I started the Art Marketing Project to help fine artists with their marketing. Before that, I worked in marketing for arts organizations for about 20 years. I’ve learned a few things along the way that I’ll share with you now.
Here are my top takeaways from 20 years of art marketing:
- Marketing is about storytelling. It’s more important than ever to make personal connections with your potential buyers, and the way to make personal connections is through storytelling. That involves telling stories about your work, about the processes behind your work, and also telling stories about yourself personally—for example, how you came to be an artist.
- You need to spend money to grow. You can start out by building your business organically, figuring it all out for yourself and spending very little money, but that will only take you so far. To get to the next level, you’re going to need to invest some money. Adopt a testing mindset and figure out where spending a modest amount of money can bring you a good return.
- Having a plan is critical. A marketing strategy, a game plan, is critical to a successful career selling your work. It keeps you focused and eliminates the urge to jump to the next shiny new thing. A plan will help you feel confident about every move you make to market and sell your art—in an authentic way, without feeling pushy.
- Marketing never stops. I approach marketing as a system, which can help you see results with consistent efforts. Committing to a plan helps bring in revenue each month instead of now and then. It’s about consistency and momentum!
- The best marketing cannot sell what no one wants to buy. Great marketing works, but only when there is an audience for what you are selling. Even exceptional marketing won’t solve a lack of sales if the product isn’t something that people want. Listen to hear my tips to help you stand out from the crowd as an artist and a marketer.
- No one is good at everything. We know this rationally, but many times we still try to do it all ourselves. Even when that means doing things we don’t like or don’t do well. You’re going to be relieved when you hear how I can help you solve this issue!
- Marketing is always changing. Have a method in place to stay up to date. I’m sharing three specific ways you can ensure that you know the best marketing tools and strategies to use in your business.
- Relationships are key to success. Build a network to support your business. Make sure that you’re building relationships with the right people who can help you connect with prospective buyers.
- Marketing is all about putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. It’s not about you. Most of us will be relieved to hear this. To successfully market, you don’t have to be pushy or chat up everyone you meet. Because it’s all about the buyer. Put yourself in their shoes to better understand what they want, and how to market in a way that is comfortable for you and for them. This is an incredible mindset shift that can help you connect better, market easily, and sell your work to people who will be delighted to purchase it.
- One final impression. I can’t resist giving you my take on the popularity of impressionist art. It’s more than a passing trend, and it continues to be popular with people who appreciate art.
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