Street art is all the rage right now.
What are the most popular artists doing? They’re working hard, working consistently and waking up at the crack of noon to get the most out of their day. Besides that? Well…
There are more opportunities to market your work online than ever before. Not only can you create a profile on DeviantArt and various social networks, there are also ways of mixing mediums, like posting artwork on your blog and monetizing it with ads, or creating communities on Ning and offering lessons, or staring your own forum, or creating a website where a collective of artists contribute, or even a combination thereof.
Of course, more traditional means like galleries (*yawn*), or coffeehouse showcases (mmm… caffeine), or even studio tours (where you show your visitors around the garage) can be quite effective. As you seek to try out different strategies, just remember that you have to allow yourself some time to learn, to improve, and to refine. It’s just like art!!
Onward, canvas gazers!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Lord of the Rings, it’s that you don’t set out on an epic adventure without a plan. If you don’t plan, you lose your wizard in the middle of the journey. Temporarily. It turned out okay for them.
Anyway, making plans and setting goals will help you to keep on course and work towards their ultimate achievement. Like Rocky running up the stairs at the museum and raising his arms to the sky (what, that was before the match?), you will feel the elation and euphoria of accomplishment.
Goals are great because you will know when you have arrived. If you don’t have concrete plans, how do you know what your destination is supposed to look like?
Create Great Artwork
And you thought you could get away with slacking, right? I’m sorry; this isn’t going to be a shoe-in like that underwater basket-weaving course you once took.
The most popular artists are also great marketers too. Talent doesn’t always cut through the noise, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to create sweet-looking artwork. Once you have a body (wink, wink) of work you’re proud of, it’s time to look into guerilla marketing tactics, publicity stunts, optical illusions, and elliptical workouts. Oh, sorry. Why are these infomercials so hard to turn off? Actually, there might be something there.
Employ Guerilla Marketing Tactics
Guerilla marketing is where you use low-cost, unconventional means to advertise. It’s becoming more and more popular in the marketing world.
Examples of this would include things like towels on the beach made to look like burning coals or giant pictures of paparazzi photographers in the subway station, or sprawling cityscapes below your feet in bus shelters that scare the bejesus outta you. A quick Google search will pull up more examples.
The easy part is getting people to look. The harder part is getting people to remember you. Guerilla tactics help you stick out in people’s minds.
If you don’t like the word ‘network’, then think of it as building friendships. If that gives you a heart attack, think of it as adding more numbers to your smartphone. If that has you running into the closet, then… Look, I’m running out of ways to explain this.
Sometimes it’s not so much what you know as it is who you know. Video game composer Tommy Tallarico is famous for flipping this concept on its head (Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler is his cousin and he chose not to leverage any of his contacts), but all that meant was that he had to build his own contact list, one name at a time.
Help others, and they will help you. Add value to others, and they will add value to you. Don’t think of it as quid pro quo. Rather just make it a habit of doing good things for others.
Observe Successful Artists
What are other artists doing that you could be doing? How are they getting themselves out there? Do they have a website? What are they doing online that you could emulate?
Don’t outright steal anything. That’s a stupid idea. However, much the same way bloggers look at popular titles in their field on Amazon and get ideas from looking at the table of contents; you can also take the strategies of popular artists and repurpose them for your own promo campaigns.
Better still, if you can snag an interview with some of your favorite artists and pick their brains (I’m contractually obligated to get a zombie reference in here somewhere), there is no substitute for the value this could provide.
Whether you have some resistance to marketing yourself online or you think it’s a no-brainer, there are so many places for artists to be on the web. With that in your cranium, let’s start with some of the more obvious places to spam be:
– Facebook: Create a Facebook fan page for your artwork and upload photos, post links to your web store and let people know about any events or promotions you may have.
– DeviantArt: DeviantArt, in case you didn’t know, is an online community for artists, and a popular one at that. It takes time to build notoriety like anything else, but it seems like a sweet place to be. Get ready to paint the town red!
– Blog: Don’t just blog, but be proactive about guest posting for other net-heads, linking out to other paint-covered freaks you respect (from your own blog), and ping search engines when you have new content. This can be done in WordPress with the Yoast SEO plugin.
Get with the times already, gosh!
Here are some other not-so-obvious places you can go to market your work. This time we’re going to go rapid-fire!
– Pinterest: It’s all visual mediums.
– Flickr: Ditto.
– Instagram: You don’t have to take pictures with your phone; you can prepare your images in advance of them ever being posted (like any other social site). You could take pictures of your artwork too, of course.
– Google+: Great for SEO and visually heavy content!
– Twitter: Particularly if you make the effort to customize your profile with custom artwork. Great for cross-posting too.
I’m sure if we put our collective consciousness together (*cringe*), we could come up with more social networks to invade. Leave a comment, human, and let us know what has worked for you.
Cover image by Facts Pod