It’s no question that growing your audience is one of the keys to making your art business successful.
No brainer, right?
But how to build that fanbase isn’t such an easy one.
It’s really common to turn to social media as the main marketing strategy. I think it’s because social media is something we understand. It looks like marketing. Everyone is doing it. And we know how to use it (at least the general concept).
And, sadly, most of the time that strategy falls far short of expectations. I could go into the reasons why, but that’s another article for another time.
Today I want to talk about what you should be doing instead.
And that is…
Borrowing other peoples’ audiences.
The absolute quickest way to grow a fanbase of people who totally love your art is by getting in front of large groups of people who are likely to love your art, your target market.
Seems obvious. But it’s usually an epiphany moment for people.
Others who have come before you – artists and otherwise – have had the same target market as you.
And they took the time and energy (and probably money too!) to build up a huge collection of people in that target market.
And hooray! You can often convince them to tell that huge audience about your artwork.
This manifests as public relations, collaborations, paid advertising, and the newest craze – influencer marketing, among other things.
I talk about PR (public relations, which is just getting the media to talk about you) a lot because it’s great for audience growth and has the added benefit of a major reputation boost when you tell people who already know about you that you had an article in a publication.
Knowing how to find PR opportunities is such a valuable tool in your art business that I’ve got a free video workshop about it you can watch today if you want.
Collaborations is a term I use to collect all the random types of audience borrowing that don’t usually have a name, like if you partnered with another artist to co-create a painting and then you both told your audiences about it and linked to the other artist’s website.
But you don’t have to collaborate on your art.
Another example would be if you volunteered with a local animal shelter and you both posted on social media about an upcoming volunteer event that you’d be at, tagging each other, and attracting the slew of animal lovers who happen to be your target market.
Paid advertising is pretty obvious. You can do online ads like banners on websites, social media ads, or even pay to be listed in artist databases.
Paid ads can work. But almost always, the people seeing them know that they’ve been paid for so they trust them less. And, of course, you’re also spending money. Which isn’t our favorite thing to do.
And then there’s influencer marketing.
This is the one that the internet is all abuzz over lately. But influencer marketing isn’t a new thing. It’s been around for ages. We used to call it endorsements.
It’s essentially when someone who is well-known, well-liked, and well-trusted agrees to tell the people who know, like, and trust them about you.
An extreme example would be if Beyonce posted a selfie with your art in the background and tagged you with a caption like “The illest art #beyhive”. Whoa! You know you’d see a huge jump in your following. And you’d probably sell a couple pieces that very day.
Influencer marketing is usually less extreme than that, but the results are undeniably awesome.
Since this form of marketing is swiftly becoming very popular, there are a lot of misunderstandings about it, and a lot of artists aren’t sure how to get started in order to take advantage of the opportunity.
And boy do you want to get in on it now.
When Facebook Ads were the rage, you could get new email subscribers for 50 cents a person with a little tweaking. But now it’s often up toward the $2 mark for each new subscriber!
I’m not a betting gal, but I will wager that influencer marketing is going to skyrocket in cost (financially and otherwise) over the next 6 months. It has already started to.
So to clear up the misunderstandings and teach you how to get in on the awesome, I’m doing a workshop on Tuesday all about influencer marketing.
It’s the first Studio Pow Wow I’m hosting and I hope to do a bunch of these this year to help you skyrocket your art career.