It’s not easy for an artist to get their name out there.
The idea of being a marketer often clashes directly with how artists view themselves, and sometimes gets mislabeled as “selling out.”
Despite this trend, being a starving artist is not in your best interest. It will not pay your rent or buy your groceries, and it won’t give you the resources needed to keep making the art you love.
If you want art to be your main source of income, you need to continuously reach new audiences who will consume and appreciate your work.
However, many artists struggle with how to best reach people they’re not already connected with, identifying new circles and breaking into them.
So how do you put together an arts marketing strategy to approach a new audience?
1. Research, research, research
Your strategy should start with talking to your most loyal supporters and finding out why they love your art.
Their feedback will give you a better understanding of what type of people tend to be most interested in your art, allowing you to better identify potential customers going forward.
Reaching out to your existing audience has an ancillary benefit, as well. If your customers see how much you value their input, they will be even more loyal going forward. You may also come up with ideas for new applications of your art that your customers would be willing to pay for.
Tip: You can get feedback from your existing audience and easily track responses by sending a quick online survey.
2. Tap into your existing network
You have a loyal audience that will sing your praises at every chance they get. It’s your job to give them more chances.
As you talk to your existing customers, ask them if they know anyone else who would be interested in your work. They will likely be happy to help, and the word-of-mouth recommendations will give you immediate credibility.
Don’t forget about the power of digital endorsements. Encourage your social media fans and followers to spread the word about your work, as well.
3. Increase your online presence
While many in the arts industry excel at in-person presentations, they often neglect their online presence.
However, it’s not enough to just set yourself up on these platforms. Focus on who it is you want to attract, and then tailor your content to them.
This doesn’t mean changing your identity or your art. Instead, just make sure you are addressing the issues and objections your demographic cares about.
For example, if your goal is to find work writing poems-to-order at company parties, you should begin by putting yourself in the shoes of whoever would hire you — most likely someone in the company’s HR department.
They’re likely to hire someone who is unique, fun, memorable, and easy to book.
They’ll also need a number of questions answered, like: When are you available? How much do you charge? How do they go about booking you?
Address their questions and concerns before they can even bring them up by including the answers throughout your various channels — on your website, blog, social media, or email newsletter.
Ready to make the money your art deserves?
As you start to work through these steps, consider how email marketing can fit into your plan.
Whether you want to survey your existing audience, request referrals, or drive people to your other online platforms, email marketing can help.
Visit our Email Marketing for Arts page to see more examples, tips, and success stories from organizations like yours.
Want to give email marketing a try? You can try Constant Contact free for 60 days.