While it might seem impossible, given the strong focus put on social media in the current marketing and communications climate, you can sell art without social media. In fact, you should actively engage in the practice. Building a proactive strategy for marketing your art outside of the realms of social media is not just smart, it’s providing protection for your art business as it grows.
Having both an online and offline marketing plan is what you should aim for. This will ensure that you build the biggest audience possible, offer more purchase options and ensure that no matter what happens, you will have a nurtured audience to share your work with.
Marian has spent several years building a huge Instagram audience. She has invested all her time and resources into learning how the platform works, creating content and amassing engaged followers who are buying her work. Everything is going great!! Then one morning Marian opens her app to check on her DMs and get back to her buyers queries only to find her account no longer exists. She contacts Instagram to be told they can’t retrieve it. It’s been hacked and deleted. She has no way to reach her thousands of followers to tell them what’s happened or keep up contact with them. All the work she put in is destroyed and she has to start from scratch.
This may seem far fetched but it’s a lot more likely a scenario than you might think. All the information on your social media accounts is only available to you for as long as platform holds it for you or as long as the platform is operating properly, if at all. Once it’s gone it’s gone. That’s why it’s essential to build your audience and nurture your connections with them outside of social media platforms.
So, whether you are averse to social media or you want to secure the audience you build on the platforms here are three ways that you should spend time creating a space to sell your art without social media.
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to build a list of people that are actively engaged in what you are doing. Only those with a serious interest in buying your work will commit to receiving emails from you. So give everyone the option to join your mailing list and send regular communications to them with details about what you are working on, what’s happening in your practice as well as details of exhibitions and works for sale. Make sign up options readily and easily available throughout your website and any other online listings/social media platforms. Encourage sign ups with offers of exclusive material.
Pre social media, blogs were the most prevalent way people communicated with their audiences. It’s not something that you see in the spotlight too much these days but it’s still the quiet hero of marketing. Blog posts offer you the opportunity to build a relationship with your potential buyers and existing collectors. Writing posts allows you to write long form about your purpose, inspirations, thoughts and plans for your career as an artist. This gives your audience the chance to get to know you which is so incredibly valuable. People buy from people so the more they feel they can understand and relate to you, the better. In addition, adding blog posts to your website contributes to your SEO (search engine optimisation, aka how google knows how to put your website in search results) So, it’s a win-win exercise.
Video content remains the strongest online content in terms of engagement. It’s why there is such an emphasis on it with TikTok, Instagram Reels and Facebook stories. People comfortably consume a lot of video content and so taking advantage of that, as a visual artist, makes sense. Create a YouTube channel for your practice and share time lapse videos of your working, exhibition walk throughs, behind the scenes tips and tricks from your studio and studio tours. All of this content can fuel both your blog posts and email content. So, all three can work together!
Using these three methods in conjunction with a regularly updated website, you can effectively sell your art without social media or in tandem with it and that’s without the offline outlets for promotion and sales. On that, here are two bonus offline resources to consider;
Engage with the arts, interior design and entertainment press across media outlets. Send press releases to let them know about new collection releases and exhibitions.
Work with a gallery or several galleries to exhibit, sell and promote your work on your behalf. This will take a lot of the weight off your shoulders and also add a valuable endorsement to your work.
However you choose to promote your work for sale, remember that intention, planning and consistency is key and having a variety of methods and outlets is paramount. If you are unsure or overwhelmed by the options, let’s figure it out together! Book a Creative Business Advice Intensive and get your promotion plan created and working for you. Click here for more info or here to have a free discover call.