(Note: this is part two of a three part series on growing your audience. Click here to read the first instalment and here for part three.)
If you want to have a successful art business, you need to have a fan base that follows you and your work, and most importantly, buys your work from you.
Without paying clients, you don’t have a business, you have an expensive hobby. It’s as simple as that.
But how to go about growing an audience and getting people to pay attention to your work? I know that this can feel like a daunting project. That's why in this series of posts, I’m talking about three different strategies you can use to get more eyes on your artwork to increase your sales!
Pay to play with a bigger audience
In the last post, I talked about how you can grow your audience organically. That method requires time and effort though, and eventually you’ll either run out of “free” time, or you’ll want to start targeting new audiences. Either to continue growing your numbers, or for a specific purpose (like a sale or an upcoming gallery show).
At that point, it makes sense to approach your audience strategy differently. You might decide to pay for ads (sometimes called sponsored content), creating and managing them yourself. Or, you might decide to hire someone else to create content, post, and possibly run ads for you.
Ads are a huge advantage if you’re trying to cut through the “noise.” Depending on how they’re set up and what audience characteristics the ads target, your content will usually show up in front of people who have interacted with you before, or new people who like similar things (and therefore might like your work!).
Hiring a social media manager can be expensive, but doing that also frees you up to do other things (like make art!).
Just make sure you spend time checking out their credentials, seeing what other kind of work they’ve done, and what kind of results they’ve gotten for their clients.
Sometimes a social media manager will just clean up your feed and then help update it regularly. If they have marketing or ads expertise, they might create a social media strategy, or run ad campaigns for you.
Paying for this kind of exposure usually makes your audience grow pretty quickly, but a word of caution: it’s very important to create a strategy before you whip out your checkbook – otherwise you’ll find yourself spending a whole lot of money for very little return on your investment. (See "3 Tips to Help You Set Yourself Up For Success" for some help with this)
And not only do you want to plan how you’re going to attract new followers, you also want to figure out how you’re going to keep them engaged and interested in your content.
There’s no point in getting lots of new followers only to have them ignore you! It boosts your numbers and looks good, but if they’re not visiting, commenting, sharing, and buying from you, then you are no better off than you were before.
I know that there is so much more to say on this topic, but I will stop here for today (let me know if you have any more specific questions on the topic). In my next post, I will share a completely different strategy to find new fans – one that most artists don’t think of! In the meantime, if you missed the last post on growing your audience, click here to read it!
Have you considered running ads or hiring someone to manage your media feeds? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!
Want to grow your creative business + career but feel stuck and overwhelmed? Then I've got exactly what you need! Download your free "5 Steps to Growing Your Art Business + Career Blueprint" and get the simple yet effective approach I teach my clients who want to build personally fulfilling and financially successful businesses with marketing, PR, and sales strategies that work. Or, connect with over 18,000 other artist entrepreneurs at The Artist Entrepreneur Network and find the support + community you need!