Now, I know what you are thinking. I’m going to start spouting out information about algorithms and SEO’s, but I can’t do that. Mostly, because I really know nothing about that stuff. If you were hoping for real technical information from this blog, you might as well stop reading now. Besides, I believe the vast majority of artists really don’t want to take the time to understand all the technical mumbo jumbo. I do however have 4 marketing tips to share with you today that seem to have really worked for me.
1. Add a Watermark. I now add my “Julie Townsend Studio” as a label or watermark to all of my pictures. If my art is shared, and I hope it is, then they will always know that I am the artist. If, with just a few layers of sharing, a photo of your artwork can be out there and there is no way to get it back. You have lost your opportunity to make your name known to the public. The ultimate goal here should be that everyone knows your name. It is your brand so treat each photo you publish, even your WIP photos, as if it will go viral the moment you press that “publish” button.
2. Use Tag Words on your photos to make them more searchable on the web. I put my studio name and about 5 or 6 other tag words to describe the image. I’m sure there is a whole range of ways to do this, but I found that my phone does this very easily for me. I use the edit feature to add both the label and the tag words when I’m cropping and adjusting the image. Now I think the tag words stay when you even go in later and save another copy. For example, I will go back in and put a SOLD label on a piece of work that has sold and use that as a marketing tool to let my follows know that they had better grab up my art right away if they find something they like. It creates a sense of urgency with your collectors. It has been my experience so far, the tag words are there on the second saved image automatically, so I don't have to add them again.
3. Drive traffic to your Facebook Page. There are a lot of places that tell you to drive traffic to for art sales. Etsy, Ebay, Fine Art America and your website are just a few. Short of meeting collectors in person at a public event, Facebook gives me the best platform to actually build a rapport with your audience. So if you are an artist, YOU NEED AN ART Page! I'm not joking about this one. DO IT!
My art page has been slow going for me. I started the page for a several years and have been discouraged many times and just how slow it has been to grow and build followers. I would always wind up posting my new art pieces to my personal page also because I had a larger audience there and not really give my Art Page the daily attention it needed. What is the draw then for my FB friends to want to like my Art Page? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! I didn’t give them any incentive to make that leap. In the past few months, I have really made a conscious effort to keep the two pages separate. I’ve realized a nice amount of growth in my audience there and most of that can be contributed to my next recommendation.
4. Join some Facebook Groups. I don’t know why I didn’t come up with this sooner because the simple action of joining a couple of niche groups has really been a huge boost for me as an artist. Just this week alone, I’ve seen 80 new likes to my Facebook Art Page due to sharing my art on the FB groups I belong to.
Now I have been a part of a number of art groups for years. Acrylic Painters, Miniature Art Painters, Western Artists, Artistic Journaling and the list goes on. But the reality is that artists don’t really buy other artists work. These groups are great for inspiration and art tips but they stink when it comes to actual art sales.
I have to back track here for a minute so I hope you don't mind. A few years ago I discovered that I really liked painting cows and other farm animals and scenes in my paintings. It started with my series of work that I called "Down Country Roads" That has developed into me really find my style of painting. My whole focus has really fallen into creating art that makes you want to smile. My motto after all is "Telling Stories With my Paintbrush”. With that in mind, it is a natural for me to be part of groups that focus on farmhouse style, primitive and country decorating.
Let me tell you these groups are out there and they have thousands of members and most of those people LOVE my cowbells. Now some groups clearly say NO SELLING but other groups are fine with it. So make sure you read carefully all the information about the group before asking to join.
Groups are about relationships, so don’t just jump in there on day one blasting them with your whole gallery. Take your time, balance yourself and become part of the group. You will develop friendships that become fans and then collectors wanting to follow you. That is when you can direct them to your FB Art Page.
I would suggest that you do the following first if you want to increase of art fan base and who doesn't want that? You first figure out what your fans actually look like. Make a list of niches that your art might fall into and then you simply start looking for groups that are filled with people who are passionate about that niche. There are groups for everything. Let's say you like painting landscapes, especially mountains. Well I would try outdoor enthusiasts, camping, hunting or hiking groups. What if you like painting sea life? Well you would look for groups of whale lovers, marine lovers or boating enthusiasts. You get the direction I'm going with this. Give it a try, be creative and stay steady. It isn't going to happen overnight.
If you found these tips helpful, please leave me a comment. Sometimes blogging is a lonely endeavor and you pretty much feel like you are talking to yourself. I NEED feedback! If you want to check out my social media sites you can find me on Facebook, Etsy and Instagram @JulieTownsendStudio. Check me out and like my pages, ESPECIALLY MY ART PAGE!