As any salesperson knows, in order to make a sell, you have to overcome the difficult task of self-promotion. For an artist, you have poured your heart and soul into your art , and now you are being asked to go out and market it. In doing so, there is a natural fear of personal rejection. Nonetheless, in order for your art to reach people that truly “see” you, overcoming this obstacle is mandatory.
Fortunately today many of the best ways for self-promotion are not quite as direct and confrontational. Here are 10 important ways to self-promote your art to achieve a successful audience:
1. Create a website. While a portfolio of your work is also mandatory, having a website reaches an immeasurable number of art enthusiasts. Take the time to design a professional site with good presentation of your work.
2. Blog, Blog, Blog. Blogging is an excellent way to create a buzz about your work and to let people know what your art is about. You can create your own blog page (recommended) where you highlight your work while also educating your reader. This serves as a “channel” through which other bloggers can be directed to your website. Additionally, you can post to other art blogs for the same reasons.
3. Art Newsletters. Many sites exist (such as Constant Contact) which allow easy creation and submission of your own personal newsletter by email. This is a great promotional tool that shows your art enthusiasm as well as your art work to those with whom you have all levels of contact. Be sure to mention your website and blog in each newsletter.
4. Sphere of Influence. This refers to your personal network of artists, art promoters, gallery owners, art committees, etc. Be sure to make contact with these individuals often so they are aware of your current artistic endeavors. They key word here is networking. The power of networking is tremendously underestimated. Likewise, your email list should be treated like gold. Build it and protect it.
5. Attend Art Events Regularly. At times, this may seem a chore when all you want to do is hibernate inside with your art . However, in the giving is receiving. By supporting other artists and frequenting art events, you continue to network within the art community and stay abreast of current trends and happenings.
6. Submit Often. If you create beautiful and meaningful art but it is rarely shown, the chances of elevating your career as an artist is going to be limited. Choose events and shows that are in line with the theme of your art . This will increase your chances for acceptance, present your art to the right forum, and allow you to be true to your art .
7. Create a Quality Portfolio. Whether it is a gallery owner or an interested client, no one wants to see an unprofessional display of your work. Take your art career seriously and pay a professional to create a good portfolio of your art . This is a must.
8. Provide Art Education. One of the most infrequently used tools in self-promotion is providing education. This establishes you as an expert in your field of art , and you expand your sphere of influence even farther. Write articles and post on the web, teach at local art centers, provide video clips on “how-to” projects, etc. Again, each time be sure to announce your website and blog.
9. Always Carry Business Cards. Design your own business cards that are congruent with your art . Be sure to have your contact information, website, and blog info readily seen. And don’t be caught with empty pockets!
10. Make Formal Affiliations with other Art Sites. By linking your website to other art sites through formal affiliations, you can generate a significant amount of traffic to your website. Many forums, companies and organizations will be happy to provide a link to your site in exchange for a link to theirs. It never hurts to make an inquiry, and it offers another chance to expand your sphere of influence.
So there you have it. Now, take a deep breath, grow some thicker skin, and self-promote. Don’t let your art suffer because you failed to acknowledge the art of self-promotion.