Do’s and don’ts of promoting your art online

Promoting your art online can be difficult. However, some promotion will probably be needed to get your work to be seen.

When you first get started with posting you art online these are some of the things you can do to promote you work in a organic way.

Do and don’ts of promoting your art;

The Do’s of promoting your art

  • Do share multiple times

Many artists upload their work once and I never see it again. Truth is, you probably don’t make new work every single day. And not everybody sees you work the first time you have shared it.

I said it once and I will keep saying this; you can share your artwork multiple times!

You can for example make collection posts of all your previous work or share some images that go well together.  Uploading details or “making of” is also a great way to share again. You can also share across multiple platforms. For instance Instagram, youtube shorts, tumblr, tiktok. You can also share stories about the artwork such as what your inspiration was or what the difficulties were when creating the work.

  • Do make roundup posts

This one goes with the last one. Making round-up posts of artworks around the same themes helps you reshare old work in a new setting.

It is a super quick way to fill up that content calendar and help you stay active on social media! Think of posts such as ‘what I made this month’ or ‘sketchbook flip through’ 

  • Do share sketches and wip

Another way to fill those last gaps in your social media campaign. You don’t have to make perfect work to share it. Sketches, experiments and work-in-progress shots break up your social media and can be a great way to help you promote yourself! Quick sketch videos are also great for stories, reels and tiktoks. 

  • Do mention your work

I see lots of artists who don’t call themselves an artist. Or they say “still learning” or hobbyist. If you want to sell your work here is what I would advise.

1. Call yourself an artist.

2. Don’t be afraid to call yourself a professional.

There isn’t a requirement to be a professional artist. No piece of paper that makes it official. It is just the intention, the creativity and you as a person! 

Do mention your work

  • Do offer help and promote fellow artists

You know what is great about being an artist? The amazing community! There are many more amazing artists out there who need your support and love to become confident.

Promoting others is good for you as well as it helps your fans to see more from other artists, it breaks up your posts and you might even get some promotion back!

  • Do be genuine

With your audience and with your fellow artists! You can show the person behind all the work to build that connection. This can include things like personal inspairation, anecdotes and posts about daily life.

  • Do send personal messages and reach out

Personal messages and responses are an amazing way to connect with the community. I know this can be hard sometimes, I definitely avoid my inboxes when I am feeling anxious. But at the end of the day, most people just love it to get a personal message or mention!

Leaving comments and having nice conversations are a good way to make new friends and for people to notice you.

The don’ts of promoting your art

These are the things you can best avoid. They are frowned upon in some communities but mostly they are just bad practice!

If you have done some of these before it is not like there is no way fixing it and these are just my personal guidelines!

  • Don’t give critique unless asked

I know, you just want to help, but here is the thing. For some artist, their work is super personal. If I have made a drawing on something super personal to me, but I did not mention that in de description (maybe because it was that personal) chances are that if you start critiquing my colour choices that will really hurt.

Yes, maybe you did try to make it constructive. But you just don’t know what it means to another person.

It is just a great rule to follow online; if they don’t ask for critique, don’t give it! Just mention something you like and move on!

Or read this on writing meaningful comments that build connections!

  • Don’t spam

Copy-paste comments, comments in weird places, sending multiple emails or asking the same person over and over again? These are all spam and it will not work well for your online brand. Just don’t do it when promoting your art!

  • Don’t be insensitive

Before promoting yourself online on a thread, in a chat room, in the comments, you need to think about if that is the right place and time. For example, I see a lot of copy-paste comments that say something like “check out my work; link”. These are not great, to begin with, but sometimes they are posted in the most insensitive places.

If you see a thread on something (very) personal (or a post on social media) it is probably not the place to self-promote in any way. Read the room before you start promoting anything.

  • Don’t share if you use copyrighted materials

Sometimes we practise by tracing or copying work and while I think master studies like this are great to grow your skill they are not great to share sometimes. Copyright laws are difficult and you don’t want other artists to think you are stealing work.

If you want work to copy or learn from you can

1. Use stock photos

2. Choose master studies from very old classics.

Here a great overview of what copyright entails.

Or read more on Creative Commons for sharing your own work!

Lastly, Do Have fun and try new things

You should be able to play around with your promotion. Why not try something new? You never know what kind of gold mine you will find. If you can have fun promoting and connecting it will be so much easier to do and to keep going!

Try new tips and platforms to find new things you love and enjoy!

Let me know if you have anything to add to this list of do’s and don’ts! 

And don’t forget to share this list with other artists in your community!

Do's and Don'ts of promoting your art online, How to promote your art in a way that helps build your brand!

Some of the best tips and guidelines for promoting your art online! Etiquette for all artist to help you promote your art and build a following! Some of the best tips and guidelines for promoting your art online! Etiquette for all artist to help you promote your art and build a following!

3 Responses to “Do’s and don’ts of promoting your art online

  • Hi Sofie,
    I really enjoyed reading this post especially the part of not being afraid to repost work. My Instagram had basically died when it comes to showing artwork because I felt “How on earth can I compete with all these highly productive illustrators”. Starting to care too much really drained the joy out of it. However your do-list made me reflect and I feel more inspired to think of a new way of sharing my work 🙂
    Thank you,
    I hope you are doing well

    • artsbysofie
      6 years ago

      Hey Romica, Sorry for the very late reply. I love that this post helped you. I always love seeing your work. I would love to chat sometime again about how your journey is going! ~Sofie

  • Some fantastic advice here!

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