marketing |ˈmärkiti ng |
the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
If you are just starting out with selling your art online you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed. You aren’t sure what where to start or what to do. Trust me, you aren’t alone. Marketing can be a scary place but like any new adventure the foreign terrain will soon become your playground the more you walk the path.
To help get you started I’ve complied a list of places to advertise yourself for FREE! It’s always best to stick your foot in the water before jumping in and what better way to test the waters than to do it at no cost to you.
Get your water wings on and dive in!
- Twitter. One of the most hottest communities on the web right now. It’s super easy to set up an account and get started right away. It’s free and you can reach millions of people in mere seconds. You can easily share pictures, links, and special discount codes to all of your followers and the rest of the world. One of the features I love most is mobile updates pushed right to your followers cell phones. This means as soon as you update your blog, add a new product to your Etsy shop or website your friends will know about it.
- Facebook. You probably already have a personal page, sharing your daily thoughts with your friends and family but don’t stop there. Creating a Fan/Business Page on Facebook is easy, and FREE! Facebook is also HUGE right now all of your favorite brands and businesses have their own page, and so should you. Connecting with your fans has never been easier. Offering Facebook only discounts or specials is a great way to entice people to support you.
- DeviantArt. Probably the largest art community on the internet. Creating an account is FREE and you can sell your prints here for for minimal profit without any fees. However, if you pay to upgrade your account you can increase your share dramatically. The artisans that frequent the website are generally very nice and it’s easy to network and gain exposure for you and your art. They’ve been going strong for a very long time and the site population and talent only seem to increase with time!
- Flickr. The most popular photo sharing community and my personal favorite. You’re probably thinking how can I market myself on a photo sharing community? Well don’t stop reading. A standard Flickr account does limit your uploads each month (I would suggest getting a pro account.) but you have unlimited access to the thousands of groups to reach your target audience and gain exposure for your art, no matter what it is that you do. There are groups for everything! Joining Flicker just for the networking can do wonders for building a following of people interested in your work.
- Craigslist. Craigslist’s cult following has grown to substantial numbers within the last few years. It’s free to list a classified ad for your services, or products. You don’t need to sign up for an account if you don’t want to (It’s still free!), but I suggest you do if you plan on making it a part of your marketing, in order to stay organized and on top of your efforts. Posts stay up generally 45 days but you can list in multiple categories for maximum exposure.
- Oodle. Another site to list a classified ad at no cost to you. Oodle isn’t as well known as Craigslist but the more exposure the better. There is less spam and less scams here.
- Blogging. There are a plethora of FREE blogging services out there. You’re on one right now. The best part about having a blog is you have complete control over everything. It’s really easy to make connections with other bloggers, you can add advertisements to increased revenue, swap links to increase exposure, and let people get to know you while offering up your own great content and experiences! Blogging daily will draw traffic your way and each person is a potential customer, or at the least a new friend. This is the hardest of them all in my opinion and takes a lot of time and effort but the pay outs can be huge.
- Internet Forums. Your favorite website probably has its own forum or groups that you post to regularly. Putting a link to your blog or website into your signature and playing nice will attract people to want to learn more about you. Each post you make is one more chance of someone seeing your artwork. You should make sure you are being mindful and careful when posting if you connecting your personal life to your business.
- LiveJournal. I’ve been journaling on LiveJournal for nearly 10 years and despite all of the MySpaces, and Facebooks popping into view they are still quite a strong group of passionate people from all walks of life interested in all sorts of things. Some moderated LJ communities are purely focused on selling goods and trades. Networking has never been so easy to do.
- Word of Mouth. This is the easiest and take the least effort. You can build up a good or bad reputation pretty fast. Make sure you tell everyone what you do, tell them all the time.. Don’t be afraid to own what you are and share it with the world. Just don’t be annoying with it, no one likes a braggart! Concentrate on customer service and making other happy with your art so they will tell their friends and feel confident in recommending yout!
Hopefully by now your creative (and hidden marketing) juices are overflowing and your mind is bustling with ideas and excitement. There are so many more portals ready to help you take your internet marketing to the next level at little cost to you. Just remember you’ve got to spend money to make it. No pain, no gain. These free resources should give you great practice at figuring out what works and what doesn’t before shelling out cash and venturing into paying options. I’m going to touch base on a few of my favorites in my next post so check back soon!