Woman artist who is thinking and working on a laptop in her studio.
When marketing your art, start with a simple plan, then then add networking and promotion. — Getty Images/Marco VDM

It takes hard work to turn your passion into a business. Along with creating your artwork, you must get your pieces in front of collectors and buyers. For artists, marketing entails identifying your audience and creating an online presence. Start with a simple plan, then add networking and promotion.

Most art marketing ideas are inexpensive or free. But paid tools, like an e-commerce website, can generate sales and reduce third-party fees. Follow this step-by-step guide to develop your strategy and market your art practice.

Develop an artist’s statement

An artist’s statement is like an elevator pitch for creators and consists of a few sentences. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) defines it as a “piece of writing by you that helps the audience access or understand your artistic work.” SAIC provides an in-depth guide to creating an artist statement.

Like other creative endeavors, writing and fine-tuning your message takes time. Once it is complete, you can use it on your portfolio, third-party gallery websites, physical exhibitions, and social media channels. Learn how experts handle their art business by listening to podcasts and reading blogs.

[Read more: How to Start Selling Your Fine Art]

Identify your audience

Artist marketing strategies revolve around an audience. Understanding the people who appreciate your art niche (a theme, subject, or technique) helps you speak to and engage them. Do you recognize similarities among people who purchase your art or like posts displaying your work on social media? They may share interests or fall into specific age groups.

Start with a general customer profile and add to it as you complete marketing activities. This strategy will help you find your target audience on TikTok and Instagram. It also guides your wording and content when planning promotional content.

Understanding the people who appreciate your art niche (a theme, subject, or technique) helps you speak to and engage them.

Establish a website or online portfolio

An online portfolio showcases your masterpieces and tells people how to buy them or contact you. Alternatively, an e-commerce website allows visitors to browse your artwork and purchase items. Both website types let you add affiliate links to marketplaces and galleries where you sell your art. Affiliate links are an excellent way to monetize your website and earn more on third-party marketplaces.

Here are a few tools for creating a website:

  • Squarespace: It costs $26 monthly for a domain name and website. But for e-commerce, you need a Squarespace Business plan, which costs $41 a month.
  • Square: A free Square plan has online and in-person payment processing. Paid plans start at $29 monthly and include a domain name.
  • Website builders: Once you register a domain name, you can select a web host and create a site using free or paid tools like WordPress.
  • Online galleries: You could create a free portfolio through an online marketplace or gallery like ArtPal or Fine Art America.

Create business accounts on social media

Unlike a personal account, a business profile provides information about users and interactions. These details help personalize your marketing content and establish your brand. Select social platforms where your target audience hangs out. Sites like Instagram let you display your art, whereas you can use TikTok to give people a sneak peek at your creative process.

Define your art marketing goals and strategy

Why do you want to market yourself as an artist? Once you answer this question, you can craft a few goals and how you plan to achieve them. Let's say you’re an emerging artist. You want people to see your masterpieces, and a little extra income wouldn’t hurt. Consider starting with a free portfolio in an online gallery and using your social channels to generate interest.

Conversely, to turn your hobby into a business, consider purchasing a domain name and web hosting. Work on building a loyal community by adding content to your site, adding subscribers to your email marketing list, and promoting your art across multiple marketplaces.

[Read more: 5 Low-Cost or Free Accounting Tools for Artists]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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