How The Hell Is An Artist Supposed To Market Themselves?
I've been studying marketing to get my art (and my friend's art) seen.
Here is the interesting thing: Marketing a person is very different than marketing a product.
If your art is making Jewelry or Socks that you sell on Etsy, incorporating marketing to your art is going to be pretty straightforward:
Make a website, Facebook page, Shopify etc.
Buy targeted ads on Facebook or Google
Analyze ad performance and tweak them
Make a better ad
Sell your product.
This is great if you have a very niche and unique art that involves a physical product that you ship. I'm not saying that this is easy, but the path is clear.
But what about actors, filmmakers, musicians, etc.? What if your art is unique but not necessarily going to be perceived as such from a thumbnail photo? What if you are working in a collaborative field, such as dance? How the hell do you market yourself?
In the past, the answer was always "Hire someone to do that for you while you make your art". I don't know if this ever worked but it really doesn't work now, particularly on a limited budget. The effectiveness of having your publicist having you walk a red carpet and the likeliness of your agent running a social media campaign for you while submitting you (and all of their other clients) for jobs is pretty low.
So what do you do?
Optimize all of your social posts via a social media scheduling app
Trial and error.
As an artist, you need to have time to make art. The fact that you are reading this blog also means that you probably need to make time for a survival job, classes, and hopefully having a life outside of these things. You need to be on social media for your business, but that does not mean checking facebook and IG on your phone constantly (If you do, that's fine; but don't pretend that it's about your career).
Get a social media scheduler (Hootsuite, social pilot, hellowoofy, or whatever else pops up in google), make all of your posts for the week on one day and schedule their release. As an artist, there are probably features that you don't need to use but the time you will save by scheduling your posts is time you can use to make art. Also, consistency is key to any social media posting; and having it scheduled will obviously make it consistent.
Also, anything else in life that can save you time (Google calendar, a Roomba, etc.), is almost certainly worth the cost. You have enough to do as an artist without having to vacuum or remembering to schedule an oil change.
Trial & Error:
This is trickier. There are hundreds of avenues which you can use to promote yourself and share your art. You can put your music video on YOUTUBE, You can start a podcast, have a tiktok, whatever. You can make video ads for your services and promote them. Each artist will have their own route.
The only things I would advise would be to focus on ONE at a time at first. It is far better to have a huge following on twitch that tunes in 4 times a week than to occasionally put out content on 8 different channels.
And decide beforehand if you are using the channel for promotion or monetizing. It doesn't make sense to put a video on YouTube, pay to market it, and then have an ad for someone else's product to run before yours so you can earn 1/10th of a cent.
Then stick with this platform consistently for 3-6 months. If you feel that you are getting traction and finding your voice, keep going. If you blow up, and are doing so well that you want to expand; expand. If you realize that this is not the medium for you, make a farewell video (or whatever) and find a new outlet.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
I hope that this made sense. Let me know in the comments if anything was unclear.
And Good luck!