The U.S. art market was valued at 30.2 billion dollars in 2022, outperforming pre-pandemic valuations. The increase in the market’s value shows that art is in demand. And with that demand comes more artists and products.
It also means you’re looking at a level of competition in the art market that wasn’t there before. Learning how to best navigate the competition and stand out with your brand and products is the only pathway to a successful art business.
Market research can provide you with the information you need to create unique art products your customers want and your competition isn’t making. It can also help you establish a personal brand that differentiates you from the many other artists out there.
Canvas prints, framed artwork, digital art, sculptures, coloring books, and original paintings are just the start of the range of art products available to consumers. Add in the hundreds of thousands of artists producing these products, and the catalog gets even more overwhelming.
You have to figure out a way to create products that aren’t like everything else in the industry to catch your customers’ attention and keep it long enough to develop relationships and inspire purchases.
For example, let’s say you create a line of original watercolor paintings with a specialty line of watercolor paints every year. After a review of customer feedback and sales data, you find that these paintings bring in half of your profit.
You could conclude that the way these paintings are created with that specialty line of watercolor paints makes them unique and that this contributes to the high sales volume. You can then tailor your marketing to emphasize these points.
Market research can help you determine how to make your product stand out. For example, the way you make use of your artist brand voice and where and how you display your product in person can all influence whether or not someone will buy your items. Market research can also play a part in helping you understand what customers want.
If you want your art products to sell consistently, you must know your customers inside and out. You need to know who they are first. Then, you need to understand their preferences and demands so that you can accommodate them.
A huge part of market research is compiling demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral data on potential, current, and past customers. For example, knowing your customer preferences and collecting qualitative and quantitative data on how customers respond to different products can help you determine what types of products to offer. You can use what you learn about your customers to inform product and packaging designs and other creative brand elements that help you stand out.
As much as your art is for you, it must be more for your customers to be successful.
You’re obsessed with a certain art product you’ve been creating and want to introduce it to your customers for sale. But is there a space for that product in the art market? In other words, are people looking for this product and buying it?
You could go for it regardless of whether there’s a demand for the product or not. But it will likely be a long time before you see sales rolling in if you see them at all.
Market research helps ensure you’re creating products that are likely to thrive in the market. For example, sculptures, impressionist art, and contemporary art are some of the most popular among consumers.
Even if you don’t create these kinds of art, it’s good to know what’s capturing people’s attention and driving sales. You may be able to incorporate some elements of these styles into your art to position yourself better in the market.
Use market research to understand the demand for your products and what adjustments you should make over time to help your products sell more consistently.
Many artists get buried in the vast, ever-changing art industry. New artists and products are emerging every day, making it seem impossible to establish yourself. But with the help of market research, you can elevate your art products so that they stay in demand, capture your customer’s attention, and keep it.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in a variety of topics including marketing. You can find Katie on Twitter.
Defining the target audience for your art products is only half of the work with this core element of marketing. You must also use the information you gather about your target audience strategically to fuel connections and drive sales.
There’s a lot of data about your target audience that you can use to your advantage in your marketing content and campaigns. Generational and demographic-based information, in particular, can significantly influence what you create marketing-wise.
Let’s dive into marketing strategies that artists use to connect with individuals of varying demographics and generations.
You’ll likely have multiple generations in your target audience or one that makes up the majority.
Each generation has unique qualities that, if accounted for, can help you create marketing content that resonates with so many of the individuals in your target audience.
For instance, let’s say you’re marketing to a primarily Gen Z audience. Gen Zers are especially fond of social media and user-generated content (UGC). On average, they spent 3 hours a day on social media platforms in 2021.
With this in mind, social media and soliciting video and other reviews from customers to turn into UGC should be a core part of your marketing strategy.
Here are a few other things to consider when marketing to the following generations:
Demographics are characteristics and statistics within a given population. Gender, age, marital status, and occupation are among the most common demographic data points marketers consider for a target audience.
The way you market to your target audience is highly dependent on their demographic information. Or, at least, it should be. Here’s how to make certain demographic information work for you in your marketing:
Whether you want to speak to a specific generation or cater to a particular demographic in your target audience, effectively marketing to them depends largely on your ability to create community-focused content.
Brightspot defines community-focused content as “the practice of creating content focused on and for a specific community, whether that community is based on geography, background, interest areas or other demographics.”
In other words, you create content with your specific target audience’s needs, desires, and behaviors in mind at all times. You’ll attract a lot more people to your art business if you know who you’re targeting and the kind of content they like the most, and actually create it.
Of course, it’s important to leverage as much target audience information as possible when creating your overarching marketing strategy, individual campaigns, and pieces of marketing content. The generation they’re in and their demographic data give unique insights into people that make marketing success that much more attainable.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in in a variety of content. You can follow Katie on her on Twitter.
Many artists create because it’s their passion, and they love their work. However, there comes a time when the reality of paying bills and sustaining a comfortable life sets in.
While many artists pick up full-time jobs to cover their expenses, others are intrigued by the idea of turning their art into a business. If you’re the latter, a shift in mindset and an intense focus on marketing is necessary to make a lucrative business out of your work.
These three strategies can help you think like an entrepreneur and market your art effectively.
Understand What It Takes To Succeed
Your mindset is critical if you want to market your art successfully. When you decide to go from creating art for pleasure to making it for profit, it’s no longer always about what you like, want, or need. Instead, it becomes primarily about what potential buyers want, like, and need.
Educate yourself on the following as well:
Understanding what it takes to succeed online, in particular, is incredibly important as well.
Traditional marketing strategies are helpful. However, the business world is becoming increasingly digital. Knowing how to market, connect with customers, and run your business online is the only way to ensure you don’t get left behind. Start by studying the ever-changing nature of the digital world, the behavior of digital natives, and the importance of flexibility while marketing your art.
Understanding what success takes will help you think more like a business owner. It’ll also help you approach marketing with intent and strategy.
Lean Into Digital Marketing
As mentioned above, the world is becoming more digitally focused. This means digital marketing is a must. Without it, you won’t have as broad a reach, nor will you have as many opportunities to boost brand recognition and awareness.
Educate yourself on the basics of digital marketing first. After that, create a detailed digital marketing strategy. Include the following details:
Ultimately, your digital marketing channels should work together to give potential customers and fans a cohesive experience with your brand. It’s also essential to network relentlessly on your digital marketing channels and pursue other networking opportunities.
Digital marketing can get any artist’s foot in the door, but networking can take you a step further. Genuine relationships with successful people in the industry can help strengthen your reputation as an artist and get the right eyes on your work.
Social media marketing is a tried-and-true strategy for artists and small businesses with a tight marketing budget. You can consistently post original content and take advantage of user-generated content from those who’ve purchased your art.
More importantly, social media is beneficial for not only increased traffic to your art website but also for networking. You can connect with other artists and partner with them to promote your work. You can join groups on these platforms and share your online portfolio, advice, and thoughts. You can spark and contribute to meaningful conversations with thought leaders, experts, and entrepreneurs in the art world.
Networking can also happen through crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing for any business involves getting feedback, work, or information from a large group. You can ask for feedback on works-in-progress and marketing content, opening up the opportunity to connect with fans and potential buyers.
Get into crowdfunding, as well, and it’s a win-win. You get your name and art out there while raising funds to put back into marketing or another aspect of your business.
Networking can get you and your business into doors that talent alone can’t. So, don’t neglect its importance.
To market your art as a company would, you must first shift your mindset to mirror an executive's. Then, lean into digital marketing and network relentlessly to turn your passion for art into a profitable business.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn't writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.
by Guest Blogger, Katie Brenneman - An online portfolio is an artist’s bread and butter in this digital age. Maybe you’ve already put a lot of time and effort into building a beautiful portfolio or website showcasing your work.
However, it’s not exactly effective if no one is looking at it.
Unfortunately, you’re facing an uphill battle. Search engine algorithms will automatically skew toward more established artists. So, it’s time to step into the world of branding and marketing.
Thankfully, you don’t have to have a lot of experience in the advertising industry to make your portfolio stand out. Let’s cover a few quick tips on how you can boost your portfolio’s presence and get your work the attention it deserves.
If you already have an online portfolio, one of the easiest ways to get more visitors is to master the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You’ve likely heard of keyword searches and how important they are to getting noticed. However, there are also things you can do to optimize your site internally, including
By making your portfolio a priority, you’ll naturally boost SEO. But, if you’re still struggling to attract visitors, take the time to learn the basics when it comes to keywords and what people are searching for, and you’ll see an even bigger boost in your digital audience.
Even if you’re not a marketing pro, almost everyone is familiar with at least one social media platform. Use that to your advantage to market your portfolio.
For example, Instagram is an ideal platform for sharing photos and artwork. It’s a great place to share pieces of your work and inspire people to head to your website or portfolio for more. It’s easy to use, but make sure you’re always optimizing your photos and sharing the right sizes, or they could end up looking blurry and unprofessional.
You can also use Instagram and other social media platforms to connect with potential fans and followers. It’s a great way to spark conversation and boost word-of-mouth interest in your portfolio.
While it’s true that everything seems digital these days and you should absolutely have an online portfolio, there’s still something to be said for print media. People still like tangible things, and something as simple as a flyer with a QR code that leads back to your portfolio can be impactful and interesting. Consider leaving flyers or brochures in places like
You can also choose to work with an existing publication that caters to art lovers or even other artists. Doing so will help you hone in on your target audience and can bring your brand and portfolio to life in a way that digital can’t always capture.
Whether you’re a budding artist trying to get your name out there or you’ve enjoyed a long career but need a marketing boost, use these ideas to boost the presence of your online portfolio, and engage with those who want to support you and your work.
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content. When she isn't writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.
By Isabella Goode, Guest Blogger - Whether you’re on the way to commercial success or simply making art, it’s easy to feel like there’s no time for creating and maintaining a portfolio as a busy photographer. However, take a moment to think about how someone would search for your services, be it for their wedding or a company event.
Perhaps they would talk to a friend, or just ask Google. In any case, they will ultimately want to see a website with information about the photographer that was recommended to them. This namely includes examples of past work, coupled with a list of services and prices.
Not only is your portfolio a showcase of what you offer, but it’s also a foundation for all of your marketing activities. That is to say, you’ll be using it to sell products, book appointments or just as something to bring people back to from other places such as social media.
Put simply, an online portfolio is an absolute essential for career success as a photographer. Not convinced? Here are some more compelling reasons to invest in a website.
It is no secret that the majority of people prefer to shop online, which remains true for the photography industry. While there are several online platforms dedicated to selling your work, they are severely limited in their functionality. In addition, you probably don’t want to be sitting side-by-side with the competition.
This is one of many cases where a portfolio comes in, which can easily be set up to serve as your own online store.
Every project comes with a unique creative direction that has a lasting impact on your vision and style. It shapes the way you work and with it, the culmination of your efforts moving forward. Your portfolio is a showcase of that evolution. It helps potential clients get an idea of how you do things when you have your vision alone to be accountable for.
Done right, your website shows visitors that you have confidence in your work and are willing to present it for all to see. It also shows that you uphold a certain level of commitment that speaks for your independence and level of effort you put in. Without a portfolio, there is no way to really prove this to potential clients.
The same rings true for your individuality. You can tell someone what you do and how you do it, but your unique style is more tangible when seen rather than heard. A portfolio is a perfect way to show the world through your eyes.
Thanks to the extensive range of tools available on the internet today, you don’t need any web design or programming experience to build an excellent portfolio. Once you have set yourself up on a website builder like WordPress, it is as simple as choosing a theme and adding your content.
From there, you can obtain additional information on making a well-rounded and unique portfolio through one of the many resources dedicated to the topic. This post with photography portfolio ideas offers an extensive look into how you can build an amazing showcase.
Moreover, Format provides countless templates and tools to help you get your mobile-optimized site off the ground. You can even get an online store set up, as well as a professional domain and email among other benefits. All of this on a single website, which goes to show how well facilitated this process is today.
As your clientele grows, managing your schedule and staying up-to-date with your calendar can become increasingly challenging. Online scheduling software exists to solve this problem and make life easier by seamlessly scheduling appointments. These kinds of tools can be integrated with your website.
Why would you do this? By connecting scheduling software to your portfolio, clients can book appointments whenever they are ready. This is far more convenient for them, as they don’t have to wait until business hours or your availability for a response. Not only does this save you time, but it also serves as a key advantage to your customer service.
As part of its marketing benefits, your photography portfolio can serve as an effective way to collect information about customers. For instance, you can request prospect email addresses, which can be used to send promotional content. This helps to increase your engagement, keeping potential clients interested and existing clients coming back.
If you are interested in making an investment in any form of paid online advertising, such as that which takes place on social media, then a website is an absolute must. It serves as the centerpiece for your campaign, driving a select target audience to your website where they can learn more about your services and ultimately become a customer.
When people are looking for a photographer, they are going to want someone that offers a professional service. Chances are that most amateurs in the industry have poorly made portfolios if they even have one to begin with. By putting together a professional-looking portfolio that is well made and informative, you immediately stand out.
Even if you take beautiful pictures, a clunky and outdated website will put people off. However, if both components are in-line with your potential clients’ expectations, they will be far more likely to give you a call. It is important to remember that your portfolio should look just as good as your photos.
To this day, client testimonials remain an effective way to prove your credibility and make a more compelling offer. Your portfolio is, of course, the perfect place to showcase all the positive feedback you have received. This will improve the trust that potential clients have in your services, thus increasing their likelihood of becoming a customer.
However, customer feedback isn’t just useful as a marketing tool; it is also highly valuable to you. Regardless of your skills or experience as a photographer, there is always room for improvement and feedback can help reveal where you can do better. Remember that you can also link back to your website on other platforms such as Google My Business and Yelp.
No matter where you are in your career, your portfolio will always serve as a valuable tool to meet your needs. Beginners will benefit from the way it signals credibility and increases reach to potential clients. From there, it can take on the role of demonstrating your specialties and the relevance of your work to those who are interested.
Even for globally recognized photographers, their portfolio is still a useful tool. It serves as a powerful calling card for potential business partners as well as being a curated virtual showcase to give other photographers valuable guidance and inspiration. A portfolio is a good way to prepare yourself for future growth and stay on track as you move forward.
The above points make it clear that having a portfolio is key to your success as a photographer, or in any creative industry for that matter. Be sure to invest some time into building a professional website that looks and performs up-to-standard. It may take some effort, but rest assured it’s a worthwhile endeavor that will quickly pay off.
Isabella Goode has written and researched articles for a wide variety of websites, blogs and magazines and has a strong understanding of art, design and a passion for photography.
The following are some thoughts on what an artist can do to improve their chances of success in the coming New Year. Contained in these ideas are links to additional articles and posts which will explain and detail these concepts more fully for the reader;
1. Check all of the pages of your website to see if they working properly and loading quickly. If you can speed up the loading of your Home Page, this should be done. Besides being annoying to some viewers, slow loading speeds can negatively impact whether your website gets a higher page rank or not. Also, make sure that your website links (internal and external links) are working and that the format of each page is the way in which it was intended to be viewed (for whatever reason, things move, stop working, disappear, images and graphics can suddenly not be viewed).
2. Make sure that all of the images on your website are sized properly, with a low resolution (A Resolution of 72 will help your site to loader more quickly too) and the images should be color corrected as well.
Are there better images or graphics that can be substituted for what now exists on the website? . This should be done in order to get the search engines to index your images (Without image descriptions the images will not be indexed). By doing this, they will ultimately get your images to show up in the search results and when the images are viewed, they will also direct the viewer to your art website as well.
3. Review all written text and images within your art portfolio. Whatever parts of the portfolio can be improved upon should also be done. Are there any new images that you can display? Are there better images that can replace present ones in your portfolio? Try to upgrade and update wherever possible within your art portfolio. Make sure all have titles, sizes and pricing information.
4. Review and rewrite your Artist Statement and Biography. Update your CV adding any exhibitions, new publications and any other pertinent information that has taken place since the last time that it was posted on your website or printed in your portfolio.
5. Review any of your social media accounts, update or complete your profiles. If any of your social media profile images can be improved or upgraded, then they should be done and also add any other new information to those social media profiles as well. Just make sure that whatever is written or is shown on the profiles is spelled correctly and with proper sentence structure.
Remember, a social media profile is almost like having an online resume’ for the whole world to see. The idea of a Social Media Profile is to get people to want more information about you by going to your art website. This is accomplished with a completed, well written and attractive Social Media Profile.
Here are a few other ideas for an artist to try and to follow in the New Year; In order to drive more traffic to your website, an artist should consider starting an Art Blog for the New Year. An art blog helps to brand you as an expert, expands your target audience and ultimately will provide more visitors to your website.
There are many free Art Portfolio Websites where an artist can join and also expose their art to many more viewers. Whether it is an Artistry Registry, Directory or an Art Portfolio website, any of these platforms will help to direct traffic back to the artist’s website and should be freely employed by the artist.
An artist should start an ongoing online public relations campaign for all important art-related occasions, events, and functions that they are involved in throughout the year. Here is an article that we posted with some ideas to follow; Top 10 Events for Artists to Send Out Press Releases.
If the artist is totally happy with their marketing efforts and with the volume of sales of their art, then all of the suggestions above are totally unnecessary. However, if the artist is disappointed with their results, then we believe that some of these ideas may help the artist to be more successful in 2014.
Happy New Year to all art professionals from the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery
Previously, in Part I, we wrote about having a body of work to show art galleries, art reps, art collectors and to any other interested parties of your art. In that article, we also discussed the overall importance of having a body of work and how to develop a body of work.
We asked the professional artist/blogger, Lori McNee to discuss this subject and to provide her tips on to how to develop a body of work. Below are her thoughts on how an artist should approach this very important exercise.
Tips to Developing a Body of Artwork, By Lori McNee
Any successful artist will tell you that developing a body of artwork is one of the main factors that separate the professional artist from the amateur. Things that Successful Artists do Differently
It is important to create a cohesive, consistent body of work in order to be taken seriously by reputable art galleries, art collectors, or art representatives. These people expect to see a high level of consistent work that they can promote and support.
But, creating a body of work is mystifying to many fledgling artists. Below are a few suggestions that will help:
The first step to developing a successful body of work is defining your artistic style. Whether you are a painter, photographer, ceramicist or sculptor, style is your own distinctive manner in which you apply the paint, color, texture, and shapes, mold the clay or manipulate the photographic image.
Once you have a distinctive, recognizable ‘style’ of art it is imperative to be consistent. Do not promote or solicit your body of work until can consistently produce high-quality art. 10 Steps to Develop a Series of Exhibition Paintings
Now that you have you are comfortable with your consistent, recognizable ‘style’ of art, you are ready to create a theme for your body or artwork.
Next, the artist must decide upon the format of the exhibition. Whether a two or three-dimensional artist, you must decide upon a pleasing arrangement of shapes and sizes. Keep in mind there is an emotional connotation attached to different formats.
Horizontal = peaceful
Vertical = majestic, active
Square = risky, contemporary
Standard = traditional
Ask yourself: What is the message you are trying to convey to the viewer? What is your focal point?
When I am asked to create a body of work for a gallery exhibition, I am generally expected to paint 12 -15 paintings. So, I suggest developing about a dozen beautiful, professional works of art for your body of work.
Remember, the frame is a continuation of the painting or photograph and the message. Whether it is a sculpture or a painting, it is important to complement and showcase the artwork without distracting from it.
The last step to creating a successful body of artwork is to evaluate the group as a whole. Set up the art and look at it with a discerning eye. Are you happy with the group? Does one stand out, or clash with the rest? Must you delete something from the group for the betterment of the whole?
Once you have asked these tough questions and are comfortable with the grouping, congratulations! You have developed a body of work that is ready to be viewed! Body of Work Part I Here
Lori McNee is a professional artist/blogger at http://finearttips.com who specializes in still life, and landscape oil paintings http://lorimcnee.com. She is an exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of Idaho, serves on the Plein Air Mag Board of Advisors, and is an Ambassador Artist to Royal Talens. lori@lorimcneeartist. Her art website is http://LoriMcNee.com
As an artist do you have a body of work to show interested parties? What is a body of work? Why is it important to have this? How do you develop a body of work? We will explore these subjects and more a series of two articles.
To me, a body of work is a collection of an artist’s artwork which demonstrates an overall signature style. Simply put, it is artwork that is instantly recognizable to most people who appreciate art. We all know who the artist is when we see a Winslow Homer painting, an Andy Warhol print, or an Ansel Adams photograph. You recognize their art instantly as they created a body of work which they developed and perfected over a period of many years.
If you were asked by a gallery owner, art collector or by an art rep to see your artworks, could you show them a selection of 15 to 35 pieces of your art in a style, medium and subject matter that was consistent and memorable to that person? In other words, does your art distinguish you from all of the other artists that these people have seen?
What you are doing by having a body of work is demonstrating a mastery and expertise in that personal style, subject matter or media to a viewer of your artworks. By having a consistent body of work, you are drawing attention to your art in this manner rather than by showing your versatility in many styles of art. Gallery owners and art collectors want to see the mastery rather than versatility.
Every month we receive entries from artists who send us (within a group or entries) different media and different styles which show us that artist’s versatility but in reality, most of the winning artists generally show us a consistent style of art, in the same media and an overall mastery within that genre. When we visit the artist’s website we will also discover the same style is also shown there too.
Here is a quick way which will help an artist to develop their body of artwork. What is the one thing that you love to paint? What is the subject matter that fascinates you? What media do you favor more than anything else? What style of art excites and captivates your imagination? The answers to these questions will help direct your focus for all of your future creations and thus, you will begin to develop your own personal body of work.
Your body of work could be about a certain subject (landscapes, seascapes, still life etc.), or it could be on any subject whereby you employed a certain style or a unique media as your focus. Overall, this body of work becomes a collection of your artwork and by doing this you are showing a gallery owner, art collector or art rep that you can create art that is consistent within your distinctive style.
Do you have a signature style and a growing body of work to show? If not, it is time to begin this task and in by doing so successfully, you will soon take your art to the next level.
Our next post will continue about this subject when professional artist Lori McNee gives us her ideas on how to approach, develop and present a body of work in Part II of this subject. Body of Work Part II Here