If you are serious about marketing yourself as an artist and have a budget to hire an art-marketing guru, then consider whether an art consultant might help you and your art career take off.
Art consultants understand the art world from a marketing standpoint, and they help you manage your sales and business systems, leaving you to do what you do best—produce art. Here are some of the things an art consultant can do for you:
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1. Develop your website
Your personal or business website is the most important stop for any online buyers of your work. It is essential that your webpage appears professional, well-written, accessible, updated and refreshed regularly. Your art consultant can advise on the best strategies and help you stay up-to-date with website marketing, either by taking over the work for you, or helping you do it yourself.
2. Create an e-newsletter
An art consultant can research and develop a list of appropriate contacts for you to market via an e-newsletter. Your consultant can automatically send these updates for you on a regular basis, saving you time and administration.
3. Create a blog
Your blog should be filled with reviews of your latest exhibitions, information about new works, and updates about important upcoming events. You can also use your blog to link back to other websites that have reviewed your work in the past, which may boost their exposure, and thereby increase yours even more.
Your art consultant can manage content on your blog, connect you to other bloggers and media contacts in the art world, and ensure you’re getting visits and social shares from your audience.
4. Set up social media
Social media is extremely important in today’s marketing strategy. An art consultant can set up a variety of social media accounts for you and develop a PR plan for your business, as well as choose which social media platforms best suit you.
5. Grow relationships
Art consultants should maintain a list of collectors throughout the world. A big part of their job is to develop an ever-growing network of art enthusiasts who might be interested in your work. Many art consultants also work with galleries and other agencies to put together exhibitions.
Hiring an art consultant who already has a list of contacts and collectors means that you will be tapping into this important network quicker than if you started on your own. For this reason alone, a consultant may be a good choice for you.
6. Find business clients
Art consultants are also extremely well connected in the business world, and are seen by certain industries as the go-to people for any large commissions or requirements for artwork to adorn an office. This means that your consultant may also be able to connect you with high-profile businesses that are interested in investing in your work.
What’s the trade off?
Of course, an art consultant doesn’t work for free. . . that’s the trade off.
However, a good art agent won’t make any money until you make money. It’s a partnership—they’ll be out there hustling for you while you are doing what you do best: creating art in your studio. Once your work sells, they will get a (predetermined) amount of the sale.
Because of some bad apples in the bunch, art consultants often get a bad rep. Without complete transparency about fee structures and costs, many artists have been ripped off by unscrupulous art consultants in the past. The important thing is to get a detailed breakdown of fees and costs in the beginning, and have your lawyer go through any contract before you sign it.
If you’re careful, though, and take the time to screen your consultant and choose someone who matches your career plans, then the benefits far outweigh the cost.
Don’t make the decision lightly, but—based on the information above—what do you think? Could an art consultant help YOU?