Okay, we get it. The chances are that if you're a music artist then you never intended to spend a fair chunk of your time writing up marketing plans, setting achievable targets, and ensuring you understand – before you set out – how you'll measure those targets.
But if you're an artist looking for ways to improve your exposure then it's safe to assume that you want to make sure that your art is your full-time job. And that means making sales, promoting your work, and affording to spend all of your time working on what you love: your art.
Successful marketing brings this dream closer to reality.
Though we've already discussed some great free places to publicize your business, in this blog we're going to have a look at the essential marketing tips that artists can use offer a basic guide on the way they should go about marketing themselves for long-term success.
1. Slip into social media
The fact that there are many musicians still without social media profiles and active accounts is a travesty. Without promotion, through these accessible channels that offer quite incredible connection across the globes, sales of your artwork and knowledge of your work is so, so much more difficult.
The obvious social platform of choice for images related to your music project is Instagram. To have a free platform that reaches around the world and is intended to pose your skills in their best light is a privilege to have and a help to enjoy. Instagram is the best platform to offer a focus on visuals over text and is thus best suited to an artistic medium.
Your art can be liked and shared, and building a following or network through Instagram is entirely beneficial. The more people who know you, the better.
Poet and artist Rupi Kaur is one example among many of an artist being first discovered on social media. Beginning on Tumblr and then Instagram, Kaur is now a best-selling author.
Social media can be a king maker.
2. Consistency is Key
Following on from social media is the need to be consistent in getting your name and work out there. Whether you do this through social media or your own website – and you should be doing this through both! – the key to achieving your goal is, as usual, consistency.
And this means posting your work with regularity.
You need not post each day, as that can be a lot of work. But if you can establish a consistent pattern for making social media posts to show the world your work, you will give yourself the best chance to build up a solid base of followers and fans.
There are plenty of great ways to do this.
One could be around the evolution of a piece you're working on. This offers insight into your working practice and gives viewers an intimate window into the way your artwork comes together.
Another might be a "daily challenge" type blog. Set yourself a goal to create an artwork each day for a month or every week for a year, and post the results. This might seem like a gimmick but it shows you're a committed, serious artist and presents your personality to your audience. Viewers get to see how your work changes over time and you can talk about the challenges you faced and what you have learned.
3. Put it into words
Though writing might not be the natural tendency of musicians, text plays a major role online. Like it or loathe it, text is the primary source of searchable data on the internet; it's what Google goes looking for.
Due to this, writing about your work is important to make your website and name recognizable to major search engines and therefore – yep, you got it – potential clients.
Blogs, additional information added to your social media posts, and even a clever use of hashtags can improve your search engine standing.
Talk of web content obviously prompts discussion of SEO. Optimization is can really make a difference. There are many complex ways to ensure your website comes high in search results and while the best results always come from the professionals, anyone can learn the basics to give themselves a helping hand.
But some advice for the uninitiated, a word of warning. There are still a few SEO myths that hang around. Learn how best to avoid them here.
4. Video the future
Video is beginning to show its dominance online. By 2021, 82% of internet traffic the exchange of video data. Pretty impressive!
Whereas people used to share their photos, they are now sharing videos. Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, and Periscope are just some of the major players in the video-sharing environment online.
While the web was once geared mainly toward text, developments in internet speed and connection widen the scope for larger packets of data to be shared.
Get with the trend by sharing some videos or GIFs of you working. The process of building up a piece of art is always interesting to see; viewers enjoy watching skilled individuals do their work.
Videos are great, but GIFs offer a short, sharp impression of the process of each piece you have created. This is absolutely ideal for social media platforms where there is an unlimited amount of information to go through and only a limited time to get through it.
Make your impression quickly.
5. Take measurements
If you're really serious about being a professional working artist then you need to know how you're going to measure your success. When that comes to marketing, there can be a number of ways to do this.
One would be simple sales numbers. How many pieces did you sell this month? What is your monthly sales average? How many sales do you want to push toward?
"More" isn't enough. Set a number so you have a defined goal to push towards.
Alternatively, you may be focusing on getting your name out there. So your measures may be based on how many hits you get to your website, how many extra followers you claim in a month or the number of publications your name appears in.
Decide on the factors you'll use to measure success and work toward them. Only with measurable clear goals will you know whether you're progressing in your aim.