Fundamentals of Digital Marketing for Artists and Creatives

The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing for Artists

Katie Davidson

A UX designer with roots in digital marketing.

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Hi. My name is Katie Davidson, and today I’m going to be sharing with you the fundamentals of marketing for artists. This is the first part of a series of videos that I’ll be doing specifically for artists. I’ve even created a downloadable over on my website that you can use to make sure that your marketing is on track. Throughout the series, I’m going to show you how to turn your exposure into customers, increase your visibility using the platforms your customers are already using. And I’m going to show you how to market to your customers, not just other artists.

There are several layers to digital marketing, and from a strategy perspective, we can think about it like this. The foundation of all digital marketing is consistency. From there, we can develop branding which helps us build customer relationships, which can grow into a large community, which can bring in more traffic and ultimately get us more conversions.

The foundation of all digital marketing is consistency. I like to tell my students that posting regularly on social media is like turning on the lights. It’s not much of a marketing action, but it’s necessary to tell people that you’re in business. But consistency is more than just keeping a regular posting schedule. Anything you post on social media needs to give the right impression, it needs to be current, attractive and it needs to show your customers your expertise.

Consistency is about way more than just your posting frequency. I sometimes see artists posts a lot of small sketches in notebooks and there’s a right and a wrong way to do this. If you’re posting a lot of unfinished work it shows your customers you don’t have the follow through to complete a piece, but if you’re showing the process that goes into finishing a piece of work, that can show people how much work and thought goes into your art, and it shows a whole new level of professionalism.

Another way to show that you’re a true professional is by showing some sort of external proof that your work deserves attention. If you received any awards post about that on social media anything that proves that your art is appreciated can help get more eyes on your work and ultimately more sales.

The next layer of marketing is branding and branding is about more than just the logo and the color scheme. In fact, for most artists I don’t want you to have a logo, your face is your best logo. Often logos can act as a barrier between you and your customers, so unless you’re working for an agency with a full team, I recommend using your face as a logo on social media so you can be much more personal.

What is branding? Branding is what sets you apart from your competition; it’s your personality, it’s your artistic style. You want your customers to think of you and think of you fondly when they need your product or service. For example, who do you think of when you think of black and white photos of the Midwest? Ansel Adams? When an interior designer is looking for the perfect piece for a new Santa Fe home, Ansel Adams will be their top search the next layer of digital marketing is customer relationships. Your customers are important, so give them some love. Small acts of appreciation on social media can go a long way towards building lifelong relationships.

If you’re an artist for hire, making your post personal and showing the human side of your business can get more shares and make it more likely for people to hire you. For example, if you’re a photographer that does headshots, you could say, “This is bloody blah, she was such a champ despite how cold it was we got some gorgeous photos.”

The next layer of marketing is Community, building a community from your existing customers is all about creating shareable content by leveraging your current fans and giving them good reasons to share your content, you can start building a huge audience, but I don’t want you to fall into a trap. When you share content on social media, you want to add a direct action so people can hire you not just steal your work, tell your customers who they should share your content with and how to take action to give you money, and you want to make sure that your work is tied back to you even when people re-shared your work. If you’re posting on Instagram you could say, no somebody who would love this tag them in the comments below.

Another great way to get more business is to turn your existing customers into marketing assets, and I want to plant this in your head now. Marketing doesn’t stop when you get the customer, some of the best marketing is when your customers turn into your advocates. I have a simple formula I use to turn my customers into marketing assets if positive experience then marketing action.

If you haven’t already, I recommend you head over to strategy by Katie to download the free worksheet I created to help artists master their digital marketing. I’ve added a link below or you can click on the little ” i” that just popped up. I’m going to give you a few examples to kind of get you thinking like a marketer, I want you to be very specific. If you’re vague, this isn’t going to work. Don’t say if you like my work be sure to tell people about it because that’s too vague and nobody’s going to take action on that. Instead, get really personal with your “If” part of the statement and further “then” part of the statement only ask them to do one specific action.

For example, if you love the photos from our session today, I would love it if you would leave me a testimonial. Here’s the link, or if you know someone who would like a custom piece of jewelry I would love it if you would send them to my website at

I would love to see your best “If, Then” statement or if you’re not sure if you’re on the right track leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to give you feedback. I look at all the comments on my videos, and I love seeing people take action and market themselves successfully. We’re nearly to the top layer of marketing fundamentals. The next layer is traffic, people always try to skip straight to the step, but for your business to succeed long term you need to master all the other fundamentals.

By building trust with a large audience, you should naturally start getting more traffic. Now, I want to talk about the dirty word in our industries. Exposure. Most people can’t offer you valuable exposure but that doesn’t mean you should write off all opportunities for exposure. Whenever I’m considering an exposure opportunity I ask myself four questions, 1) Can it get me in front of my ideal customer? 2) Is my name associated with my work? 3) Do they provide an actionable way to bolster my business? 4) How much would I pay to reach their audience?

These four questions will help you decide if this is a valuable opportunity or not. The last layer of marketing is conversions and this is where you see hundreds of articles written about how to tweak your headlines to get more clicks. Conversions really are just the steps a customer takes before taking action on your site or before becoming a customer.

For example, if you go into a clothing shop the first conversion could be walking through that front door, you saw something that enticed you if it’s your style so you walk through the door. The next step would be for you to look at a price tag on a piece and decide that is within your price range, and then you would go up to the desk and purchase it. Each of those little steps would be a conversion and unfortunately, each of those steps would also be an opportunity for you to lose a potential customer. If the price is out of their range, they’re not going to purchase that item.

In the digital world, we can use tracking codes to get people to come back to our website and track where we’re losing customers so that we can fix any holes in our marketing strategy. This is the last piece and it’s kind of the icing on the cake. We need all of these other layers to be really powerful before conversions are going to pay off.

I see a lot of people really focus on tweaking their headlines and stuff like that before they have enough data to really see if their efforts are paying off. So don’t get too caught up on this until you’ve mastered the other layers of marketing. All right, so this was the fundamentals of marketing.

In our next lesson, I’m going to be talking about sales funnels for artists, and we’ll be going through strategies to get you more sales and help you reach your ideal customer. If you’re interested in strategies that help your business grow, be sure to subscribe to my channel and check out my website Until next time.


The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing


Everything you post on social media should show your expertise, professionalism, and personality. You need to post regularly in order for your social media strategy to work.

You can learn how to create a posting schedule in this free course.


Branding is about more than just a logo and a color scheme. It’s what sets you apart from the competition, it’s your unique value proposition, it’s your personality.

For artists, I recommend branding to your face, unless you’re part of an agency. It’s easier to build a following on social media, if your audience feels like they’re connecting with a person rather than a corporation.

Customer Relationships

Give your customers some love! Get social on social media. People like connecting with real people and like being appreciated. So taking some time to give shoutouts to the people who make your business possible is critical.


Building a community is all about creating shareable content, and leveraging your existing customers.

My favorite way to turn my customers into marketing assets is to use the formula:

If Positive Experience, then Marketing Action.

For example:

If you love photographs of birds and wildflowers, you’ll love my new series of watercolor paintings, they’ll be available on my website for a limited time at


People get so focused on increasing traffic, that they skip past the other marketing fundamentals. But, if you focus on staying consistent, building a coherent brand, nurturing your customer relationships, and building a strong community, you’ll get more traffic.

But on top of all those other elements, there are some great strategies to help you get more traffic. For artists and creatives, working for exposure can help you get in front of your ideal customer. I’ll be doing a full video on how to decide when to do a gig for exposure, and how to figure out what types of exposure are valuable forms of exposure, but for now, I want you to think about where your ideal customer goes when they’re ready for talents.


“Conversion” is just a fancy marketing term that describes the steps a customer takes before becoming a customer. For example, if someone likes my Facebook Page, that’s a type of conversion. It can often take several steps for someone to go from potential customer to a customer, and each of those steps is a conversion.

In the digital world, we can track each of those steps, and make them more efficient. We can even bring back through re-targeting.

If you’ve ever gotten an ad for an item you almost purchased, but either forgot in your shopping cart or decided not to purchase, that is done through re-targeting.

Conversion marketing is powerful, but it usually works best when you have plenty of data, which is why for most of my students, I consider it the icing on the cake.

I have plenty more videos coming. If you’d like to be notified when the next marketing for artists class comes out, be sure to subscribe to my mailing list. You’ll also get my handy digital marketing for artist worksheet.




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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Stephany

    Awesome post. Love to read. We own a Art Gallery in Sunshine Coast, Currently working on our website development to focus on Digital marketing in Sunshine Coast. Here I got great tips to implement in our marketing strategy to make success in our business. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Katie Davidson

      Thanks for reading. I love working with artist to help them develop marketing strategies that work!

  2. jasmine dora

    In this blog, you mentioned the most important fundamentals of digital marketing that every digital marketer should follow. Thank you so much for sharing such inspiring and valuable post.

  3. Verma

    Great and an informative article!

  4. Bote

    Great post. Every business owner ought to know this.

  5. Essy

    Some really good advice. As an artist, it can be difficult to switch our mind from art and creativity to business and making a brand. But I strongly believe it is a necessary part of being an artist.

    Before this, I was reading another blog regarding making money as a beginner artist (

    Overall thanks for the great post.

  6. Priya Sharma

    Best Article, 5 out of 5 from me. keep on sharing such amazing articles.

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