Marketing for Artists: Zero Budget Social Media Hacks

Social media is an exceptionally powerful marketing tool for artists. It gives you a way to share your art with the world, to connect with and be inspired by other creatives, and to get your art in front of a massive audience of potential buyers or curators.

“I’ve discovered so many new artists who inspire me every day just from their social media posts,”

— illustrator and Marvel comic artist Jen Bartel

Never before have humans been so connected. Remember that social platforms are still a way for people to engage with people not for people to promote their agenda. The most successful marketers and influencers cite authenticity as one of the most important aspects of social media success.

Social media’s not going anywhere. And it’s NOT too late to start.

There’s a mysterious assumption that it’s somehow “too late” to build a social media following on a popular platform. That’s not true. Every day, there are thousands of new artists getting thousands of new followers, likes, and upvotes through organic discovery.

Yes, it takes time to build a following. But it’s not impossible. As they say, “the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the second-best time is today.” Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back!

“Our best selling exhibitions have without fail been those where the artist has a decent social media following, posts regularly, and engages in an authentic way with their followers. The exhibitions that have sold the least have been those where the artist isn’t on social media, or is but didn’t use it to promote their show. This has become important enough that I now take an artist’s social media presence into consideration when deciding whose work I will show — something I didn’t do when I first started the gallery.”

— Kelly Heylen, Curator

There are two core pillars to growing on social. Sharing your own original content, and resharing the content of other creatives.

To attract and gather a following, you can’t selfishly promote your own art the entire time. The whole point of social media is to build connections with other people. You need to strike a careful balance between sharing your work and sharing the work of others.

Original Content

  • Photos of your finished art
  • Closeups of your finished art
  • Works In Progress (WIPs)
  • Videos of your artworks
  • Video or photo walkthrough of your studio
  • Photos of your exhibitions (bonus points if you’re with a fan!)
  • How-to’s or tutorials

Other Content

  • Artworks by your favorite artists
  • Art-related blog posts
  • News that affects the art industry
  • Local exhibitions you’re interested in

Getting in early on a social media platform or app

If you get in early on a new social media platform or art-related app, it’s much easier to build and grow a following. For example, early users on our app D Emptyspace (curate virtual galleries of your art in 3D) have a much higher chance of being interviewed, highlighted in our newsletter, and even curated directly in the app’s featured artist section.

By joining an app when they have fewer users, you can get more exposure from the start, quickly gaining traction and rising to the top of popularity charts. Plus your desired username or handle will probably still be available.

Click here to download D Emptyspace now and get in early!

The Most Popular Social Media Platforms

You can find a bunch of social media platforms online. There are no rules with how many platforms you should be active on. However, some have time-saving overlaps where you can share the same content over multiple networks (Twitter and Facebook connect particularly well). If you need help deciding which platform to focus on first, check out this guide.

Here’s a quick overview of the most popular platforms.

Facebook

By far the most popular platform. To use Facebook effectively, you’ll need to create a “Brand Page”. A brand page is very different from your usual Facebook profile. Features like audience demographics will help you get a better understanding of your fanbase. Check out this comprehensive guide on Brand Pages and learn how to use them.

Twitter

Twitter is a great way to connect with other artists and curators. Most users on twitter engage with others as a way of forming professional connections, so there’s a high likelihood you can build a good network

The key to success in twitter is to engage authentically with others. It’s appropriate to share personal struggles related to work, and some even garner traction by posting radical viewpoints.

Here’s my ‘no time wasted on Twitter’ game plan to get the attention of curators:

  1. Build a list of 10 curators, dealers or and collectors you think would be interested in your art.
  2. Put the list onto a spreadsheet (here’s a template you can download and use) and identify which curators are active on twitter (active is posting around 2 or 3 times a month at a minimum).
  3. Go through the twitter profiles twice a week (using the spreadsheet) and like, comment, and retweet relevant posts.
  4. Respond to any engagements you get back.
  5. In a few weeks, email the curators with the subject line “We’ve been chatting on twitter” and request to chat about a project together.

Instagram

Instagram is pretty intuitive for most artists. In a nutshell, you post your art, like and follow the art of others, and leave the occasional comment. The trick is in the hashtags (this symbol: #). By using hashtags effectively, you can attract new followers who’ve never been exposed to your art.

Check out how Daniel Stuelpnagel and Cande Aguilar are using hashtags to promote their work.

#barriopop #nyc #borderartists#latexsuitesandgardens

View this post on Instagram

Summer sketches! #summersketches

A post shared by Daniel Stuelpnagel (@kumokuchuni) on

#summersketches

Here’s a list of hashtags categorized by art style. Next time you post on Instagram, include hashtags in your description along with a brief explanation or context of the photo.

Pinterest

Think of Pinterest like your personal scrapbook. You can build boards, share ‘pins’ with others, and get quite an impressive amount of engagement. An estimated 90% of the users on Pinterest are female — something to keep in mind when deciding what to post.

Read a full guide on selling your art on Pinterest here.

Being active on social media vs having a digital portfolio

Not having a website won’t hurt your chances of being successful on social. A website is where you showcase your portfolio of work and introduce yourself in detail as a professional artist. It isn’t necessarily how you build a following online (although in some cases it helps).

If you’re meeting with curators, having an online portfolio (such as a website) will add to your respectability as an artist. Having a large social media following will imply your exhibition has a high likelihood of becoming a commercial success.

Beware of: getting stuck in the technicalities of building a site, wasting your time, and growing frustrated. An easier option is to build a portfolio on sites like DeviantArt or Tumblr (click here to see a full list).

A note on being popular…

Likes, shares, follows, upvotes, hearts, or any other form of social media isn’t an indication of your talent or success. Social media is a tool you can use to better your career and deepen your connection to the artistic community. Be aware that overusing it can be addictive and damaging to your quality of life.

We suggest you block out time for social media marketing as part of your ‘job’ as an artist rather than constantly checking to see how many likes you got on your latest post.

“Never play to the gallery. Never work for other people in what you do. Always remember that the reason you initially started working was there was something inside yourself that, if you could manifest it, you felt you would understand more about yourself. I think it’s terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people’s expectations.”

— David Bowie

Are you struggling with social media?

Leave a comment and we’ll get back to you with some personalized marketing advice!

Download D Emptyspace for iOS: https://apple.co/2MhsxCs

Android version coming soon!

Follow D Emptyspace for more company updates and art-curated content!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Download

Previous ArticleNext Article
F.

FAQ: Do I have to retype my artist statement in D Emptyspace?

FAQ: Do I have to retype my artist statement in D Emptyspace?

“I’ve already written descriptions for my art and my artist statement. Do I have to retype them on D Emptyspace?”

This is one of the most common questions we’ve gotten from artists and photographers using D Emptyspace (download for iPhone) so far. In the long run, the best way to bring existing text into your galleries will be using the web version, slated for release later this summer.

In the meantime, here’s a relatively straightforward workaround for transferring text from your Mac or PC to the iPhone version of D Emptyspace.

Using a Mac

Note: For this to work, your phone and your Mac must be on the same iCloud account.

Step 1: Write or open your text.

Everything can be together in one document, just note which descriptions go with which images.

Step 2: Open the Notes app.

You can just click on Notes if it’s in the dock.

If it isn’t in your dock, you can click the magnifying glass in the upper right corner of your screen to search for “Notes” in Spotlight.

You can find Notes in the Launchpad, which you can open by pressing the F4 key or by “pinching” your trackpad (on a laptop) with three fingers and your thumb.

Step 3: Create a new note and paste in the text.

Click the new note button or press Command + N

Copy (Command + C) your text from whatever app you wrote it in, and paste it into the Notes App (Command + V). You can also write the text directly in the Notes app.

Step 4: Copy from Notes to D Emptyspace

Open the notes app on your iPhone.

Copy the text you need for a section of your gallery by holding your finger on the screen until a select box appears. Once you select the text you need, select “Copy” from the menu that appears.

In the D Emptyspace App open the gallery or photo that you’re editing. In the text entry space, hold your finger down just like you did to copy. A menu with the option to “Paste” will appear.

Tap “Save”

Using a PC or a Mac

Step 1: Write or open your text.

Everything can be together in one document, just note which descriptions go with which images.

Step 2: Send yourself an email

Open your email app or website.

Compose a new email. Put your own email address in the TO field.

Copy (Command + C) your text from whatever app you wrote it in, and paste it into the email body (Command + V). You can also write the text directly in the email.

Send the email.

Step 3: Copy from the email to D Emptyspace

Open the email app on your iPhone.

Copy the text you need for a section of your gallery by holding your finger on the screen until a select box appears. Once you select the text you need, select “Copy” from the menu that appears.

In the D Emptyspace App open the gallery or photo that you’re editing. In the text entry space, hold your finger down just like you did to copy. A menu with the option to “Paste” will appear.

Tap “Save”

Other Methods

Many messenger apps like WhatsApp and KakaoTalk allow you to send messages to yourself. You’ll need to install the app on both your phone and your computer.

You can create a shared Google Doc using your Gmail account and access it from both your computer and your phone.

If you prefer Microsoft to Google, you can create a shared document on Microsoft OneDrive or OneNote.

Download D Emptyspace for iOS: https://apple.co/2MhsxCs

Android version coming soon!

Follow D Emptyspace for more company updates and art-curated content!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Download

4.

4 Artists and Photographers to Follow First on D Emptyspace

4 Artists and Photographers to Follow First on D Emptyspace

If you’ve downloaded the D Emptyspace app you probably want to find some amazing artists to connect with and to provide some inspiration for your own galleries. While the app just launched a few weeks ago, there are already thousands of incredible galleries to explore. (We’re overjoyed shocked and humbled at the incredible response!)

Here are a few of the people you should follow right away! (Just hit the search button in the tap bar on the D Emptyspace app and type the artist’s handle to find their works instantly. Or click the link to see the gallery on your desktop or phone.)

Kurt Caddy — @kurtcaddyart

Visit this gallery.

“Beauty is all around, often hiding among the mundane and the ordinary. These abstract photos are layered in color, revealing their beauty and wonder.”

Kurt Caddy is an artist based in Bolivar, Missouri. His artwork focuses on spirituality themes and connects on a deep emotional and spiritual level. Working with textured layers of mineral pigment and paint, his art entices viewers to feel the divine mysteries of hope, sorrow, brokenness, peace, sacrifice, and grace.

Ode to Spring by Kurt Caddy

Cande Aguilar @barriopop

Visit this gallery.

Cande Aguilar is a multimedia artist working from deep within Texas in a small town bordering Mexico. Addressing the juxtaposing and colorful themes of Mexican and American culture, he “carves” out each artwork in his home studio. Aguilar composes his works on panels of wood and draws inspiration from the drawings of his children, the environment around him, and popular culture. He goes as far as to customize the surfaces he displays his art on, giving his galleries a unique edge on the D Emptyspace app.

Land of Peace by Cande Aguilar

@myang

Visit this gallery.

Myang’s landscapes invoke dramatic emotion and melancholy in viewers. Bordering on the dystopian, the artist uses a combination of watercolor and pencil to achieve a dreamlike look. Often monotone and muted, each landscape is a mesmerizing exploration of texture and tone.

Untitled by Myang

Daniel Huete — @danielhuete

INDIA RETROSPECTIVE by Daniel Huete

Visit this gallery.

Born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Daniel Huete’s striking photography documents the beauty of everyday life and culture in various Asian countries. Currently based in Bangkok, he’s currently exploring a project rooted in his family and heritage. Huete’s affinity for bold colors, sharp and intricate textures, and high-contrast lighting make his photography dramatic and bold. Each photo is vivid snapshot into the everyday life of cultures far removed from first-world western society. (Curious about Daniel? Read our extended interview with him.)

Holi Festival Gallery by Daniel Huete

Visit this gallery.

Download the app on iOS: https://apple.co/2MhsxCs

Android version coming soon!

Follow D Emptyspace for more company updates and art-curated content!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Download