The Circles of Art Marketing - Part I (Clint Watson)

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The Circles of Art Marketing - Part I

An overview of how to market art in the 21st century

I've developed a mental model of how to market art in an online-first way that I call "The Circles of Art Marketing."

Envision a series of concentric circles with your art at the very center and the furthest extent of your reach online (and offline) at the very outer edge. Each "ring" as you move closer to the center represents people and marketing channels that are more engaged, more serious, and more likely to purchase your art.

As we discussed in the previous section, Mastery, the higher quality your art is, the better this method will work. Your art needs to be like a "black hole" at the center of all these rings creating gravity that draws people inexorably toward the center.

This idea of "Circles of Art Marketing" looks something like the following illustration:

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As you can see there are five circles in the model with your art in the very center, and the most public channels you can reach in the outer ring which we have named "Awareness."

At a very high level, what you're attempting to do is the following:

1. Create Awareness

Create awareness of your art and your story in free public channels - these are channels that you don't own or control (like Instagram or Twitter). But they are channels that have a lot of people's attention.

2. Build an Audience

Entice people who are aware of you to join your audience by taking an action and joining a channel that you do own or control (like an email newsletter or your website).

3. Entice Buyers into your Inner Circle

Use the channels you do own to engage and nurture your audience and convert them into buyers

4. Build Repeat Buyers

Use personal channels (like one-to-one emails or texts) to stay in contact with buyers and sell them more art

5. Nail Your Product

You must do the following to nail your product: Master your quality, story, price and category to maximize your chances of doing the 4 steps above.

6. Don't "Sell Out"

Ensure you are always producing from your own soul and creating the best art you can. You must be in the market but not of the market.

It sounds clean, logical, and step-by-step when I break it down into those six steps. In fact, it almost sounds like a "marketing funnel." Don't let that deceive you. It's just a model - it really isn't as neat and organized as I've presented. That's why we use the mental model of "circles" rather than a funnel.

In fact, a better model might have been to think of an atom. The circles are like the "electron shells" that surround the atom. The nucleus is your art and the product you've created around your art (the middle and the first inner ring) and the other rings are the electron shells. Just like electrons can bounce into lower and higher energy orbits, so can your buyers. Buyers might jump back up into the audience ring. People who are aware of you, when the time is right, jump down into the audience ring. And, sadly, sometimes people in the awareness ring get stripped off the outer ring and are gone. It also depends upon the energy you put into your marketing and where you are focusing. Still, it's useful to have a model to work from.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. I've given you an overview of the circles of art marketing from the outside in. Outside-in represents the typical buyer's journey. But, for this method to be successful, it really must be followed from the inside out, starting with your art.

We've made today's overview available for all Fine Art Views subscribers as a courtesy. Over the next few weeks we're going to explore and explain this model in detail for paid Sovereign Artist Club members. We'll look at what's needed at each step and how it relates to other marketing information we've already posted.

Until next time, please remember that Fortune Favors the Bold Brush.


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Clint Watson

BoldBrush & FASO Founder / Art Fanatic

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