Last Updated on January 17, 2019
Thanks to online donation pages, the days of the starving artist are numbered. Content creators are able to keep in touch with their supporters, buy products or merchandise and donate to them more easily than ever before. Everyone from web designs to illustrators, video producers, 3D modelers, graphic artists and musicians can get financial help when they need it most.
Young professionals who are just getting started might be having a hard time attracting supporters, however. Setting up a site that can help drive donations and sales isn’t easy, especially considering how much competition there is in the market. Fortunately, a few simple ideas can help skyrocket you to artistic stardom.
Most importantly, though, you’ll need to make yourself known as much as possible.
Leverage Every Donation System You Can
Not all donation platforms are available to all types of content creators, but you should at least have a Patreon page because they accept everyone from vloggers to poets. Depending on the type of content you’re working with, you could possibly try more esoteric options like GoFundMe, but these are a bit more selective.
If you don’t currently have a blog or some other kind of site, then you need to get one up as soon as possible. You’ll be able to offer links to your donation page on it, which can drive traffic. WordPress and other platforms even offer plugins that can let you run donation software right on the page to accept payment.
Some people have been very clever and used this as an opportunity to link straight to the content they provide. Consider how wildly popular Tupperware Remix Party has become in the last few years. This elite squad of futuristic rock stars from space, as they call themselves, were able to leverage social accounts like YouTube to drive traffic to their Bandcamp record site.
Play to a Social Crowd
In fact, this strategy works so well you might want to consider it the core of your promotional efforts. DeviantArt and other social areas are a great place to attract like-minded people, but don’t forget about all of those who might not be as familiar with the artistic world. Twitter, Facebook and other standard social media stops are a great place to
Effective communication is an absolute must when attracting members of the general population, so you might want to consider a course that specializes in advanced communication techniques. It might seem like an unnecessary expense right now, but it can really pay off by helping you communicate your needs to people and getting them to pay for content they might have otherwise considered completely free. This is especially true if you’re video content creator, where body language and tone of your voice come into play.
Up Your Production Values
Regardless of what kind of media you’re working with, supporters won’t be keen on giving you anything if you don’t give it your all. This could mean you have to make a bit of an investment in your physical plant in order to produce better material. In fact, you might even consider holding a fundraiser depending on how many people you already have following you and how they feel about interacting with your brand.
This could mean buying a drawing pen or tablet if you’re a visual artist. It could mean physical art supplies if you’re working with any sort of traditional medium. Photographers and art manipulators could need new cameras and many other tools. You might even want to look into a gently used laptop and some software if you’re doing presentation design work.
Freelance voice over actor ShadyVox has made quite a name for himself by starting small and then investing in quality equipment over time so people would associate his work with high production values. He parlayed his portrayal of Jaden Yuki in the comedic GX Abridged series to new heights by working to sound progressively better.
Consider Helping with Those Learning Your Skill
Artists hoping to get discovered would have offered classes to other people learning their trade in order to get noticed. While the Internet has made doing so easier than ever, you’ll also have to work especially hard to get people to notice you because there are doubtlessly many other people who have the same idea.
Try offering live streams and videos of you doing your thing and promote them through the same channels you’ve been using to promote your brand as a whole. When people start to take notice of them, there’s a chance they’ll become donors.
Perhaps more importantly there are many people online who will pay for this kind of content. If you’re offering it on your website, then it might very well help to attract those looking to learn something and therefore bring some money your way.
Visual artists that promote themselves through Twitch’s Creative page have been attracting attention for quite some time. This method has become so popular that entire websites are being built around artist streams.
Never Forget to Update Your Material
Don’t get so caught up in creating content that you forget to update your followers on what you’re doing. Some creative professionals get so attached to their projects that they end up not sharing them. Each time you make something new add it to all of your social accounts and place links back to your original site as well as your donation pages.
While it might seem like a long uphill battle to get to where you’re going, you’ll soon be in a position to do whatever you truly love as a living.