March 3, 2024

5 Ways to Grow a New Art Business

Who else gets totally overwhelmed with all the chirping about ways to grow a new art business? While you could spread yourself thin, don’t. A few strategic ways to grow is going to save your sanity and keep you consistent. That way you see what actually works and what doesn’t, giving you a more narrow scope as to where your time needs to be spent. As I continue to grow my own business (are we ever really done growing?), I chose a few actions to take and I am seeing good results. Because there are only five, I’m saved from running around like a crazy person all day, everyday. These bring me back to home base and give me the focus I need to keep this steam engine moving. I’m excited to share my insights with you, and if you’re a new artist growing a business, I want to know you! Let’s dive in.

A Local Art Market in New Orleans

1. Art Markets

Putting yourself out there, and I mean in front of other humans, is hard. It might be one of the best ways to grow a new art business, though. You know your product is amazing, but you fear people walking by your table and giving you that awkward half wave and smile. Friends, it’s tough. But it doesn’t have to cripple you. Not everyone likes everything. It’s more than ok, and my advice is not to take it personally. If you finally decide you want to face the world with your art and participate in an art market, start small. My first art market was at my house with several other budding vendors. It was free to everyone who participated, and it was a good introduction to getting more comfortable. Now, I’m chomping at the bit to do more. For a low fee, I can get my product into people’s hands, talk about my business, and make some money. Win-win-win. Don’t underestimate getting in front of people and just doing your thing. If you love what you make, others will too. I am living proof.

Products for My Online Purchasers!

2. Get Yourself Online

This is where I started: online. Because I already own another company that has a pretty strong online presence, I knew it was important that I give my customers the ability to check me out and know I’m not some weirdo. While it was pricey, it’s been worth it. All of my products are on my website for purchase, and I have the ability to add and subtract any and all that I want. My customers, new and repeat, enjoy the ability to purchase my products online with a credit card. My personal preference was to build my own shopping cart (with my developer’s help), but many people use Etsy or Shopify, or something of the like. Each person has his/her own preference, and I encourage you to think long and hard about how to make your online presence as fruitful as possible. And it has to make sense to you business. Being online is imperative these days, and of of the many ways to grow a new art business.

First Home Party/Market at My House

3. A Home "Party"

My backyard is sizable, so I committed myself to hosting a quarterly sip and shop as one of the great ways to grow a new art business for myself and my friends. It’s a relatively low-stakes event, and each one is slightly different in its offering. All of us are very small and/or budding artists doing this as a side hustle. Some of us are trying to get our businesses to a level of supporting us completely, so the more events we do, the better. Meeting each other’s networks is a huge benefit to doing these, as you never know who your fellow maker will know. We make sure that we don’t have any duplicate vendors, and we are all on the same team, cheering each other on. That is a huge benefit for these community events. And I love hosting people at my home, who I want to support, who want to support me and the others. It’s a fabulous way to build community and friendships across different markets.

Packing up Orders for Social Media Sales, with Merlin's Help

4. Social Media Sells!

Why I delayed this is beyond me. Get on some Facebook groups that make sense and promote yourself! I belong to a few Facebook groups already and was not ever promoting myself. Search for new groups, too. I had no idea so many existed until my business coach alerted me to some specific ones. Because I also blog (in addition to selling actual product), these groups are a great way to get my blogs out there and in front of people. I’m not going to lie and tell you I’m making millions from these groups when I post, but it’s not one of the most terrible ways to grow a new art business. With one post every now and then, I’ll get a few sales, and that’s not bad considering the little time it takes to make the post. Also, the more the word gets out, the more I’ll sell. It gives me more confidence overall, which is never a bad thing. Use those social mediums for something good! That’s why it's there.

One of My Giveaway Winners

5. Giveaways

Create awareness about your products by giving some of it away. I know it seems counterintuitive, but it’s important to do. As one of the many ways to grow a new art business, I discovered how much people really do love giveaways. People love free shit. Don’t you? Give me a free pen all day long and I’m over the moon. I’ve just started doing the giveaway system more. I’m trying it in different places, seeing who responds to it, and seeing who it works best on. Growing a new business is a lot of trial and error, so don’t be afraid to try something, anything, to test the market. Getting your products in the hands of the right people is part strategic and part chance. Don’t give the entire empire away, but do get busy making sure your product is out there in the public’s world. The more people who know about you, the more you’ll sell. You never know where that next sale will come from, so hop to it. Get on those giveaways.

Where the Magic Happens

Try, Try, and Keep Trying

Remember that you don’t need to take on all of these at once. The online presence will take a while to grow, and giveaways can be a waste at times. It’s all ok and it’s all good. Take everything as a learning experience as each thing comes. Consistency and action are going to be your best friends when it comes to growth, so keep that in mind when you’re experiencing fatigue in your business. It’s perfectly acceptable to take a day off here and there and reset. If something doesn’t work once, try it again. You just never know what factors play into why things don’t work, until you really, really know. I’m here to support you, to cheer you on, and to tell you that you are doing a great job. Your art is fantastic, and you’ll find success. Just know your worth and keep moving forward.

Some of the links may go to my affiliate account. If you purchase from one (at no charge to you), you're helping support me and my growing business!

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