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:

  • Managing business finances;
  • Effective marketing strategies for artists;
  • How to structure an art-related business;
  • The likelihood of success in the art world;
  • Potential downfalls of an art-related business;
  • Artists who’ve managed to create successful businesses.

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:

  • What you want to achieve with digital marketing;
  • Your budget for investing in specific digital marketing techniques and tools;
  • A list of the digital marketing channels you’ll use;
  • Goals for and details about what you’ll use each channel for;
  • The kind of content you’ll create and post on each platform;
  • How you’ll track the performance of each channel;
  • How you plan to engage with your audience on each platform.

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.

Network Relentlessly

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.

Conclusion

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.

Familiarize Yourself With SEO

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

  • Including a site map
  • Optimizing visual content
  • Easy navigation
  • Fixing broken links
  • Updating content regularly

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.

Utilize Social Media

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.

Don’t Ditch Traditional Portfolios

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

  • Coffee shops
  • Art galleries
  • Libraries
  • Book stores

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.

Sell Your Work Online

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.

Showcase Your Abilities

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.

Building One is Easy

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.

A Useful Scheduling Tool

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.

Collect Valuable Information

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.

Social Media Advertising

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.

Communicate Your Professionalism

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.

Obtain and Showcase Customer Feedback

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.

It Grows with Your Needs

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.

 

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