How Artists Market Social Media, Websites, Emails, and More

November 2023, by Angie Landsverk

Celia Sislow connects with potential customers before, during, and after art shows and does so in a variety of ways. 

She collects email addresses through Square and then sends out art festival announcements directed at those customers. “There is no algorithm, though at times, it rotates who gets my emails,” said Sislow, who is a metal and functional clay artist. 

Jewelry artist Dawn Lombard collects email addresses at shows. Photo courtesy of Dawn Lombard 
Rick Decorie’s marketing includes Facebook posts. Photo courtesy of Rick Decorie 

That takes place a week prior to the show’s start date. Two days before the art fair begins, she starts posting on Facebook. 

Before each event, Sislow also joins various groups on Facebook Marketplace that are in and around the city where the event is taking place. “After getting accepted to the group, I’ll post on Marketplace a blurb about who we are, what we make, and lots of pictures,” she said. 

Posting on her website is also part of her marketing efforts. In addition, she hands her schedule out at festivals. 

“They all have their place in the way we market and keep in contact with our current customers and future customers,” Sislow said of the methods she uses. “The show schedules help customers plan to come see us at future festivals and give to their friends who are interested in our work. The emails through Square keep our current customers engaged in our schedule. Facebook Marketplace reaches people who may not attend art festivals or know about art festivals. I’ve gotten some fabulous sales from this method. These steps aren’t time consuming and being consistent pays off.” 

During a show, Sislow continues posting on her Facebook page, as well as on Facebook Marketplace. She also shares anything the show’s promoter posts. 

She shared a bit more about her marketing approach. “For us, having a simple calendar of events for the season of maybe tentative dates of festivals or confirmed acceptance into festivals is such a simple act but highly effective. I’ll hand out at some festivals over 100. They go in every bag as handouts. This is like Marketing 101 to me,” Sislow said. “We are all captains of our own ships. Some promoters advertise. Some don’t. I’ll hear other artists complain that the promoter didn’t advertise — blame them for poor sales. I take control of getting the word out. Then I feel like I’m doing everything possible to get customers to come see us.” 

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