In visual marketing, you use images, videos, and other multimedia content to communicate and connect with your target audience and bolster your brand.
People are becoming more drawn to this kind of content over written content. If you learn to leverage visual elements effectively, you can take your online presence up a notch, attract your ideal customers, and become a more profitable, successful business.
Before we guide you through how to harness visual marketing to elevate your art business, let’s touch on why it’s essential for success.
There are hundreds of thousands of artists using the online space to capture the attention of people who are most likely to buy their art and products and support them. You’re probably competing for the attention of many of the same people they are.
So, the question is, how do you differentiate yourself?
As mentioned above, people are drawn to visual content. The most popular and effective media type is video, according to HubSpot. The same report said that short-form videos under 60 seconds have the highest average engagement.
You can also engage with your online audience through images, illustrations, infographics, GIFs, and memes.
Creating this type of digital content across platforms like social media, your website, and email list, will help you evolve your digital presence. You’ll eventually have a definitive content creation style and build a recognizable presence online that helps you connect with a wider audience and, in turn, generate more leads and sales.
Think about how many times your first impression of a brand was based on their logo, brand colors, fonts, or how appealing their website design was.
If your visual brand identity is unique and polished, it will draw potential customers in. They’ll also continue to recognize your brand no matter where they encounter it because you keep your identity consistent across platforms.
This helps their relationship with you progress, which will hopefully result in them purchasing your art and becoming loyal fans of your work and business.
If you do it right, you can inspire a deep connection with your target audience and prompt a constant influx of sales with visual marketing. But if you’re new to this, where should you start? With these tips.
You need to rely on the visual elements and marketing strategies that your audience will resonate with. This is the best way to ensure your ideal customers like what you’re doing, engage with it, and are so moved by it they make a purchase.
If you’ve yet to define your target audience, start here:
You can find this information on your website and social media analytics tools. You can also refer to any one-on-one conversations you’ve had with your customers and can dig into data from social listening tools to learn more about your customers.
Learn what you can about their visual marketing preferences too. How have they responded to the visuals you’ve published so far? What colors, fonts, and logo variations have they engaged with the most? Can you find out anything about how they’re interacting with your competition's strategy?
It isn’t about what you like or what people like in general. It’s all about what your unique customer base would be drawn to.
Your visual marketing efforts will amount to a lot more for your art business if you create a tangible strategy. You’ll have something concrete to guide you and keep you progressing toward your marketing goals.
Your visual content marketing strategy should include the following details:
Don’t get too bogged down with the details. Just make sure you know what you’re doing and how you’ll execute your strategy.
Let your creativity and originality shine in your branding, with an original logo, stand-out brand colors, and typography. You can create a branding book with all of your visual and design elements to refer to so that your identity is consistent across platforms.
Take your efforts to enhance your brand identity to your packaging too. Thoughtful packaging will result in a memorable unboxing experience for customers. Use unique packaging, like custom-made boxes and seal stickers. Put a QR code on your packaging that directs customers to your website for an exclusive offer. You could even put a free gift inside.
Wow customers with your visual brand identity as much as your content.
One of the best ways to capture and keep your customers’ attention is to rely heavily on visual marketing. Provide your audience with outstanding visual content and a captivating brand identity, and you’ll be on your way to a profitable art business.
As a regular contributor to Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery's blog, Katie Brenneman writes about a variety of topics including marketing for artists. She can be found on Twitter.
Sustainability is at the forefront of nearly everyone’s mind these days. You might already be eco-conscious about the things you consume and purchase, but what about your career? While art doesn’t necessarily make people think of waste, pollution, and emissions, there are still things you can do to reduce your environmental footprint that can also enhance your artistic career.
Making sustainable choices, from materials to marketing, can have a positive impact on your creative process and can help to get you noticed for all of the right reasons.
With that in mind, let’s cover a few practical tips that can inspire you, as an artist, to embrace sustainability and make eco-friendly choices to grow your artistry and your career.
The simplest sustainable choice you can make as an artist is to choose which supplies to work with. If you already have your own home art studio, it should be easy to take stock of your inventory, including how many supplies you regularly go through, and how much you might be throwing away.
Today, you can find eco-friendly paintbrushes made from bamboo and non-toxic paints that aren’t harmful to the environment. It’s an easy swap to make that can end up having a positive impact on the planet and your work.
You can also boost the eco-friendliness of your art studio by reusing and recycling as often as possible. Some of the best ways to give new life to used equipment include:
If you know that some of your supplies could still be used but you no longer want or need them, consider selling or donating your obsolete goods instead of just throwing them away. You never know who might be willing to give them a new life and keep them out of a landfill.
You can (and should) also maintain any equipment you might have to improve its efficiency and lifespan. That includes everything from easels to drawing tables. Take care of your supplies, furniture, and other equipment to help reduce waste. If you’re a digital artist, maintaining your computer, printer, and any other machines you use to bring your art to life will not only help to ensure your livelihood keeps moving forward, but that you’re not harming the planet in the process.
As an independent artist, it’s up to you to market yourself and your work, and build your business from the ground up. Because consumers are so interested in sustainability, using it as a marketing point is a great way to get noticed. Of course, you have to be genuine in your efforts. Don’t greenwash your personal brand or make your audience think you’re practicing sustainable habits more than you actually are.
But, if you can practice what you preach, there is value in letting your audience know you take sustainability seriously. It can boost your brand recognition and improve your bottom line. Don’t be afraid to boast about your recycling efforts or how you repurpose old materials into new things. Partner up with an environmental organization and donate a portion of your sales.
You can also open a completely digital online store to sell your artwork instead of shipping actual pieces across the globe. Opening an online store allows you to market every single piece you create, it’s less expensive than selling your work in a gallery, and it allows people to print your pieces at home rather than relying on air or freight to send them where they need to go. That will help to cut down on carbon emissions and get your art in the hands of a buyer much faster.
Sustainability is more than just a trend. But, if you’re willing to make it a priority in your career, you can benefit your business, boost your recognition, and feel good about doing something beneficial for the future of the planet.
A passionate writer, Katie Brenneman writes about a variety of topics including marketing. You can find her on Twitter.
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.