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Promoting our work as artists and creatives is about way more than just selling!

Promoting our work, practice or business, otherwise known as marketing, is a vital aspect of our work as artists and creatives. Whether we have an artistic practice or creative business we have to find ways to promote our art or services to help us monetize our work and to be seen as professionals.  Creatives who have businesses or take on freelance work also use marketing strategies to build their brand.  From a purely practical perspective, we all need to regularly invest time, energy, creativity and sometimes money towards promoting our work if we want to build a sustainable artistic practice or creative business.

I’ve coached many artists and creatives who express that they dislike having to do marketing and loath the idea of having to sell themselves or sell their work. I try to help them see that promoting our work as creative professionals is actually about way more than just selling. It is deeply generative work. 

When we strategize and take action to promote our creative work, practice or business we generate these four things:

  1. Awareness

  2. Understanding and Appreciation

  3. Opportunities

  4. Professional Presence

Here’s how:

  1. When we take action to promote our creative work, practice or business we generate awareness that it exists. We can’t begin to sell, secure clients or build our audience or generate revenue or funding unless people know our work or service exists. Promoting what we create and do gives potential clients, followers or audiences, future collaborators and professionals within our creative sector the opportunity to see and be aware of our work or services. 

How are you generating awareness of your creative work or services?

  1. In strategizing what we promote about our creative work, practice or business we can generate a better understanding of the nature and range of what we have to offer. How we choose to describe our work and what we share and highlight about our process, motivations or areas of specialization can help others more fully appreciate how we approach our work, what is involved and what we create or offer. As artists and creatives we have opportunities to generate understanding of our work in applications for professional opportunities, in the about sections of our websites, in artist statements, on social media and in conversations with clients, audiences and industry professionals. When we promote our work in ways that generate better understanding, people can better appreciate the value of our work and offerings.

What is one action you could take to generate more understanding of your work?

  1. How we position, organize and present our creative work and offerings can generate opportunities. Part of marketing or promoting our work is tactical towards helping people know what their opportunities and options are to buy or experience what we do. For example, inviting our friends, family, fans, collectors and clients to events and showcases of our work. Or communicating how and where to buy our work or hire us so that people have the opportunity to do so. There are also more creative opportunities in this part of our work. We can be creative in how we structure, tier and package what we have to offer and how we invite, intrigue or entice our audience. We can create opportunities for people to more easily hire us, buy our work or connect with us as creative professionals. Also, the more we put our work out there, the more we apply for professional opportunities and promote what we do, the more professional opportunities come to us. 

What is one tactical action you could take to promote your creative work, services or business?

Where do you see opportunities to get more creative in promoting your work?

  1. Making our work and ourselves visible in professional contexts generates and builds our professional presence. This promotes not only what we create and DO but also who we ARE as creative professionals. Depending on the nature of our practice or business, we need to think through and take action to create some level of professional presence in various places and through various means. One fundamental way that artists and creatives create professional presence is through exhibiting, presenting, publishing or showcasing our work or service in professional contexts. Belonging to, engaging with or contributing to organizations or communities within our field or interests is another way to build our professional presence (and our professional network - that’s a topic I’ll be writing about next month!) In our current world, most artists and creatives need to strategize and take action to create and manage their on-line professional presence as well. Promoting our work via a website, on-line gallery, portfolio or shop and creating an on-going presence on one or more social media platforms can be key pieces of this work. As we build professional presence, we begin to attract clients and opportunities and generate true momentum in our creative career and business.

What is one action you can take this month to build your professional presence?

Promoting our work is about more than just selling.  It is also about creating visibility, understanding and opportunities in service of our creative work and building a sustainable practice or business. It is also about creating strategies to position ourselves for the opportunities we want to be considered for and the kinds of work we want to be doing as creative professionals. It is also about putting ourselves out there and engaging in the world as creative professionals. It is deeply generative work that is deserving of us investing time, energy, creativity and sometimes money! 

Image Credit: Michael Evans

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2 commentaires

I like going to business focused Meet-Ups where I can connect with people, make friends and find out what challenges they're having. If I could help them with my creative background, I share an idea to spark interest in my work.

En réponse à

Thanks for commenting to share how you promote your work Richard!

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