Coordinating Your Marketing Efforts

Artists everywhere are throwing their arms up in frustration. Sure, it’s great to have free self-promotion tools on the Internet, but . . . Dang! . . . enough already!

Website, blog, newsletter, email, Facebook, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest. The list just keeps exploding.

How do you keep up with it all?

The answer is: You can’t!

Sara Drescher Braswell artist sites

Sara Drescher Braswell coordinates her marketing efforts across platforms.

Don’t even try.

The trick is to admit defeat. I’ve done this already with LinkedIn and G+. For now, they are nowhere on my radar for connecting with people.

Undoubtedly, this is a mistake, but I can’t worry about it. I know that I won’t be effective with my core offerings if I am spread too thin.

Here’s a rundown of 3 basic platforms you should be using to promote your art and how they work with one another. Facebook is optional, but recommended. The other two are mandatory.

Blog or Website

This is your home base, your brand, your everything. You can’t neglect your site!

Use your site to brand yourself as an expert. You might be an expert on your subject matter, an expert on your media, an expert on local artists. Or you might just be an expert on you. Whatever it is, create fresh content on a regular basis to enhance your reputation.

It’s critical that you do this on your site and not on a social media site owned by a big company. It’s the only way you can control your message and ensure that it endures.

Tips for coordinating your site with other marketing platforms:

  • Use your site to collect email addresses through a sign-up form.
  • Advertise your Facebook page, Pinterest boards, and Twitter profile through easy-to-find links.
  • Install “Share” buttons so that visitors can share your content on social media sites.
  • Create Pinterest boards for your top blog posts and thematic groupings of your art.

Email

Some people will connect with you through your blog or Facebook, but you can’t count on that. Even if people have Facebook accounts, the chances are good they’ll miss your status updates because of all the other noise on that site.

Email, whether in the form of short reminders or newsletters, is vital for keeping your name in front of people. Send email messages to announce exhibitions and classes, send invitations, and broadcast reminders.

Tips for coordinating your email with other marketing platforms:

  • Revise content from your blog or Facebook updates for email newsletters.
  • Use email to drive people to your website or blog, but don’t send them to your home page. Home pages are boring! Send them to the page with your hot-out-of-the-studio art or your most-commented-on blog post.
  • Provide links to your Facebook page, Pinterest boards, and Twitter profile in your email newsletters.

Facebook

Your artist business page on Facebook features your blog posts and art-specific topics. You should be consistently posting images of your art – at least three times a week if not daily. Try using the scheduling option to post-date your updates and hit different time zones.

Remember that most people will read your Facebook updates as they appear in news feeds – not from your timeline. It’s rare that people (unless they’re spending way too much time on the computer) who saw an update of yours at 8 a.m. would see another one at 4 p.m.

Tips for coordinating your Facebook page with other marketing platforms:

  • Make sure the link to your website or blog appears in the About info under your name on your Facebook page. People should be able to quickly find the link and visit your site.
  • See that your Facebook business page shows up as your employer on your personal profile.
  • Do not add your Twitter feed to your Facebook page. The two are very different platforms and Twitter-ese looks out of place in a Facebook feed.
  • Every now and then, post an invitation to subscribe to your email newsletter.

That’s it! Website/blog, email, and Facebook, although this is by no means a comprehensive list of how you can coordinate these marketing tools.

I know what you’re asking now: Where’s Twitter? Why not Pinterest? What about YouTube?

We could go on and on. If you like these additional platforms, use them! They’re all good. They can all be worthwhile if used consistently and with respect for their unique qualities.

But . . . Coordinate your marketing efforts. Your various profiles, sites, and platforms do not stand by themselves. You must use them in harmony in order to be effective with your message.

How are you coordinating your marketing?

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51 comments to Coordinating Your Marketing Efforts

  • Oh, Alyson … this is so timely for me. I know that in the next month or two, these are some of the things I have been thinking about … reducing the number of things that seem to make me crazy … and concentrating on making these sites you mention work the best way for me. I agree the blog and website are needing more frequent updating with interesting thoughts … and more photos of the art I am working on.

    I think Pinterest is a great way to get people to my sites. I have not been using the “business page” on Facebook to its best advantage … I tend to forget it for long periods of time. And, I am beginning to realize the LinkedIn conversations are eating away at my time … lately I have just been deleting those notices that “new” comments have been made and I have also taken myself off some.

    I sent my first newsletter last month with MailChimp … was a very long learning curve fitted inbetween my art and other stuff. Now, I need to do just what you said … learn to regularly send notices and such.

  • This is very timely for me as well Alyson. It seems to me that we are bombarded with “Have to Social Media” these days.

    My opening line for my website workshop in Social Media section is “Only DO what you WILL DO”.

    Like you and taking my own advice I have let go of LinkedIn, Twitter and G+ and have all but deleted these social media accounts.

    I noticed that my likes on Facebook have gone up since I have concentrated more on posting there. I added my Facebook feed to the bottom of my website which may also have contributed to the additional thumbs ups.

    With all of these big 3 (website/blog, email and Facebook), consistency is key. If you have to be consistent with 4 or 5 social media sites as well as your website and email where is the time to spend on what matters the most – studio time!

  • I love your website and your books but on this topic, I’m going to respectfully disagree. :) I think for some people it’s not practical, but for others it is.
    I’ve made tremendous use of social media in my art career and I do stay (relatively!) on top of everything. The trick I have for being everywhere at once is redundancy and the help of apps. I use hootsuite and buffer to help me manage my accounts and to schedule updates. I agree that tweets look funny on Facebook sometimes, but you can set up your Facebook feed to automatically update your twitter. When I have new art to share I post a photo to my Facebook Fanpage, I then share that on my Facebook Profile Page which automatically updates my Twitter. I’ll use hootsuite to hit any other accounts I want to or copy and paste the info manually. If I want to Pin the item to Pinterest I either do so from Etsy (if the item is for sale) or I share it on my Tumblr page and Pin it from there. I think the trick is being organized, and fast. I “look” like I’m all over social media all day, but actually I spend a few minutes three times a day on SM and I get a ton of rewards out of the effort.

    • Brigid: I don’t think we really disagree. You found a way to make it work for you and I think that’s great. But not everyone has the discipline or the desire to be all of those places.

  • I want to be Brigid…but I’m not. I’m way organized but not fast with my fingers (for obvious reasons). Typing is a two thumbs effort and it’s taken me almost all of this year to surrender to the fact that, much as I’d love to ‘do it all,’ it stressed me out so much that it was interfering with my best thing: my creativity.
    So I’ve hired help with my web sites – I have 4 – and a consultant to help me squeeze the last juice out of the lemon I have so I can make lemon meringue pie the easiest way possible. I’m down to 2 FB pages, 2 blogs (I’m an author as well so it’s never going to be as minimal as it might be), 2 online galleries, the 4 sites, (one of which I pawn off on my husband whenever possible and one of which I have put in the hands of a co-creator), Twitter and a quarterly Email which is a bit late at the moment.
    I’m still on Google+ and Linked In but mostly so other people can contact me if they need to. I don’t post nuthun. Goodreads has fallen by the wayside as well.
    My sanity simply has to come first.
    (And your blog, by the way, is one of only 2 that I subscribe to, cutting my info intake commitment down to the best I can find.)

  • Thanks for saying “doing it well is better than doing it all.”

    I also think some platforms are better than others for our personalities. I believe in giving a platform a try for a while, then making a decision (that being said, sculptor Kevin Caron’s YouTube channel took a year to take off). I tried Twitter for six months only to decide it was too staccato for me – FaceBook, email, the Web site, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn (which I have not fully used yet) seem a better fit.

    Thanks for pointing out we don’t have to be all things to all platforms.

  • Sound advice – as always. And although I agree with everything you say, I struggle with advice to regularly blog — have been struggling with that ever since I took a workshop from you. I find it much easier to post small snippets to my Facebook page which I do update regularly. I am on other social networking sites, but like you I virtually ignore Linked-in and G+. Some (not sure which) of my Facebook posts show up automatically on Twitter but I only infrequently post directly.

    Since I am on Etsy, I find it easy and fast to be present on Pinterest – a mixture of posting items from others that I admire and my own work. My Pinterest activity posts to Facebook and I think that has gotten me some visibility.

    Thanks for the reminder about focusing on my website/blog. Going to try to act on it.

  • This is timely advice for artists who for sure have better things to do than endless promotion. I recommend choosing social tools (like, 2 or 3) based on how they align with your overall marketing plan, and working on your BRAND all the time {it supersedes social efforts, even}.
    In fact, next time you have some ‘down time’, put together a cohesive structure that works together, like Alyson suggests in this post: http://www.artbizblog.com/2010/03/strategic-e-marketing.html

  • I am so relieved!!! I have decided to do only a few social media….but to do them consistently and well. Thanks ….really enjoyed this posting!

  • what a relief to hear you say that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks.

  • I am so glad you did not say that I have to use Twitter. I use it sporadically, don’t like it and can’t monitor its effect. Pinterest has been a boon to my art sales and multiplying eyeballs on my work in general.
    I have an art website and an interior design blog. I think it works well because there is plenty of crossover and its not all “here’s more about me”. I would like to work on Tumblr too.

  • Social Media = Cocktail Party
    Your Blog = Your House
    Your Website = Your Gallery
    Your Emails = Personal Letters and Postcards to your fans

    You’ll sell a lot more art to people who you send personal letters to, who visit your gallery and visit your house than you will to people at a cocktail party.

    Plan your art & marketing time accordingly.

    • This is great Alyson…I am letting go of google+ and linkedin but will still use facebook for certain things. I want to concentrate more on my faso blog, I do send out a newsletter every two months but have let my blog fall behind. I have another blog for my Daily Paintings and keep up to date with that and use Pinterest. That’s it for me! I also have my own Gallery to run and all my paintings sell through my gallery, blog and website…I have never sold one on facebook. That says it all really!! Thanks for sharing..I now know I don’t have to be superwoman!!

    • Totally agree Clint…my work sells from my blog and website never facebook! I had an exhibition at my home Gallery two weeks ago and sold extremely well…as well as generating interest in workshops.

      • But MANY artists sell art via Facebook. Many.

        • I have sold paintings because of Facebook. I posted about doing a demo at a gallery and a classmate of my sister’s came by just because of wanting to see me and reconnect. She bought a nice painting … and has since bought another one. This is just one instance. You just never know when you use Facebook to promote the things you are doing!

    • Agreed, Clint! The focus is always on your house/gallery. But it does happen at the cocktail party, too. So if there’s time at the end of the day, go to the party.

      • Sure, go to the party if there’s time, but when I go to parties with artists I really don’t want to be constantly bombarded with sales and marketing. It’s happened to me at real parties and it gets annoying if it’s too much [I'm talking about a real party now, perhaps I'm carrying the metaphor a bit too far]. The party is for strengthening relationships and sometimes that means knowing when to exit sales mode. But yes, it does happen of course, I just wouldn’t recommend making it the crux of a marketing strategy, as I see some artists attempting to do.

        Plus there’s always the ever-present risk that Facebook will pull the rug out from under you, as you pointed out here today and which I absolutely agree with: https://twitter.com/abstanfield/status/252856085759795200

        • Who said anything about bombarding people with sales and marketing? You’re sharing about your art. If people don’t want to hear about your art, they wouldn’t Like your page.

          Agreed: Strengthen relationships – authentically.

          It’s not the crux, but networking and building relationships is CRITICAL. You can’t just build a site or a blog and expect people to come.

          I’m not sure there IS a crux of a marketing strategy. I believe the most effective marketing is (as this article attempted to outline) using multiple platforms in coordination with each other.

          • I think I took the metaphor too far. I wasn’t suggesting at all that YOU wanted artists to bombard people with marketing.

            I was sharing, from personal experience, that it happens to me at social gatherings with artists and that I’m often much less receptive in that setting than when I’m visiting an artist’s studio or home because I’m engaged with lots of different people and conversations. It isn’t always the right context.

            I agree with your premise of coordinating your marketing across all the places you have a presence.

            I was attempting to make the point that some channels are much, much, much more effective than others and so merited more attention than others. I guess my attempt wasn’t very good.

  • Finally, someone is talking about being strategic and/or coordinating online marketing efforts! I just complained about this last week with a few people.

    Keep the ideas and examples coming Alyson. We need them!

    PS Then there are all of the various offline marketing efforts…oh my!

  • hi guys! I’m new up here and would like to say hello to everyone. I’m a promoter of STORMY’s work and believe that artists should never promote themselves to the general public. Business and creation do not go together, it numbs the creation process and frustrates the artist. You should find someone who believes in and knows you as a person as well as an artist and also willing to put the time into promoting you.

    • Ed: Stormy is very lucky to have you, but not all artists are alike. Some artists very much like and feed on the interaction with the public. And the public LOVES to know artists. I’ve seen it work in hundreds, if not thousands, of situations.

      Most importantly, not all artists have an Ed in their lives. If they do, fantastic!

      May I ask what your relationship is with Stormy? Did s/he hire you? Were you friends previously? Partners? Proximity makes an enormous difference as to weather the “agent” relationship has a chance at success.

      • hi Alyson, thank you for your response, I’ve taken STORMY on as a project because I really like her work and my involvement is purely on commission. She could not afford me otherwise. I believe that an artist has a greater purpose than just paint and sell paintings. Just like an Architect has duty to create shelter, I believe that artists create heritage, enjoyment, entertainment and culture in society, without them artists, there is nothing for people to enjoy in life, no flavor, no colour. So that is why they should be left alone with their creation; then when complete, artist and creation should be thoroughly celebrated. Of course, society should and has the duty to financially support it’s “culture creators” but most people do not believe they should. I guess they haven’t been educated about these things. So that is my place, I’ve taken it on to educate and inform and as long as there are people like yourselves up here and STORMY, we have culture, flavor and colour. Thank you so much guys.

  • It’s great to hear what everyone else can and can’t manage, personally it can feel like too much sometimes.. I spend a few hours (yes, 2-3!) every day at the computer (and I wish it were less, but..)

    I currently send out an email newsletter and update my blog and facebook daily.
    One thing that really seems to help is that when I’m out painting (I’m a plein air painter) I take pictures while paintings are in progress with my phone and post them on twitter and facebook. It only takes a few minutes and it generates a lot of interaction and interest and seems to really grow the followers on my blog and facebook page.

    What I’ve found is that followers start sharing my work and generating more interest. So like Ed said above, others start doing some promotion work as well if they are inspired by the work.

    For me the blog is key. If I do it consistently, I consistently over time (over 3 years now) gain followers and sales are steady. I spend quite a bit of time writing blog posts and telling my story each day, it’s an important part of my work for me and people really connect to it.

    I try to do all the computer work at once so that when I’m out working I’m not doing anything else, It’s just the hours at night or early morning are tedious, but that’s the name of the game.

    • Kelly – thanks for the photo idea. I take photos of my paintings in process all of the time but in my studio. I had never thought of using my phone and sending them off to FB and Twitter. Many people love to see the progression. I will give it a try. Again, thanks for the tip!

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  • I carry my camera with me all the time to document all my art doings. I take pictures of my art from conceptual to finish and post on my blog. I always take pictures, (if they allow), of my collectors with the piece of art that they just bought out of my studio. I also take pictures of all my workshop participants. I use all these pictures to post on my blog.

  • Hi Alyson, I’ve been getting some great information on your site for artist. I’m a new up coming Abstract Artist, I just had my website done a month ago, and I am looking for help to get my art career going. all this I have’nt quite mastered yet, I do have a facebook , I am on twitter, yahoo mail and pincrest. I’m learning to do alot on my own but theres alot I don’t know if you could take a look at my website and give me some advice of whats missing or what I’m doing wrong I would greatly appreciate it.My name is Jackie Wilson and you can email me any time, I was reading today about coordinating market effort. it was very interesting.

  • Hi, Alyson, great stuff as always. Question–I get 1000 hits a month on my website (art) but rarely get someone to sign up for my newsletter. Any hints why not?

  • What do you think about using FASO vs WordPress for your coordinated platform?

    • Marsha: FASO provides excellent service and has many benefits. Good people there.

      • Thank you for your response, Alison.

        I am the team leader for Social Media for my Open Studios group (150+ artists, ARTrails in N. CA). We are 27 years old as a group, with old and new players, and like everyone else, trying to learn how to effectively engage with our community, friends and art patrons, in person, in print and online. May we share your suggestions, with credit to you?

        About FASO and WordPress. FASO may have more of a built in audience than WordPress? But is it for more traditional artists, asks an abstract friend. And less personal? FASO has a connected email platform, with WordPress you have to select one and set that up, too. I’m trying them out, as I personally want to have a blog and email server instead of Macmail and update my website, and to know the basics to share with fellow artists. Have investigated Chimp, Constant contact, iContact, Vertical Response, Campaigner. Any recommendations on email servers? Some of our artists are starting out. Some, like me, have been working a long time, but nevertheless have to upgrade everything!

        And what do you think about posting prices and carts, when you also are doing business with galleries? Keeping prices the same across the board has to be done in this age of the internet as far as I can see.

        I’m also researching artists’ legacies. . .but that’s another topic.

        Thanks you for responding.

  • whoops,typo. .. thank you!