By Delene Saverimuttu
You’ve spent years learning your craft, learning how to blend perfect combinations of colours, or creating the most intricate sculptures, perhaps you’ve taken some beautiful photos and you’re ready to share with the world.
Except there’s one problem. There’s no one to share it to. Well that’s not true, Luckily for us we’re in the golden age of the digital world with everyone just a touch of a button away. It’s time to turn your art into a business.
1. Create your brand
- Pick a simple and catchy name to use on all your platforms. You don’t want to be too wordy or have underscores and other symbols in your business name. Also stray away from using different usernames on different platforms as this can be hard to recognise.
- Using keywords like ‘studio’ or ‘art’ to the end of your name is a great way to make yourself recognisable online.
- Figure out what makes your work yours, for example, are you a landscape artist or do you paint portraiture? maybe your work has more to do with certain concepts and ideologies. Make it clear to your audience what you do and how you want to be perceived.
- Choose your platforms wisely and create content that fits! Photos you put on Instagram may not perform well on a short video based app like TikTok. Do your research on the trends and the people who actually engage with the app and make content accordingly. Marketing is about working with people not just about selling your products.
2. Create a schedule
- Know when you’re working and stick with it – making sure you actually have content to upload is so important, treat it like a job and get your hours done. This doesn’t mean every post has to be a finalised work of art, many people who like your work would also be interested in your process, works in progress, before and afters, etc.
- Consistency is key! – Make sure you aren’t posting once every couple months, people will become uninterested and unfollow. Make a schedule that’s doable for you, maybe it’s once a week in the beginning but work up to posting more often, even every day.
- Make sure you’re organised. If you’ve got an exhibition or a workshop coming up, make sure you have enough time to both create promotion and share it.
3. Set your prices
- Don’t undersell yourself! But also don’t oversell if you’re just starting out! Set yourself an hourly rate as you work. However, if you’re just starting out, one piece may take you a much longer time than it should as you navigate your way through the medium, so be aware and lower that rate for until you gain more confidence!
- Pricing your finalised art works can be tricky, on top of your base hourly pay you have the cost of materials and then you also would want to be making a profit. There’s no one correct way to price but a lot of it comes down to the actual piece itself, that is something to measure with your heart. How much would you pay for it?
- Understand your target market – How old are they? Who are they? Who do you want them to be? Does your work fit in the broader marketplace?
- When selling similar art works make sure you’re consistent and fair. Don’t sell one for hundreds less than the other or at least have a good reason for it.
4. Make connections
- Follow other artists, engage with their accounts. Making friends can lead you to bigger opportunities in the future.
- You can even join artist groups on social medias such as Facebook, it’s a great way to meet and find opportunities local to you.
- Use this time not as just a way to find other artists but also learn from them. Everyone navigates the art and business world differently; we all started from different places and have tips of our own that can be shared.
5. Make it legal
- Selling your art is a business so you must treat it like one, legally too.
- Start with choosing your business structure. For most, a sole proprietorship is the best way to go. It’s simple and easy and fits most artistic practises. You get to be your own boss, keep all your profits and if circumstances change its easy to change your legal structure. However, if you’re producing large scale works of art then maybe you need a little more help with a bigger business structure.
- Every country and every state do things a little differently, so check the laws and requirements relevant to you before starting your new business.
Be wise and spend time working on marketing your art, it may not seem as important as actually making your work, but in the bigger picture this is how you find your audience and get the recognition you deserve!
If you’d like to learn more, head to our website and join one of our digital marketing courses today!
About the author:
Delene Saverimuttu is an Artist and Content Marketing Analyst at the International Institute of Digital Marketing.