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5 Tips for Using Social Media to Market Your Art Business

10 Oct 2012

We all enjoy using Facebook to stay connected to our friends and family, and Pinterest is a lot of fun for collecting and sharing ideas, but have you thought about how you can utilize these social media tools as part of your overall art business marketing efforts for your art career and to sell art online? A recent study shows that 81% of business owners using social media have seen an increase in business. By understanding these tools better, you can develop a streamlined, efficient social media strategy that will up your art business sales.

Made In Poland by Jane Freeman, 29 x 21, watercolor painting.
Made In Poland by Jane Freeman, 29 x 21, watercolor painting.
1. Let people get to know you. As you probably know by now, collectors usually make buying decisions based on more than just the work of art—they want to know and like the artist, too. Having your own website that includes your bio is a great start, but you can use social media tools to give potential buyers more and frequent glimpses into your personality and lifestyle. For instance, nature painter Jane Freeman's daily meditative Facebook posts on her environment reveal her love of nature and her poetic outlook, which supports her artwork. Similarly, your professional pages on Facebook and LinkedIn with frequent posts about your artistic activities will let people get to know you. And don't forget Pinterest, another way to show your followers more of your style. With about 900 million people using Facebook, 161 million members using LinkedIn, and nearly 19 million people using Pinterest, plenty of would-be art collectors will have a better chance of getting to know you through social media.

2. Celebrate your successes. Another great thing about social media venues like Facebook and LinkedIn is its immediacy, making it the perfect means of building your credibility by announcing big accomplishments like awards, commissions, and media coverage right when they happen. You might be uncomfortable with the idea of "bragging," so find creative ways to work around that. When Silvano Raiti wanted to announce a recent award, for instance, he used a Facebook post to thank the judge for the honor. It was subtle, but you can believe potential buyers were excited to know that the painting is also a gold medalist, which makes the work more valuable.

3. Market your artwork. Of course, new works should be added to your website as you complete them, but don't miss any opportunity to "push" your latest works out to potential buyers with Facebook or LinkedIn posts or by adding them to your Pinterest board. You never know who may be looking at your pages for fine art since the vast majority of social media users are silent observers, or spectators, as they've been dubbed by Groundswell authors Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. Countless artists are reporting that these spectators often turn into buyers. Even better, the more you can demonstrate a consistent record of selling artwork on your own, the more likely you'll be to land gallery representation.

Chuck Marshall teaching a painting workshop.
Chuck Marshall teaches a painting workshop.
4. Market your other services. Hardly any professional artist has the luxury of making a living solely from the sale of their creations. Almost everyone supplements their income by providing other services to fellow artists, such as teaching, workshop teaching, critiquing, and coaching. Although you'll be marketing these other services to a different audience than your artwork, you can still use social media tools to do the job—at no cost to you. Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more are filled with artists communicating with one another, individually and in group forums. Once you get involved in these venues, you can start promoting your services, just like artist Chuck Marshall. Chuck is an active Facebook user with more than 4,200 friends, and he says his workshop teaching business has exploded since he joined Facebook four years ago.

5. Find inspiration in others. Swapping stories, sharing trade secrets, enjoying others' works, and rediscovering your motivation when it flags are all benefits you'll enjoy from engaging in social media tools like Facebook, Pinterest, or DeviantArt. But these go beyond mere personal enrichment. With inspiration and knowledge, you can continuously create the best works you can, which will inevitably lead to more sales at higher prices. So social media is not just for fun—it's smart art business, too.

Of course, these are just some of the many social media tools and uses that are out there. What have you been using, and why? I'd love to hear your success stories!

--Jennifer

 


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Comments

on 14 Oct 2012 2:03 AM

How about an the topic of how or when to report infomation related to taxes and other leagal issues or requierments?

on 14 Oct 2012 6:37 AM

Those are good tips. In my own experience I have been "lazy" to promote my art using the social media, I have been focusing only on my website to sell, but I think it is a must to develop a strong social network to support and get customers. It is not easy and requires a lot of time, but finally I surrendered :-) we definitely need to break our stereotypes and use Facebook to promote our art.

Jane Freeman wrote
on 2 Mar 2014 5:19 PM

Belonging to Facebook can take a lot of time but I believe it is well worth the effort. I have had to be careful about joining forums and sites other than my own blogs because it is time consuming and one can easily waste valuable painting time. It is always a struggle. I am glad I have learned how to manage Facebook because it has allowed me to converse with other artists and I have actually become friends with many of them. This was totally unexpected! I love that part and it helps me have a social life of sorts. As an artist we spend so much time in our studio we do not have time to nurture friendships but I can go to Facebook while a wash is drying and check in. I believe Facebook has taken the place of blogs and am considering giving up several of my blogs for this reason. Facebook connects us with people who are like us and can motivate us to reach higher. That is exciting and necessary for us as artists. I highly recommend moving into this arena!