ALL Marketing and Social Media

What is Marketing in reality?

I see this every day in my job… not the question, ‘What is Marketing’, but ‘how do I market?’

The thing is, the answers are normally nondescript and wrong.  Wrong because most answers are given as though the person asked, ‘What is Advertising?’… which may be a PART of marketing, but is not the whole

So what is marketing….. well it is a package.  It is a business concept.  It is the whole of you trying to sell your product.

In your business you have several departments.  Yes they are probably all you, if an artist or photographer, but you have to separate them into departments for the sake of your business… or it normally, unless lucky, doesn’t work 😉

So… we have;

Production Department
Financial Department
Marketing Department

The Production Department is you, off out, or in your studio, creating the product.  Each product is unique and each has to be treated the rest of the way with that uniqueness in mind.

The Financial Department takes care of the costings, taxes etc.

How much were the supplies to make that one product.
How much was the travel, electric, gas, fuel, to create that product?
Did you stay away from home and incur costs that way?
How much is the product worth?

The last part is where we start drifting into the Marketing Department

The Marketing Department.  As important as the other departments but the one less bothered about by businesses, and artists and photographers in particular.

It really is not clever to say, ‘Oh! I cannot be bothered with all that! I just want to create!’ Cool….you do that and watch the people who DO bother sail past you and make a steady income from their work.  We see this all the time in the art business.  People bemoaning their lack of sales and then, when asked how they market their work, a deathly hush.  ‘Oh!  I cannot be bothered with all that!’

So, shut up Abbie, I hear you say, just tell us what marketing is and how to do it.

Naha…. I can help you see what it is, but not tell you how to do it.  People pay a fortune to learn HOW to do it properly and this is just a quick article to help set you on the path…….

1. What is the demand for that image
2. What did it cost in total to create?
3.  What is your competition doing?  People who do the same subject and genre?
4.  Have you covered the legal bases?  This is more for people who do street photography etc.  If you are not sure if this area covers you then you need to do some research.
5.  How are you going to sell the work…as in online, offline…. Agents?
6.  Who are your customers?  Who wants to buy that kind of image?
7.  Where can you find them hanging around?  Ie, if online, do they frequent specialised forums?
8.  What kind of advertising will you be doing?
9.  What is your advertising budget?  (ALL businesses that are successful have a set amount per month/quarter for advertising)
10.  How are you going to get that image to the customer
11.  How are you packaging the advertising?

Number 11 is very important.  I see thousands of creative people, with fabulous art, advertising using ready made shares from the social medias…..and that is all.  That is the extent of it because they cannot be bothered to actually create an advert.  They may have spent a small fortune travelling to get an image and then just say, look….image….buy…ugh

Garden Well by Isabella Shores.
Garden Well by Isabella Shores. Please note that you should always create some type of description when sharing your image so that search engines pick it up. They cannot ‘read’ your image otherwise. So this is a science fiction image of a garden well on another planet….think alien worlds

Here is one of my latest adverts… It is not brilliant as I am not actually promoting myself much.  If I was then I would do better. Promise!

Instead of a generic link and small preview image, I have chosen to add all details to the image itself so, if shared, the link etc will not be lost.  It took me less than 5 minutes and it receives more notice.  I am sure you can do even better and I would love you to share ones you have made!

One of the most important part of the Sales Department, after costing, is working out how you can make a profit on that image.  The Marketing Department then works out if the profit is viable to the customers who may be interested.

Obviously, the two must marry up.  If not then perhaps look at your outlay.

So to recap

What is marketing….?

It is knowing what your images cost to make after ‘talks’ with the Sales and Production Department
It is knowing who is likely to purchase that image
It is knowing where you can find that purchaser
It is knowing how you are going to advertise to get their attention
It is knowing Advertising
It is learning how to use Social Media

There is more, but this should get you off the wrong track and onto the business head side of things

I hope it has helped 

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By Abbie

I'm an oil painter and photographer, who also makes time to paint with words through my short stories and published poetry. Seascapes and animals are the primary focus of my oil paintings

Experienced Community Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the fine art industry. Skilled in Human Resources, Technical Support, Oil Painting, Community Management, and Digital Art. Strong marketing professional graduated from Longcroft School.

Head of the Technical Support Department for the largest international art site on the web.

Founder of Our Arts Magazine

7 comments on “What is Marketing in reality?”

Your post clearly illustrates what many artists fear, the idea of putting marketing ahead of, or on the same plane as their art.

We needn’t be afraid of such an important part of selling our art.
Great post.


Some great ideas here…thank you! I question your statement in #9, (ALL businesses that are successful have a set amount per month/quarter for advertising). I’ve never spent any money on advertising. But since time equals money, you could say I’ve spent a fortune on advertising.

Marketing isn’t easy for me as it is “self-promotion” and I’m not all that comfortable with that piece, BUT I am learning to suck it up and do what has to be done! Every time I read tips like yours it encourages me to keep moving forward and do what HAS to be done. While I may not have the money to spend on advertising, I am spending a lot of time learning about it and making progress. Plus we all know time = money so hopefully it will be enough for now until I can actually afford some “real” marketing. Thanks for everything!

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