Shilling/Marketing your art can be a daunting task, but it’s an essential part of the art collection and community building process. If done right, that feeling of daunt can actually feel validating — especially when a community of supporters and fans form around your work. It may even pay off handsomely.
As creators, we all expect the hard work of our artwork to be recognized, so marketing your work and pointing to the effort can feel slimy. But, if you build it, they won’t just come. You need to bring eyes to yourself as an artist and your body of work. Then, to successfully convert the eyes to collectors, the artwork and its value has to resonate with the collector. Two main themes we recommend to successfully market yourself are:
Telling your artist’s story gives insight to your work and collection provides collectors with the depth and purpose to your work. The more your message connects with someone, the more it can be sentimental and valuable to the eye of the beholder. Some ways to speak to your story are:
a. Your personal story and background. How did you become an artist? Why did you start this project? What meaning does this project have for you and how does this project connect to you?
b. Speak to your craft and process. How did you create your collection? How did this style develop? What inspiration and influences do you have in your work? What interesting decisions did you make in your art?
c. Future plans. What are your aspirations for your project?
Every person you interact with is an opportunity for that person to discover you and your work. Even you liking someone else’s post means that person gets a notification about your like and they can tap into your page to find out more about you and your work. In turn, their likes and share of your post can continue to extend to their network and beyond.
The more you put yourself out there — big or small in effort, the more seeds you sow to potentially bear fruit.
Engage with other communities and make connections. These can be communities you’re part of or communities that share similar values and purposes with you and your work. Don’t be afraid to engage in these communities. Share your knowledge, ask questions, engage in conversations, make connections!
Lastly, know that building a following and community takes time. Reaching virality is often a fluke. Putting yourself out their regularly to gain followers that actually become collectors means building relationships and that takes work. Next, we’ll walk you through common tactics to market and promote yourself.
We looked into popular and successful projects including HENI, ArtBlocks, BAYC, SMB, and Doodles to better understand their success. These projects have heavy investment in marketing through community building. Here are some effective strategies they used to give you ideas to build and engage with your own community.
Having an online presence on Twitter and engagement in existing Discord and Reddit communities are marketing tactics we’ve seen in web3. Some ways to participate in discussions and engage in these communities are:
Twitter Spaces are a great way for creators to share their stories and talk about why they are creating the work they are doing. Don’t be afraid to participate in other people’s Spaces. Join in on the conversation, ask questions, give feedback/advice. Consider hosting your own and creating a platform for you and people in your community to share their stories and work.
Feedback sessions can happen on Twitter, Discord, or Zoom. Engage with your community and give them insight to your world and process.
Using existing communities to run ideas and share work is a good way to bring more eyes to your work and to attract people/community that resonates with your work.
Honorary collections are a great way of attracting communities and influencers to your project and showing appreciation to some early supporters who have helped you in marketing your project.
Organizing giveaways can provide hype, bringing more eyes to your work and potentially convert collectors.
Typically creators create a post calling for participants to
This creates excitement and engagement around your collection and work. Reward winners with an allowlist or a minted piece from the honorary collection.
Discord gives you a more intimate space to communicate directly with your followers. Going through the lengths to follow you and then jump into this more intimate space is a great signal of how much a person support and are interested in collecting your work. Be sure to stay engaged and continue to communicate with your community in this space. Be sure to post regularly in all your mediums to not exclude your Discord community.
Consider even holding rewarding your Discord followers with Discord-only exclusive events and giveaways to continue to stir engagement and excitement from your supporters.
Allowlists create a sense of exclusivity. Projects use allowlists to reward their most active community members and supporters with early and guaranteed access to your collection.
Kairos allows you to schedule a pre-launch drop where only wallets from your allowlist can mint.
Get your existing friends, family, and network to share your work. These people are your early supporters and fans! Why not extend your visibility to their network too.
If you have a large and impactful network, consider strategizing when to have individuals share your work for the highest, chain-reactive impact.
Influencer marketing, can bring a lot of visibility to your project. Look for influencers whose brand and message resonate with your body of work and purpose.
Find ways to reach out and capture their attention. This could be through posts, DMs, or sharing honorary work. Reaching out to influencers may feel like screaming into a void, but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. There is no downside to reaching out and a potential upside is your work getting shared and an incredible amount of visibility!
Pay for advertising to increase engagement and sales. Depending on where you believe your audience is, you can pay platforms like Facebook and Google for targeted ads to acquire potential followers and collectors. This is a power tool and can be very powerful if you know where your audience is and to target your audience.