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The Circles of Art Marketing - Part I
A revised overview of how to market art in the 21st century
I’ve developed a mental model of how to market art in a human-centric, non-coercive, online-first way that I call “The Circles of Art Marketing.”
Envision a series of concentric circles with your insatiable creative drive at the very center and the furthest extent of your reach online (and offline) at the very outer edge. Each “ring” as you move closer to the center represents people and marketing channels that are more engaged, more serious, and more likely to purchase your art.
Art is the ultimate expression of the insatiable human hunger to create and it allows humans to send inspirations and energy to one another across space and time. Because of this, the more aligned you are with your souls true inner fire to create, the more you will master your craft, the higher quality your art will be, and the better this method will work. Your truth and thus your art needs to be like a “black hole” at the center of all these rings creating gravity that draws people inexorably toward the center.
If you’ve seen this idea before from us, I implore you to continue because we’ve improved and revised this idea in, as you may guess, in accordance with what has been revealed to my soul’s inner truth.
This idea of “Circles of Art Marketing” looks something like the following illustration:
As you can see there are (now) seven circles in the model with your truth in the very center, and the most public channels you can reach in the outer ring which we have named “Awareness.” We previously had five circles but this model now feels correct and complete. It is no coincidence that in antiquity, seven was considered to be the number symbolizing completeness, divine fulfillment, or perfection. So we will take that as a sign that this model has been improved.
At a very high level, what you’re attempting to do is the following:
1. Create Awareness
Create awareness of your art and your story in free public channels - these are channels that you don’t own or control (like Instagram or Twitter). But they are channels that have a lot of people’s attention.
2. Build an Audience
Entice people who are aware of you to join your audience by taking an action and joining a channel that you do own or control (like an email newsletter or your website).
3. Entice Audience and Buyers to become True Fans
Use the channels you do own to engage and nurture your audience and convert them into buyers
4. Entice Fans to become buyers and repeat buyers in the purchases circle.
Use personal channels (like one-to-one emails or texts) to stay in contact with buyers and sell them more art
5. Nail Your Product
You must do the following to nail your product: Nail your story, price, reputational power, and category to maximize your chances of doing the 4 steps above.
6. Your Art
Make sure your art flows from your inspiration, that the finished piece maintains the vibe and energy of what inspired you to begin with this particular idea. Ensure you have mastered your craft to the best of your ability, and it helps greatly if the piece has a universal and timelessness that makes it appealing.
7. Your Truth
Ensure you are always producing from your own soul and creating the best art you can. You must be in the market but not “of the market.” I previously titled this section “Don’t sell out.” If you have a creative truth you are trying to express and you suppress that in favor of something you think “the market” wants, it will eat you up inside over the long run. You’ve got to let the truth of what your soul wants to express out for this to work!
It sounds clean, logical, and step-by-step when I break it down into those seven steps. In fact, it almost sounds like a “marketing funnel.” Don’t let that deceive you. It’s just a model - it really isn’t as neat and organized as I’ve presented. That’s why we use the mental model of “circles” rather than a funnel.
In fact, a better model might have been to think of it more like an atom. The circles are like the “electron shells” that surround the atom. The nucleus is your soul’s truth and creative desire, and the art & products you’ve created around your truth (the art and product rings) and the other rings are the electron shells. Just like electrons can bounce into lower and higher energy orbits, so can your products and buyers. Buyers might jump back up into the audience ring. People who are aware of you, when the time is right, jump down into the audience ring. And, sadly, sometimes people in the awareness ring get stripped off the outer ring and are gone. It also depends upon the energy you put into your marketing and where you are focusing. If you let a piece out that does not vibrate with the same energy as what’s in your soul as an “electron” it won’t attract the attention and energy it needs and may simply get stripped off the atom. So yes, it’s more messy than this graphic depicts, still, it’s useful to have a model to work from.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. I’ve given you an overview of the circles of art marketing from the outside in. Outside-in represents the typical buyer's journey. But, for this method to be successful, it really must be followed from the inside out, starting with Your Truth.
We’ve made today’s overview available for all subscribers, free and paid. Over the next few weeks we’re going to explore and explain this model in detail for paid Sovereign Artist Club members. We’ll look at what’s needed at each step and how it relates to other marketing information we’ve already posted.
If you’re not yet a full paid Sovereign Artist Club member and are interested in this series, please consider joining. You not only get access to all paid articles and videos on the Sovereign Artist Club site, you also get access to our members only Facebook. Just click the link below to join.
PS - Incidentally, this model (along with the symbolism of our logo, a zen enso) is the one of the reasons our private marketing community is called BoldBrush Circle of Marketing.