Left brained, Right brained. Can you be an artist and a good business person?
I say YES! With some savvy internet maneuvers and some time, you can create your own on-line
starring YOU! Of course the more time you spend maintaining, the larger the audience and presence
you'll create. But it can be done and you can do it.
Here are 10 things you can do now.
Create a website or blog - You don't have to spend a lot to do this, actually you could do it free of charge. There are many programs available online: Blogger and Wordpress are just a couple that offer a blog/ website presence at no charge. There may be a learning curve but stick to your guns and be patient with yourself! TIP: Be sure to add links. This could potentially drive traffic back to you and it's a great resource for your visitors.
Facebook - A Facebook account is free and gives you access to more than one billion people. TIP: Balance personal and business. People want to know that you are a real person and do things, you have a life. But they also want professional content. Steer clear of political commentary.
E-Newsletter - Constant Contact or MailChimp are two great online programs that offer email direct marketing tools and organization. They are free up to a 500 addresses.
Sell product - What?! Yes, that's what I said. Cafepress and Zazzle are online market platforms that allow us to sell our own products without an outpouring of initial capital. Simply upload your image(s) and choose what products you'd like to sell! You even decide your markup. But don't get greedy, what's more exhilarating; to see someone sporting your design on their tote or that extra dollar in the bank?
Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr - Using photo sharing platforms can entice potential collectors to contact you or at least follow your posts. It's a no-brainer, they see it and like it! TIP: Organized images from the start makes it easy to keep up when adding new images. It also makes it easy for visitors to find what they're interested in. If it's difficult to maneuver, you've lost them. People love visual stimulation! This is a great way to stay connected through your photo documentation
Submit to galleries - As a NAA Member, you have the opportunity to showcase in The Norwood Fine Artist's Gallery and Studio at Win Smith Marketplace. But there are also many other galleries looking for new artists. Don't be afraid to submit to them. Always follow their submission process and you'll be fine.
Join local groups - Norwood is fortunate to have many networking opportunities for artists: Friends of Norwood Center, Friends of Visual Arts (FOVA), The Norwood Theater.
Network with other artists - Join Art Associations! Connecting with other artists is one of the most important things you can do as an artist! They have connections and may be able to refer your style or service to others when theirs does not fit. They may share information on shows and events that you are not privy of.
Volunteer - Get involved! Volunteering for artist shows gaurantee a captive audience. The crowd is there to see art and you have their ear. Talk about what you're involved in and listen to what others are interested in. The information could be priceless. This doesn't mean push yourself (and your art) on others but it does mean by having open and honest communication others will remember you.
Online galleries - There are may online galleries geared toward artists. Although I've never joined, I like Daily Paintworks. It allows the opportunity for followers to share your art, email you and purchase. There are many forums out there, look for a good fit for you.
When promoting yourself in any of these ways remember some very important points:
Make a plan. Create a calendar of events. That helps treat social media as business marketing and creates a to do list for you. It's way too easy to get lost in the black hole of social media.
Don't get overwhelmed! Even beginning with one of these options gets you on your way to your web presence.
Ok, so you're not on the internet... yet.
You can still start by writing your bio and artist statement, collect email addresses and write some blog posts (short stories, like a diary) about things you're interested in. It's only a matter of time before you're on! Consider a weekly visit to the library for use of their computer. Get familiar with it and start to investigate some of these online programs.
And don't forget, create more art!