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.

In recent years, artists have been seeking alternative means and low-cost ways in which to present and showcase their artwork. One of the most effective ways to do this is through the internet and one of the most successful ways of doing this is by entering online art competitions/contests.

What is an online art contest and what are the benefits for an artist when entering online art contests? Online art competitions may be organized and operated by “bricks and mortar” art galleries, online art galleries and by other art organizations.  These groups have chosen to promote their art contest, accept entries in to and present the winning artist’s work all online. 

The more traditional way has been to handle entries with paper forms, snail mail and the traditional opening, exhibition and closing at a physical location or art gallery. However, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has seen an exponential rise of online art galleries as artists and arts organizations look for new ways to exhibit art.

Launched in 2010, the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery (LST) was already far ahead of the curve. Having previously hosted over 120 online art competitions and exhibitions by the time the pandemic started, LST and its parent art gallery, Fusion Art, are industry leaders in the hosting of art competitions and contests.

What are the advantages and benefits for artists to enter and compete in an online art competition?  The following are the top benefits for an artist when entering online art contests:

1.  Ease of Entering

Online art competitions make it very easy for an artist to enter and compete.  Art organizations and art galleries that conduct online art competitions and art contests have easy online forms and online upload portals that in many cases an artist can fill out, upload and complete within 5 minutes. 

The more traditional way is for “regular” art galleries to conduct an art contest where they administer and accept entries that are loaded onto a CD, with a paper entry form filled out, a return postage paid envelope included and then the package is mailed to the organizer of the art competition.   Other organizations and art galleries often use a combination of email entries (attach images) and paper entry forms.  Any of these methods can be time-consuming for an artist to complete and may discourage an Artist from competing. 

2.  Results are Published Online

Online art competitions post the results online and are presented to the competing artists, the public, and general Internet traffic.  Many regular art galleries which conduct art competitions have been slow to embrace technology and are still mailing the results to the artists and many cases, they still do not even post the results online.  As a competing artist, whether I got in or not, I was always curious to see what art and which artists won or placed in a competition.  There are still art organizations that are unable to show the results of their art contest unless they have a printed exhibition program (many do not even have this available to competing artists).

3.  Exposure for the Artist

Online art galleries, due to their inherent structures, operating goals and their use of technology,  use the Internet to the artist’s advantage in that their exposure for the artist is far superior to that of a regular art gallery.  Online art galleries, through the use of keywords, PPC, other online marketing and online promotions, winning artists are exposed to a much larger audience then a regular art gallery can ever provide. 

Depending on the online art gallery’s exposure and the traffic to their website, an artist’s artwork can be exposed and presented to thousands of visitors each month. Other than an opening of an art exhibition, traffic and visits to a regular art gallery is usually minimal, thus the overall exposure for the artist is too.

4.  Low Cost of Entering

The cost of entering an online art contest with an online art gallery is a fixed and known cost to the artist.  When competing in a regular art gallery competition there are the entry fees (which are generally higher), any costs for reproduction of the art and finally, any mailing costs will need to be absorbed by the artist.  After that, if the artist is chosen, they will need to pay for the printing, framing, insurance, and packing/shipping to the art gallery. If the art is not sold at the exhibition, then the cost of returning the art back to the artist will be paid for the by the artist as well. 

With expenses and shipping costs going higher each day, entering art competitions (unless they are local to the artist), can be a very expensive proposition for the normal artist.  I believe that an artist should also consider their own time involved with this process as a cost when they determine their overall expense for entering a regular art competition too.

5.  Conclusion

Overall, online art galleries are becoming a viable alternative for artists to compete and to expose their artwork to a larger audience.  More than ever, today, online art galleries are providing low-cost competition and exhibition opportunities for artists that were not available in the past.  Regular art galleries, with their built-in overhead and expenses, just cannot compete with online art galleries when it comes to lower artist entry fees, lower artist exhibition costs and providing more exposure to artists who compete, win and exhibit their artwork.

Artists that regularly compete and exhibit their art should consider the benefits of entering online art competitions.  By competing and exhibiting in this manner, artists have a greater opportunity for exposure, particularly during this unprecedented time.

To see the current competitions accepting entries by the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery, please click HERE. To see the current competitions accepting entries by LST's parent company, Fusion Art, visit the website HERE.

 This article was originally posted in 2011 but has been updated as of February 2021.

 

The New Year is a time for artists to look ahead to how they can grow and advance their art careers. Although 2020 is technically behind us, there are still some challenges to overcome as the world continues to work its way out of a terrible pandemic. This has been enormously difficult for everyone but artists and the arts community has been hit particularly hard. However, with the release of vaccines, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel and it is time for artists to look forward.

At the beginning of every New Year, we post an article with ideas and suggestions for how artists can to make plans for how to kick-start and 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 2021 and improve your chances of success.   

Many of these ideas have been offered up in previous “kick-start” posts but they are elementary and consistently implementing them is not.  They are critical for artists if they are to market themselves and their art successfully.

Evaluate & Update Your Website

While the past year has given some artists the time and opportunity to either create or update their websites, for many it has been difficult to concentrate amid the worry of the ongoing pandemic. However, in today’s art world, particularly with all its changes, 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 to purchase or renew a website domain is typically less than $20. The cost of basic website hosting can be as low as $3-$4 per month. A website is an investment artists need to make a priority in order to be taken seriously.

For those of you who already have websites, if you haven’t reviewed it in a while, now is the time. When was the last time that you went page by page and link by link through it? We all need to do this to 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.

The presentation of your art is as important as creating it. Take some time to review your site and make any necessary changes and corrections. 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 if necessary, as some cameras and lighting do no always capture an artwork’s true colors. There are many free programs on the internet for this.

Also, 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. 

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 and when the images are viewed, viewers will be directed to your art website.

Rewrite/ Update your Artists Bio and Statement

A well-written biography and/or artist statement is also essential for artists and now is the time to review and update them.  An artist does not have to be an accomplished writer to create a well-written biography and artist statement, but it is necessary for an artist to have at least one. It is also important to know the difference between a biography and artist statement as many artists mistake one for the other. 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 it was updated.

Use Social Media

Social media has become a part of our everyday lives and is an important platform for all 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.

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

Read our articles “Top 10 Reasons Why Artists Fail with Social Media”, “Using the 70-20-10 Rule to Succeed at Social Media Marketing” by guest blogger James Baxter, and “How to Write Social Media Posts That Sell Art” by guest blogger Frank Hamilton, along with various other social media articles on the LST website, for further advice and instruction on how best to use social media to grow your audience reach.

Press Release Marketing

Press release marketing is a low-cost way artists can market their artwork to a wider 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.  Also check out our article “5 Ways Artists Can Promote Their Art Online” for more ideas.

Start a Blog

Artists should seriously 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 2021, we hope you will make at least some, if not all, of these suggestions part of your art marketing efforts. By implementing these recommendations, artists can experience increased 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. All artists should view the marketing of their art to be as important as the creation of it and an art-marketing plan needs to be well planned and performed consistently in order to be successful.  Check out our article “5 Tips for Creating an Effective Art Marketing Strategy” by guest blogger Wendy Dessler, for more suggestions.

Good luck and have a creative, successful and prosperous 2021!

 

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.

 

This article was originally posted in 2010 but has been updated and revised as of June 2020.

Steven Covey’s early 1990’s, best-selling book entitled “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” provided a holistic and principled approach to problem-solving, living and adapting to change by seeing opportunities rather than problems.

The book became a huge bestseller and still sells well today, even almost 30 years later. This is because the advice offered in the book still resonates. In that helpful spirit, below we have highlighted seven habits which we believe artists should follow to become highly effective and successful. Although we are detailing only seven habits, the readers of this article may have ideas on other successful “habits” as well.

The seven habits of highly effective and successful artists are:

  1.  Having a passion for your art: First, artists must have a passion for their art and everything that is associated with being an artist. Why is this? It is because there will be problems, barriers, and challenges to being an artist. However, if you are passionate about what you do, these issues will be perceived as detours to success, rather than “problems”.
  2. Being focused on your art: Successful artists will not be distracted from their art and their commitment to achieving their goals. To be successful, most things requires a focus and a “singleness of purpose”. Successful artists have this focus, as their art is a priority in their lives.
  3. Having a vision of your success: Artists who are successful had a vision and saw themselves achieving great things in their chosen profession. Despite any roadblocks, problems or defeats, their vision kept them working towards their goal. Even after artists have achieved their goals, the successful ones will create new goals and new visions to be achieved.
  4. Being persistent in the face of adversity: Most people in the face of adversity quit. People who got past the adversity did so because they persisted on towards their goal. Persistence is the difference between a successful artists and artists who quits. The quitters lose focus and their vision.
  5.  Professionalism in all dealings: Successful artists are professional in all of their dealings with the public, gallery owners, art reps and with suppliers. It is simple, if they were not professional, then they would not be successful for very long.
  6. Ready to maximize opportunities: Successful artists are prepared and ready to maximize and leverage any opportunities that come their way. Whether it is to fill in quickly for another artist at a gallery, give an interview, write an article for a blog or to give a speech to a group, successful artists see that as an opportunity to network, promote and brand their artwork. Unsuccessful artists see those not as opportunities but rather something that interrupts what they were doing! The artist who is engaged and ready to capitalize on opportunities when they come along will be or become successful.
  7. Understanding that art is a business: Successful artists see themselves as business people. They understand that other people, who they are connected to within the art world, are also business people and they conduct themselves in that manner too. Now more than ever in today’s marketplace art is a business. Art is a competitive business and artists must learn how to successfully operate it or they will eventually fail.

There are certainly other habits and traits of successful artists beyond what we have outlined above. However, if artists are talented and apply these 7 habits to their craft, they will be more likely to be successful.

After reading this article, please feel free to share with us any of your habits that you feel have made you more effective and successful in your art and career.

By Isabella Goode, Guest Blogger - Whether you’re on the way to commercial success or simply making art, it’s easy to feel like there’s no time for creating and maintaining a portfolio as a busy photographer. However, take a moment to think about how someone would search for your services, be it for their wedding or a company event.

Perhaps they would talk to a friend, or just ask Google. In any case, they will ultimately want to see a website with information about the photographer that was recommended to them. This namely includes examples of past work, coupled with a list of services and prices.

Not only is your portfolio a showcase of what you offer, but it’s also a foundation for all of your marketing activities. That is to say, you’ll be using it to sell products, book appointments or just as something to bring people back to from other places such as social media.

Put simply, an online portfolio is an absolute essential for career success as a photographer. Not convinced? Here are some more compelling reasons to invest in a website.

Sell Your Work Online

It is no secret that the majority of people prefer to shop online, which remains true for the photography industry. While there are several online platforms dedicated to selling your work, they are severely limited in their functionality. In addition, you probably don’t want to be sitting side-by-side with the competition.

This is one of many cases where a portfolio comes in, which can easily be set up to serve as your own online store.

Showcase Your Abilities

Every project comes with a unique creative direction that has a lasting impact on your vision and style. It shapes the way you work and with it, the culmination of your efforts moving forward. Your portfolio is a showcase of that evolution. It helps potential clients get an idea of how you do things when you have your vision alone to be accountable for.

Done right, your website shows visitors that you have confidence in your work and are willing to present it for all to see. It also shows that you uphold a certain level of commitment that speaks for your independence and level of effort you put in. Without a portfolio, there is no way to really prove this to potential clients.

The same rings true for your individuality. You can tell someone what you do and how you do it, but your unique style is more tangible when seen rather than heard. A portfolio is a perfect way to show the world through your eyes.

Building One is Easy

Thanks to the extensive range of tools available on the internet today, you don’t need any web design or programming experience to build an excellent portfolio. Once you have set yourself up on a website builder like WordPress, it is as simple as choosing a theme and adding your content.

From there, you can obtain additional information on making a well-rounded and unique portfolio through one of the many resources dedicated to the topic. This post with photography portfolio ideas offers an extensive look into how you can build an amazing showcase.

Moreover, Format provides countless templates and tools to help you get your mobile-optimized site off the ground. You can even get an online store set up, as well as a professional domain and email among other benefits. All of this on a single website, which goes to show how well facilitated this process is today.

A Useful Scheduling Tool

As your clientele grows, managing your schedule and staying up-to-date with your calendar can become increasingly challenging. Online scheduling software exists to solve this problem and make life easier by seamlessly scheduling appointments. These kinds of tools can be integrated with your website.

Why would you do this? By connecting scheduling software to your portfolio, clients can book appointments whenever they are ready. This is far more convenient for them, as they don’t have to wait until business hours or your availability for a response. Not only does this save you time, but it also serves as a key advantage to your customer service.

Collect Valuable Information

As part of its marketing benefits, your photography portfolio can serve as an effective way to collect information about customers. For instance, you can request prospect email addresses, which can be used to send promotional content. This helps to increase your engagement, keeping potential clients interested and existing clients coming back.

Social Media Advertising

If you are interested in making an investment in any form of paid online advertising, such as that which takes place on social media, then a website is an absolute must. It serves as the centerpiece for your campaign, driving a select target audience to your website where they can learn more about your services and ultimately become a customer.

Communicate Your Professionalism

When people are looking for a photographer, they are going to want someone that offers a professional service. Chances are that most amateurs in the industry have poorly made portfolios if they even have one to begin with. By putting together a professional-looking portfolio that is well made and informative, you immediately stand out.

Even if you take beautiful pictures, a clunky and outdated website will put people off. However, if both components are in-line with your potential clients’ expectations, they will be far more likely to give you a call. It is important to remember that your portfolio should look just as good as your photos.

Obtain and Showcase Customer Feedback

To this day, client testimonials remain an effective way to prove your credibility and make a more compelling offer. Your portfolio is, of course, the perfect place to showcase all the positive feedback you have received. This will improve the trust that potential clients have in your services, thus increasing their likelihood of becoming a customer.

However, customer feedback isn’t just useful as a marketing tool; it is also highly valuable to you. Regardless of your skills or experience as a photographer, there is always room for improvement and feedback can help reveal where you can do better. Remember that you can also link back to your website on other platforms such as Google My Business and Yelp.

It Grows with Your Needs

No matter where you are in your career, your portfolio will always serve as a valuable tool to meet your needs. Beginners will benefit from the way it signals credibility and increases reach to potential clients. From there, it can take on the role of demonstrating your specialties and the relevance of your work to those who are interested.

Even for globally recognized photographers, their portfolio is still a useful tool. It serves as a powerful calling card for potential business partners as well as being a curated virtual showcase to give other photographers valuable guidance and inspiration. A portfolio is a good way to prepare yourself for future growth and stay on track as you move forward.

The above points make it clear that having a portfolio is key to your success as a photographer, or in any creative industry for that matter. Be sure to invest some time into building a professional website that looks and performs up-to-standard. It may take some effort, but rest assured it’s a worthwhile endeavor that will quickly pay off.

Isabella Goode has written and researched articles for a wide variety of websites, blogs and magazines and has a strong understanding of art, design and a passion for photography.

 

by Frank Hamilton, Guest Blogger - Over the years, the popularity of social media has skyrocketed, and the influence it has on shaping perceptions and habits can no longer be denied.

Social media marketing for artists has become an essential aspect of their online marketing strategy, which they use to reach a wider audience and generate more sales.

In this article, we will be showing you how to write social media posts that will help sell your art.

 

 

1. Use The 3 W’s In Drafting Your Post

You have probably heard that content is king, but content without a substantial purpose is just a waste of time. To create excellent content, you must first ask the following questions:

    1. Why am I creating this content?
    2. What problem will it solve?
    3. Who will it be useful to?

These questions are called the three W’s. Your social posts should have a clear objective, and that objective should be clearly stated. This is because when your intended audience sees the content, it has to be something they will find beneficial.

2. Apply the KISS Principle

Another tip on how to use social media to sell art is to use the KISS principle. KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. Keeping it simple is not all about the post being short. While you may hear people say that the shorter the content, the better, a recent BBC Study debunked this claim as a myth. Instead, we advise that you keep your social post simple to understand.

3. Tell A Story With Your Post

Storytelling is a very effective social media marketing tool for promoting artists and their work. Creating social posts that tell stories is a fun and engaging way to sell artwork. Studies show that storytelling as a marketing tool can boost your post-conversion rate.

Here are some tips in using storytelling in social media marketing for artists:

    1. Tell your target audience the artist’s inspiration behind the artwork.
    2. Describe the theme behind the artwork, what the artist experienced while creating it, and the emotions driving the artwork.
    3. Make use of social constructs, or things your audience are currently talking about and use them to weave a story around your artwork.

4. Use Words that Evoke Emotions in Your Potential Buyers

The best salesmen know that making sales is not only about selling a product; it is about selling a feeling/emotion. This knowledge is even more critical in sales of art. Therefore, when creating social posts to sell your art, infuse strong emotional words in your copy that will resonate with your target buyer.

5. Understand The Difference Between "Active" and "Passive" Voice

In thinking of how to use social media to sell art, you need to think of engagement and nothing is more engaging than using active voice in your social posts. For example, use “Tom painted the entire portrait …” as opposed to “The entire portrait was painted by Tom”.

There are several advantages of using an active voice over a passive voice, and they include:

    1. The ability to use fewer words to convey a message
    2. Makes the text more understandable for people
    3. The sentences become less confusing for audiences who are not native English speakers/readers
    4. Produces a stronger connection to an audience

6. Always Use CTA

If you are new to social media marketing, CTA, which stands for Call To Action is an action trigger that you infuse into your post, which will ask, tell, and remind your readers to take a specific action. For example, for a post with the main focus of selling one of your artworks, your CTA could be “click the link in our bio to purchase this piece.’

7. Make Use Of Hashtags

Using hashtags ensures that your post gets a broader reach. This is vital because when you spend a lot of time creating a post, you want to ensure it reaches a broader audience. Therefore, using hashtags will help give you this result. Think of hashtags as keywords for social media. They help people searching for what you are offering to find you easily.

A few tips on using hashtags:

    1. Use brand hashtags to increase your brand recognition and visibility
    2. Make use of hashtags that are relevant to your artwork, brand, and the story behind the artwork
    3. If you are just starting on a social media platform, choose hashtags with profile use from 15k - 50k; this will give you wider visibility as opposed to using hashtags with 3 million profile uses.

Conclusion

Implementing these few tips in your next social post should give you your desired result of reach, engagement, and sales conversion on your artwork. However, if you need assistance there are several websites such as Online Writers Rating, which provide custom writing services. These types of sites are perfect for finding professionals who have experience in writing social media posts that sell.

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.

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!

 

by Bridgette Hernandez, Guest Blogger -  Every independent artist needs to be entrepreneurial. If you want to sell your art and become a professional artist, you have to learn how to think like a business person. That means you need to be an artist when creating and be an entrepreneur when selling.

If you're not sure how to advertise and sell your art, just keep reading. Here are 5 helpful business tips that every independent artist needs to follow.

1. Create a Brand

You are your own advertiser and you need to become a brand.  Creating a brand out of your art and yourself is a must if you want to start making money and selling your art. To become a brand, you need to:

      • design a logo
      • create a website
      • create profiles on a couple of major social media platforms
      • have a stunning portfolio

You need to make sure you look like a professional, and potential clients can find you easily. This way, you'll be advertising your brand the right way.

 

2. Charge Like a Professional

The prices of your artwork should not be randomly chosen by the way you feel at a certain moment. You need to be very precise and responsible when it comes to charging your clients.

This means that you need to:

      • research to see how much your competitors are charging
      • explain why one piece of art costs more than the other
      • charge consistently for similar works of art
      • if prices go up in art supplies or similar resources, you need to charge more

Stay informed and ask around a lot. This will help you charge exactly what you’ve earned and still keep your clients happy.

 

3. Understand Your Audience

Although it's hard for some artists to create with specific goals in mind, you need to understand you can't create without a plan or a goal. If you create only when you’re inspired, or only the things you personally prefer, you might lose your audience.

This means that you need to understand the following:

      • what your audience likes the most
      • what they expect from you
      • what type of artwork is currently selling best

By knowing the answers to these questions, you’re being entrepreneurial and smart. Now you can create the type of art that is currently in demand and sell it without any problems.

 

4. Get Legal Advice

Apart from knowing how to properly advertise and sell your art, you need to learn how to protect it as well. You have to ensure you know your rights. Also, you must find a way to have your clients respect those rights.

So, you could ask for legal advice about things such as:

      • signing sales contracts
      • protecting your copyrights
      • respecting your legal obligations such as paying taxes
      • commissions

If you want to succeed as an independent artist, you need to keep things legally in order.

 

5. Work Hard

Finally, there’s one more thing you need to keep in mind, on your way to becoming a successful independent artist. You have to put in the hard work and never stop creating.

But, forget the idea of the inspired artist sitting on a hill and looking at the horizon. Hard work as an independent artist includes:

      • creating a schedule and sticking to it
      • creating art daily
      • checking and responding to emails
      • running social media pages and profiles
      • sending out messages, invitations, and sample work

It’s a job like any other, so it’s best that you start acting like that as soon as possible.

 

Final Thoughts

Being an independent artist means you have to be your own manager, advertiser, and salesperson. It may sound hard or impossible at first, but with the right mindset, you can do it.

Follow the business tips above to ensure you know what you’re doing and start working on your career as an independent artist today.

 

Bridgette Hernandez is an independent freelance writer and blogger building her career. She has a Master’s in Anthropology and enjoys combining her knowledge of human behaviors and traditions, with her experience in marketing to provide readers with insights into their customers. She works as a writer for Trust My Paper and Supreme Dissertations, and is currently working on her first book.

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 Rodney Laws, Guest Blogger - Global e-retail sales totalled $2.8 trillion in 2018, with most of that money spent via online stores. The economics behind online selling is so powerful that even industries that have traditionally made most of their sales face-to-face via physical stores cannot afford to ignore the appeal.

Although many artists make a living from selling their work in galleries, there are so many benefits to selling art online that make opening an online store a serious consideration.

From being less expensive than selling your artwork in a gallery to providing a place for you to exhibit every piece of art you make, read on for three powerful reasons why you should sell your art online.

1. It is less expensive to sell your art online than in a gallery

It is really simple – the purpose of an online store is to sell things (the hint is in the name), so the most obvious way artists can benefit from opening one is to sell their art. But it is not just that an online store makes it easier to sell, it is also less expensive than selling your artwork in a gallery.

Although “bricks and mortar” galleries always have and will serve an important purpose in the art market, they charge a commission for letting you sell your art in their premises. This is even true of places like cafes, restaurants, bars, and pubs. You may also need to pay a rental fee to secure a residency. This is not the case for artists who well their work via their online stores.

The only fee you need to sell your art on an online store is a monthly subscription fee. WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify are all popular store builders and how much you pay depends on which provider you choose. For instance, if you create an online store with Shopify, you will pay a flat monthly fee of $29. This means that instead of paying a commission to a gallery, you can make one payment a month and keep all the proceeds from your sales.

2. It is easier for people to find & buy your artwork when it is online

One of the major upsides of selling your art in a gallery is that you can lean on its reputation and location to increase the chances of people buying it. But the downside of using a gallery is that people have to travel to it to buy your artwork. Selling your artwork online makes it easier for people, worldwide, to find it and buy it.

Online stores are designed to make it simple for people to find them. How? By being made with an eye on keeping Google and the other search engines happy.

Online stores do this by coming with their own hosting services, ensuring the site runs faster and increasing the chances of it ranking well on Google.

They also come with built-in SEO optimization features. What does this mean? That your online store will give you a preview of how all the pages for selling your artwork appear in search results. This allows you to make sure that all the information is correctly displayed, making it easier for Google to put your artwork in the correct search results and simpler for your customers to find it.

You can take this a step further by adding an SEO plugin or app to your online store. One of the best you can opt for is Yoast. This is perfect for artists because it gives you the ability to optimize your images (among many other facets of your online store). This will improve the chances of your art ranking well in search engines and being found by potential customers.

3. You can exhibit & market every single piece of art you make

While the main reason for you to open an online store is to sell your artwork, that’s far from the only benefit you get. By launching an online store you are able to exhibit and market every piece of art that you make.

One of the brilliant features of an online store is that they often come with in-built marketing facilities. Once you have added pages to exhibit each of your art pieces, you can create a marketing campaign to let people know about them. Some of the built-in marketing features you can expect from your online store include:

 

  • Facebook ads to build your audience
  • Facebook ads to retarget your existing customers
  • Email marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • Snapchat story ads
  • Google Smart Shopping campaigns
  • Microsoft Shopping campaigns

While the use of these features is free, you will need to pay for your ad campaigns. However, you can often increase your budget gradually so you do not need to pay more than you can afford.

Your online store will also come with a range of free apps or plugins that you can download. These give you an even greater range of marketing options, allowing you to reach more people and to do so in the ways that are most likely to catch their attention.

One great example of a plugin you can add to your online store to help your marketing efforts is Mailchimp. It is renowned as the finest email-marketing tool on the market and the free version comes with a huge range of features you can experiment using without any investment.

While I have picked three of the most powerful benefits that artists can get from opening an online store, they are far from the only ones.

There is also the fact you can use customer data to create more engaging artwork, and that they are more environmentally friendly than a “bricks and mortar” gallery.

However, that does not mean you should take everything to do with your art online. You can connect with fans of your work by using in-person experiences, such as participating in art competitions and exhibitions (both online and offline), placing an advert at an art market and opening-up your studio to the public.

Recommended reading: 10 of the Best Sales Tips for Successful Artists

Also, check out this great YouTube video for some tips on how you can build an online store and then start to reap the benefits of selling on yours.

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 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.

Every month the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery sends out hundreds of press releases promoting the Gallery’s monthly themed exhibition winners and Solo Art Series winning artists. In addition to in-house resources, the Gallery utilizes both external promotion partners and professional press release services.

However, artists can always benefit from additional publicity and should promote their art career and exhibition success, at every opportunity, by conducting a public relations (PR) campaign for their art.

Artists can do this for any newsworthy art related event. Please see our previous post 10 Events for Artists to Send Out Press Releases for guidance on what would be considered a "newsworthy" art related event.

One of the easiest and most economical ways for an artist to promote their newsworthy art related event is by publishing their own digital press releases.

Below, are 6 benefits of publishing press releases for any artist:

 

1. Instant Exposure for Your Art and/or Newsworthy Art Related Event

Once a press release is made live, it should be searchable on the internet.  With proper keywords, title tags and meta-descriptions, the press release can be found immediately and easily.

2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Benefits

Press releases should contain keywords related to the subject matter of your press release.  Make sure that any tags point to your subject as well. The subject’s relevant keywords and tags will make your press release article searchable.

3. Press Releases Create Backlinks and Increase Traffic to Your Art Website

Well-written, strategically placed press releases create backlinks and can increase traffic to the artist’s website.  The number of backlinks increase the artist’s page rank with major search engines.

4. Press Releases are Industry Specific with Location Targeting

Most press release distribution sites are set up based on industry types (such as Arts & Entertainment) and geographic locations.  This unique targeting improves the chances that the message will be read by the artist’s particular target audience.

5. Press Releases are distributed to Art Related Blogs and Art News Sites

Press releases also are distributed and read by art blogs and art news websites.  This form of distribution will increase the artist’s overall reach and may potentially open up opportunities for additional exposure for the artist.

6. Press Releases Can Provide Worldwide Reach

Depending on the service and its target audience, press releases provide an artist with worldwide reach and exposure.     

 

Artists who are interested in having an effective marketing campaign should consider adding press releases to their promotions and marketing mix.  An effective public relations campaign does not have to be an expensive or time-consuming venture. There are both free and low-cost PR distribution companies on the internet.

For free press release distribution, we recommend PRLog.  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. One of the companies LST uses is Star One Public Relations, which offers press release distribution services for as low as $10.00 for distribution to 70+ press outlets.  Star One also offers special targeted distribution for $30.

In early November look for a new post "5 Tips for Creating an Effective Art Marketing Strategy" by Guest Blogger, Wendy Dessler.

In The Four Agreements, the bestselling book written by Don Miguel Ruiz, he reveals the ideals and tenets of the ancient Toltec wisdom and teachings.

The ancient Toltec people were located in Southern Mexico and they viewed science and spirit as part of the same entity.  Their belief was that all energy, material or ethereal, was derived from and governed by the universe. The Toltec teachings were the basis of a way of life and a code of conduct for everyone to follow.

As artists, we can learn much from these Toltec traditions and apply Ruiz’s The Four Agreements to our art businesses.  The Four Agreements are in Bold and are Ruiz’s statements, followed by how artists can incorporate these teachings into their art business.

1.   “Be Impeccable with Your Word” – In all of your art business dealings say what you mean and mean what you say, as the truth will always prevail. This also holds true when you speak about yourself.  We are our own worst critics and we can be brutal with ourselves.  If we are not positive with ourselves how can we ever achieve anything worthwhile? 

Listen to the “voice” and when it wants to take you down the wrong path or that voice wants you to feel bad about your art, gently correct the voice with your word and your truth that you are a good person, you are successful and that you are a talented artist.

2.  “Don’t Take Anything Personally” – When we don’t get that important art exhibition, when we don’t make that certain sale or when we do not receive the recognition that we think we deserve, we take it personally. In those times, our voice begins to tell us all of the reasons why we don’t deserve to get what we want. In reality, those decisions and actions by others, that did not go your way, we're not about you. 

Those actions were about them and their reality (whatever that was) and not about you.  Once we realize that the opinions and actions of others have no importance to our true selves, we then will not needlessly suffer anymore.  This realization then brings us back to our art and our creativity and the fact that we do not have to please others, only ourselves. This is a liberating experience and one that ends up being extremely good for our art!

3. “Don’t Make Assumptions” – When we get into a disagreement or misunderstanding with someone, we are making assumptions about what that person means, based on our beliefs and our experiences. During these times it is important to ask enough questions of the other person in order to clarify the true meaning of what they are trying to convey to you. It is communicating as clearly as possible, not only to understand that person but also to avoid future misunderstandings as well. 

In addition, we also need to express our feelings, wants and needs of the other person, otherwise, both people will be making assumptions about the other and that will eventually lead to problems.  An artist who does not assume what the other person means or wants should do well in their art business dealings, or at least, they should not have any misunderstandings, angry disagreements, and drama if communications were handled in this manner. 

4.  “Always Do Your Best” – Everyday we try to do our best in all our endeavors but, depending on circumstances, how we feel at the time and other influencers in our lives, our definition of doing our best will vary from day today. Because of the changes to our definition of the “best”, we then judge the past or project ourselves into the future.  By just doing our best, regrets about the past and anxiety about the future are dissolved.

Just being the best artist we can be at that time, is all that we need to be. By accepting our definition of the best self-abuse and unhappiness disappears if we just do our best in each circumstance. 

These Toltec statements and truths expressed by Ruiz are good for artists, for anyone in any business and in our personal lives too.  We will be better artists and better people if we followed The Four Agreements in our daily lives, to the best of our abilities.    

 

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