When you’re fresh out of art school you don’t have a big marketing budget. The good news is that you can promote yourself and your art successfully at very little cost. You just need to put in the time to make it work and start early in your career.
There are two areas that can have a hugely positive impact on your career if managed well: your personal network and your online presence. For starters, having strong personal relationships in the art market will significantly increase your chances of achieving your career goals.
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Secondly, having a professional online presence will not just support your personal (offline) marketing, it can be used as a sales channel in its own right. Let’s look at three online trends that we’ve observed over the last years that visual artists should be aware of.
1 Collectors Continue To Research And Buy Online
The most important trend is of course that art collectors, particularly younger collectors, are increasingly comfortable with buying art online. We don’t see this slowing down in the future. In addition to buying, collectors research everything online before they actually make that purchase.
Online marketing can be time-consuming but it’s worth the time and effort you put into it. By carefully curating your online presence you create a consistent digital footprint that represents you and your work in the best possible way, making it easy for collectors to research your career and appealing to buy your art.
2 It’s Cheaper And Easier To Build Websites
Over the past 5 to 10 years the technology for building websites has improved tremendously. Platforms such as Wordpress allow for incredible customization. The downside is that you have to be somewhat of a tech geek to build and maintain it, or hire someone to do it for you, which can be expensive. Luckily for artists, alternatives exist.
Platforms like squarespace and wix have created beautiful templates with artists in mind. As a result they do a great job of displaying your art in the best possible way. An additional advantage is that they are so easy to set up and maintain that you can do it yourself. This is not only a huge cost saver but it also allows you to update your website immediately with important news. Check this comparison of the different platforms.
3 More Art Sales Platforms Than Ever
Online art sales platforms are continuously improving the collector’s buying experience, resulting in much more traffic. If your gallery has listed some of your works on Artsy, Artnet or FirstDibs, this is a great opportunity to sell more art, or at the least it will create more visibility for you. Saatchi has improved quite a bit over the last years, so it may be worth checking out if you want to sell your art through them (Unlike Artsy, Artnet and FirstDibs you don’t need a gallery to sign up for Saatchi).
Although building a number of different sales channels is a smart thing to do, don’t forget you need to manage them. Make sure that your information across these channels is consistent with what’s on your website and social media profiles. In some cases you’ll have to ask your gallery to do this for you. Lastly, make sure that you keep track of what works you offer through each channel. You don’t want to sell a work twice.