By guest writer Naomi Johnson
If you’re an artist wanting to make a living from your passion, you need to get as many eyes on
your creations as you can so you can start generating revenue. Luckily, there are plenty of
opportunities both online and in real life to showcase your talent. So let’s look at four ways
to get your projects out there for the world to see!
1. Starting a Business
If you’re ready to make a living as an artist, it’s important to set yourself up as a professional with a legitimate business. Use this start a business guide. Write down your business plan, do some market research by looking at what other creatives are doing and how they’re marketing themselves, figure out what kind of funding you’ll need to get started, and decide on a business structure to determine your tax liabilities and how your business will be run and managed. Pick a name for your business, and design a logo that you can use on your website, emails, invoices, and social media accounts to keep your look cohesive: if money is tight, you can design a great logo online for free that will help you build your brand.
2. Finding Networking Opportunities
Spend time in your art community, attend gallery events and workshops, and support fellow artists showcasing their projects around town. Exchange business cards with others, and be ready to talk about your creations in a way that makes people want to discover more. Don’t try too hard to sell yourself; strive to establish genuine connections instead. If you’ve lost touch with old uni mates perhaps reach out to your University Alumni team and see if they can help or check their social channels. You’ll be surprised how big (and friendly) the Alumni community is!
3. Showcasing Your Work
Build a professional website and take high-quality photos of your creations that you can then display online. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune – there are plenty of free website plans or even blog sites to use if you’re just looking to get something up online quickly. If you’re on social media, create content that gives your audience a sneak peek into what you do, and engage them with great posts and inspirational messages they’ll want to share with others. Find ways to connect on an emotional level with your audience, and create a dialogue rather than a one-way sales pitch for your art. And when it comes to meeting potential clients in real life, rent a booth or a table at your local arts and crafts fair to display your creations, and don’t forget to have a stack of business cards or flyers handy so that people not quite ready to purchase yet will be able to contact you later and visit your website to see all your offerings.
Creating a website, building your online presence and connecting with people face-to-face are essential steps to marketing your work, but entering competitions and finding exhibition opportunities is equally as important. It can be a quick way to exhibit amongst your peers, get crucial feedback and more importantly be seen by those with the right connections.
4. Using Hashtags
Make hashtags part of your marketing strategy to get your art noticed. There are websites designed to help you find the right ones, featuring search tools so you can customize your search and look for hashtags that pertain to your particular art style or medium. Find out which hashtags are trending, and jump into the conversation to broaden your reach and get more engagement. Try using your hashtags within a sentence for better reading flow. And if you want to create your own hashtag, make sure it is easy to read and spell, and make it even more memorable by complementing it with an image of your art or a video showcasing what you do. But make sure to cater for the platform you want to use them on – one size doesn’t fit all. See these tips for using hashtags on Twitter.
Artists and creatives have many opportunities to display their talent both online and offline. So start by establishing yourself as a professional by launching your own business and brand. Then, network and make yourself known in your community – and beyond!
Further reading: Marketing yourself right – 5 tips for artists