We previously wrote 10 ways that an artist can market and brand their artwork. In an ongoing series, we are providing additional ways in which an artist can promote and develop their brand. Today, a lot of individuals and businesses get marketing and branding mixed up. Simply put, marketing is how an artist reaches their target market with advertising, promotions and public relations. Branding defines the artist and defines what their target market thinks they are. Every time a prospect or a potential customer makes contact with the artist in person, print, virally or by other means, they are forming an opinion of the artist and the artist as a brand.
The following is a list of 10 additional ideas and ways in which an artist can use to promote, market and brand their art. This and the prior list of suggestions is forever changing as technology and the public’s tastes shift from one popular media or marketing vehicle to another. This list is in no particular order of importance for an artist to use to when developing their brand.
1. Book publishing is a medium which allows the artist to present their artwork to prospects in a memorable form. Today, book publishing is being used more and more by artists as a marketing tool. There are many POD (Print on Demand) websites that will allow an artist to design, print and publish their “Art Book”. This can then be used by the artist for marketing and presentation purposes. Most POD websites also allow for the books to be available for sale to the general public, if the artist is so inclined to do so. Presenting their work in this manner is a nice thing for an artist to have as a give away to prospects and gallery owners. There are even some art reps that want to keep an artist’s art book on file or be able to show their clients the artists work. Suggested publishers that seem to specialize in this type of self-publishing are www.blurb.com, www.lulu.com. www.createspace.com.
2. Document and Slide websites allow the artist to showcase their work in PowerPoint demonstrations and PDF presentations. These sites also provide the artist with a profile space and links back to their website. Keywords and tags are a part of each file that is uploaded and these files will also show up on all of the major search engines. It is one more way for an artist to get out there and to promote themselves, their art and their website. www.slideshare.net, www.calameo.com, http://issuu.com
3. Art licensing is an area where artists can supplement their regular artwork and generate additional income from their art. Art licensing companies are very specific as to what type of art that they are looking for and they will let you know what their creative parameters are. Most art licensing firms are always looking for new artists and they will provide ways for an artist to submit artwork for consideration, right on their website. www.porterfieldsfineart.com, www.millpondlicensing.com, www.comlicensinginfo.com
4. Podcasts are becoming a very effective tool for anyone that wants to get their message out. Think of podcasts as YouTube, without the video. A podcast can be used as a specialty message or a rehash of an old article or art tips for other artists. Whatever it is, it is another media in which the artist can connect to their target market and stay current with their prospects and customers. Links can be added to the artist’s blog or website for prospects to subscribe to. Podcasts are a great branding tool for an artist. Here is more information on creating podcasts; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast
5. Blogs are an effective means for an artist to not only brand themselves but it also provides another way in which to drive traffic to the artist’s website. There is free software such as WordPress, Blogger and Typepad that an artist can use to develop and publish their blog. These are content driven publications that people will read in order to be informed on subjects that interest them. Keywords, title tags, and meta tags are all a very important part of blogging as this is a way in which when people are searching certain words, that they will find the artist. It is almost like article marketing, but the artist is using their own website to achieve this. http://wordpress.org, www.blogger.com, www.typepad.com.
6. Art and business directory sites can be used to help build traffic to the artist’s website. A directory site can also help to build brand awareness. Directory sites are also an important link building tool for artists as well. The artist should try to get listed in as many directory sites as possible. Also, Google, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing and others have local business directories that artists should be in as well. See our Article 10 Free Directories to Drive Traffic to Your Website.
7. Newsletter publishing is another way in which to build and maintain an author’s brand. A newsletter can be a printed publication or it can be a part of an artist’s main website. If properly formatted and tagged, these articles will also show up on major search engines and drive traffic to the artist’s website. These are content driven publications that people want to read and learn about certain information. From the articles and content that is used and written about in the artist newsletter, those articles can then be used for articles sites, blogs and press releases. There are literally 100’s of newsletter software and newsletter templates on the Internet to use, follow or be inspired by. No matter what the artist chooses to use, the newsletter should speak directly to their target market, inform them of relevant issues and solve their problems.
8. An artist can become a guest author on other art “industry” blogs that are in the artist’s area of expertise. This not only provides the artist with a much larger audience in which to present their brand, but it will also help to get people to the artist’s website and their blog for additional traffic. Also, by an artists doing this, it will help the artist to convert more prospect email addresses for future promotions. Research the top 10 art blogs in your niche and approach them with idea of doing a guest article. Blog publishers are always looking for new content. The artist should make sure that the blogger’s guidelines are being adhered to and followed.
9. Become a timely commentator on relevant art forums and art blogs, which allow comments. When participating in discussions on a forum or on a blog, an artist will have an opportunity to promote their brand in their thread through their comments. This type of promotion is much like social networking and an artist should remember that their remarks are their forever and to think twice before they submit their comments. If the artist’s comments become a commercial or are self serving, a moderator will not allow them or may ban the contributor from participating. An artist should research the top 10 art forums and art blogs in their niche and join, get involved and become part of those communities. It is a great way for an artist to become known, network and expand their market.
10. Artists should join any available free online art galleries and art websites. These sites allow an artist to promote and show their work to thousands of people each day. In addition to showing their art an artist will also have the opportunity to have a profile, links to their website and in many cases a biography and artist statement as part of their presentation. Many of the newer free artist websites now have the ability for the artist to have a blog, post news items and upload press releases. In addition, some art websites have their own community forums for the artist to contribute to. An artist should have a fully developed and well written profile for any of these sites. They should make sure that everything is well written, spell checked and complete prior to uploading. An artist can get on to at least 30 to 40 of these free online art galleries. See our Article 20 Free Art Portfolio Websites to Market Your Art.
These are just a few additional ways in which an artist can promote their art and develop their brand. This may sound like a lot of work but once these different media are set up and functioning, it is then there for the artist to take advantage of these opportunities and to promote their art.
How many other artists do you know that are doing any of this? I am sure, not many and that is all the more the reason for an artist to take advantage of these low-cost opportunities and be ahead of the curve. Whether an artist will admit it, art is a business and a successful business will reach their target market in different ways. If done well and consistently over time the artist will see an increase in traffic, have a stronger brand and a resultant increase in their art sales.