Free Easy Self-Promotion: How to make it less painful and more exciting?
Updated: Jun 15
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There is no way around self-promotion and even the most confident artists tend to run from it. The feeling of self-promotion is usually in most cases awkward and uncomfortable. As a beginner artist, you don’t want to come across as bothersome to the people around you.
But it is a necessary evil every artist must do in order to sell their art and make a living from it.
It was very taunting and still is for me too. I dread it, run from it, don’t want to do it. I just want to do art, but I also need to pay the bills and I can’t afford paid advertising. So, self-promotion is the only thing left to do.
If you want your art to be seen, you need to push it to as many people as possible. Only this way it will generate sales over time.
Many flea from self-promotion but not all methods are painful. Some are quite fun and easy to do.
But before you start with these methods you need to be aware of some facts:
You are a business. When you’re drawing just for fun and as a hobby not trying to sell your art it’s fine. But as soon as you switch you’ve become a business and your mindset needs to shift as well. For some, this change can be difficult because now you’re not just an artist you are also a business owner and promotion is how the business thrives and survives.
You are providing value. Art comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes. This means you provide value to the buyers of your art and since art is rated subjectively not everyone will see the value of your art, but there will be some that will. This is why promotion is important. More people see your art more chances you have in finding those who will see the value of your work and buy it.
Believe in yourself. If you don’t believe your art is good or meaningful promoting it will be like sticking nails into a brick wall. Especially beginning artists get overwhelmed by the competition and they constantly compare their art to other better artists. Don’t do that. Art is subjective, not everyone will like it and not everyone will hate it. You just need to believe in yourself and continue to grow. When you find your crowd, your art will be great to them. Hence in order for that to happen, you need to self-promote.
I read this quote in an article about self-promotion for artists from Julia Kuzmenko McKim and it is spot on when it comes to self-promotion. She wrote: “In a crowd of people wearing all black, it’s the one wearing red who you notice. In other words, in a sea of talent, how do you stand out just high enough to make yourself visible?”
No one is going to notice your art and offer you money if you’re not telling people that you do art, and it is for sale. Therefore, self-promotion is crucial for success, and in the age of internet and fast accessibility, you can do wonders and reach billions with just one or two clicks.
The first thing everyone tells new artists is to promote on social media. Yes, creating an account on various SM sites and posting your art there might get you seen faster but if you’re not consistent and post daily their algorithms will crush you under a pile of other posts. SM such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter are also not pushing their older posts to new viewers, therefore your older posts get forgotten and unseen. And let’s face it, nobody has the time to be posting daily or to be creating great art every day. When you try to keep up with their algorithms your art starts to lose value, you become obsessed about quantity and forget the quality. I have SM but use it rarely, only when I have a great piece to share.
In my opinion, the best way to self-promote through SM is through platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, Pinterest, ArtStation, Be Hance, Reddit. Because your older pieces are always available to the viewers and can still be seen years down the line. They do take a bit more time, especially YouTube. Because you need to film videos, edit them and not every artist knows how to do it. But down the line, you get more exposure.
One of self-promotion options is also having your own website or blog. Providing your fans with your knowledge and some free items can go a long way. You need to maintain that site and blog sure, but it is much easier than keeping up with Social Media algorithms. And you don’t need to post daily, you can do it weekly or monthly. The key is still consistency, but you’re not being rushed to make art that will appeal to the ever-changing algorithms.
There is ONE thing that you need to be aware of when self-promoting. DO NOT SPAM – when you join groups or chats or comment on other artists' works. If you like the work just compliment it, don’t sell yourself with an attached link to your own work. I really hate that, and so do other artists. You won’t get viewers that way, just trolls.
As a beginner artist, it is very easy to fall into this trap. When people are saying share your work, this is not one of the methods. Unless you first create a relationship with the group, and you ask if you can share your work with them. You can ask for reviews, but first, create a bond with the group you’re chatting with.