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How Building An Artistic Presence Online Can Lead to Growth
Finding success as an artist is as much about marketing and self-promotion as it is about brush strokes and palettes. You have to be able to convince others that you’re worth watching, and need to work twice as hard to stand out from the crowd.
You can improve your chances of finding success by building a strong online presence to bolster your growth.
A blog or social media profile is a great place to catalog your work, too, and can help convince critics and buyers that your work is authentic and reliable.
However, building an artistic presence online can be tricky — every painter and photographer posts their productions on Instagram. So, you need to learn some basics of digital marketing to ensure that your art catches the eye of your audience.
Networking is essential for all artists. Dali was friends with Duchamp, Andy Warhol collaborated with Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Frida Kahlo was influenced heavily by Georgia O’Keeffe. However, you don’t need to have an A-list circle to network and raise your profile. Simple steps can help you grow your network digitally and lead to growth in your career.
Start networking online by rebranding all of your personal blogs and social pages to reflect your interest in art and the art community. This will clarify your presence for onlookers and add some credibility when you reach out to strangers on the web.
Try to gain some momentum by hosting creative and interesting digital networking events. These events don’t necessarily have to be synchronous, as everyone can collaborate on a project at a different time if it is online. Try to make the event something that folks in your field will be interested in, or host a guest speaker that will catch the eye of folks who have similar interests.
When you first begin to network online, expect to give more than you receive. The web works on reciprocity, and you have to show folks that you are building connections in good faith. Can you share interesting resources? Do you want to spotlight certain followers? Are there opportunities that folks in your network would like to know about? Taking the first step will help people see that you’re genuinely interested in building a digital network and that they can gain something by connecting with you.
Many traditional artists are intimidated by the web and are hesitant to start a blog due to fears about ownership and maintenance. In reality, starting a web-based art blog is an easy and effective way to build your presence and land more real-life sales.
If you haven’t started a website before, you may want to enroll in some web design classes. Web design can be tricky for the uninitiated, but you can stick to the basics by signing up for classes that teach you how to use web hosting programs like WordPress and analytic tools like Google Analytics.
You can make the whole process easier by using content creation tools like Canva, Evernote, and Google Workspace. These tools are largely free and allow you to create web-based content that is customized to suit your personal brand. Just be sure to always attribute art pieces that you show on your site and don’t regurgitate content you find online. Try to be original, as folks want to see your thoughts and opinions before they choose to buy from you.
The web can be a wonderful point of sale for aspiring artists. It can be hard to find serious buyers in the physical world, as your audience is naturally constrained in person. However, when you advertise your wares online — even if it’s to create a passive income — you may find that you have a larger audience than you ever realized.
When trying to sell your art online, consider registering for sites like Arts, Artists, Artwork (AAA), and Art Finder. These sites can amplify your reach and take care of the details surrounding the sale of your artwork.
You can also sell directly through your own blog. Web creation sites like WordPress and Squarespace have templates and point-of-sale software inbuilt. This removes the headache surrounding selling your art online and can help you focus on creating art rather than billing and invoicing.
Social media is a great way to expand your reach and build authentic connections with artists and would-be buyers. However, many artists underutilize their social media presence and are ill-equipped to take advantage of the algorithms that underpin sites like TikTok and Instagram.
Start by registering as a business on Facebook and Instagram. This will give you access to an analytics page, so you can see which posts perform the best. Use these insights to refine future posts and take advantage of trends that you discover. For example, if you discover that your portrait work performs well online, you may want to create more portrait-related posts for your social media page.
Sites like TikTok can also help you connect with new, younger audiences. Creating hot content on TikTok is easy, as TikTok’s Trend Discovery page tells you exactly which sounds and hashtags are performing well at the moment. Create a few posts that align with current trends to raise your artistic profile amongst a younger generation.
At some point, you’ll need to learn a few basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips and tricks. Effective SEO will improve your ranking on Google and will ensure that interested buyers will find your profile before they find the profile of your artistic competitors.
Learning SEO can be intimidating. Unless you have a flair for data analytics, stick to the basics of SEO to get the most bang for your buck. Start by ensuring that your site is indexed and that you’re connected to Google Console. This will give you access to important analytics, so you can see how your web presence is growing.
Do some keyword research before you start typing up a new blog article. This will give you a clear sense of direction when typing up a new post and can help expand your online presence. Avoid the temptation to “keyword stuff” as this will turn real readers away and is ineffective. Instead, focus on providing high-quality, content-rich articles that are loved by readers and perform well on Google.
The web is a wonderful space to build your presence and share your work. Consider enrolling in a web creation class if you’re intimidated by the idea of running your own blog, as this will teach you the basics of content creation and SEO. Remember to make use of your social sites, too, as these can help you network and send more traffic to your website.