Marketing Illustration And Art Online

By Paul M Featherstone

There are literally thousands of people in the world who have a talent for art and illustration, unfortunately we will never get to enjoy the work produced by these people as they may not be marketing their skills successfully.

Many artists and illustrators I know have cupboards full of work of high quality which could be generating an income and raising their profile. As well as this it is surely the point of art to be enjoyed by people otherwise the motivation for production can only be to satisfy personal pleasures.

One of the most important and cost effective methods of marketing your work in by harnessing the power of the web, it offers large-scale reach for very limited cost.

Online marketing of illustration and art still required fundamentals of marketing to be considered - ask yourself the question "who is my target audience" and "how can I reach them with my message?". Next consider the marketing mix - Product, Price, Place and Promotion and how you will use the tools of Internet promotion to promote your work.

In this article I will concentrate on promotion via the web as even with a limited understanding of marketing getting this part of the marketing mix right can bring quick rewards.

The first point for consideration should be the creation of a website, whether it's a few pages created by a friend who has some technical knowledge or a fully functioning eCommerce site this element is crucial to your online success. You will need to choose a name for your website that is relevant, for example if you are an illustrator who produces illustration for children's books then consider names such as "childrens-illustrator". Thought put into the choice of website name will reap rewards later through high search engine rankings.

Secondly, start a blog, there are hundreds of free blog facilities available where illustrators and artists can discuss their work and also benefit from promoting what the do at the same time.
There is an added benefit with use of blogs as search engines also like to see other sites linking to your website.

Thirdly, list your website with as many free directory and listing sites as you can in order to keep the volume of exposure high. As well as attracting traffic (i.e. visitors) to your website it will also assist with your search engine rankings in the same manor as your blog.

Fourthly, don't forget about offline promotion - quote your website and blog addresses on your marketing literature, business cards etc so as to create maximum synergy between all of your promotional efforts.

Fifthly, harness the power of eZine sites such as this, by sharing knowledge on your specialist subject you are not only promoting what you are good at but are also building a reputation as a trusted source of information in your field on the web.

Step six, speak to other artists and illustrators about sharing links for each other sites, this practise is known as reciprocal linking and as well as being good for, you guessed it, the search engine rankings, it is also a great way to network and gain word of mouth promotion.

Finally, consider publicising your illustration or art through use e-mail communications. Simple e-mail-shots can be sent from software such as MS Outlook or Thunderbird mail. If you want to use a system that is a little more sophisticated (i.e. it offers more advanced tracking for response and opening statistics) then why not try a service like Constant Contact. This supplier offers free e-mail broadcast for small quantity mail outs, perfect if you are new to e-mail marketing and want to try your hand.

E-mail communications are a very effective way of staying in touch with your target audience and can be used to promote a wide range of subjects from a new exhibition to current art or illustration projects.

So what's stopping you, promote your illustration and art on the web today!

Paul Featherstone is a London based illustrator, artist and web designer with a love of all things online. Paul produces unique illustration and art as well as being a practicing marketer and e-marketing anorak.

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