Many artists seem to struggle with promoting their art. We are shy creatures by nature and usually avoid the spotlight. But promoting yourself does not need to be difficult.
Promoting yourself means much more than just trying to sell your art. In fact, I think trying to sell your art should be the last thing on your mind (even if that is what you plan to do). Rather, by promoting yourself I mean connecting with people.
If you connect with people on a meaningful level, then everything else will fall into play (people will follow you, ask you about your art and maybe even buy your art).
But don't you need a large marketing budget to promote yourself? Of course not. Here are 14 places you can promote your art for free. I suggest you do not even attempt paid advertising until you have exhaused and started to gain traction with the free methods. Think of paid advertising like a sales multiplier, not a sales creator.
Anyway, let's get into it. If you have any free places you like to promote your art online, please share them at the end in the comment section.
1. Facebook Page & Groups
Facebook is the first network that comes to mind for promoting your art. Facebook is the largest social media platform with over 2 billion users and growing.
However, Facebook is gradually becoming a ‘pay to play’ platform, with organic reach being crippled in order to push you toward paid advertising. This is where Facebook Groups come into play.
A great Facebook Group provides you with a community of likeminded artists who may be interested in your art. Do not spam and be careful which Groups you join. Some Groups will have no engagement and are not worth joining. Check to see how many people post per day and what the engagement is like on each post to determine if it is worth contributing.
You can even leverage Facebook Groups to grow your own page.
Instagram is a picture based social platform which still seems to have a great organic reach (unlike Facebook).
There are a few great things about Instagram for artists:
- It is picture based, so this is obviously the perfect environment for you to promote yourself as an artist.
- You do not need to pay for advertising to reach a huge audience.
- You can connect directly with buyers. Some artists have made a living just from selling on Instagram.
- You can use Hashtags to target people who are interested in your niche (for example, I would like to show my art to people who are interested in impressionist landscape paintings, so I could use the Hashtags #impressionist and #landscape).
3. Wetcanvas Forums
Wetcanvas is an engaged community of artists and the only art forum I participate in. Remember, many people who buy art are also artists themselves, so there is no harm in posting photos of your art on forums like Wetcanvas. At the very least you can connect with likeminded artists and get some valuable feedback.
4. Reddit (Art Related Sub-Reddits)
I have mixed thoughts on Reddit but it has the potential to get you in front of a huge audience so it needs a mention. The key to Reddit is honest and high quality posts. If you blatantly promote yourself, you will get shut down by the community. But if you post honest photos of your artworks, you can get exposure to many thousands of people.
Pinterest is a relative newcomer compared to Facebook and Instagram but it has the potential to drive some serious traffic to your art website. Pinterest is like a visual search engine. You can take a photo of your finished painting and pin it to Pinterest. People can then like or re-pin your content.
The great thing about Pinterest is the chance for your content to go viral and reach a huge audience.
6. Deviant Art
7. Your Website & Blog
Steemit is an interesting new player on the block where you can get paid to post (yes you read that correctly). But don’t get too excited, it is difficult to make any meaningful cash unless you post very frequently. But it is an active community and as it is a relatively new platform, you have a chance to get in before the crowd.
9. Youtube (for progress shots)
A great way to gain exposure as an artist is to film yourself creating your art and posting videos to Youtube. This also may give opportunities to become an art teacher.
10. Google Plus
Google Plus is a huge social platform which is similar to Facebook. There are communities which you can join and promote your artworks. I personally do not use it as I was not able to get any traction, but others may have more success.
Flickr is an image sharing website where you can upload photos of your artworks. It has been around for some time so you may find it difficult to get any exposure from this platform.
12. Saatchi Art
You can set up a free account on Saatchi Art and post your artworks. If you upload high quality photos, you can even sell prints. The problem with Saatchi Art is that unless you are active and / or lucky, it is difficult to get exposure due to the number of artists competing for attention.
13. Fine Art America
Much the same as Saatchi Art. You can sign up for a free account with Fine Art America and post your artworks (you do not need to be located in America to sign up for an account). I would not expect much exposure from this platform but it may be worth setting up a free profile so you can get some links back to your website and other socials.
14. Guest Posts
You can try to be featured on large blogs who already have a huge readership. This can be time consuming though and there is no guarantee of success. This also suits more modern styles of art.
I always say you should create art for yourself first and foremost. But there is also no harm in promoting yourself to the rest of the world. Why keep your art to yourself?
Promoting your art will help you connect with likeminded people from all over the world. We live in a time when promoting yourself has never been easier. You can literally upload a photo and have exposure to thousands, even millions of people around the world.