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4.3 Marketing for Artists

Work of Art: Business Skills for Artists (Springboard for the Arts)


Now that you have a strong sense of your market, you can use that knowledge as you develop a strategy for reaching them where they are. With so many outlets and constant information being thrown out there, building and maintaining relationships is key for individual artists. Here is how one artist made his mark in the comic and illustration market.

Marketing for Artists 101 (Bobby Chiu)



Fill out CPAC's artist spotlight and send it to us! We will follow up with questions, and it will be posted on Creative Compass and sent through our email blast. NOTE: Don't fill this out in your browser or you will lose information. Save it to your desktop first

Artist Spotlight Questions


To date, what are the strategies you have used to tell people about your artwork outside of your immediate circle of friends and family? (business cards, festivals/conventions/conferences, postcards, websites, advertising, press releases)

Which of those generated the most or best exposure? 

What target audiences that you identified in your market research and marketing plan do you want to reach most?

What did your research find about how this audience or type of client gathers information? (Are you more likely to reach them electronically or on paper? What do they tend to read, and where do they read it?) The more narrow you can get here, the less likely it is that you will waste money and time on blanket marketing efforts.

Create a Marketing Campaign

A marketing campaign should be an extension of your marketing plan.

In other words, you have one overarching marketing plan; marketing campaigns are a collection of activities to achieve the goals in that plan. A marketing campaign may be to increase traffic to your website, for example. Another campaign may be to sell a particular event or collection of work. You may have different campaigns to reach different audiences. Once you have determined how your audience prefers to receive information, the campaign is a set of strategies to expose your work to them. 

  • Are there particular people with whom you need to make contact to run this campaign (reporters, advertising departments, etc.)?
  • Do these individuals work on particular deadlines or timeframes of which you should be aware?
  • What kind of barriers should you prepare for with a particular marketing channel (e.g. perceptions people have of Facebook ads and how you combat that)?

Choose one way you can increase your visibility with the right people without spending too much or any money. Make that the basis for your first campaign.

Create Your Elevator Speech (otherwise known as your "boiler-plate") 

Describe yourself and your artwork in 100 words or less. Every word should be chosen based on how your audience receives information, pulling their interest, rather than starting with you. Most often, avoid using technical terms since most people may not have experience in your artistic discipline. See the next section on storytelling to craft your message in a way that can draw someone in and remember you.

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