By Rodney Laws, Guest Blogger - Every industry was affected heavily by the outbreak of COVID-19, and art is certainly no exception. So much of the art world has typically revolved around in-person demonstrations and sales. Museums and galleries have always worked through bringing in foot traffic, with money made through selling entrance tickets, refreshments, and gift-shop items. Then there are street performers (caricaturists, for instance) who have always made money through tips.

At the moment, the continued need for social distancing (along with the lingering fears concerning travel) means that even those places that can afford to open are finding it hard to attract interest. The artists, though, do have options, and they have drawn upon them (no pun intended) to keep afloat during the past year. By operating online, they can still make money doing what they love.

Trying to succeed exclusively online as an artist presents a very different challenge, though. The tactics required for reaching the right people (and ultimately prospective clients) are largely distinct. In this post, we’re going to look at four solid strategies an artist can use to grow their brand and attract some interest online. Let’s get started.

Use a combination portfolio and store

Taking client work is often the typical way of making a living as an artist, since you have clear creative direction and set terms. It is simply a matter of receiving and fulfilling a brief: you don’t need to worry about the commercial viability of what you are producing. But that doesn’t mean that should be the only way in which you make money. The more routes you have to profit, the more stable your financial situation can become.

Due to this, it is a great idea to build an ecommerce store that’s also your portfolio. You don’t even need web-design skills to create such a store these days. If you already have an art blog in WordPress (the platform that dominates blogging), you can install a free plugin called WooCommerce (take a look at this WooCommerce review) and start selling products.

Whenever you make a sale, promote it through the blog side of the store: this will reinforce your value as an artist in the eyes of prospective clients. In addition, whenever you pick up a notable client, add their testimonial to your store homepage: this will reassure potential buyers that you’re truly as good as they think you are. It’s a win-win situation.

Get into the habit of asking for referrals

You can’t add testimonials to your store if you don’t have any testimonials, and they don’t tend to appear spontaneously. If you don’t ask for them, you won’t get them — so get into the habit of asking for them. Do this carefully, of course: don’t bug people, come across as desperate, or push them to shower you with more praise than they think you deserve. Just ask politely.

It is a good idea to fold the feedback-collection process into your general client-handling sequence. When you’re wrapping up a project and ensuring that all the details have been handled, you can have an automated email go out to provide a survey (HubSpot has some good tips on this process). You can even throw in some kind of basic incentive to prompt a reply: 10% off their next commission and/or purchase, for instance.

Share your process on social media

People who don’t understand what goes into art can easily end up undervaluing it. You are likely familiar with the common effort to “pay” artists in “exposure”. It is commonplace to joke about at times, but it is a sad indication of how little people understand the difficulty of producing high-quality art. They assume (for some reason) that most artists live frivolous lives of luxury — and those who don’t, well, they should just be grateful to get some attention, right?

To help people accept the complexities of what you do, and show just how good you are, you should combine your blogging efforts with social media comments concerning your process. You don’t need to engage with social media in general, just offer some commentary on how long certain pieces of art take you, sharing progress on art you are currently working on, the decisions you need to make along the way, the obstacles you need to overcome, etc.

In addition, when you have a piece you are particularly proud of, you should enter it into some online competitions, both through social media and other sites. It won’t cost much, and the risk is minimal: if you don’t win, it won’t matter, but it will give you something you can talk about it through social media and get even more attention.

Join a forum of like-minded artists

The best artists tend to support one another because they know that great art should be appreciated and supported and the internet is full of fantastic communities that can help you promote your services. This is something that can go unnoticed due to the assumption that artists will all be hyper-competitive, eager to undermine one another. Not so.

In truth, there is plenty of demand for art, and those who produce it often end up spending some of their money on commissioning it as well. Artists can collaborate on pieces through which they can all profit, and expand their audiences through building professional associations. You also need to remember that great artists never stop learning. However much you’ll learn from your new community, the existing members will learn just as much from you.

And when someone out there expresses interest for art in the exact style that you’ve mastered, you’ll find that other artists will often point them in the right direction, knowing that you’ll do the same for them in return. Put your trust in community spirit. You won’t regret it.

Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Check out his reviews on EcommercePlatforms.io and you’ll find practical tips that you can use to build the best online store for your business. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio.

By Veronica Baxter, Guest Blogger - Visual artists must be prepared when negotiating a contract with an art gallery. This article will discuss how to prepare for the contract negotiation. Whether you are a new artist looking to get your work noticed, or an established artist trying to break into a new space, you will find valuable tips to secure a lucrative contract in an art gallery.

Have a List of Requirements and Questions Well Ahead of the Negotiation

Regardless of the industry, you should always know what you want during a negotiation. You need to confidently articulate what you want out of the business relationship to be taken seriously from a business perspective.

This means you’ll need to ask many questions.

Questions to Ask During a Contract Negotiation With an Art Gallery

The goal of asking questions is to get a concrete understanding of the business relationship from start to finish. Your questions should be designed so that the answers clearly define your responsibilities and those of the art gallery. Your questions should range across a wide variety of topics -- from marketing to logistics and beyond.

 

Marketing questions to consider:

  • What will the art gallery do to promote and market your work?
  • What do you need to do in regards to promotion and marketing?
  • Will you need to create new exclusive pieces for the gallery?
  • Do exclusive pieces need their contracts to determine the duration of exclusivity?
  • How much will be allocated for a marketing budget?

Logistical Questions to consider:

  • Will my work be exhibited elsewhere or rotated out on a tour?
  • Who pays for shipping, handling, and insurance?
  • If I make a sale instead of the gallery, do I get the commission?
  • How are the selling prices determined?
  • What are the commission fees and what goes into calculating commission fees?

Display Questions to Consider:

  • How much gallery space will you need vs. how much they are willing to give?
  • Do I have a say in how my art is displayed?
  • Do I get to restrict who I share my gallery space with?
  • How often will I need to present and discuss my work on-site?
  • Do I need to produce work on-site?

Arm Yourself With Knowledge of the Contract Negotiation Process

The artist with their head in the clouds is a frustrating yet persistent stereotype. Yet, there are plenty of successful artists who possess strong business acumen. The artist who can advocate on their own behalf during negotiations will be able to dodge this negative stereotype more easily and secure a better contract as a result.

Here are some must-know contractual tips:

Try To Get an Escape Clause

Escape clauses are essential in contracts with an art gallery. They allow either party to nullify the contract when a clearly defined term or condition is not met. Escape clauses are not to be confused with breach-of-contract clauses.

The difference is that both parties can agree to nullify a yearlong contract if, say, there are no sales after six months. In this example, neither party breached the contract; however, a specific condition was not met. Therefore, it is in the interest of both parties to nullify the agreement.

Push For an Arbitration/Mediation Clause

This clause stipulates that before either party resorts to a lawsuit, a mediator must be brought in to settle any contractual disputes. Both parties must hire a mediator. These clauses are important to bring up in negotiations because they are intended to prevent a costly lawsuit.

Make Sure the Indemnification Clause Works Both Ways

Indemnification clauses are designed so that if one party misrepresents themselves, their work, or if one party breaches part of the contract, then the offending party is responsible for the legal fees associated with any ensuing litigation. Sometimes these are one-sided and apply only when the artist breaches the contract. Negotiate so that the indemnification clause applies to both sides.

Come to the Negotiation Table Prepared

This article is far from exhaustive, but it is intended to get you thinking about the negotiation process in the way a lawyer would. You must ask questions to lay out the responsibilities of both parties clearly. The more detail, the better the deal. You also need to familiarize yourself with specific clauses and legalese that will lead to a fair and lucrative contract.

Veronica Baxter is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area. She writes for Yao Law, an entertainment and immigration lawyer in New Jersey.

By James Baxter, Guest Blogger - Social media marketing for artists includes a specific set of online actions, which provides their fans and followers with the necessary information about the artists, as well as promoting their creativity using the same resources. Such actions can significantly enlarge the target audience due to the popularity and convenience of social networks.

Art and social media can be combined. Thanks to the current development of the Internet and computer technology, an artist can be promoted using Social Media Marketing (SMM) on various social networks. SMM makes it possible to determine which social networks are the most effective for this promotion. However, you should use these online platforms wisely to achieve the desired result.

Today, a sufficient number of different marketing tools are used on social media. The most popular among them are branding, reputation strengthening, and label creation. Obviously, the more widespread a social network is, the easier it is to promote an artist and his or her work. Every artist knows that creativity can be further shared. So, posting of relevant material is one of the most useful formats of communication with the target audience.

Some painters, photographers, and sculptors are trying to sell their works of art by simply advertising themselves using social networks. However, it is not the only way to attract the attention of their admirers and potential collectors. The opposite situation can happen when artists are reluctant to promote their creativity and only the most curious fans can find out something about their recently created masterpieces.

In the both cases, the artist’s profit and potential can be dramatically affected. Earning money is essential for art development, and this is the main task of promotion in social networks. So, how to market your art? It is necessary to find a balance between sales, self-promotion, and honest communication with the target audience. Let’s consider the 70-20-10 SMM rule that can help you become a successful artist.

70% of Content Should Build and Maintain Your Brand

The vast majority of your posts should tell your story and build your recognizable brand. In this way, you can show your personality from another angle. Imagine what you would like to know about your favorite artist: this can give you some useful ideas. Perhaps you have a great sense of humor in addition to your artistic talent. For instance, you can upload an amazing video about what has inspired you to create a perfect artwork.

You can also post photos as you paint a picture or create a sculpture. If you travel from time to time, you can create an album of journey sketches. Likewise, an experienced writer can share an informative article about their amazing life experience. In short, tell people what you feel before, during and after finishing your creation. The main point is that sharing this information can create a special relationship between you and your followers and fans.

Share Information about Others in 20% of Content

This part of the content is not that voluminous, but it means a lot for building your social network and forming valuable relations. You sometimes may want to collaborate with other artists. Use that 20 percent to establish new connections with relevant people and promising artists in related fields.

If a painter or sculptor you know has organized an exhibition, tell people about it. You can also familiarize fans with a side project of your agent or promoter. If you visited a significant art event in your city, tell your followers what you think about it from your personal and professional point of view.

Everything you share with your audience should not be random and accidental. You have to sincerely believe in what you are talking about with your audience. Remember that this is not an advertisement, but a real desire to share something good and needful for your fans and to help your fellow artists gain exposure for their work. Pay it forward by helping others, and goodness will surely return to you.

10% of Content Is For Self-Advertisement

Ads on your social media pages should not take more than ten percent of your total content. Some artists start to shout out about a new work of art seven days a week using social networks. But it is hardly imaginable that somebody will pay attention to it since social media is primarily a communication place, not an advertising platform.

Of course, if you managed to create something special, be sure to announce it. But instead of asking your audience to buy a piece of your artwork, inquire of your fans and followers what they liked the most about it and why. Use this feedback to grow as an artist and to target potential collectors and buyers. Also, use social media to direct fans to your website to see more of your art and hopefully buy a piece of your artwork.

Conclusion

You should try to use social media for promoting your art in a meticulous way to reach your target audience. More so, if you want to use such online opportunities effectively, you need to be a sincere, engaging, and understanding professional in your field. Your target audience will see your personality and feel a much greater connection with you. Finally, do not forget to thank your fans for all their support of you and your art career.

James Baxter is professional ghostwriter and editor at write my essay, who loves sharing his experience and knowledge with readers. He has been working as a SMM specialist at the art gallery for a year. He is especially interested in marketing, blogging and IT. James is always happy to visit different places and meet new people there.

 

The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of us. For artists, like everyone, it has led to the loss of income and cancellation of events and opportunities. No one’s lives have gone untouched by this pandemic but there are many things that we, as artists, can do while we are self-isolating.  Below are 10 things artists can do to remain creative, positive and inspired during this time:

1. Continue Creating Art

This is the most important thing an artist can do. Although being stuck at home can be challenging, all that extra time can be an opportunity. Use it to jump-start your creativity.  Start a new piece of art or try to finish one that has been giving you trouble. Just continue to create!

2. Evaluate and Update Your Website

At the beginning of every year, we always recommend that artists evaluate and update their websites. For those that have not had the time to do so, this is the perfect opportunity.  Keeping your website current, with your current work highlighted, is essential for artists, now more than ever as people will have more time on their hands to surf the internet looking for positive things to view.

3. Evaluate and Update Your Portfolio

Similarly, like evaluating and updating your website, we also recommend artists evaluate and update their portfolios.

4. Review and Update Your Biography & Artist Statements

Life is ever changing and it is important for artists to keep their biographies and artist statements up to date. Also, update your CV by adding any exhibitions, new publications or other pertinent information that has taken place since the last time they were updated.

5. Maintain and/or Grow Your Social Media Presence

Just because you are confined to the house doesn’t mean you can’t show your art to others.  Keeping active on social media is a good way to connect with other artists as well as collectors. Keep your art in the forefront of their minds so that when this is over, or even before, you might be able to generate some sales.

6. Take a Virtual Museum Tour

It is important to remain inspired and active during this time of self-imposed (and for some forced) isolation. Museums from around the world are now offering online virtual tours. Visit these museums and be inspired to create more art.

7. Reach out to Friends and Family for Support & Ideas

Physical isolation does not need to also be social isolation.  Keeping in touch with others is what is going to get us through this. We need to stay positive and we need the support of friends and family to do so.  Reach out and run idea for a new painting by a friend or family member. Get feedback on a piece you’re currently working on and share it once it is completed. This will not only keep you inspired to keep working but will give your family and friends something to look forward to.

8. Take an Online Art Class

Many universities, art teachers and websites are offering free online art classes right now. From Art History to painting, drawing and photography classes, there is something for everyone to get inspired, continue creating and maybe even learn something new.

9. Reach out to Your Collectors

If for no other reason, just to touch base and wish them well.  Perhaps send an email and invite them to see your new work on your newly updated website (see point #2 above). They are already fans of your work and perhaps it might inspire them to purchase a new piece, particularly if you decide to offer a discount or limited-time sale.

10. Research & Apply for Art’s Grants & Small Business Relief Programs

Many organizations are now offering grants for artists and small business relief programs.  There are many that are geared specifically for artists and the arts community.  Apply for any and all that you think you might qualify for. The worst that can happen is they can say no.

 

We at the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery are also affected by this pandemic. Like so many others, our lives and livelihoods are being drastically affected by this global crisis. Our income is dependent on entry fees and during a time of financial crisis, disposable income is reduced. Thus, the gallery’s income is exponentially reduced. Nevertheless, we are committed to continuing our work of helping artists to continue to market their art to a worldwide audience.

How are we doing this?  We are continuing to host our online art competitions and exhibitions. We are continuing our marketing and promotion efforts for artists. We are continuing to support and encourage our artists to keep positive and keep creating.  And we will continue to be here for all of you as an outlet to share your talent with each other and the world because we must all stick together and support each other in this time of crisis.

In that spirit, although LST was scheduled to increase entry fees by $1 starting with the 10th Annual “Landscapes” Art Competition (opening for entries on April 10th), due to the Coronavirus pandemic - we have postponed the increase in entry fees until June 2020.

While LST continues to have one of the lowest entry fees around, we still recognize that artists have a choice of art competitions and exhibitions to enter and that money is tight for all of us right now. We value and are humbled by the loyalty of our artists and we are committed to maintaining our loyalty and support of them.

Thank you again to all of our artists for being such an important part of our gallery!  Stay safe and healthy!

At the beginning of every New Year, we post an article with ideas and suggestions for how artists can to kick start the new year. Now that the year 2020 has begun, it is time to review the past 12 months and make plans for how best to tackle your art career goals in 2020.

Have you set up your art marketing goals for the New Year? If not, the following are 5 things you can do to kick start 2020 and improve your chances of success.   

Many of these ideas are elementary, but consistently implementing them is not.  They are critical for artists if they are to market themselves and their art successfully.

 

1. Evaluate & Update Your Website

In today’s art world, in order to be taken seriously, it is essential for artists to have a modern, professional, up-to-date website to display their art. The annual cost of a domain is typically less than $20. The cost of basic website hosting can be as low as $3 per month. A website is an investment artists should make a priority in order to be taken seriously.

For those of you who already have websites, when was the last time that you went page by page and link by link through it? If you are like most people it has probably been a very long time! I think that if you were to do this with your website you would find broken links, pages that do not load quickly, graphics, images and other items that have moved, along with pages with misspelled words and similar issues.

Is this how you want your website visitors to see your art? Take some time to make these corrections. Also, if you have pages that do not load quickly due to large image files or due to flash and music features, these items should be corrected or removed as people do not have the time to wait on your pages to load. Otherwise, if not corrected you will be losing these valuable visitors to your site.

Make sure all of the images on your website are sized properly and have a low resolution (a resolution of 72 helps your site load more quickly and protects your art from being copied by unscrupulous people).  The images should also be color corrected.  (There are many free programs on the internet for this.)

Do you have better images or graphics to replace what now exists on your website?  Do you have new artwork that you just have not had time to photograph and add to your website? Do it. 

Also, while checking your images, make sure that they are labeled and tagged properly with good image descriptions.  Search engines will only index your images if they have descriptions.  By doing this, your images will show up in the image search results. When the images are viewed, viewers will be directed to your art website.

 

2. Rewrite/ Update your Artists Bio and Statement

Review and update your Artist Statement and Artist Biography.  An artist does not have to be an accomplished writer to create a well-written Biography and Artist’s Statement, but it is essential for an artist to have at least one. It is important to know the difference between a biography and artist statement. Please read our article “Comparing an Artist’s Biography to an Artist’s Statement” for clarification.

Also, update your CV by adding any exhibitions, new publications or other pertinent information that has taken place since the last time they were updated.

 

3. Use Social Media

Social media is the perfect platform for artists to employ in order to help market themselves and their art. Why is this? In our opinion, it is easy to identify and connect with the art community when using social media.

We also think it is an effective medium because it is a visual and simple way in which to present your art. Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Instagram and even Twitter provide an artist with opportunities (if targeted properly) to reach viewers who were previously unreachable.

Read our article “Top 10 Reasons Why Artists Fail with Social Media” along with various other social media articles on the LST website.

 

4. Press Release Marketing

Press release marketing is a low-cost way artists can market their artwork to a wide range of potential viewers. There are many “Free” press release websites, which take, publish and market an artist’s press release copy.  One such site is PRLog.org. PRLog’s free press release submission includes a PDF version to send to your mailing list, a search engine optimized page, hyperlinks in the content, and the option to select location/industry and tag listings. In addition, companies like Star One Public Relations offers press release distribution services for as low as $10.00 for distribution to 70+ press outlets.  Read our article “Successful Press Release Marketing for Artists” and 6 Benefits for Press Releases for Artists to help guide you in these efforts.

 

5. Have Your Art Portfolio Reviewed Professionally

A professional Portfolio Review provides an artist with an evaluation of their art and a critique of how the art is being presented to others. Usually, during a portfolio review, the reviewers provide artists with additional ideas on how they can effectively market their art.

Much like art competitions, a Portfolio Review is an additional way in which artists can have their artwork evaluated and measured against other artists.

 

6. Start a Blog

Artists should consider starting an art blog as a way to attract and direct additional interested viewers to their art websites. An art blog is a great way to expand an artist’s target audience. It is also an effective platform to help artists market their art.

Read our articles “Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Have an Art Blog” and “How Artists Can Attract Readers to an Art Blog” in order to fully understand the power of a well-executed art blog.

In 2020 we hope you will make these suggestions part of your art marketing efforts. By implementing these recommendations, we believe artists will increase traffic to their websites, find more people interested in their art and ultimately, sell more of their work. 

However, as with any marketing program, it is important to focus your efforts and they need to be well executed and performed consistently in order to be successful.

 

Good luck and have a creative and successful 2020!

 

Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery (LST) is pleased to announce the unveiling of a new logo in honor of our 10th anniversary.  The gallery’s website underwent a complete redesign in 2018, refreshing and upgrading the overall look and feel of the website. However, the main logo was not updated at that time.

Founded in 2010, the year 2020 marks the gallery’s 10th year in existence. To celebrate this milestone, we are unveiling a new logo and developing a refreshed and modern brand identity tied to LST’s mission of identifying and “helping today’s artists market their art” to a worldwide audience.

According to Gallery Director, C. David Hoffman, “It was time for the LST logo to get a new look. We have kept the well-known elements of the gradient blue background but have upgraded the color scheme and incorporated the ‘LST’ acronym into the logo. The result is a sleeker and more contemporary logo relevant to the direction we are taking the gallery.”

As one of the longest running online art galleries and the first to offer “themed” online art competitions and exhibitions, LST already stands apart from its competitors in terms of the benefits of the marketing and promotion provided to its winning artists, the value of its pricing and the quality of its exhibitions. 

As we embark on a new decade, updating and refreshing the LST logo and brand supports the Gallery’s commitment to providing quality and cost effective competition and exhibition opportunities to new and emerging international artists and its mission of finding new and innovative ways of identifying talented artists and helping them to successfully market their works to the art world.

Throughout 2020, the gallery will be continuing to celebrate this milestone anniversary with new and exciting opportunities, promotion and helpful marketing articles for its artists, including a very special anniversary exhibition in June, which is the month the gallery launched.

We would like to take this time to say thank you to all our artists for being such an important part of our online art gallery. We are only as successful as our artists are and we look forward to the continued success of all our LST gallery artists in 2020 and beyond.

 

by Frank Hamilton, Guest Blogger - As an artist, you want to be able to promote your art with all the tools available at your disposal. The smartest and most cost-effective method is through the use of social media. 

Pinterest is a visual social media network that allows users to discover, engage, and share new interests. It is one of the best social media platforms for artists because of its visual nature.

Below are six (6) tips for promoting your work on Pinterest.

1. Make your Pinterest account a Business page

Creating a business account on Pinterest is one of the first ways to promote your art on the platform. This gives you access to indispensable features that the regular account does not have, such as the option to advertise, and analytics.

Being able to advertise your artwork enables your art to reach a broad audience. Analytics is vital because it helps you get proper feedback and gauge what art lovers or Pinterest users find interesting. With this feature, you can view your daily & monthly viewers, daily impressions, and monthly engaged followers.

To create your business account on Pinterest, go to your account where you will see the option to convert your account to a business account if however, you do not have a Pinterest account go to “business.pinterest.com.”

2. Pin your Artwork

Your pins are an essential part of your Pinterest account. You must utilize all the functionalities available to you, which includes a proper title and description.

Getting a lot of views, re-pins, and comments are vital if you intend to reach a broad audience. Reaching a wide audience is paramount to getting more traffic on your website

A helpful tip when pinning your artwork is your Pin should be tall, not wide, this enables your art to be fully visible at a glance. The recommended ratio for the art you pin should be 2:3.

3. Use Appropriate keywords in your title or description

Pay attention to the keywords you use in the title and description of your Pin. This goes a long way to make sure your work is displayed when Pinterest users are searching for your kind of content. It is important to note that when you use keywords, make sure you do not use spammy keywords.

Before you use any keyword, do your research. It is crucial to decide on the appropriate keyword(s) before you create any content.

An excellent way to decide on the best keyword is to type "art" or other relative words in the Pinterest search bar. Pinterest will bring up a lot of alternative keyword suggestions that are commonly used when people type the word art. This way, you will know the best keywords to use.

4. Add a Call to Action on your Pin

This is a direction/instruction you give to Pinterest users to help decide the next step or action. It is essential to include a call to action when creating your Pin. You can add a call to action either on the image or on the description. 

Depending on your goal, your call to action should be structured in a way that users can easily understand and follow. For example, if you want users to get redirected to your website to view your art, you need to add a call to action button that redirects users to your website.

5. Engage with your community and other Pinterest users

Building and engaging with a community on Pinterest is one of the best ways for users to view your art. To build a community, you need to follow other users and lovers of art; this will encourage other users to follow you back. Also, comment and engage with users that re-pinned your art, ask for customers' thoughts, suggestions, and feedback on your art.

6. Pin consistently and at peak times

Consistency is critical if you want to promote your art on Pinterest. Pinning your art or repining other users' images daily drives views to your page. This also helps your board rank high in your desired category on Pinterest.

Pin also at peak times, which for U.S based pinners is in the evening and weekends. You can also pin in different languages by making use of tools such as The Word Point or Google translate. This makes sure your art reaches a broader audience.

Conclusion

Pinterest is a smart way for anyone serious about promoting their art to utilize. It is a very visual social media platform and provides a lot of functionality, which helps with promoting your art.

Frank Hamilton is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.

 

This article is the first of several “Guides to Promoting” on social media platforms the we will be posting.  In the coming weeks, look for additional articles for promoting your art on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Join our mailing list to be informed of new helpful art marketing articles and our online art competitions.

Google reports that over 50% of their searches are made from mobile devices.  A mobile device in their eyes includes smartphones and tablets.

In addition, during the past year, Google will now rank websites based on whether or not they were mobile friendly. 37% of Light Space & Time’s traffic comes from mobile devices.  This percentage is below the 50% level that Google claims, but it is still more than 1/3 of our sites’ traffic, which makes it significant.  Luckily for us, we run a WordPress website and were able to use a plugin in order to make our site mobile friendly.

Is your art website mobile friendly?  If not, it should be.  The growth of mobile computing is undeniable and the numbers continue to increase.  An interesting sidebar to these numbers is that the growth of mobile searches has not taken away from the number of desktop searches.  The number of mobile searches has increased while the number of desktop searches has remained unchanged.  Here is Google’s link to test to see if your website is mobile friendly or not.  We also suggest using the following tool:  Website Planet's Responsive Checker

If you care about traffic and the demographics of the people visiting your art website, then your site should be set up for both desktop and mobile computing.  Most new sites have this capability.   If yours does not, it may be time to think about either switching to a new site or taking the necessary steps to make your existing site mobile friendly.

Remember, a successful website is all about page rank and visitors.  To exclude a large and increasing amount of traffic due to not being a mobile-friendly site makes little sense today and will make even less sense in the future.

 

Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery - OUR FACEBOOK PAGEToday, it is essential for artists to expose their art to their target audience. At the least, artists need to be marketing their art on Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Other effective social media outlets for artists to use to market their art would also be YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

For this article, I will focus on Facebook as I believe that it is the easiest platform to set up, the easiest to maintain and to promote art from.

We will assume that you are already a regular Facebook user and that you have an active Facebook Personal Profile page. From your Personal Profile page to create a Business page, follow these directions;

At the bottom of your Personal Profile page, in the right-hand sidebar, click the More tab and then click the Create a Page and from there;

• You will be prompted to choose a Page Category.

• You will then be prompted to choose a Subcategory and enter the required information.

• Finally, you will then be prompted to agree to Facebook Pages Terms and then click Get Started.

The Business page that you are creating will be representing you and your art, (Your Brand) therefore, complete the Profile page thoroughly, by providing all of the information that this section asks for. There is also room for information on your art, media, exhibitions, news and more. Make sure that you have spelled everything correctly. Have a friend or family member check your Business page for you, for accuracy, completeness, and spelling.

Here are some ideas and thoughts on how to have and maintain an effective Facebook Business page;

1. The Name of this Page is Important in Order to be Found in Searches.

You are able to name this page to whatever you want as long as you use alphanumeric characters and that the name is at least 5 characters long. Make sure that the page name contains your name and some keywords related to your art such as;

“YourNameArtGallery” or “YourNamePhotography” or “YourNamePastelArtist” etc. When you do this, people will be able to find you with the Facebook search function, as well as by your art specialty.

2. Your Cover Photo and Profile Image Are Extremely Important.

Your cover photo is one of the most important elements on your Business page (it is the most dominant visual feature on the page) and this image should be related to your art in some manner. The size that you are allowed to work with is 851 x 315 pixels and should be resized and planned prior to uploading and displaying.

The page’s Profile image will block a certain area and the overall size of the Cover photo is an odd size. There are several free image editing programs that you can use to resize and crop your images (1) http://www.sumopaint.com/ (2) http://www.gimp.org/ (3) Microsoft’s Paint – This is the program that comes with Windows and can be found in the Accessories tab, under Programs.

Some ideas for the Cover photo would be some of your best art, any new art, information about a new exhibition, photos from an opening etc. Be creative and change the images as much as possible to dovetail and highlight your current art or art experience.

3. Create Albums to Show Your Portfolio on Facebook.

Prepare your images (crop and color correct) before you upload to Facebook from your computer. Through the Facebook upload function create your Albums by subject matter or by media or by years. If you do not have a large portfolio it would be okay for the time being to keep all of your images together in one Album.

After the images are uploaded, make sure that they all have individual titles, descriptions, and prices. If you have a website, put a link back to your website in your description as well. This should also be done and can be part of your Profile too.

4. Create External Links Back to the Facebook Business Page.

Any emails, newsletters, blogs, and websites that you maintain should have links inviting people to view and “Like” your Facebook Business page. You are trying to build as many followers and fans as possible to see your art. Let everyone know about this Business page.

Here is a link to the Facebook Help page that will answer most of your questions and concerns about the Business Page setup and its functions, https://www.facebook.com/help. If you have a question that cannot be answered with their help, try a Google search and the answer should come up by someone else, who is outside of Facebook.

Remember that you are building and maintaining a “Brand”. It will take a while to achieve this, but it will be well worth it if you consistently stay with it. You are building relationships, therefore contribute and post related articles to your art, about the art world or about the creative process. Always acknowledge people when they comment or post. Also, be active and comment constructively and positively on other posts that are related to your art too.

If you have a limited amount of time to devote to this effort, try at least once a day to post and maintain your Facebook Business page. By consistently maintaining and updating this page your marketing goals will ultimately be successful.

In future articles, we will detail and write about other important features for a Facebook Business page for artists.

 

I JUST WON! NOW WHAT?You entered an art competition and were accepted into a group exhibition, now what should you do to leverage that achievement? At every chance, an artist should try to promote and market this success.

Hopefully, this article will provide an exhibiting artist with a plan of action to take advantage of this news and below are some ideas on what an artist can do to leverage this accomplishment through social media, traditional marketing, online marketing and press release promotions. 

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is becoming the fastest way for an artist to expose, market and brand their artwork. This is a relatively new marketing tool whereby an artist can make an impact and will be able to see and measure results immediately.  

An artist should have the ability through their art website to be able to post articles, news, and press releases. This ability to post is very important as these posts will then create individual URL’s that can also be posted all over the web in order to promote the artist’s event, create traffic to their website and to help generate backlinks to the artist’s website (more on that later).

Today, an artist should have free accounts for at least Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace and Google+ in order to take advantage of social media networks. Caution: Create separate accounts for your art promotion as you do not want to co-mingle your personal life with your business life! There are a lot of other free networking accounts that you can also join, but for now, this will provide the coverage that you need.

If you belong to any of these accounts/groups, upload your posts to your social media pages in order to spread the word of your success. This is the easiest way for you to promote your art and to increase interest in and traffic to your own personal art website. This same post or page can also be emailed or posted to others who are in the art industry. Ask and have your (good) friends and followers to forward any posts on to their followers/networks as well (also offer to do the same for them too).

Recently, Google has provided what is known as the +1 feature, which is the equivalent of the Facebook “Like” icon. Whenever you press the +1 button on any post, page, website or Google search page, you are alerting your friends, networks, and others that you are “endorsing or interested” in that page or post. People will be curious to see what you recommend and they usually will look too, as they do not want to be left out of something that may be important. Since I mentioned the Facebook “Like” feature, always encourage your followers, friend, and networks to “Like” your post, page etc. as this will also increase interest in that post. The more “Likes” and more “+1” that you acquire, the more interest, more traffic and more exposure and promotion there will be for your website and your art.

Offline & Traditional Marketing

Offline and traditional marketing may take more time compared to other electronic promotions, but this method can be worth the effort for an artist to avail themselves of this type of marketing. Offline and traditional marketing still does very well for local and regional target audiences. If you have the time, the ability and the wherewithal to promote your work further, here is a link to some posts that we wrote about offline (traditional forms) of marketing and branding for successful artists: Offline Marketing and Promotion for Successful Artists, 10 Ways an Artist Can Market Their Brand and 10 More Ways an Artist Can Market Their Brand. Artists should use a combination of online and offline marketing in order to create an impact and to target their audience with their message.

Social Bookmarking

A social bookmark is a very important tool for artists to take advantage of in their overall marketing program. A social bookmark is a way in which an artist can alert their followers, friends and networks about a post, web page or a website. Think of a social bookmark as “someone’s own individual +1 or Like button”, as you are alerting everyone that this post or page is important and that they should also take a look.

More importantly, when employed properly, social bookmarks can create better page ranks and more traffic for the artist’s website. How is this done? There are literally hundreds of social bookmarking websites. When you join these sites, upload content to them (in the form of your art, posts, press releases, pages etc.) based on the information that you are required to place, when you post there, you are creating a “backlink” to your website. Why is a backlink important? When search engines index and grade your website, they base a large part of their page ranking on the amount of and the quality of the links back to your website. The higher amount and the better the quality of the links, the better they will rank and place your website higher on their search engine, which results in more traffic to your site.

There are many services and programs that can perform this task for you, but I do not suggest that you do that, as you want good quality and industry-specific (the art industry) backlinks and only you can determine what are worthy websites to link to. Here is a page that explains (in simple terms) what social bookmarks can do for you, along with many suggested social bookmarking websites to join and post to. http://caroline-middlebrook.com/blog/do-follow-social-bookmarking-sites.

Press Release Marketing

Press releases provide the same type of importance and effectiveness as a social bookmark. Why is this? A press release provides the artist with a very cheap and a quick way to promote themselves and their art to an extremely large and targeted audience. In addition to the press release’s effectiveness, a press release creates an automatic backlink to the artist’s website and for whatever reason, the major search engines rank backlinks from press release sites very high, thus helping again, to boost your websites page rank. The Light Space & Time website contains several related articles about this tool; Press Release Marketing for Today’s Artists and How to Write a Press Release for Art Events.

Artists should also belong to as many art websites as possible, like Fine Art America, Artspan, Artid etc. as they usually have a community section where you can post in a blog, post in a newsletter and are able to submit a press release or post an exhibition event in their Forums. Most of these sites also allow you to post an image with the post too. Take advantage of that feature, as people will tend to look at a post if it contains a picture.

We also recommend using PRLog and Press Release Point for distribution of free press releases and Star One PR for distribution of paid press releases ($10.00 to $15.00, depending on the distribution size). All of these sources provide the artist with the ability to be indexed quickly by all of the major search engines. By using these press release services, the artist is able to take advantage of their ability to spread the word of your artwork, success and/or events and to quickly drive additional traffic to the artist’s website.

Also, remember that any advertising, marketing, and promotion has a cumulative effect and consistency and repetition of the message is necessary to see any results. Don’t be like most artists and do a little marketing, see no real results and then give up! It just does not work that way nor is it meant to be that easy. It takes time and you will see results if you “stay the course”.

We hope that these suggestions are helpful to your art marketing efforts. In today’s hugely competitive marketplace, just entering and placing in an art competition is not enough to attract a lot of interest to the artist’s website and their art. Successful artists market, promote and leverage their accomplishments whenever they can and you should too. Congratulations on your success, now tell the whole world and Good luck!

 
 

HOW ARTISTS CAN KICK START 2013If you have not done so yet, have you determined and set up your art marketing goals for the year 2013? If not, here are 5 relatively easy things that an artist can do to help improve their marketing and branding of their art in 2013.

I believe that if an artist were to schedule and engage in the following activities on a consistent basis, they would begin to see an increase in traffic to their website along with more interest concerning the sale of their art. Let us review what an artist can do to help improve the marketing of their art in 2013;

1. Start an Art blog – Artists should consider starting an art blog as a way to attract and direct additional interested viewers to their art websites. An art blog is a great way to expand the artist’s target audience and it is an effective platform to help an artist market their art as well.

Read our article in the LST Art Blog section Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Have an Art Blog in order to fully understand the power a well-executed art blog.

2. Use Social Media – Social media is the perfect platform for artists to employ in order to help market themselves and their art. Why is this? In my opinion, it is easy to identify and connect with the art community when using social media. I also think it is an effective medium because it is a visual and a simple way in which to present your art. Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Linkedin, Instagram and even Twitter provides an artist with opportunities (if targeted properly) to reach viewers who were previously unreachable.

See our article Top 10 Reasons Why Artists Fail with Social Media along with various other social media articles on the LST website.

3. Press Release Marketing – Press release marketing is a low-cost alternative whereby an artist can market their artwork to a wide range of potential viewers. There are many “Free” press release websites which take, publish and market an artist’s press release copy. However, if pressed for time, I strongly suggest that an artist use a “Paid” press release distribution service. LST uses a company called Star One Public Relations and they charge $15.00 for distribution to 70+ press outlets.

See our article “Press Release Marketing for Professional Artists and “Helpful Hints When Writing an Art Press Release to help guide you in these efforts.

4. Evaluate & Edit Your Website – When was the last time that you went page by page and link by link through your website? If you are like most people (never mind being an artist) it has probably been a very long time! I think that if you were to do this with your website you would find broken links, pages that do not load quickly, graphics, images and other items that have moved, along with pages with misspelled words and similar issues.

Is this how you want your website visitors to see your art? Take some time to make these corrections. Also, if you have pages that do not load quickly due to large image files or due to flash and music features, these items should be corrected or removed as people do not have the time to wait on your pages to load. Otherwise, if not corrected you will be losing these valuable visitors to your site.

See and read our article “Art Portfolios – Is it Time for a Spring Cleaning?

5. Become a Guest Blogger – Another way in which to reach your target audience is to become a guest blogger on other successful art bloggers websites. Target potential blogs that are related to your art niche, are active blogs and blogs that attract a large following.

Active bloggers are always looking for new material, topics, and articles for their sites. Be able to show them the articles that you have previously written in order to demonstrate that you can write well. They will probably only take your articles that have never been published before, therefore be prepared to write new content.

These website owners may have some ideas and topics on what they would like for you to write about. Otherwise, prepare and have some ideas ready that you can propose to them. Just make sure you are not proposing duplicate or similar content that is already on their website.

Read our article “5 Ways an Artist Can Attract Readers to an Art Blog.

In 2013 vow to make these suggestions part of your marketing efforts, If followed, I believe you will see an improvement in traffic to your website, interest in your art and ultimately, more sales of your art.  As with any marketing program, your efforts need to be well executed and performed on a consistent basis in order to be successful.

See our article The Rule of Seven Explains Artist’s Discouragement.

Good luck to everyone and have a successful and creative 2013!

 

5 WAYS FOR AN ARTIST TO ATTRACT READERS TO AN ART BLOGIn my opinion, the easiest and quickest way to attract art blog readers and to develop an audience for an art blog is through the use of Social Media. Through the continuous and proper use of social networking, an artist can create a following that will not only help drive traffic to their art website but over time, will also help the artist to establish, develop and maintain their brand.

If targeted properly, social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and Pinterest can provide the art blogger with the exposure to help increase the chance and the opportunity to attract new viewers to their art blog.

Here are 5 ways an artist can attract readers to their art blog through the use of social media;

1. Create a blog through WordPress.org: Create and develop an art blog by using the WordPress.org platform. Why is this? WordPress allows the blog writer to optimize their posts for search engines (SEO). Without this ability for SEO, there is little chance of having any blog posts found and read by anyone.

SEO is achieved through the descriptive use of titles, meta tags, permalinks, and keywords when creating posts with art industry keywords. These are keywords which interested people use when searching the internet in order to find art related information. Also, did I mention that WordPress is free? With WordPress, the only other thing that will be needed is a company to host the blog. To a non-technical person this may seem intimidating, but with WordPress, there are help sections and help forums which provide you with instructions on setup, installation, maintenance and troubleshooting a WordPress blog.

2. Create a Facebook and Google+ Pages for your Art Blog: Both social networks make it very easy now to set up and create business or fan pages through and as a part of your personal social network page. Create the most attractive, complete and personalized blog page that you can. Any blog articles, art activity or art events that the artist is associated with can be posted on these pages. In addition, the artist can also share this content back through the personal page of this social media to their connections, friends, and networks too.

3. Link Your Blog, Website and All Social Media Networks Together: The art blogger now has the ability to connect the various social networks together when posting their updates and posts. While posting an article on Facebook, the post can be automatically shared with Twitter, which in turn then shares it with Linkedin and so on.

Feeds can be created to and from other blogs and websites which the artist owns and operates, along with any other social media sites, whereby any blog article is automatically updated as well. The ability to interconnect websites and social networks makes it very easy to distribute content and to create an immediate “buzz” with any of your art blog activity.

4. Have a Share Feature for Each Post and Page: The ability to share any post or page that is created in your art blog is absolutely necessary for success in finding new readers. If someone reads and likes your post, they can immediately share this with their networks and connections, thus expanding the reach and exposure of that article. WordPress provides free plugins that make installing this “share” feature very easy. The same holds true of having “Like”, “+Share” or “inShare” buttons on your posts and pages as well. Make it easy for readers to share your content with their networks by having these share features and buttons on each post and page.

5. Create a Triberr Group to Maximize the Power of Sharing: Triberr is a social media platform that allows groups of people and professionals, who have related interests and goals the ability to share their content to a large group. The idea and goal of the group are to have the members share each member’s article posts and content with their own social networks. A group of 10 art bloggers could easily have 50,000+ followers (collectively) on Twitter and by sharing the group’s blog content, a Triberr Group Member has a reach far beyond what they could ever hope to achieve on their own. Besides sharing on Twitter, Triberr also provides for Facebook Likes, StumbleUpon Submits, Google+ Share and Linkedin Sharing.

Today, an artist has the ability to share their art content, art articles, art activity and art events across social networks and between related websites. If properly set up, this ability to share can be an automatic event, which will not take away from an artist’s time to create and market their art. To me, this is the quickest and easiest way for an art blog to be exposed to a broad group of interested readers, who in turn will also be introduced to the artist’s website and their art.

If you are unhappy with the amount of traffic to your art website and the amount of sales that you have been making, there is something that an artist can do about it and that is to start an art blog. A blog is a vehicle by which an artist can help to gain more exposure on the internet, help market their art and help in developing their brand. There are numerous other benefits to an artist for having an art blog, but to me, the following are the top 3 reasons why an artist needs an art blog:

1.   Traffic to Your Art Website – Many artists have successfully started and maintained art blogs in order to create and generate more interest in their art. And it is through their art blog that they are ultimately able to direct those visitors and readers to their art website.

Successful art blogs will contain art related articles and posts, have guest art bloggers provide art related content, have experts contribute articles about specialties in the art field, allow and encourage comments from visitors and have art related links and websites that may be interesting to their blog readers.

A good and effective art blog will be a destination and a source to many, that will answer art questions, provide related news about art and be able to inform and teach a reader with new and timely information on art related subjects.

If an art blog is not providing the kind of information described above, then the art blog will probably not generate much traffic and will become an exercise in wasting time for the artist/blogger. Just as a press release is not a commercial but rather it is “news”, a blog should be a source of information to its readers, not a “look at me, buy my art” type publication.

2.   Marketing Your Art – Through an effective and well-written art blog, artists are able to create an atmosphere, whereby their readers feel like they are “insiders” and that they are receiving exclusive information, just for them! To create this tone, an artist can show how their art is created, demonstrate how they conceptualize their subject matter, display technical methods when creating their art etc. Overall, the artist, through their art blog can demonstrate their expertise and mastery in their profession. This can be shown through posts, articles, videos, and podcasts all presented or embedded within the blog.

An art blog is a subtle and low-key way of pointing your visitors to your art website for further information on your art! Artists should encourage visitors to subscribe to their email list and RSS Feed for use in the future for additional announcements, event notices and information too.

3.   Branding Yourself as an Expert – Through an art blog, over a period of time, you are able to show and demonstrate who you are as an artist and as a person. Through the art blog, you are setting forth and demonstrating that you are an expert, that you are well connected professionally and that you are a successful artist.

One of the more successful artist/bloggers in the business is Lori McNee, an artist from Idaho. Lori started her art blog “Fine Art Tips” 3 years ago as a way to give back to the art community. As Lori explains, “as a working artist, blogging was the perfect opportunity for me to share my artistic knowledge, and my art. Little did I know how many wonderful opportunities I would quickly gain from blogging. Lori continues with her thoughts on blogging, “I have discovered the benefits of social media, and how to use this free marketing medium to drive traffic back to my website and blog. From my blog and social networking, I have made many real connections, like my friendship with John R. Math, and many others. I have overcome my fear of public speaking, and I now even get paid to give webinars and keynote addresses. Blogging has been a relatively free branding and marketing tool for me. My paintings have steadily sold during this challenging economy, and I have expanded my gallery representation too.”

Through her blog, she has been published in the Artist’s Magazine, Southwest Art, and Plein Air Magazine. Also, Lori was featured in the Huffington Post, which named her a "Twitter Powerhouse". Lori states, “because of my blogging, I now write for books including Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips and Tricks for Small Businesses, the 2012 and 2013 Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market, and the Photographer’s Market – all because of blogging!”

Finally, Lori says, “I mention all of this not to be boastful, but rather to be inspirational. As the art market continues to grow more competitive, it is important for artists to take charge of their art careers. Blogging is the perfect opportunity to bring the world to your art – without a blog, you are invisible. Yes, you might have a Facebook account. But, it is risky business to solely rely on third-party social networks for your exposure. The benefits of blogging cannot be ignored.”

Lori McNee demonstrates the power and benefits of blogging, as it has provided her with more exposure, opportunities and of course, more sales of her art. Her blog website is http://www.finearttips.com

An art blog is not a commercial “to sell your art” but rather an art blog is a way in which an artist can draw attention and interest to their art. Artists who are unhappy with their marketing efforts should consider starting an art blog to take their art marketing to the next level. As Lori McNee has shown, the benefits to an artist are great, when an artist, commits to starting and maintaining an art blog.  

Another fantastic reference for artists who are planning on launching or upgrading their art blog is the website https://firstsiteguide.com. They can help an artist to establish a successful art blog without wasting time researching, experimenting and implementing blogging strategies.  Here is an infographic created by them with a comparison chart detailing the Top 10 Blogging Platforms

An additional source of information and a great help to an artist for setting up an art blog is the article by Robert Mening titled "How to Create a Blog".  Robert is the Web Developer & Designer behind WebsiteSetup.org.  He offers clear and simple instructions on how anyone can set-up a blog.  Robert has helped more than 25,000 people to set up their own blog or website.

 

10 MORE WAYS TO MARKET YOUR ART BRAND SUCCESSFULLYWe 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.

 

10 WAYS ARTISTS CAN MARKET THEIR BRAND SUCCESSFULLYToday, 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 ideas and ways in which an artist can use to promote, market and brand their art. This 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.    An artist’s website is now a major branding medium. In past years, a website was thought to be something that you did along with your advertising. It now is just as important and has become a major portal and link for the artist and the public. As the lines between TV and Internet become blurred, websites will become an even more important part of an artist’s marketing and branding. www.wordpress.org  www.godaddy.com  www.bluehost.com

2.   Article marketing is a huge source of traffic for an artist’s website and if done consistently well over time will brand the artist as an expert in their field and someone who is generally reliable and trustworthy. There are at least 5 top article sites that provide expert information and source materials to the public. It is up to the artist to take advantage of article sites in order to promote their brand. These articles that are written can also be used in the artist’s website and blog. www.ezinearticles.com  www.comiclesbase.com  www.selfgrowth.com

3.  Slide registries offer artists with free databases to register and upload their artwork. These sites also allow the artists to post their artist statement, resume, email address and a link to their website. An artist should get on as many registries as possible as it not only provides more exposure, but it creates more traffic to their website and creates backlinks to their website as well. The major search engines count backlinks as part of their page ranking process, which is another reason for an artist to get on a lot of registries. www.myartspace.com  www.comistsregister.com  www.bluecanvas.com

4.    Online press releases offer an artist a way in which they can promote their events, openings and other promotions. Most press release websites include links back to the artist’s website, along with a biography section. They also offer guides on how to write and form a press release too. Search engines pick up these press releases very quickly and they become a major source of the artist’s brand. www.prlog.org  www.pressreleasepoint.com  www.dbusinessnews.com

5.   Social networking has now been proven to be an effective means of promoting your brand, building contacts and announcing events. The better-known websites are Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. There are a hundred more and new ones being formed each day. Stick with the largest and the most popular social networking websites that contain your target market. For art and art related issues and themes, Facebook is right now the best for this endeavor. Most of what is being suggested in this article can be promoted on these sites too. www.linkedin.com  www.twitter.com  www.facebook.com

6.    Email marketing is a growing medium that will become more and more important to the artist in promoting their brand. There are websites and programs available online for artist’s to have a third party administer their email campaigns. An artist should continually be soliciting email addresses and making that a major part of their branding process. Artist events, openings, and promotions can be a part of the email campaign. Emailing reprints of press releases is another way an artist can stay engaged with their customers. www.constantcontact.com  www.verticalresponse.com  www.icontact.com

7.    YouTube has become another medium for an artist to present their work and expertise on the Internet. Think of it as a small ad, a visual article or promotional piece. The better and more professional the spot, the more it reinforces the artist’s brand. Also on YouTube, the artist can set up an “Artist YouTube Page”. Which will contain, in one place all of the artist’s videos and or other related videos. Again, they provide for a profile section and links back to the artist’s website and also will be picked up on the major search engines. www.youtube.com  www.vimeo.com  www.video.yahoo.com

8.    Webinars are now a growing field that artists and other professionals can promote their brand and their expertise. It is much like YouTube but is an exclusive format and the artist’s followers are invited to attend this event. Many people charge for this too. I believe that it should be used as a promotional tool, as a means to keep the target market informed and engaged with the artist. www.gotomeeting.com www.web-conferencing-zone.com www.web-conferencing-central.com

9.    Artists can participate in forum discussions and this provides an artist with the opportunity to help their brand while promoting their artwork and their website. It is almost a form of social networking as the artist is coming in contact with similar people, with the same interests. The same common sense rules apply to the forums, as whatever a person writes in a forum will be online forever! www.linkism.com/artist_resources/art-forums  www.big-boards.com/kw/art  www.messages.yahoo.com/yahoo/Entertainment

10.    Viral Magazines are just beginning to come into their own and is a new way for an artist to promote their artwork in a very upscale manner. There are several sites that now provide this low-cost service. Since there is a cost to publishing an online magazine, the artist could pay for this as a promotional tool for their prospects and customers. www.issuu.comwww.openzine.comwww.magcloud.com

 

LINKEDIN LOGOLinkedIn should be a part of every professional artist’s online presence and if you are not yet on LinkedIn, you should be! Here is an overview of the social networking site and how an artist can benefit from using LinkedIn.

First, let us discuss what LinkedIn is and what it isn't. I am sure that when one hears the phrase “social media”, a person then thinks “what do I need with another social media website?” Though LinkedIn is considered “social media” it is not another social media site like Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Think of LinkedIn as an ongoing professional network event. You are there as a participant in order to meet, get to know and hopefully at some point, develop a professional relationship with other people. The thing that I appreciate about LinkedIn is that you will connect with people who you would not be able to meet and establish a relationship with under normal business circumstances, but now, through this unique social media platform, you are now able to make this connection.

LinkedIn is not a site where you share with everyone the general “I had salmon for dinner” or for “I am reading my book at Starbucks right now”. LinkedIn is a professional networking site and it should be kept separate from all personal business. I can personally say that I have met and made contact with other professionals in the art business that I just would not have made in any other fashion. It is an extremely useful tool to use in order to meet new professional contacts and if done correctly, ultimately to get new business.

Overall, the object of LinkedIn is to create and build a professional network of people, contacts, and influencers within your industry. Therefore, it does not make sense just to build a network of anyone, but rather to create a group of people who have a similar interest in what you do, as hopefully, these connections will be able to learn from you, as you will be able to do the same with them.

When you set up your LinkedIn profile, think of it as a visual online advertisement of you as a person and as a professional. Make it good, accurate and interesting, as a lot of people within your industry will see it (there is no restriction on how or who cannot see it). This means that all spelling, punctuation and sentence structure should be correct.

I suggest that you visit other people’s profile pages and in order to see how they have gone about and created their profile pages. When you do this, you will see some profiles that are good, some that are horrible (in that they hardly provide any information about themselves) and some that were started and never completed. There is a negative subliminal message that is given with the incomplete and poorly done profile pages. Make sure that you make your LinkedIn profile page perfect. The LinkedIn platform now allows integration with other social media, blogs, RSS feeds, document sites (Slide Share) and outside portfolios sites. Therefore, there is no reason not to have an interesting profile page for people to discover about you.

LinkedIn allows you to begin creating your profile by downloading your email contacts in order to see which of your contacts are already on the LinkedIn site. This is a logical place in which to begin building your professional network, as you already know these people or have done business with them in the past. Once you are initially connected, you are then able to be introduced to their contacts as well. LinkedIn provides to its members with the information on how and to the degree by which someone is connected to another.

After these connections are made, explore industry related Groups. Join these Groups, see what people are posting and contributing within the Group. Anything that is posted and interesting to you, jump in the conversation, comment and contribute. It is a great way to meet and to follow/connect with other like-minded individuals. The other important aspect about being in a Group is that once you are in a Group, you are then able to say that you are connected with all of the Group’s members and because of this connection, it is an accepted way in which to invite someone into your network (as you are not a stranger to this person due to this Group relationship) and you have something in common with the other person.

A LinkedIn member can post to a wall that encompasses a stream of posts from all of your connections. Therefore, when someone on LinkedIn posts, the post should not be of a personal nature and the post should be interesting and/or helpful to your connections. Always be upbeat and anything of a negative or controversial nature should never be posted.

I also want to mention the Recommendation feature contained LinkedIn. Recommendations add value to your LinkedIn Profile. Recommendations provide a third party endorsement of you as an individual and as a professional. Someone who is contemplating asking you for a connection will be much more inclined to connect with you due to your profile containing recommendations. Also, give recommendations to others that you are able to provide them to, as “turnabout” is fair play. Try to get as many recommendations as you can and if the recommendation is “so-so” you have the ability to decide whether to post that recommendation or not.

There are many other features contained in the LinkedIn site that enhances your ability to connect and increase your sphere of influence. Overall, if used properly, LinkedIn can be extremely helpful to an artist’s career and I strongly suggest that an artist create a free account and begin networking along with other industry professionals to extend their network, influence and most of all, their professional career.  Here is a link to our LinkedIn Profile Page.

 

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