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15 Marketing Tips for Artists

Today's blog post is by guest author Denise Gabbard who is a professional writer who writes about marketing and SEO, social media, and other small business topics, like business reputation management.  Enjoy.

When trying to build a clientele for your artwork, or just trying to get it seen by as many people as possible, there is no one right way to do it. Whether you are an established artist or a novice that is just getting your feet wet, you will want to explore as many different avenues as possible.

Social Media
No one can deny the power of social media. If you are looking to get your art viewed by a large audience, you absolutely should get involved in online networking.

  1. With over 150 million active users in the United States, and 800 million worldwide, chances are you will connect with people through Facebook that are interested in your art. Set up a Facebook page and post pictures of your artwork. This allows you to communicate with your fans and their friends will see them.

  1. Ask opinions on your artwork; take polls, set up contests-- all of these things will increase awareness. Do not forget to post your Facebook address on your business cards and any other business correspondence--even add it to your email signature.

  1. Do not overlook art groups on Facebook, as many people frequent them to check out artist’s wares. There are also sales and yard sales groups that can be surprisingly good places for artists and craftsmen to display and sell their work.

  1. Be sure to have a significant presence on Twitter and link to your portfolio or use TwitPics to add photos to the site. These can be retweeted repeatedly, displaying your work to new people every time.

  1. Pinterest is very well suited to pictures of your artwork, and is now the third largest social media site on the internet, so start Pinning and gain some interest! When someone repins one of your pins, all of their friends will see it.

  1. Put together a slideshow of several of your pieces and upload the video to Youtube and you will have access to a wide audience as well.

Craft Shows
Local craft shows are a great way to showcase and sell your work, and can be a good way to build a strong base of raving fans. The reason these are such great opportunities for artists is that you know that the people coming to the event love arts and crafts-- so you have a targeted audience!

  1. Be sure to have fliers or business cards with your contact information and social media sites on them. Those who may not buy today might enjoy your work enough to look at your online portfolio, or share it with others. Additionally, those that purchase from you can come back for more and tell their friends how to reach you.

  1. Networking with other artists and people in your own community interested in art is another great reason to display your art at these shows, as it can drive more clients in your direction.

In the same way that craft shows are good for your business, so is Etsy! Etsy is a website that allows people to post handmade items, art, and craft items for sale.

  1. Etsy also has a “Shop Local” feature, allowing users to search for items by zip code, which is great for selling within your community.

  1. Utilize Etsy’s blog section to gain more followers, and the event listings to find out what is going on in your local area, both great opportunities for networking with potential customers and other artisans.

Galleries may be an option, especially if there is an “artsy” neighborhood in your area. The best way to get your work shown in galleries is to research the galleries thoroughly and only approach the gallery if your work fits in with the type of art they show. Professionally approach them when you do, and have examples of your work on a computer disk ready to show them.

  1. Galleries are excellent for marketing your work; even if you never sell a piece, art buyers and art lovers see your name in the gallery and remember that.

  1. There are many different types of galleries, so keep trying even if turned down by a few, and do not quit just because you do not make any quick sales; it may take a while. Chances are if the gallery owner thinks your work is good enough to display, it will sell.

  1. Gallery showings are also great networking opportunities, so make a habit of stopping in evenings and weekends.

Word of Mouth
Social media has made word of mouth marketing much easier, but be aware that any negative info can be magnified also.

  1. Your reputation may be the best tool you have available to market and sell your art. If you can keep clientele happy by providing them with quality work, being accessible and meeting deadlines, then chances are you will have happy customers who tell their friends about you.

  1. Keeping past customers happy is vital, as they will return for further pieces if they like your work, as well as let others know where to find artwork when they are looking. Always ask your happy customers for referrals after they buy from you, and

These tips should help you to sell your artwork and find new venues where you can display them and network with art buyers and other artists. Immersing yourself in the art world and displaying your wares in the widest number of places will lead to enhanced sales.

Denise Gabbard has been a Professional SEO and Social Media Marketer and Writer for over eight years. She writes frequently on topics like marketing and SEO, social media, and other topics, like business reputation management, that help small businesses build and maintain a positive online presence. 

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery


  1. great post, will come back to review these, thanks

    1. Good thinking Linda, bookmarking this post might me a really good idea.

  2. lots of good info, thanks for sharing!

  3. All great suggestions,but when would you have time to make any art to sell, haha! I think you have a better idea with the sale you are doing with the other bloggers, great idea there!

  4. You've got a point Tracey. Maybe hiring a marketing director would be the best strategy .


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