Most artists I know fall into the category of owning and operating a microbusiness. This is no surprise since of the nearly 28 million businesses in the U.S., 92% are a microbusiness that employs 5 or fewer employees.
It is estimated that one in seven adults in America owns or is a principal in a microbusiness. For the majority of microbusinesses, the effectiveness of their marketing directly influences their longevity and profitability.
To ensure their business success, artists need recognize that both their work, and they themselves as artists, are brands that require marketing to gain exposure and sales. It matters not whether you are a new artist eager to build a following, or a seasoned art marketing veteran, building your brand awareness, social marketing has become a prerequisite to meet your goals.
Having a website that gives you presence on the internet is a requirement for effective microbusiness marketing. Now, an established digital footprint is increasingly vital. You must be able to be found on the web.
To make your investment into your website effective, it may require a tune-up, or a complete overhaul. In addition to updating your visual aesthetics, your improvements should make sure your site it optimized for both search engines and mobile devices.
Search engine basics include descriptions, heading tags, content and navigation. Master these and you are well on your way to getting better search results. If you are using WordPress, getting these things done is made easy using the Yoast SEO plugin.
Mobile internet access as of May 2013:
Additionally, your site should have clear, easy-to-use navigation. I am a believer in putting prices on your site. I think you will make more sales with prices than you will without them. Having clear shipping and return procedures and policies boosts sales, too. My friend and frequent art marketing podcast partner, Jason Horejs, owner of Xanadu Gallery agrees with me.
If you are like most people, you use Facebook for keeping up on family and friends. To separate your personal Facebook presence from your business, set up a Facebook business page.
Check out this link for useful Facebook business-page marketing tips. Companies such as GroSocial.com and Shortstack.com offer free tools to help with Facebook marketing. Of course, they want to persuade you to use their paid services, some of which look worth using… you decide.
Pinterest usage has exploded. The stats show it is a female dominated audience that naturally will skew well towards most art purchases. Because Pinterest is visually oriented, it is perfect for artists to help them find new customers.
My friend and fellow art marketer, Cory Huff, has an excellent post on The Pinterest Guide to Selling Art Online. Searching the oracle, also known as Google, will deliver useful tips on getting high mileage from Pinterest.
Check out the information below from FastCompany.com:
If you’re managing social media for your business, it might be useful to know about some of the most surprising social media statistics this year. These facts might make you rethink the way you’re approaching Twitter.
THE FASTEST GROWING DEMOGRAPHIC ON TWITTER IS THE 55–64 YEAR AGE BRACKET.
• This demographic has grown 79% since 2012.
• The 45–54 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on both Facebook and Google+.
• For Facebook, this group has jumped 46%.
• For Google+, 56%.
You can use Twitter to help you create a loyal group of collectors and fans. It is never too late to start, or get better. Begin building your Twitter following by seeing who is responding to hashtags relevant to your art or your art business. There is no harm following Twitter users who follow your competitors. It’s a free world.
Besides hashtags, you can also follow keywords to determine relevant tweets to share. Retweeting useful information benefits you in two ways. You get the attention of the author and keep your followers with info to help them.
Google+ is a conundrum of sorts. It has grown rapidly, but the amount of sharing versus other social media sites is less. While that might make you think it is not worth the effort to spend time and effort in yet another social media site, it would be a incorrect assumption.
Google search is continuing to put more emphasis on social signals to expand and improve search results. Since it is more difficult to obtain that information from other services, such as Facebook, Google uses results from and relies on Google+ first.
Moreover, Google search is moving to validate the source of information. It uses Google Authorship verification to update this information. Your personal Google+ account is included in how Google achieves validation.
Get your Google Authorship set up right and your search results will show your picture as you see with mine below.
These services offer free and paid versions. You can probably get by with the free versions. Besides monitoring all your social media feeds in one place, you can schedule your social marketing messages. I do not recommend using the same content for each social media marketing tool. Others following you will find it to look like canned and spammy instead of useful info.
The most successful artists find consistent ways to create art that sells well. They learn to harness the power of tools like these measured here, and others, too. These include:
To the best of you ability, fold these microbusiness marketing tools into your everyday activities. It’s what will keep the steady drumbeat of your marketing message going.
Only the rarest artist can do all these things well. Fortunately, it is not a requirement to make a brilliant career. What you have to do is find the tools that bring you the best results. Keep your messages varied in what you say and offer, and how you deliver them. Maintaining a method to keep your messages flowing is as powerful as any marketing activity you can do.