For many artists, the most challenging and intimidating aspects of running a creative business are marketing and promotion. The fact is, most of us are uncomfortable with the act of talking about ourselves from a sales perspective, and this is only reinforced by the vast amount of intrusive advertising that exists in the world.
Promoting yourself doesn’t have to mean talking about yourself. There are so many other ways to get your name out there and market your brand. This is something that is too often overlooked by creative professionals.
Let’s look a few simple ways to promote yourself without talking about yourself.
1. Participate in the Community
The online art community is growing at an incredible rate, and that means more and more artists are coming together to share ideas and inspiration every day through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as various forums and blogs.
Find a group that you can relate to and begin listening and responding to what people have to say. Answer questions that people have and ask some of your own. By joining the conversations taking place all over the web, you can build relationships, grow your audience, and make people care about what you have to say.
2. Share and Collaborate
One of the best parts of the growing online art community is an increasing willingness of artists to share tutorials, advice, and other resources with their fellow creators. Try to be a resource to others and help in any way you can.
By giving back to other artists, you will present yourself as an expert in your field and keep people coming back for more. You will also generate goodwill and inspire others to return the favor when you need it most. Or, you might consider starting a collaborative website where others can show their work based on a certain theme.
3. Promote Someone Else
Another approach to increasing your visibility online is to promote one of your fellow artists by conducting an interview, reviewing their work in a post on your blog, or simply passing on a link to their portfolio through popular tools like Twitter. Chances are, they will publicly thank you for your help, and do the same for you in the future. In addition, you will further establish yourself as a potential resource for artists and build relationships with others in the industry. It’s a great way to network.
4. Host an Event or Help a Cause
One of the best ways to get people excited about your work is to make a splashing some way. For example, try running a giveaway where you award a lucky winner a print of your Illustration work or a discount on commissioned work. You could also help a worthy cause by either getting heavily involved with helping a charity or organization.
5. Run an Illustration Blog
Illustration blogs and podcasts do not only help to connect with the Illustration community and share resources and ideas with fellow artist, but it has also helped to promote your work. By acting as a resource and providing value, people naturally want to know more about you, which eventually leads them to your portfolio website.
6. Infusing Promotion with Creativity
As artists, it’s important to remember that we can infuse every facet of our business with some element of creativity, and promotion is no exception. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of selling yourself, try to come up with some unique ways to get people to pay attention to someone else’s cause, which will have the side benefit of promoting yourself as an involved member of the illustration community. That way, you can build relationships that could benefit you in the future and raise awareness of your work indirectly, all while being passionately involved. This might not have happened if you spent all your time talking about yourself directly.