A guide to marketing yourself as an independent artist
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Singers want listeners. Video creators want viewers. You and many other independent artists want an audience. How do you find one? Well, first you have to create something engaging, of course. After that, the hard work of marketing your content begins. Thankfully, we have some ideas to help you get the ball rolling.
Create Your Brand
A strong brand not only helps artists connect with an audience but also serves as a visual and conceptual representation of their unique style and message. Sometimes, brand identity arises naturally as a result of an artist's own distinctive style. Other times, it comes to life as a result of research and strategizing. Here’s some questions to help you identify your own brand:
- What themes and messages do I want my work to convey?
- What sets my work apart from others?
- How do I want the audience to feel when they experience my work?
- Will there be recurring motifs or visual elements that appear in my work?
- How will my artistic style evolve over time?
Build Your Web Presence
Beyond the most common digital platforms like Instagram and Spotify, you could benefit greatly from joining niche online communities like forums, Facebook groups, or subreddits. It might take some digging to find the right group, but it will help you connect with like-minded creators and fans interested in the kind of work that you’re producing. Consistency is key. Make sure you are actively contributing to the community and not just self-promoting.
Start a Newsletter
It may sound old fashioned, but email newsletters are cost-effective tools for spreading the word about your creative work. Use social media, your website, and other platforms to encourage people to sign up. When you’re first starting out, it could be a good idea to collaborate with other like-minded artists on such a project. Are you an indie horror movie director who has friends working in the same genre? Make a newsletter to promote all your different projects in one place.
Get Out There
Go to concerts, screenings, festivals and conferences. Talk to people. Ask them about their work. Share your own resources and tips, and others will be willing to share with you. Get involved at local events by volunteering. Before you know it, your network will have grown exponentially.
Once you have a solid network, connect with other creators and tell them you’re interested in a cross-promotion strategy, meaning that you will promote their work on your channels if they promote yours. You might be tempted to simply ask as many people as possible to spam your content, but this is not always a good strategy. It is far better to find someone to work with who has an audience that might already be interested in your work.
Looking for deeper insights into growing your audience and flourishing in a creative career? The Careers course available to students in Term 4 of both our audio and film programs provides guidance on resumes, interviewing, networking, and the role of social media in growing a career and landing a job. Email email@example.com to learn more.