Here’s the million dollar question:
How do I get people to notice/buy my work?
This article can pretty much pertain to every trade out there, however, I will be focusing mostly on art and visual products.
Do you have something you want the world to see and take note of? How do you get yourself a bit of global attention?
The answer is simple…
Through hard shlogging and perseverance.
Not what you wanted to hear? Probably not — most of us want to hit the big time and go viral on our first attempt at world domination. There is no ‘quick fix’ when it comes to marketing yourself.
Eating the Elephant One Bite at a Time (Poor Pachyderm!)
However, all is not lost and not achieving instant notability can actually be good news for you.
It means that you still have a chance if you haven’t hit the jackpot yet.
Very few people win the lottery and going viral is the same. Most successful people attained their success by slowly and steadily winning their race.
How to Keep Abreast — Are you a DD?
Truth is, you will get noticed and you definitely can ‘make’ it — you just need to exercise what I call the ‘double d’ strategy — dedication and drive.
If you are truly passionate about what you do — you’ve got the drive. If you can focus on and strive to do something daily that brings you closer to your dream or goal — then you’ve got the dedication.
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” — Confucius
Let’s Get to the Juicy Bits
I hired a professional marketing consultant when I first started out and this is the advice she gave me:
Know your target market/audience — this is who your work is going to appeal to. You don’t want to be pitching a high-definition print of a formula 1 automobile to a 64-year-old woman (unless you find yourself one racy old granny) — your target market would most likely be males aged between 16 – 45. Likewise, don’t try selling your recipe ebook ’20 Ways to Prepare Fried Chicken’ to a vegetarian. Do your market research and find out who your product will appeal to.
- Get Yourself a Website — this will be where you want your target audience to visit. WordPress sites are really great and easy to use. You will also need to start building a subscriber list so that you can keep your readers/clients up-to-date with all your latest creations. I use a really great e-mail marketing site called Mailchimp. But how to you get people to come to your site?
- Blog/Guestblog — This is where the real work begins… You need to gain authority in your chosen field. So, for instance, if you are a photographer then blog about what inspires you to go out and take pictures. Then accompany the article with your photos and links to your print store (more about selling your prints later on in this article). Then you need to look for other sites/blogs in your arena that accept guest writers. What is a guest writer? Someone who provides content (articles) for a given site in exchange for publicity. Most of these sites will allow you to include a short biography and picture at the bottom of your guest blog with a link-back to your site and social networks. You should target sites that have at least 5000 followers/readers and try to write for at least 2 – 5 different sites.
- Comment/Interact on Social Networks/Sites — this is extremely important. There is nothing more irritating than someone who only plugs their own wares. Go and leave feedback for other people on their work and interact with people in groups and social networks like twitter and facebook business pages. You’ll meet loads of new and exciting peeps and you will expose yourself to what is out there in your field. Don’t see other creatives as ‘competition’, rather look at them as ‘inspiration’. Get involved with community boards and share not only your work but the work of others too. Don’t forget to write back to people who leave you comments. Treasure the feedback of others!
In my experience, these are the best sites for selling my original art:
- Selling Originals — selling original work online is as easy as 1, 2, 3. I use online auction sites like Bid or Buy (for South Africa) or Ebay (global). My favourite online gallery for selling originals is Saatchi Art. They are simple and easy to use and I’ve had great success selling my original work online through these channels.
Right, so that is how to get your creative wares out into the market place but let’s discuss some print-on-demand sites for that extra passive income.
Passive Income Generators Every Artist Should Know About
Now, for those of you who have something visual to market — these are the 2 sites that work the best for me when it comes to selling your stuff on products, prints, etc:
Redbubble is a print-on-demand site for artists and writers. You can upload your work onto prints, cases, cards, stickers and t-shirts. They are really easy to work with and they have a great artist community along with loads of groups you can join and interact with. Below is a snapshot of my Redbubble profile:
Zazzle are also a print-on-demand site. They offer an extensive range of products that you can put your designs on — from lamp shades, cushions, plates, mugs, teapots to puzzles, wrapping paper, clothing, skateboards (just to name a few!).
Below is a snapshot of what my Zazzle store looks like:
Then, lastly, I want to recommend you use Pinterest (which is the visual equivalent of facebook). It is a great tool to use to promote your work and you never cease to get inspiration from what other people put on there! It is truly a visual wonderland of images and ideas.
Here is what my Pinterest profile looks like:
- I am cunningly promoting my own stuff (shameful?…well, not really — this is how you do it!)
- I did this so you can snoop around to your heart’s content on how to go about using these sites effectively. I am leaving it up to you to go and see the way I have set up my accounts and how I use each listing to refer back to my site.
I hope this article has given you the tools to get out into the big wide cyber-world and showcase your masterpieces!
If you have any feedback, comments or sites you’d like to recommend — please do so in the comment box below.
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