Digital artists share the strategies they use to promote their digital artworks on NFT marketplaces
NFTs have revolutionized the digital art world over a matter of weeks, making it possible for artists to sell their work for substantial sums of money. In January alone, the value of Ether, the cryptocurrency traded in this market, grew 10 times, and it is said that this is only the beginning.
The figures sales are fetching are very tantalizing sums, and many artists have jumped on the NFT bandwagon. This new venture has not only opened up a world of possibilities but also comes with news tasks, such as self-promotion. If you have already tokenized your works and been granted access to a marketplace such as Foundation, Opensea, Superrare, Rarible, or Makers Place, you are probably wondering what you need to do to make a sale.
We asked artists experienced selling art online which communication strategies work best for them, which social media platforms they need to have a presence on, and what kind of content tends to attract collectors. These are their top ten marketing strategies for promoting your digital art:
1. Migrate to Twitter
Only being able to insert links if you have more than 10 thousand followers on Instagram is a real issue for those using it to sell their work. Sales depend on the links to the next auctions being widely shared and people being directed straight to the gallery–using "link in bio" just isn’t effective enough. As Twitter allows users to share links, it has become the go-to platform for spreading the word about crypto art sales.
While, previously, the arty world didn’t consider Twitter to be a very visual platform, many have since discovered that it can provide an even better way to exhibit work than Instagram. "Twitter allows you to share several images at the same time while still putting the text in a place of importance because it's the first thing one sees," highlights illustrator and designer Óscar Lloréns (@ollorens). The artist, who has sold seven of the eight works he has put up for sale on Foundation, recognizes that Twitter works wonders for presenting a series, a format that seems to be being well received in the current market.
Another possibility that Twitter offers is feedback: sharing and retweeting the work of other artists helps to create a community and network.
2. Don’t neglect Instagram
When it comes to trying to sell your work, all social media platforms play their part. While Twitter is the best platform for sharing links, most artists agree that if you already have a following on Instagram, no matter how modest it may be, don’t neglect it. Instagram is still a space to showcase your portfolio and exhibit not only your current projects but also show your past work. The trajectory and evolution of an artist's work can be decisive for collectors.
3. Use hashtags correctly
In a universe with millions of conversations and images occurring at the same time, the best way to build circles is to follow the right hashtags. This will increase your chances of becoming part of a scene and being seen by collectors and other artists.
It is useful to include some of these hashtags or terms in your profile description. These tags work for both Twitter and Instagram.
4. Share more than just work
"Sharing the creative process, showing how your work is put together, what inspires you, is something that seems to spark great interest," observes 3D illustrator Zigor Samaniego (@zigorb). Zigor was one of the first Spanish artists to step into the NFT universe. In October 2020, he took part in an auction held by Nifty Gateway gallery, which secured him 10 thousand dollars. Since then, he has been focusing more and more on ways to self-promote. "I understand that it helps to generate interest during the weeks leading up to an auction," he explains.
Lloréns agrees. So, what’s the best way to do this? Through time-lapses, sharing fragments of a piece and previews of details. Images of artists working in their studios also generate a lot of buzz, as does an artist sharing artworks by other artists that they admire in a curatorial way.
5. Seeking out collectors... or not
"In the Twitter universe, you’ll come across people claiming to have sums of money to spend on crypto art and asking to be convinced. They might be genuine, but often they’re not," explains creative Gabriel Suchowolski (@microbians). The result is that many artists are tempted to go out specifically to hunt down collectors, directing them to their sales and sending them private messages. Is this a good idea? All those interviewed say no. Lloréns explains that he only sends messages to those who have previously bought his work "or to those who have bid on my work at auction," he says.
6. Discord forums
Discord is a social platform designed to allow users to create chat rooms for different purposes. It is known as the Slack for gamers and now also for crypto artists. In addition to chatting, Discord offers more professional features such as sharing and storing material and documents. Crypto galleries usually have their own chat rooms that you can join to share your work.
Some groups are more or less private to which you can be invited by other users. There are even rooms for major collectors that have become legendary in the NFT art world. Access to them is restricted, and those who manage to enter are considered elite.
7. Promotion on Reddit
Reddit is a content aggregator whose community has voting powers. If a post receives a lot of votes, it goes up in the Reddit rankings, and, consequently, more people can see it. If it receives downvotes, its visibility is reduced.
There you can not only showcase work in artist community threads–like reddit.com/r/CryptoArt, which has nearly 8 million users–you can also research what you don't understand in forums that share pedagogical articles. One such group is dedicated exclusively to Ethereum.
8. Newsletters about NFTs
Already there are NFT trend hunters who seek out artworks with the highest selling potential. NFT Hunters is one of them. Once or twice a week, this site sends a list of top works to its subscribers' email or Telegram accounts. In some cases, if there is some breaking news or a sudden trend in the market, subscribers will receive an extra email with all the details. It’s very easy to pitch your artworks for these trend hunters’ consideration: just send an email to the address that appears on their website.
In the NFT universe, together is better. Both in the big leagues and the not-so-big leagues, collaborations are a growing trend. Recently, German DJ Boys Noize teamed up with visual artists Art Camp, Danae Gosset, and Danica to create a clip that sold for $25,000.
A similar sum was exchanged when Taiwanese singer Eric Chou joined forces with Hong Kong visual artist and filmmaker Wing Shea. In the smaller leagues, we see similar patterns: days ago, a collaboration of 100 little-known artists, curated by an artist and writer called Loopify, sold for seven times the price originally put on Rarible: raising $89k.
10. Staying true to yourself as an artist
Given the current economic crisis, it is understandable why many artists are embracing NFTs. Those who have already made profits from this trend are aware of how addictive it can all feel. "It's all so new and unpredictable that creates this feeling that it will all be over tomorrow, and so you have to take advantage of it now," observes Lloréns.
However, he warns of the risks involved in spending so much energy on this market. "I think it's important to not get obsessed with doing what the market suggests and instead focus on producing art with personality. After all, that's the opportunity the NFT world is giving us: the opportunity to stop thinking about a client and focus on you as an artist," he advises.
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