Do you want to tell a story with your art? Or are you just trying to make a buck? If you’re just selling art to try to make some money, good luck. This post isn’t for you. But if you want an actual creative business, keep reading.
When I’m creating art, I’m really trying to tell a story that’s come to my mind.
Stories aren’t just for writers. Storytelling is as integral to the visual artist as it is for the aspiring novelist. But what’s even more important, is telling your story is key to your content marketing as an artist.
As an artist, you’re really trying to provide value to other’s lives, right? After all, you want others to see your stuff and feel happy. The happier they feel, the more likely they are to buy your work.
Whether it’s an intense, momentary feeling of happiness or daily happiness over a period of time, art is about pleasure. I like to say I’m in the happy business. I’m trying to make others happy.
But no one likes to be “sold” happiness. People want genuine, honest, feel good stuff. This is where your content marketing needs to incorporate some serious storytelling.
Good Storytelling Makes Good Content Marketing
If you’re new to content marketing, there are a number of great sites out there to get you started on your journey. I myself am learning each day and working towards improving my content.
One of the best in the business is Neil Patel. I read his stuff daily. A ton of good insights and advice. It doesn’t matter what niche you’re in or what industry, Neil’s guidance will help you. He’s living proof with four multi-million dollar businesses under his belt. As an artist, you need to read his blog and listen to the podcasts to build your blog or website.
You might think your visual content will get you visitors, clicks and ultimately conversions. If only it were that simple.
You need to capture the attention of your audience. Artists are in a unique sales position. Your products are you. Your selling more than just pictures and images. You’re selling a brand, your name. You need to tell your story.
So how do you make a good story?
Over on JeffBullas.com, Pawan Kumar wrote a great piece outlining a three-part formula for an engaging story. I think he’s spot on with the character, drama, and resolution.
George Lucas goes a little simpler when he said, “storytelling is about two things; it’s about character and plot.”
Notice the one common theme: character. The art we as visual artists create is the character of our stories. You know how you feel about a certain piece. Once it’s done, the image speaks to you.
It’s alive. It has personality. It’s a character.
That’s your hook. That’s the foundation for your story of the piece you want others to fall in love with and hopefully convert into a buyer.
You Need To Outline Your Story
Building your story starts with an outline. Think of marketing your art in this way:
- The plot: your marketing your art is the main event.
- The character is the art.
- The drama: the details of the creative process.
- The resolution: is your customer feeling something. They connect with your piece. They buy.
How do you make an outline? Use Google Docs.
Head over to Google Docs, login to your Google Account if you aren’t already.
- Open a document in Google Docs.
- To open the outline, click Tools Document outline. The outline will open on the left.
From there, get outlining and let your ideas flow. But remember, you are telling a story about your art.
Authenticity Is Key
Think about why you love a good story? What makes a good yarn? Yes, the characters and plot are obviously super important. But think about the characters in particular. We love genuine, authentic characters.
But we love the story. Star Wars is the ultimate family feud. But we can relate to both the heroes and villains. They are authentic. Just like your art.
Your content marketing has to be authentic and telling your story is the way to portray that authenticity.
Why is authenticity so important? The answer is simple: authenticity is your competitive edge. No one makes what you make. No one tells your story like you.
Consider this, according to WordPress.com, roughly 76.9 million blog posts are posted each month on WordPress.com alone! Talk about competition.
Everyone with a blog is competing for a piece of the blogging pie. As an artist, your creativity and artwork should give you a slight edge because you have a unique product.
As an artist and a blogger, you want to connect with your prospective customers through your content. You’re not deceiving or trying to make a buck through unethical sales tactics.
You want genuine buyers who will genuinely appreciate your efforts and work. Storytelling will get you fans.
We all love a good story. As an artist, each visual piece tells a story that is unique. Great plot, character, drama and the ultimate resolution: the conversion to a buyer is super important.
We’re bombarded every minute of every day with sales pitches and advertisements to buy, buy, buy. As artists, as content marketer’s, we’re above the sales pitch. We’re storytellers. We’re authentic. We want fans and people who genuinely want to buy our work. Learn to outline your story, and write compelling, detailed and entertaining content.
What do you think about telling your story? What makes your art and your story unique? Please feel free to share in comments!
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Also published on Medium.