Lori McNee is an internationally recognized professional artist/blogger on her blog, http://finearttips.com about art tips and social media advice. Lori ranks as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter & was named a Twitter Powerhouse and featured in The Huffington Post.
During this challenging marketplace a lot of artists are cutting back on their art marketing budgets. Even so, now is the time to take full advantage of the free marketing opportunities and creative ways of promoting your art business online.
By creative, I mean free! Yes, there are many ways in which you can promote yourself and your art business for free and nowadays, as an artist, it’s more important than ever to leverage your expertise.
Although the following methods are free, they will cost you a bit of time. However, if these approaches are taken seriously, they can be fun and exciting and will pay off in the end.
1. Start a Blog:
There are many benefits to you as an artist to start a blog. It’s a great way to promote your personal brand, to sell your art and to offer customer service. There is no better place to connect with a potential customer then on your blog.
Many of you might already have a website with information about your art, pricing information, contact information and maybe a cool video or two. But most likely, no one is visiting your website simply because they don’t know it exists! The easiest way for people to discover your website is to start a blog.
Write about things artists care about or what someone in need of an artist would search for in Google. The key is to make your blog about them, not you.
2. Join a Social Media Network:
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are the fastest ways to build brand recognition for you and your art business. A strong brand is invaluable and serves to communicate credibility to your prospective customers, peers and business associates.
Let me assure you, social media is not a fad. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. Social media is changing the rules of the marketplace.
Being an artist is a solitary occupation, but with social networking, you are not alone! Get instant feedback on your latest painting, drive thousands of visitors to your blog, ask for a critique on your art, gain inspiration, or try selling a painting off of Facebook. The opportunities are virtually endless.
3. Create Your Own Videos:
Did you know YouTube ranks #2 for search engines right after Google? Videos are another great way of sharing online content. You don’t have to be the next James Cameron to create an entertaining video that generates many views and increases traffic to your blog or website.
Videos are also a nice break from the usual blog post. It’s easy to upload your video to YouTube and then embed it on your website. Your site will benefit from all the traffic YouTube already gets.
Make videos that are geared toward your audience. For example, if you’re a watercolor painter, show others how to master a particular technique. For some inspiration on using videos on your website, take a look at my video page and for some extra tips on creating good art videos see How Artists Can Use YouTube Video to Improve Marketing.
4. Guest Post on Other Blogs:
Guest posting for other blogs is not only a great way to get more traffic to your own website, but it also another way to introduce your artwork to new readers. Find other artists with blogs, and ask if you can write a guest post for them. Offer to share an inspiring story, a how-to demonstration or a helpful art tip.
Your guest post will include a brief description of who you are and a link back to your website or blog. Most blog owners are happy to take guest posts because it increases the value of their blog. And by doing so, you’ll drive traffic back to your site where it can eventually lead to sales. This also adds to your credibility as an artist and an expert in your field. To get started, you can submit a guest article to my blog, FineArtTips.com.
5. Join and Participate on Online Forums:
Join your favorite art-related forums and become an active member of their online community. There are tons of forums and Q&A sites. You just have to find the ones that line up with your expertise. This is another great way to prove yourself as an expert, and once again drive traffic back to your website. People are always looking for answers online, why not let it be you they trust?
6. Publish Free eBooks:
Why not use your knowledge to publish free eBooks on topics of interest to artists and aspiring artists? This is another great marketing opportunity. By making your eBooks available for free, you exponentially increase the number of people that will read them…free eBooks spread like wildfire online.
Keep in mind; your goal here is to build awareness of your art and your art business, not to make a few bucks. Make sure to include your business logo and information in the eBook to remind people where it came from.
7. Submit Your Blog Posts to Article Directories:
Article directories are websites that allow people to submit their articles based on a specific niche for free. Just like the other methods explained above, submitting your post to article directories increases your credibility as an expert in the art community, and in turn will drive customers back to your website. Squidoo, eHow and Ezine Articles are some of the largest, and most respected online article directories.
8. Make Comments on Other Art Blogs:
Commenting on other blogs within your own art niche or even blogs you enjoy is another great way to build a network. Again, this will lead to more traffic on your own blog. When you make a comment on another blog, most likely you will get a reply and eventually these grateful bloggers will visit your site and comment.
Follow the top blogs and just make sure to leave an interesting comment that is worth reading and debating. Most often, you can add links to your own site within the comment. One idea is to link back to a relevant post on your blog. This will help capture the attention of other readers as well.