If you look at a lot of tips online, you’ll see people telling you to create a social network to promote your art. And sure, you can enjoy a lot of success on Twitter and Instagram if you’re consistent.
But at the same time, many people find social media quite distracting. Therefore, trying to build a presence on one platform can lead to important work not being done elsewhere.
Luckily, you don’t need social media to build an audience as an artist. Whether you’re a painter, photographer, graphic designer or anything else, these tips will help you grow your brand in other ways.
1. Build an email marketing list
Many people thought that the rise of social media would mean the death of email marketing. However, that hasn’t been the case and the medium is unlikely to go away anytime soon. Think about it: how often do you check your emails on a daily basis? You can guarantee that your audience does the same.
When done correctly, email marketing is a great way to connect with your audience. Everyone you send your content to has asked to hear from you, and you can easily have conversations with people away from the noise of social media.
If your newsletter is successful, you may also be able to generate additional revenue from advertisers. When building an email marketing list, remember to comply with data protection laws such as GDPR.
2. Start a website
If you want your audience to connect with you on a more personal level, creating a website may be your best option in addition to email marketing. You will also have more control over your content than you would on social media.
When creating a website, you can present it as you wish. If you like to write, for example, you can create a blog on your favorite topic. You can also use the website as a place to showcase your work or direct users to other channels.
You need to think carefully about the website builder you use to create your site. WordPress.org is different from WordPress.com and will give you more creative control, for example, but it’s also harder to use. Squarespace and Wix are other popular choices.
3. Start a podcast
If you want to learn on the go, podcasts are one of the best ways to do it. You can listen to them in the gym, on the way to work, while cooking dinner, and in several other situations. Your audience will likely want to know more about what you do, and podcasting is a great way to reach them.
You don’t need an expensive studio setup to start your own podcast. In fact, you might not even need a microphone; voice memos on your smartphone are just as easy to edit.
When starting a podcast, you can host your episodes on multiple platforms. Anchor is one of the most popular, but you can also use others like Buzzsprout. You can post your show on Google Podcasts, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and even YouTube if you use videos.
4. Attend networking events in your field
Regardless of your industry, relationship building is crucial. If you want to grow your presence as an artist without social media, meeting other people in your field is a good idea.
If you live in a big city, you’ll find several meetups throughout the year for art, design, and photography. You can use apps like MeetUp to discover events that interest you. Even if you live in a small town, you should still find something within a reasonable distance of where you are.
5. Email people you’d like to work with
Emailing people you don’t know can seem intimidating, and you’ll have to accept that you might have a higher rejection rate than other outreach methods. But if you are genuine in your approach and don’t ask too much without giving, you will find that many people are willing to help you.
When you cold email people you’d like to work with, introduce yourself and tell them what you’re doing. You should also focus on adding them to your network first; later, you might have the opportunity to work with them.
Always keep your emails short; you can check out this article on how to email if you need some guidance.
6. Tell your friends and family about your art
If you’re new to the art world, you may not have a professional network, especially if your previous career was in a different field. If you feel a little discouraged about emailing people you don’t know, start with your immediate non-professional environment.
Your friends will likely support your efforts. If you tell them about your art and they know someone who is into that kind of stuff, they’ll probably tell that person. The same goes for your family members.
Be sure to give everyone you talk to a website or other contact method.
7. Send press releases
Press releases are a relatively old way of getting your name out there, but you might find them incredibly effective. Essentially, you’ll write a short article whenever you announce important news about your art and distribute it to people and publications that might find it interesting.
When sending press releases, try to segment your circulation as much as possible. You also need to make sure the news is valuable and that the recipients have all the information they need to create an interesting story.
8. Don’t forget your existing customers
If you’re already working with existing customers, you’ll often find that retention is the best form of growth. It’s easy to become fixated on the idea of attracting new audiences, but those you already work with will likely have a wealth of knowledge, as well as a large network.
Focus on producing high quality work for your existing clients and you could receive referrals. At the very least, you’ll strengthen your portfolio and make yourself more attractive when you seek out additional clients later.
9. Hand out business cards
You can associate business cards with corporate settings, but they can also be suitable for artists. If you’re attending a networking event, having cards ready to hand out can help you generate leads and open doors for potential future collaborations.
Another way to distribute business cards is to leave them in public areas. You can easily create your own business cards with Canva.
If you don’t want to build your presence as an artist with social media, there are several other methods you can use. Older forms of marketing, such as email, still work well if you can find a way to add value to your audience. Likewise, you can create a website to give others a better insight into who you are and what you do as an artist.
Podcasting, talking to members of your friendship circle, and attending networking events can all help. We’ve only scratched the surface in this article, so it’s worth experimenting to see what works best for you.