7 Creative & Free Marketing Tips for Artists

In addition to photographing artwork, I help a lot of artists with their websites, social media and marketing. With Art-A-Whirl and the Saint Paul Art Crawl just around the corner, it seemed like a good idea to share 7 free artist marketing ideas I’ve come up with over the years. They take some time and patience, but they will help you build your network of collectors and fans.

Be Yourself — Why is that such sage advice?

It’s not just an appeal to be a good person or to relax, it also means let people see who you really are. If you act like someone you are not, then people who would like the real you will not see it. And those who like what you are pretending to be will lose interest in you over time, because you ‘changed.’

The same holds true for photos of your artwork, if a photo is has the wrong amount of contrast, saturation or color harmonies, then someone who might like your art will not see it for what it truly is and not come see it. And someone who likes the ‘off’ photo will be let down when they see it in person because it’s not what they were expecting.

That is why accuracy is so important to me — when someone sees the photo I create for you, they should be seeing your artwork, not an ‘interpretation’ of it by a poor reproduction.

1. Complete your listing on Art-A-Whirl or Art Crawl Directory

This is your best marketing opportunity, these organizations are the closest promoters of the events. Their materials are targeted to the potential collectors that are physically at the event, so this should be your top priority.

As I review the major event directories I see so many profiles without an image. It’s such a missed opportunity. Not only is it ‘selling’ your work by making it visible, it helps someone find you. How many times have you been to a large art event and only remember the artist’s style or work, but not their name? Help people who saw your work before and are now ready to buy. Quite often, people decide to buy after an event and can’t remember your name go looking back at directories to try and find you.

Now let’s move into the larger world.

2. Share your Artwork Photos on Instagram

Instagram is a friendly place for artists! Many of my clients have great success sharing their work on Instagram. It’s a huge venue that is focused entirely on images. Also, it’s relaxing because it’s generally free of politics and arguments so people using Instagram are more openminded in the moment and calmer. Hashtags are really effective on Instagram. Here are a few that I recommend you use:

#instapainting #oilpaintings #acrylicpaint #artwork #instaart #creative #artoftheday #gallery #paint #painting #makearteveryday #insanelyinspiredinstagram #contemporaryfineart #artscrowds #artistsharing #happyartistmovement #lifeofanartist #smallworks #landscapeartist #expressiveart #instaartexplorer #createeveryday #watercolorillustration #dailybraverypaintings #abstractpainting #abstractexpressionism #abstractlandscape #markmaking

As you can see, there are a lot of hashtag options. The best strategy is to find ones that describe your art as closely as possible. The goal is to find people who want your art, not just get the most followers. Choose hashtags wisely, tho you can use up to 30 tags per post, studies show that 5-12 is most effective. Once you have found the hashtags that work best for you, put them in a text doc or a notes app so you can copy-and-paste them into a post easily to save time and make sure you don’t misspell them.

3. Share your Artwork Photos on Twitter AUTOMATICALLY

Here’s a really cool tool I found that will share your Instagram images on Twitter. But Instagram hast that option, doesn’t it? Well yes, but it shares just a link on Twitter, not the image itself. So this cool tool I found will automatically share your Instagram IMAGES to your Twitter feed on its own without you having to do a thing. Bam! Twitter done. Oh, and it’s better on your nerves if you never have to look at Twitter. I find it annoying and hazardous to your attention span.

4. Share your Artwork Photos on Facebook Profile

So once again, something that Instagram offers, but I do it separately. Why? Facebook doesn’t give as much weight to a post as when you share it directly. Also, if you share an image on your Facebook Profile, more people will see it than if you share it to a Facebook Page. There are several ways to share on Facebook, I prefer sharing an image that you already have put on your website. By sharing a link to your artwork on your website, there is automatically a link to your site embedded in the post you share. Otherwise, you can just upload the image to Facebook. Add a personal comment about the painting and your thoughts behind it, people love stories. People buy stories.

5. Share your Artwork Photography on Facebook Page

After you share an image on your Profile, share it again on your Page. But wait a day to do so, that way it won’t compete with your previous post. Some of my clients will note who likes their profile posts will then send an invite to that person to Like their Page. Pages have may advantages, like you can ‘boost’ a post on a Page, but not a Profile post. So I recommend doing both to take advantage of the benefits of each.

6. Share your Artwork Photography on and Pinterest

I’m not sure of the benefits of Pinterest, but having your own Pinterest Board gives pinners a central place to find your art and share the best images. Who knows where your next collector will find you.

7. Create a Google Business listing

Put yourself on the map! Literally! Google Business allows you to put your studio location right on the Google map. Plus it allows you to put information about your studio and business on Google. This is invaluable for Google ranking and make sure people are finding you. Once you sign up and add information, they will mail you a postcard to verify your address.

And there you go, 7 totally free marketing ideas you can use to promote your artwork. And if you would like to have me photograph your artwork so you have some awesome digital images to share, contact me.

Check out these amazing paintings!

Hannah Heyer painting photographed by Mitch Rossow - Towards the Valley

Towards the Valley

by Hannah Heyer
Sharon Stadther painting photographed by Mitch Rossow - Corn Harvest

Corn Harvest

by Sharon Stadther
Mary Pettis painting photographed by Mitch Rossow - Catching the Light 8x12

Catching the Light

by Mary Pettis
James Vose painting photographed by Mitch Rossow - Twelve Pansies

Twelve Pansies

by James Vose
Sue Wipf painting photographed by Mitch Rossow - Sunset Glory

Sunset Glory

by Sue Wipf
Kevin Komadina painting photographed by Mitch Rossow - Pickled Herring

Pickled Herring

by Kevin Komadina

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