99 Ways to Market Your Art

99 Ways to Market Your Art

Reader Comments (73)

  1. Leanne this is an incredible list of ideas. I hope it get shared around as much as it deserves. Really like the format of breaking the list down into sub-headings while still continuing the numbering – never thought of that.

    Thanks again.


  2. Thanks, Ramsay! Yes, it was a big piece to write – the format was just as much to keep me organized as it was to help the readers. 😉

    Glad you enjoyed – share away! Every bit helps.

  3. Leanne,

    Thanks for this well-written article full of good tips. This article really spoke to me. I love writing but I do not enjoy the marketing. I know it is essential though. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Ken – I really hope it helps you. Many people don’t enjoy the marketing. But you’re right, it is necessary and there are ways we can make things easier on ourselves.

  4. Leanne,

    That’s one heck of a post, and so packed with information! I’m “Holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony and christening the new wheels” right now. I’ve bookmarked this post to come back to again and again for more great ideas to keep me going.

    Thanks for putting in the incredible amount of effort it must have taken to pull this all in together into such a helpful resource list!

  5. I love it, Leanne!

    That’s just about what I say on my web site (PurpleCrayonDirect.com), and what I’ve been helping artists of all stripe do for over 10 years.

    Over the last decade, I’ve discovered that artists almost always live up to the nickname thrust upon (or grudgingly adopted by) them — starving. Their budgets are non existent. Their time is scant. And their interest in marketing is practically nil.

    Yet, they all want to sell their work to make a living. They just don’t like to call it marketing.

    I’ve found that artists need lots of hand holding, don’t want to get bogged down in the day-to-day details, and are primarily concerned with one thing: the cost.

    That makes working with artists a challenge — especially when you factor in the unique personality many artists have. They are driven, focused, right-brain, and sometimes irascible.

    Which is why I only work with people whose art transports me. I won’t work with anyone I’m not 100% passionate about. But that means I’m having fun, and my clients are having fun…and the results are often extraordinary.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks, Bill!

      You make some really great points. But I think – I hope anyway – that we might be on the start of a sea change. It sure seems to me that there are a whole lot more creative people speaking out against these popular (but untrue) beliefs.

      Every time people like us work to get the message out that “starving” and “artist” really don’t belong in the same sentence, it helps others to think bigger.

      It’s great to do work you love, isn’t it? 🙂

      • Great thoughts, Leanne and Bill. I have to agree with Leanne that we are in the midst of a sea change… I see it among my students, my clients, and my peers. Artists are more empowered than ever (thanks to the savvy youth, lots of technology, and a bit of creative perspective), and I am thrilled “starving artist” is falling by the wayside.

        It’s considerably more fun to be purposefully striving and empowered, rather than simply starving.

        Leanne, this post is going to make its way into the required reading list for my students. Thanks!

  6. Fantastic list. Excellent post. I will favorite and share with all my creative friends.

    For art of any kind elevates the soul from deep inside the inner connections we share. It is the fact that we can feel this inner connection when we see art that makes it so.

    To know you can be sustained and thrive being your artful self is the true artist’s way.

    Thanks for all your hard work here.

    Warmly, Joseph

  7. Nice work, Leanne. 5, 54, 57, 71 and 99 resonated with me the most. Especially # 71. Just offering something as simple as a more personalized approach might be all it takes to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

    • Glad to know that you found a few things that really hit home, Mark. And yes, sometimes the differentiator is something as simple as just caring a little bit more than everyone else. 😉

  8. Hi Leann,

    This is a pretty amazing list of ideas, so thank you 🙂 As I whittle away slowly at my 2nd blog (a complete departure from online branding advice) this is like several tons of advice I’ll have to keep referring to.

    I love the message, commit to the long haul. If I’ve learned anything running a business for over 17 years it’s that good (great) things take time. A slow burn.

    About being naked: To craft captivating stories I think it helps to bare all. Well you don’t have to be full on buck naked, but I think great storytelling infused with honesty helps, and honest writing is what people are attracted to.

    I could go on an on raving about what you’ve written here. Truth is, I love it all.

    • Yeah, Craig – there’s always a balance with the “naked” stuff – but people do respond to a a little vulnerability and openness.

      17 years – good for you! Yes, it really is all about just hanging in there, isn’t it?

  9. Incredible. Just incredible. Leanne, you’ve given artists a TON of actionable advice to chew on here. This could (should!) be printed out and used as an “always at the ready” reference manual. Amazing job with this post!

  10. Leanne,
    Just about everything Copyblogger puts out is great but this article grabbed my attention and pulled me in.
    Thank you! I will be going through this and pulling out specific things to do. Thanks for the reminder that what we have really does have an audience who needs/wants to hear/see us.
    (signed up for your manifesto & mailing list- thank you!)

  11. Excellent post. There is so much that can be done to market art but it requires discipline and setting aside dedicated time.

    A while back I reached out Demian Farnworth, a writer here at CopyBlogger, to see what he had to say about copywriting for artists.

    His advice to me was to incorporate more storytelling in posts. Especially within product pages.

    I agree with him. Part of being an artist is selling yourself to others. Not just your art.

    I’ve wanted someone here at Copyblogger to write a post about copywriting for art marketing forever. There a very few posts on the subject and fewer actual examples.

    This post is a good start to improve the overall strategy. Hopefully we can get more granular with specifics and examples. There’s a demand for this knowledge.

    • Matt, that’s an excellent idea and one I have many thoughts on. As a matter of fact, I did a webinar on it just last week. It was high level, mainly to gauge interest in the subject, but it went well.

      I’ll definitely be getting into the topic more in future posts – either guest posts or on my own blog – so keep in touch!

  12. This is a must-save; I know I will come back to it again and again,so Thank you!!
    I have been working on the art of marketing for a while now; whilst shying away from sharing all that I offer at the same time … S-l-o-w-l-y getting there; now that I have products that I feel ready to move with. My first chidren’s book will be released Feb 8th next year … the build up truly is an exercise in marketing and this is perfect to help!

    • Congrats on your book release, Kat! That’s a huge accomplishment.

      I know about slow progress. The important thing is to just do little bits every day. It adds up.

      Best of luck to you!

  13. Well I really tried to read this list…. but overwhelming. My first take. I can do my art or spend my time doing this list. Nothing on this list is “simple.” Well because nothing about marketing is simple. “We” have this conversation a lot among artists…. do I do this to make money… or to make art. Most people don’t understand “I do this to make art.”

    • Hi Peter,

      Actually I think the great majority of people do understand just making art for art’s sake. The problem is when people WANT to market, WANT to make money, and they just don’t know how or they are afraid. I’m mainly addressing the second group here.

      There are parts of my art that I want to make money from and other parts that I don’t, things that I do just for enjoyment and personal satisfaction. Each person’s balance will be different and there’s no right or wrong answer.

  14. Thank you Leanne for this post!

    Though I am not an artist myself, but interior designer, in my online boutique http://www.essenziale-shop.com I sell unique objets d’art made by local artisans and artists found along the ancient silk route. All of them are really one of a kind. Despite I spend enormous time every day marketing it – writing blog, social media, etc. I am still struggling. I got several mentions on other blogs which means people like my products, however I don’t really understand what I need to do to get more sales. I also got extra exposure on other sites selling Art – for example Artsy Home – but doesn’t really help. I would appreciate any advise regarding my shop! Thank you

    • Off the top of my head, Anna – you say you have gotten mentions from other blogs but have you offered to write a guest post for them? You could write about any aspect of the business or artistic side of interior design, things that would interest your potential customers. Example – advice for people who are considering hiring an interior designer.

      The idea is to go where your customers already are and give them valuable information they can use.

      Good luck to you.

  15. This is a refreshing list of ideas for how to get noticed for your talent and creativity. A real resource which I’m going to come back and read several times.

    You also highlight the fact that Creatives are often so quiet about what they’re doing. It’s a shame that so many talented people, and the fruits they create, go unnoticed because they’re afraid to open their creativity up for others to see, or simply unaware of the fact of how talented they are.

    The message should be to all Creatives: You are talented and we need to know and enjoy your talents – so let us know about them.

  16. A great list for creative sorts, Leanne. Being humble is the best bet, narcissism really needs to be avoided in the contemporary world. You see a lot of egos in the music industry, for instance, and it’s a real turn off for me. As long as you show some humility in your marketing endeavours, and drop the business spiel, I think anyone can excel.

    And, for inspiration, always indulge in excellent culture. Read the best books (classics, not 50 Shades of Pink), listen to the best music (Mozart and Beethoven, instead of Miley Cyrus), and see the best films/plays/events etc. This is my approach to life, anyway.

  17. THANK YOU! Truly remarkable post. I will bookmark it right away and read it every other day. Nice job, Leanne!

    PS: I love the typography of Copyblogger! Are you using Google’s fonts?

    Thank you again,
    Pedro from Portugal

  18. Great article and list of ideas! I teach entrepreneurship at Columbus College of Art and Design and I speak to artists from the entrepreneur side of the aisle trying to help them to think more like a business owner.

    I sent this to all of my students and will discuss this in class when we cover marketing in a couple weeks.

    We will also point to it in our curriculum at Venturehighway.com. We produce entrepreneurship curriculum and materials for schools such as CCAD and this is a very good reference for everyone to see.

    Thanks, Kevin…

    • Thanks so much, Kevin. Really hope it helps your students.

      I’m glad to see that there are more art schools preparing students for entrepreneurship. When I was in grad school there were very few courses in entrepreneurship at all.

      Keep up the fantastic and much-needed work!

  19. Just about everything Copyblogger puts out is great but this article grabbed my attention and pulled me in.Thank you! I will be going through this and pulling out specific things to do in my Trade show project.

    Congrats on your book release,

    Best of luck to you!

  20. While a lot of artists I know oppose to the idea of commercializing their Art, I find this article really interesting. I think it’s great to acknowledge and seize every opportunity like what the Internet and Social Media, in particular, can give us then make use of it as a tool for things like marketing Art, etc. Good work, Leanne!

    • Thanks, Matt! There’s nothing wrong with doing art for fun, I just hope to give the people who would like to make more money from it a nudge in the right direction. 😉

  21. This is an awesome article. All the points covered are very important when marketing our work. And it’s true real work pays…..but we need to put our efforts in this competitive industry.

  22. Excellent resource of ideas. I am a marketing executive and have had a similar conversation with clients about their work. Yet when working on my own material I often fall into the same trap of how do I talk about my work and who would want to listen.

    It helps to take a step back and focus on your niche, your audience and how your product or service can either solve a problem or save time. Sometimes, artists don’t view their work to fit in these categories but when you look from the outside in, the work can serve a functional need.

    Great article, it one I will refer to over and over again.

  23. Mind blowing content. Leanne you have provided us with valuable content that allows us freelancers to get pumped about marketing instead of shy away from it. Thank you!

  24. Wow! Enough thought-provoking ideas to change the course of the next few months of my working life.

    Thank you kindly, Leanne — I’ve shared the link with some fellow artists. May we all be freshly inspired!

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