Living a dream means doing something you love and getting paid for it. If you love art and creating beautiful things, then starting a creative small business is what you should do. In today’s cookie-cutter, mass-produced culture, finding something touched and created by another human being is precious. People value handmade stuff, especially if it can be a one-of-a-kind, personalized piece.
For you, starting a creative art business means that you can spend your days creating things that inspire you, give you pleasure, and support yourself and your family at the same time. Win-win. You no longer have to listen to nay-sayers whispering, “When will you get a real job?”
To get your business off the ground and bring in that necessary income you need to keep doing what you love, we bring 8 art marketing strategies you can apply to sell your art.
1. Abstract Artist
Abstract art paintings are very on-trend. Influencers hang them on their walls, medical practitioners use them in their waiting rooms to calm and engage patients while they wait, and art galleries host exhibitions that attract art buyers.
Decide which type of audience you want to attract and then reach them through the channels they are likely to visit. If you are after influencers and art buyers, let them come to your exhibition where you can shmooze, wine, and dine them into buying a couple of pieces as one of your art marketing strategies. To make their purchase decision easier, offer a free framing service so that once they purchase, they can proudly display your beautifully framed art on their walls. Don’t forget to add the cost of framing to your original price so that you don’t spend your profits on providing frames.
To find people interested in your art, you need to make it easy for them to see your work. Nobody became a famous artist by hiding under a rock. You need to get out there.
To get out there is much easier than it was in the past. Everyone these days pays heed to what is shown on Instagram and Facebook. Luckily, these two social media platforms are very visual, which makes them perfect partners to sell your abstract wall art. Post beautiful images of your artwork to build a following and find paying customers. If you are worried about your photography skills not doing your paintings justice, partner with a local freelance photographer. They will bring your abstract wall art to life in perfect images that will attract your audience and make you some sales.
2. Upcycle Furniture
If tinkering in the garage and occasionally using power tools is your jam, then starting a furniture upcycling business may be the creative outlet you are looking for. There are many art marketing strategies to choose from when you want to start generating revenue for a furniture upcycling business.
Upcycling furniture is a good idea because it is an environmentally friendly way of making money. Reducing waste by giving new life to old furniture lets you take care of the earth as well as yourself. Promote your business’s eco-conscious and sustainable aspects to gain a customer base.
Every piece of furniture you upcycle tells a story. Include those in your product descriptions to appeal to the emotional aspect of the prospect’s buying decisions.
Upcycled furniture is one of a kind. Create high-quality product photos to capture the beauty and details of your upcycled furniture piece. It will appeal to anyone who loves beautiful, unique furniture to decorate their home. Again, Instagram and other social media are your friends when it comes to marketing and letting people know about you.
If selling one piece of furniture at a time seems like it won’t bring in sufficient money to pay your bills, you can use your skills to partner with cabinet companies that manufacture personalized furniture such as custom closet designs. It will bring in a steady income and let you express your creativity by creating custom cabinetry.
3. Freelance Interior Designer
Everyone wants a beautiful home, but only a few gifted individuals know exactly how to create that beautifully polished and pulled-together look in any room. If you have a flair for picking just the right furniture to fit a space and choosing the perfect paint to match the look, then you can become a freelance interior designer.
Whether you favor modern or contemporary interior design, there are clients that you can make happy. To become a successful freelance interior designer, you could consider using one or more of the following art marketing strategies.
- Showcase your work with a strong portfolio and visual storytelling.
- Take photos of your completed projects and post them on your website or social media accounts.
- Share captivating images and use engaging captions and hashtags to reach a wider audience.
- Create short videos of virtual tours through the home you decorated or to show your design process. You can also include step-by-step content to help others achieve the same look in their own homes. Share those videos through social media and your website.
- Partner with artists and craftsmen in your area to offer your clients unique décor pieces you commission from local talent that make your designs personalized and help you stand out from the crowd.
4. Freelance Photographer
Photography is a great hobby, but you can also turn that hobby into a thriving freelance business. Everyone wants and needs to document their special life moments with photographs, so one of your art marketing strategies could be to position yourself as a professional event photographer.
It doesn’t mean you will only take photos at weddings, funerals, and christenings. Although, probably, that will be one of the more lucrative ways to earn money by taking photos. There are many companies that host special events like product launches, seminars, and conferences. They also need professional photos taken at their events.
So, how do you find clients for your freelance business? You must showcase your skills through a portfolio, which you can promote with social media marketing. By posting captivating images and videos, you will gain a following of fans who can become clients.
Next, you can partner with local businesses and offer to take photos for their marketing materials, brochures, and their social media accounts. Don’t forget to open your Google business profile and get your name and contact information listed in professional directories. Making it easy for clients to find you will help you get more work.
5. Jewelry Maker
If you want to start a creative small business, you may want to start making jewelry. Making jewelry is deceptively hard work. The finished products are usually feather-light and beautiful, so no one suspects that transforming metal like gold and silver into delicate, shiny rings or earrings involves much work with welding torches, files, and other heavy tools.
You may not own all the equipment when you are just starting out, so consider collaborating with local welders to help you create unique jewelry pieces that incorporate metalwork.
To reach potential clients, you can use some of these art marketing strategies:
- Build a portfolio of your work and show it to the public on social media and your website. That is a must for any creative small business.
- Emphasize the craftsmanship and artistry behind your work. Showcase unique design details and use of high-quality materials to set yourself apart from other jewelry makers.
- Share the inspiration, design process, and story behind each piece to add that personal touch to the jewelry you create.
- You can also offer custom jewelry design services to create personalized pieces for your clients.
- To build good relationships with your clients, consider going the extra mile by offering personalized gift packaging as part of the service you provide.
6. Stained Glass Artist
The stained glass business mostly generates revenue from selling original and commissioned pieces. Your biggest target market segment are people who enjoy arts and crafts as well as having beautiful things in their homes. Your marketing efforts should be targeted at these types of people first. On the other hand, if you have a keen interest in history and your stained-glass skills are very high, you may want to expand your services to include religious places and join historic preservation societies to offer stained glass restoration services. You may end up working on restoring a famous piece of history like the Louvre. Additionally, you can also include a personalized option for your customers such as a custom cut glass service in your stained glass business.
To market your small business, you can consider some of these art marketing strategies:
- To show your clients that you are a legitimate business, you must have a website and at least some social media presence where you can display examples of your work for clients to peruse.
- Target your audience and participate in craft markets. You can also attend any artisan events in your town.
- Find out more about your target market audience. Are they looking for statement pieces or small decorative designs? Then, promote pieces that are most likely to appeal to them.
- Partner with other artisans in your area. Perhaps even interior decorators may want to include some of your stained glass in their work. Other freelancers, like photographers and even bloggers, can become lucrative partners as they display your work to their followers on their websites.
7. Abstract Sculptor
Abstract sculpture is a new age art where artists push the boundaries of the visible world and express themselves through a representation of realities of life through form. The methods used by abstract sculptors also differ from traditional ones. Instead of wood or stone, they use industrial manufacturing processes, plastic molding, 3-D printing, and sometimes custom wire form to create sculptures. Abstract sculptors produce mathematically precise and elegant geometric forms; some abstract sculptors work with movement and physical forces.
To attract customers to buy your sculptures, you must let them see what you offer. Create high-quality images that showcase intricate details, unique shapes, and creative use of materials. Connect with prospective customers on an emotional level by sharing back stories behind each piece. Showcase the versatility and how your creations can be personalized to fit specific spaces or themes. You can also partner with other artists to create unique art installations. Lastly, you can contact the local art gallery to let you showcase your art in an exhibition.
8. Now Start Marketing Your Business
To market a fledgling, creative small business is not easy. It takes great effort to build a website, fill it with content, engage with potential buyers, and still have time to create more art. As a small business owner, you are basically alone, taking care of all that needs to be done. Staying on top of things without getting overwhelmed is possible with a plan.
Creative businesses can use the following general guidelines to personalize art marketing strategies.
- Develop a portfolio, preferably hosted on a website, to highlight your products’ unique and handcrafted nature.
- Use online platforms and social media to share your work and build a following. Building relationships with customers is a great way to get them engaged in what you are doing and buy from you.
- Collaborate with others in your area. Whether you work with other artists or businesses, working together produces synergistic results and increases profits for both of you. For instance, an artist can collaborate with an interior designer to use their work in their design. The designer gets a bespoke piece to complement the interior they are working on.
- Offer workshops, courses, and demonstrations to engage with your community and add additional income streams.
If all those marketing activities seem too much for you, you can always hire one of the many available small business digital marketing agencies to handle marketing activities for you.
Owning a small creative business is hard work but also very rewarding. It is much easier today to get your creations in front of buyers. By leveraging internet access, you can easily build a community that includes people from all around the globe. That would not have been possible in the olden days when the only people who would see your products would be those who physically walked past your shop. And if no one living close to you liked your products, you would have no choice but to close shop and find “a real job.” We hope you will use some or all of the strategies in this blog and wish you all the best for your new venture.