Monday, July 20, 2009

Market Your Art with Social Networking

by Kate Dardine

The basic premise of marketing your art using social networking is building relationships. Since many artists and photographers are rather solitary creatures, spending hours in the studio, in the field or in the darkroom (digital or actual), online social networking provides an opportunity to connect with people – people from your past, family, friends, colleagues, your friend’s friends, your family’s friends, and so on. And in this mix of people there are people who will be struck by your work when it pops up on their computer screen and some of those people will be motivated to find out more and to purchase.

True story: I put up my personal Facebook page a few weeks ago and posted a few images and a link to my website. I connected with some old friends from my hometown in Connecticut, and with some of my friends here in Colorado and a few other folks. Within 48 hours of putting up my page, I sold a painting – as a direct result of my Facebook page. Talk about instant affirmation: I was onto something.

I don’t claim to know everything there is about using social networking sites to market Art. But I can tell you what has worked for me. And I don’t mean to imply that you can just use social networking alone to market your art. This is just one more cog in the Marketing Wheel.

1. If you haven’t already, get over your fear of social networking sites and set up a (free!) account Facebook. Yes, there are lots of other social networking sites out there, including a bunch that are geared toward artists. But for the purpose of creating a buzz about your work and connecting with people who might buy your work, Facebook will give you the most bang for your time invested.

2. If you haven’t already, get a website! This is where you are going to drive traffic TO from Facebook. If you have a website, make sure it is up-to-date, professional looking, and easy to navigate. I have my website (which includes my personal art blog) hosted by Fine Art Studio Online, and give them the highest recommendations for ease of use for both the artist and the viewer. Bonus tip: If you don’t have a website and just want a way to get your images online, go to and set up a free account and post images to your personal blog that you set up.

3. You’ll also want to open a PayPal account if you don’t already have one. That way you can sell paintings and photographs directly from your website or your blog (PayPal will give you a link to embed in your website’s or blog’s html coding.)

4. Plan on devoting an hour a day, five days a week to social networking. Sounds crazy, I know. But it takes time to upload images and content.

5. If you already have a Facebook profile, you are ahead of the game. The rest of you can catch up by opening an account with Facebook and creating a personal profile. Next you need to add some friends. Facebook makes it easy. You can search for people who graduated from high school the same year you did. Or college. You can search for people by name. At any rate, spend some time searching for people you know and “friending” them.

Want the next five tips? Click here!

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