I was recently at an art show where I bought a piece of art. I believe in artists and in promoting them. I was so excited about my new art I planned to promote the artist on my social media outlets, letting everyone know about her work and driving traffic to her website.
When I received the painting there was no business card attached. I inquired about getting one and the artist didn’t have one. I was a little put back because I wondered how she led people to her work.
I asked her for her website, and again, she told me she didn’t have one. I understand that making a website can be a scary thing (it’s really not, and I’ll tell you how soon for free). Facebook is a free option, and most people I know have one (there are 1.11 Billion people currently on Facebook). I asked her for her Facebook fan page. Again, she told me she didn’t have one. A little frustrated, I asked how I would contact her if I wanted to buy another piece or I had someone who wanted to see her artwork. She hand wrote her phone number down for me (which I promptly lost within the next hour).
There are some big issues going on here. As a visual artist, this artist missed opportunities for her work to be seen. She will not be sought after for work, commissions, or future opportunities.
Whether it is art, or any good idea, service, or product, you have to market something if you want people to know about it. There are some simple ways to start out doing this.
First, get an online presence. There are lots of free venues for a website that you can manage (and you don’t have to be a computer genius). WordPress, Weebly, and Wix are all great websites with templates that you can create a free website. If the idea of a website is a little overwhelming, at least set up a Facebook Fan Page. It’s free, and it allows you a place for people to see your work.
Second, make business cards. I have met people that I handed a business card to while talking about my art, and they later came back to buy a piece after visiting my website. You don’t have to spend a lot on business cards. VistaPrint and Moo are two websites that offer fairly inexpensive business cards. Another option is making your own. You can buy perforated business card paper and print your own at home. I know one artist who hand wrote every business card and painted something small on the back.
Make sure your online presence and your business card have your name, a way for people to contact you, and a place that your work can be seen. No one is going to come knocking on your door because they hear you do artwork. You’re going to have to make it accessible.