An artrepreneur is an artist or artisan pursuing an entrepreneurial path to a self-sustaining career. The artist, like any other entrepreneur, occupies a business space where passion and purpose coexist with contracts and commerce. Making and marketing are equal parts of the value proposition for artrepreneurs.
The creative power, energy, and productivity of working artists show how hard they have trained and focused on developing their artistic skills. For many artists, this devotion to their art leaves little time or technical know-how to build an audience and showcase their best work.
Integrated online marketing strategy can help an artist stand out
But artists have to get paid regularly, and like any other business that means having a business plan. Sometimes it also means having a day job, but a well-conceived approach to marketing for artists can make a big difference in making art pay.
The bottom line is that building an audience is a critical aspect of an artist’s business process. In the art world, exposure is everything. Well-lit space on a popular gallery wall is gold for a visual artist. A sold-out hall under a soaring vaulted roof is the opera singer’s bread and butter.
These major shows bring artist and audience together, and represent a major source of income. But there are often long gaps between shows when bills still have to be paid and work on new material must go forward. This is where an integrated online marketing strategy can help to nurture and grow an audience, and to generate crucial new business leads.
Start with on-page SEO and link-building strategy
An integrated marketing strategy for artrepreneurs presents some challenges common to all business ventures, and some that are unique to particular niches in the art world. For many artists and artisans, niche marketing is the defining strategic value in the marketing plan.
Keyword research into any particular niche is a key first step. This will define terminology and tags for the most productive and wide-reaching on-page optimization. It will also guide the direction of link-building to outside resources that carry audience impact and influence in that particular niche.
SEO content marketing will be the primary focus
Obviously, the main role of an artrepreneur’s website is to showcase the artwork. This can be a portfolio selection, performance videos or audio files, reviews of shows or published pieces, and anything else that represents the artistic production to potential art consumers.
Detailed keyword research will pay dividends here again. Content that reflects the focus and output of an artist’s work is the primary goal, but keyword integration and optimization is the engine that pushes the content into the search results of the desired audience.
Be serious about SEO on social media
The choice of which social media networks to emphasize, and how to make the biggest impact, will be determined to some extent by the artistic medium in question. Visual artists will definitely want to have a presence on Instagram. Writers might focus more on Medium or Quora.
Facebook is important simply because its user base is so big. There are many ways to narrow the audience down and make a positive impression, from text to photos to videos and live streaming.
Maximize the number of ways to get paid
Ecommerce sites like Etsy and Ebay can generate direct sales online for certain kinds of art products or creative services. These pages should get the same SEO treatment as any other web page, including things like titles, tags, and descriptions for photos. Periodic special offers based on content from ecommerce pages can make for engaging social media updates as well as helping to keep the lights turned on.
Specialized artrepreneurial platforms are emerging that attempt to combine the entire business end of artistic production in one consolidated package of tools and services. These appear to require a significant upfront investment of time and expertise, which can be greatly assisted by an initial consultation with a professional SEO expert during the startup phase.
Embrace the online stage of the human journey
Humans have had a powerful connection with art since the very beginnings of human history. In fact, artwork literally is the beginning of recorded human history. The oldest cave pictures are almost 40,000 years old, compared to only 5,000 years for the earliest clay tablet writings.
It just goes to show yet again how “the more we change, the more we stay the same.” If you want to get your artwork out of the cave and into the public eye, give Paul a call or drop us a line, and set up your free SEO consultation today.