBay, Instagram, and so forth. They are not the norm. Moreover, it’s a safe bet whatever they are doing is not sustainable and near impossible to duplicate.

Free Art Business Checklist
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Social media is a wonderful way to research and interact with potential buyers. It can help you grow awareness of your art. Use it to its full advantage. It is a powerful tool you should have in your art marketing arsenal. Just don’t fall prey to thinking it is the answer to your art marketing prayers.

Bottom line: Artists don’t have the budget or personnel to be active on all social media. Pick the two, and two, where you feel most comfortable and work them hard. Put a full presence with a complete profile on the rest and waste time on them. There is no single best platform for everyone. Anyone can help pull your wagon if you learn how to use it and implement what you learn.

No one gets found.

Getting found is the reverse myth of the starving artist. Both are false and dangerous to your art career. If you daydream about getting found thinking everything’s just gonna be okay, then, to be blunt, you’re screwed.

No one is going to find you. Think about it. Who would find you? Some A-lister gallerist? An influential art dealer? A museum curator? Is this possible? Sort of, but so is winning the lottery. Daydreaming is not an excuse to avoid responsibility for your future.  It is reckless, wishful thinking. As Dr. Phil would ask, “How’s that working out for you?”

It’s okay to have career fantasies, but it isn’t good if they keep you from taking charge and making your career happen.

Free Art Business Checklist
Get your free checklist. All help. No pitch.

Bottom line: Turn this thought around. Make it your job to find collectors and art buyers. It would help if you worked towards the goal of finding art collectors and buyers every day. You can’t wait until just when you think about it.

You have all the tools you need.

You are lucky. Previous generations of artists did not have the powerful tools you have. What’s more, these tools are free or affordable. Anyone, any artist, including you, can build an active, responsive list of email subscribers.

You can use your website, e-commerce, blog, social media, and email marketing to create and send a steady stream of communications to your top customers and prospects.  Besides all these cool modern tools, you have the old schools methods to use, too.

Bottom line: You can and should combine using traditional tools with your online tools. Together they will make a marketing communication system for you that produces engaging content sent on a scheduled basis and more. You can learn to use these tools to captivate your buyers and followers and to find new prospects. Done right, and you will have built a virtual marketing machine.

These modern tools are universal in application. As such, it makes finding affordable support from virtual assistants (VA) around the globe easy. There are VAs for just about any task. They write copy, do research, manage social media, handle marketing, make sales, do administrative duties, build websites, and more.

Free Art Business Checklist
Get your free Goalkeepers Club checklist. All help. No pitch.

Collectors are out there.

People have never stopped buying art. Did they slow down some after 2008? Of course, but the art market never dried up. It just got different. That is not a story exclusive to the art business. The hangover from the financial meltdown cleaned the clock of countless industries.

What’s different and better for you?  Art buyers are now more open than ever to buying direct from artists. They are open to buying directly from the Internet. They are buying art from mobile devices. These are all trends that are good news for you. You need to become active and learn how to harness them for your benefit.

Sounds Good on Paper, But How Do I Get It All Done?

Thanks for asking. I’m so glad you did. I have a solution for you.

To start enjoying art marketing success, you first have to know what to do and how to do it. You need information and training to improve any lack of knowledge and experience you might have. In our fast-moving business environment, learning new things is not optional. What is better than a growing, dynamic library of useful art marketing and art business information? Nothing, if you ask me. That’s why I created the growing body of art marketing training at MyMarketingCourses.com.

Stress Reliever Bonus Point

No one ever does it all. Never. It doesn’t happen. You know you best. Do what you can to the best of your ability. Add on expertise as you can and will (there’s a difference, and you should know it’s okay only to do what you can do and will do.)

The trick is to find the art marketing tips and techniques you know you will stick with. Begin with them. Learn how to use them and put your knowledge into action Build expertise a step at a time. That’s how you can have real success—the way only you can define it.

That’s how you enjoy your career, by making it what you want it to be and fuggedaboudit everyone else’s opinion. It’s your life. Unless they are doing your laundry and paying your bills, you can pick and choose if another person has advice you must follow. Choose to make your art and your art business work for you and not the other way around.

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  1. Whooeeee! You just stated it so well. I have NO doubt that you will be touching many lives with your article on leaving a legacy. I will be giving you credits for some subject matter incorporated into a book I am writing. All I can sincerely say is thank you, a heartfelt thank you, for expressing so much so well.
    I am a senior who is going back to college for graduate courses in painting and drawing for the specific purpose of NOT allowing me to become isolated in my Treehouse painting studio (my favorite place in the world).

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