How to market
yourself and gain
- by Always Art Staff
Getting publicity for your work and name is one of the most important steps for emerging artists. It can be challenging at first, but it is not impossible as long as you keep producing good work and consistently work to improve your skills. There various methods you can employ when looking to gain exposure and market yourself. Here are our four main suggestions.
Having an online presence is mandatory as it is one of the best, most cost-effective, and convenient methods to show the world your work. Creating your website gives you credibility and reliability as an artist. It is also completely within your control, so you can maintain it as a stable record and account of your career. Apps like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, TikTok, ebb and flow in popularity, so it is important to have a website that serves as an ongoing archive that you own.
You do not need to have outstanding computer science skills to build one, as there are many platforms that allow you to build a website with few computer skills, and they even include specific templates for artists. Use your website to share your portfolio, sell merch, host your artist statement, your story, the projects that you have been involved with, and your upcoming calendar. Be sure to keep it up to date and make it visually appealing, as it is a public and an official representation of you.
Some platforms that make it easy to create a website, include:
2. Social media
Never underestimate the power of social media when you are trying to gain exposure. The best platform on which you should invest your time and effort is Instagram. Try to learn the algorithm and tips for better results. For instance, find the days and times when you followers engage most often.
Your Instagram page will also be your supplemental portfolio, so post frequently, as it shows how serious you are about your work. Make sure you post quality content and that you have a consistent theme and feel. A well curated feed says a lot about you and is more likely to engage viewers.
Don’t forget to create video content, as reels can help you reach new audiences. It is your decision to choose organic growth or pay for ads to boost your account, but it does not hurt to run ads (which will be an expense). It is a competitive environment, so you need to stand out—keep trying until you find what works. Do not expect fast results, it will take time to build your community.
Make sure to create accounts on other social media platforms as well; you can cross post if you cannot manage the work required to create unique content for each channel. The important thing is to get your name and work out there and to help people find you.
Make sure to keep your professional social channels focused on professional content. It is acceptable to share a little about yourself, but avoid controversial stances that are not related to your art. Save that for your private channels.
3. Artist communities
Building a support network is critical and artist communities are a great way to network with other artists and learn from their experience. You can exchange ideas, strategies, news, and potentially jobs or shows. It will also help you learn how some other artists manage marketing and see if their methods could work for you. You can support each other by organizing group shows, giving shoutouts on social media, and in sharing connections. Additionally, it can save you a lot of time and effort by learning from others’ past mistakes and successes.
4. Gallery events, exhibitions, and fairs
We cannot stress enough the importance of networking in the art industry. Having an online presence is great, but it is not enough, you have to put yourself out there and meet people. Start by attending shows and events near you; it will teach you about other areas of the art world, including how pricing works, new techniques, what people like, etc.
Spend time in the places and circles where you want your art shown and be present and engaging. You do not come off as needy or arrogant, instead, have fun, be friendly, and show that you are there for your love of art and meeting people.
It may take multiple visits and events to engage with interesting people and make connections, but you will be learning along the way. Be smart about how you can build relationships; exchange contact information and try to connect after the events. It is better to engage by bringing value than by asking for favors.