Hopefully by now you are on Instagram and are interacting frequently and promoting your art. There is a relatively new feature on Instagram that can really help you promote your art. Instagram Stories is a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story.
With Instagram Stories, you don’t have to worry about overposting. Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day — with as much creativity as you want. You can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools. The photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in your feed.
Join us on Thursday on the Artists Helping Artists show as we talk about Instagram Stories and how you can use this tool to sell more art. I am convinced that this is one of the best tools you can use to sell your art. Listen to the show here.
Last week's Artists Helping Artists show was all about Art Trends and what's hot in 2017. I believe that trends are something we should be aware of and understand. They should not influence what we create.
So don’t change what you are painting or how you paint. Rather, just be aware of the trends. You should be aware of what the world is being told they want and need. Trends help the fashion industry and home goods industry plan and manufacture goods a season in advance. They don’t necessarily mean it’s what the public wants. But the public does listen to all advertising and often think it's what they want. Get it?
One trend that I do think you need to pay attention to is online sales. Last November, a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat was sold on Instagram for $24 million, an unprecedented event that probably announces the new era in online auctioning and sales. The painting was sold for more than triple the $7.3 million it fetched at auction in 2007. To date, the annual increase in online art market sales has been 24 percent, and it is expected to reach $9.58 billion by 2020. In 2016 internet buyers spent $155 million which is 20 percent increase from the previous year.
If you aren't selling online you need to take advantage of this amazing sales opportunity. Don't miss out. Seriously.
Once you have an idea who your customer is, how can you actually find them? It's not difficult if you ask the question, "Where does your audience get their information"?
More than 60% of the people living in the USA are using social media on a daily basis. That’s 180 million people who are messaging friends over Facebook, following the news on Twitter, and scrolling through Instagram wishing they were somewhere else.
Your next advertising campaign must utilize that prime real estate.
During the middle of the day, millions of people around the world are picking up their phones [more than seventeen times per day](65% of adults now use social networking site "Americans spend an alarming amount of time checking social media on their phones") because they fear missing out on something.
By focusing all of your efforts onto the social media each of your demographics uses you can spend less time trying to be everywhere and instead create a singular cost-effective campaign on the one network your focus niche uses the most.
For example, if your core demographic is black females between the ages of 18-29 then Instagram should be your primary network.
If you’re looking for leads for your new range of children’s art then Pinterest — with a large audience of 100 million active female users (many are at-home mothers with a household income of over $30,000 per annum) — is a perfect network for advertising.
To find which social media network your demographic is using compare it to google “The demographic of social media users” to find the right fit.
Which Type of Content Works Best for Your Audience?
Short videos on Facebook have become an increasingly popular method of advertising for many brands, but what if you’re target audience doesn’t use Facebook?
You’re needlessly spending a fortune creating incredible viral content that’s not being seen by the people that matter most.
With just a few moments of thinking about the habits of your future customers, you can understand and put into action a social media strategy that works. Even the simple step of uploading the same videos to Instagram instead of Facebook could be all you need to change to reach the right person at just the right time.
For my next few blog post I am going to address the issue of how artists can find or enlarge their audience. It's tricky because the common question is "so how can we understand our customer even if we have never met them?"
It's not as difficult as you think. By asking yourself a few questions you can determine who your audience is and where you should be aiming your social media marketing strategy.
1. How Old Is Your Audience?
If you’re selling a high-end oil painting it’s unlikely that people between the age of 10-18 are going to be interested in your social media updates. Alternatively, it’s unlikely that many of customers between the ages of 55-65 are going to be interested in purchasing street art either.
Understanding the age range of your current and soon-to-be customers will help you to know which demographic has the most interest in your art and the financial ability to be a repeat purchaser.
2. Where Does Your Audience Live?
Understanding the location of your prospective customer isn’t an insight that only local small and medium-size businesses need to be aware of. Artists selling their art both offline and online need to understand where their customers are in order to better target their advertising and engagement through social media.
As a local business owner, you’re obviously keen to target and acquire customers within the workable radius of the service you offer. If you’re holding an art show in a small town in Florida this weekend it’s unlikely that people viewing your social media updates in Los Angeles are likely to call you anytime soon.
Rather than spending all your money on Pay Per Click and social media ads that target worldwide, you can instead narrow down the range to only the most suitable locational demographic, thereby increasing your conversions and saving you money in the process.
3. Is Your Audience Mostly Men or Women?
As important as how old your audience is and where they live is their gender.
Targeting your floral paintings at men isn’t necessarily a bad choice in the month before Christmas, but throughout the rest of the year it’s unlikely that those ads are going to convert into a sale.
By aiming your updates and ads at women only you can decrease the waste expenditure of your advertising campaign and reinvest that money into re-targeting the customers you already have for a repeat sale.
Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have in-built advertising networks that are increasing in depth every day. Today you can create an ad aimed solely at the right gender — plus age group and location — for a much cheaper cost per click.
4. How Do You Promote Your Art To Those Individuals?
Understanding your demographics greatly aids you in creating better social media updates and ads that convert.
Some people need to repeatedly see a product through photos and videos over the space of a few days before making a purchase. Networks such as Facebook Live, YouTube and Instagram Stories are perfect for demonstrating not just how your art looks, but how much better it makes the lives of the people who have purchased it.
Others need to see a product over time before they feel like making a purchase.
If your product is slightly higher that the purchase range of the customer they may take up to 12 weeks to save or be convinced to purchase a really expensive piece of art.
These customers are just as valuable as immediate spend customers if their lifetime customer value is worthwhile.
Over the course of that period of saving and indecision, you can subtly target them through regular and engaging updates on the social media network your intended demographic uses the most, such as Facebook or Twitter.
In these instances one ad running throughout the period, plus irregular engagements with them through social media, could be all that’s needed to secure a sale that might otherwise have been missed.
I will have more about this tomorrow ...
I asked all of you last week to answer the question, "What do you struggle with most?". I am thrilled that so many of you left comments on my blog. Over the next few months I am going to try to respond to all (or most) of you comments. So let's get started!
Here was the first comment:
"I've been selling my art for 17 years. I own a gallery. I have a website. I'm on Facebook and Pinterest. I did give up outdoor art shows, too much work. My sales have been declining for the past few years. Please help me find a new audience and new customers."
To be honest, this comment was the most common of all. It appeared on my blog over and over and over. I think this is a great question!
The honest truth is this ... most artists have no idea who their audience is. So you can only imagine how it is to find your audience if you have no idea who you are looking for. So the first thing you need to do is look at your existing audience. Who has already bought your art? Who has shown interest in your art. Do these people share any characteristics? Age? Employment, Geographic location, etc. If you don't really know who your audience is then you need to create one. Think long and hard about your art and who it is created for. Who likes your art? Is there an audience that you are very comfortable with? You really need to be serious and "create your perfect customer". If you are still not sure then just makeup an audience. It's not that hard to do.
Then once you have defined your customer you need to start thinking about where they go and what they do. Only then should you spend any time or money marketing .
One of the things I would like to do more on this blog is to provide guidance to make your lives easier as an artist. But the only way I can do that is with your help. I need to know what you would like me to talk about! What do you struggle most with as an artist? Is it finding your audience? Is it marketing your art or perhaps even finding motivation to paint?
My background is in marketing so I am hoping that will be the main focus. If not then I will try to find the answer to help in the best way I can!
If you don't mind sharing then please leave a comment here on this blog post. I promise to start answering your comments right away.
I am back. Finally!
I know I have been absent from posting on my blog for a few weeks. And thanks to so many of you that reached out looking for me. I have just been buried with commissions and a new focus and unfortunately this blog was the one thing that was put on the back burner. I am sorry it happened but I needed to free up some time in my day for a few new projects.
I am sorry that some of you weren't happy with me. The important thing to remember is that it is ok to take a break. We all need to shuffle things around and change our priorities from time to time. In fact I encourage you all to challenge yourselves. Stop for a minute and evaluate how you spend your day. Are all of your priorities aligned? More specifically, are you spending your time doing the things that are most important to you? If not, maybe you need to make some changes.
That doesn't mean you need to give up anything. Maybe you just need to change how much time you spend on your daily tasks. I am not giving up this blog, rather I am going to commit to posting here three days a week, instead of five. I have a lot to share with all of you and I just need to get a little better at how I spend my time here. You would be shocked if I told you how long it takes me to write a blog post. It's way longer than you think!
So no more long breaks. I promise. I am here to stay. Because my life as a working artist is more crazy than ever. Go figure.
Mom. Wife. Artist. Marketer. Teacher. Radio Show Host.
My Favorite Things
Some of my posts contain affiliate links for your convenience. Click here for full disclosure.