By Alejandra Plaza
Are you an artist or have an art gallery and want to make a living from art? Do you want to reach more collectors and buyers?
One of the opportunities in today’s world is that with the internet we can reach many more people all over the world. Nowadays, new technologies are widely used in different markets. However, it seems that in the art world it is taking a little more time. If you are just embarking on this I suggest you visit my previous post 5 fundamental steps to make your HANDMADE BUSINESS where I explain the importance of creating your own story, having good photographs to attract a wider audience and even putting together a daily plan.
As artists, we often have trouble promoting our art, either because it’s too personal or because we just don’t know how to do it. Therefore I wanted to create a basic guide to help you take your work/business to the next step in the digital world.
Here are seven steps that will help you create your marketing strategy from scratch.
1. Check your Background
Probably, many of you are just starting to use the digital world as a working tool or even don’t have a presence as an artist on the web. Nevertheless, the important thing to do is to analyse how you are doing. An analysis both internally (strengths and weaknesses) and externally (threats and opportunities) will be your starting point.
Look at your company, whether it is just you or a couple of people. Analyse how much budget you have? Look at your current audience from an objective point of view: How many followers do you have? How many likes or impressions do you have? Who is your audience?
2. Analyse your competition
Secondly, research your competition. For instance, take two artists or galleries and see what they are doing. Consequently, check factors such as what social networks they use, what galleries they visit, what content they are sharing, who is following them, do they have a website, etc.
3.Target your artistic Audience
Third, analyse your audience. Identify three or four types of people you want to reach. They might be potential buyers or they might be able to help you create a good advertisement.
Create a comprehensive description of them and ask yourself:
- Who do you want to see your content?
- Who will consume your work? Learn about them, do some research to find out where they are.
- How often are they online?
- What days do they spend the most time online?
Consequently, organise them according to their importance to your business. So when you want to target them you can do it according to the value they have within your business.
For example, this is 5 different types of audiences you can target in your business:
- Art lovers
- Interior designers or decorators
- The average person who wants to decorate their home
4. Set clear goals!
Once you know your audience and where they are, define your objectives. What do you want to achieve with this strategy? For this, it is important that you use a technique well known in the marketing world called SMART, in other words, your objectives should be: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.
5. Where are your art friends?
Fifth, set your Channels…
After you have defined your objectives and your audience you will ask yourself what is the best way to reach both? Look for different media that suit you and your audience.
Make sure that your viewers use these channels and that your work looks appealing on these platforms.
Maybe your niche is other galleries and the best and most cost effective way to communicate is through emails showing them your latest works. Perhaps you can include a link or a button that leads them to your site.
Social Media Marketing
If you want to reach an audience that you don’t have contact with but other media do, say, for example, Facebook. For instance, a good option is to promote your works through this channel knowing that they have a large and very specific audience. Just make sure that when you start promoting your page it must be completely finished so that your audience sees you as a professional artist.
Also in the last few years, an application within Facebook called Marketplace has taken off in a big way. Use this application and start selling your artwork and paintings.
Firsly, make sure you have a good portfolio as it will be your cover letter.
For example, the images should be optimized, in a very good resolution.
Make sure you create content that suits your objectives. For instance, create blog articles, share art news, show the scenes of your gallery or your own paintings. Keep your audience updated. Competitions and promotions are a good way for users interested in art to reach you. Also, dare to include videos explaining your works and processes, that will certainly bring you closer to your audience.
6. Action Plan
Next, we need a calendar of activities. It can last from 6 months, a year or even two depending on your objectives.
Firstly, I would advise you to make an excel sheet. In it, you indicate each channel and what actions you will take in each of them. Work side by side with your objectives so that you can meet your KPIs. To achieve them, maybe you will publish a piece of work every other day, maybe once a day, and so on. To sum up, the action plan will help you to define specifically what and when you will do each action.
Last, if you need more help visit The Easy Guide to Developing an Effective Action Plan for guidance.
Subsequently, we need you to generate a detailed budget. Although many times artists who are just starting out do not have a large budget, nowadays there are many free platforms that can be an excellent alternative.
However, if you want to professionalize and expand your business you will probably have to incur some expenses. For example: buying an editing program, hiring a professional photographer, paying for the domain name of your website, etc.
All in all, the most important is that this budget is as detailed as possible so that you don’t have any surprises at the end of the month.
Finally, go through your list of objectives and show how you will measure your progress. Whether success or failure, how will these be measured in each objective and in each channel? Ask yourself which of all the data is the most meaningful to me according to my KPIs. This is critical because it will tell you whether your strategy failed or succeeded.
Maybe it’s google analytics? Seeing how many people viewed your website and how long they stayed on it?
Or maybe it will be MailChimp reports that will tell you how many people opened your email? How many opened your link?
While the art world has been resistant to the digital world, I believe it is time for you as an artist or gallery owner to take the next step. These 8 steps will guide you to create a strategy that will suit your needs. Therefore, this roadmap will help you understand your audience, target your goals, identify your strengths and weaknesses, etc. This Complete Strategy for Artists & Galleries in the Digital World will help you succeed!
Go for it!…All you need is motivation!
Written by: Alejandra Plaza, MA in Creative Practice and Brand Marketing Analyst at International Institute of Digital Marketing™