Marketing Your Art with Intention
Marketing isn’t easy. It isn’t as difficult as most people make it, either. When you begin the process of marketing your art, you need to think about a single word — “intention.” In most marketing plans, it is THE missing ingredient.
What is Intention?
Intention is taking deliberate actions designed to achieve specific, predetermined outcomes. Marketing plans often fail because there is more “marketing” than “plan.” People rush into advertising without thinking about an intended outcome. They spend money and wait for results. What results are they expecting, though? Who are they trying to reach? What are they trying to achieve? Before you can be intentional, you must know what your objective is.
Why Intention is Important
Intentionality will make your life easier. Trying to act on every whim and harebrained idea you have is exhausting. Don’t try to do too much at once. Managing a complicated marketing effort will drain your energy and lead to burnout. You want to spend less time marketing your art and more time making it. Don’t get bogged down in activities that don’t advance your goals.
From a business perspective, intentionality will make you more effective. Working on multiple strategies at once can make it impossible to know what is working. When you are focused on a single objective and strategy, it is much easier to know if you are making progress. If you are, you can continue. If not, you can adjust or change your strategy completely. Being intentional allows you to make better decisions more quickly.
Intentionality will make you look better. Inconsistent messaging and haphazard marketing causes people to question your credibility. Being consistent — and marketing in a consistent way to the right audience – will make you look like you know what you’re doing. It will also give them the confidence to share your content with others. People like reliability. Acting with intention will help you seem like a solid investment.
Becoming “Intentional” when Marketing Your Art
When it comes to marketing your art, you need to get specific. What single outcome do you most want to achieve? What will have the greatest impact on your creative business? Remember this — you cannot be intentional if your goals are too broad. Start with a very narrow objective and begin working backward. Think about the specific actions you can take to achieve that objective. Work exclusively on one marketing goal at a time.
Goals are only useful if you know when you achieve (or miss) them. Think about how you can measure your success. How will you know when you are effectively marketing your art? How will you know if your specific actions led to success? Be thorough and think things through. Investing time and effort at the beginning will pay off later.
Think about the required resources. What will you need to be effective? Set up a budget. If your goal is financial (more sales or higher margins, for example), make sure your potential return is worth the investment. Also consider the amount of time you will need to implement and maintain your marketing plan. Most of us tend to underestimate the amount of time things will take. Most of us also tend to undervalue our time. Be realistic about the time you will have to spend and how much your time is worth. Again, marketing your art isn’t worthwhile if you don’t have time to keep creating it.
Start with the Basics
Simple and thoughtful is almost always better than large and complex. If possible, choose goals that will show results quickly. Focus on getting data that will help you make more informed decisions. Invest only as much time and money as you need to find out if you are on the right track. Once you show positive results (increased sales, more traffic to your website, etc.), review your success and see if you can improve or expand upon it.
Set reasonable expectations. You probably won’t strike it rich on your very first try. By being intentional and starting small, you are building a solid foundation and reducing risks. There are many free or inexpensive ways you can begin the process of marketing your art. Try to start with those. Test different techniques, one at a time, and see what works best.
Work in Your Community
Don’t try to become a worldwide sensation on your first try. Look to your existing local and virtual communities as you get started. Focus on interactions that align with your goals and be visible in those groups. Let people know what you are trying to achieve. Be clear about your goals. Many people are willing to help, but just don’t know what to do.
Friends and other artists can be a great resource. They have probably already given you valuable feedback about your art. Maybe they are already strong supporters. Let these people help you as you begin marketing your art. They can multiply and maximize your marketing efforts. They can become your advocates, promoting your work for you while you spend time creating new art.
When possible, be sure to reciprocate. Especially if you network with other artists, provide positive feedback and support. Ask other artists about their goals. Help where you can, but maintain focus on what you are trying to achieve.
Getting stated is the hardest part. As you continue to market your art, it will be easier to act with intention. You will make connections, discover shortcuts, and begin to have an inherent sense of what will (or will not) work. You will have to take some time to learn…and you will need to continue learning. Just like most forms of art, marketing is a process. The more familiar you become with it, the easier it will become.
To help you get started. Kulture Partners has created The Essential Marketing Action Checklist for Artist. This free one-page guide covers the most important tasks you need to perform as you begin marketing your art. Download the checklist, then reach out to us on social media with questions and feedback. We’re here to help.
Need Help Getting Started?
Download our free guide, The Essential Marketing Action Checklist for Artists, to learn how you can begin an effective art marketing effort.
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