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Art Marketing: Feed Their Addiction

by Clint Watson on 9/10/2010 8:16:28 AM

This article is by Clint Watson,  former art gallery owner/director/salesperson and founder of FineArtViews. You should follow Clint on Twitter here.

What's the first thing you do when you sit down at your computer?
Probably check your email.

Then what?  I'm guessing that you check Facebook or Twitter.  Then you probably check your email again for good measure.  And hey, better check Facebook one more time.  Maybe a few niche sites.  Artists might check BrushBuzz. [1][2]

What about on the weekend?  Or when you're on vacation?  Better check your email just in case.

Most of us do this.  We're addicted.

Changing gears:  Do you ever pull up Google, and, just for fun, start typing random search queries? [3]  Have you ever broken away while on vacation and thought I better run one more search "just in case." 

Of course not.

What channels do you want to put your art marketing time, money and efforts into?  

You've got two types of channels - one that most people are addicted to and check obsessively, and another non-addictive one.

Put the bulk of your marketing effort to be in those addictive streams that we're all obsessively checking.

Feed their addiction.  Rock on.

Now go change the world,

Clint Watson
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic

PS - if you want a Facebook-integrated email newsletter tool, give FASO a try.  We'll help you feed their addiction.


[1] Of course, we feed artists' addictions at BrushBuzz by emailing the artist if a thread they commented on is updated.  We like to keep 'em coming back. :-)

[2] I think possibly the most addictive automated message is the one Facebook sends saying, "You've been tagged in a photo."  Have you ever not clicked-through on that message?

[3] This article is describing the behavior of "normal" people.  Professional SEO's don't count.  They get paid to sit at Google and type search queries.

FASO: Want Your Art Career to Grow?  Set up an Artist Website with FASO.
FineArtViews: Straight talk about art marketing, inspiration - daily to your inbox.

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Daily Art Show: Daily Show of Art that reaches thousands of potential collectors.

Backstory: About Clint. Email EditorTwitter. Republish. ]

Related Posts:

Feed Your Artwork to Your Fans with RSS

Web Traffic Driver #9: Build RSS Subscribers

Decisive Internet Browsing

Web Traffic Driver #4: Systematically Nurture Your Prospects

Topics: art marketing | FineArtViews 

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Lori Woodward
Ha Clint, you definitely know my habits.

do you think there are better days of the week to post on Facebook or Twitter? I guess email newsletters don't matter because they get read sooner or later.

Kyle V Thomas

Now if there was just a way to get people addicted to buying art?

George De Chiara
Hey Clint,
Stop looking over my shoulder :)

How do you get the facebook newsletter thing set up? I've seen it on your FB page and would love to add it to mine.


Spencer Meagher
I understand the addiction concept. What your saying is capitalize on clients art addictions. Addiction can swing the other way. By that I mean it is easy for me to burn a lot of time on my website, answering emails, when I really need to be painting. sometimes it's a hard call.

George De Chiara
Thanks Clint!

I have it set up my FB page, but can't get it to work on my fan page. It doesn't show up in the " " and I get nothing when I search for it. Can you think of any reason for this? Setting it up om my page was super simple and worked right away.


Michael Cardosa
Hi Clint,

I think this is an interesting and logical way to approach online marketing. However, I have to admit, because of security concerns I've decided to delete my Facebook account. I realize it puts me at a disadvantage short term for marketing but I'm a lot more comfortable about the idea.


Helen Horn Musser
Good advice, Clint, thank you for those important points of connection.

Spencer Meagher
Michael I share your concern. I haven't decided whether I will terminate my Facebook account.

Carol Lee Beckx
I like the idea that an addiction can be a way of giving artists a valuable marketing tool and also a sense of community and connection between artists worldwide.

Carol Schmauder
Spot on Clint! I think you have 98 percent of us pegged. I agree with Kyle: is there a way to get them addicted to buying art? The magic question for sure.

Tom Weinkle
I agree with your advice Clint.

I've personally had great success with using FB to market work.

At the same time, I'd like to also underscore another POST OF YOURS and others, which is to make sure you try an leverage the addiction reality with driving more traffic to a blog.

I think blogs prove that most of us want to have conversations with others on our own terms. To me, that is why FB has worked so well. It allows one to push content and pull content, at any pace you like.

So yes, feed the addiction, as long as you are careful about your own addiction to these tools.


Carol McIntyre
Fortunately I am not that addicted!! This past weekend I even missed the knowledge that I sold a painting because I did not check my email. Lately I have been obsessed with my new body of work......yeh!

Sharon Weaver
Lori, I definitely have noticed that Monday through Thursday are the better days for blogging but am not sure about Facebook. Friday, Saturday and Sunday reap much fewer hits on my website too. That tells me that a lot of people are going online at work so it follows that this would also be true for Facebook.

Spencer Meagher
Sharon, very interesting about people reading blogs heavier Monday thru thursday. That helps to pinpoint clients and maximize time usage.

Tuva Stephens
Yep! I have to check my email obsessively and check during my breaks from painting! Facebook, I am not so addicted to. I might check the news feed about once a week. I get lots of encouragement from FB and I like the network created with other artists.

I am not ignoring newspapers though. I just had a couple of articles published and sold a painting through that media.

Tuva Stephens
Write another comment . . .

Tuva Stephens
I attended a seminar on Social Media for Artists given by the Tennessee Arts Commission in Memphis recently. The presenter, Jacob Weiss, PHD was sensational! The topic was THE SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNITY ECOLOGY--yourself, your relationships and your community. Very helpful!

Spencer Meagher
Tuva that sounds like an interesting conference to attend.

Sharon Weaver
I haven't figured out why Friday isn't as good. I have recently put blogging on hold but when I was doing it regularly, I would always blog on Monday and Thursdays. Those have proven to be the very best days.

Spencer Meagher
I am convinced that networking is the most powerful way to move your artistic career forward. With all their tools FASO simplifies networking process so I can spend more time painting and less time on the computer.

Joanne Benson
Hi Clint,
You seem to have nailed our habits pretty good! Funny how we are all OCD about the email and social stuff. I guess it's part of the artist personality too. We need a little OCD to do art as well! What you say makes a great deal of sence. I did put a link to my blog on FB but I need to do more. Thanks for the push!

Tuva Stephens
I plan on taking what I learned from the seminar back to about 250 Tn Watercolor Society members. I even passed on info about FASO to some of the artists who did not have good websites. The presenter compared social media to a juggling act. He even involved the group of about 20 artists (musicians, dancers, visual artists). The Social Media seminar was also held in Nashville and one other location just for artists.

Bonnie Samuel
I'd post a comment, but I have to check my email first.....

Spencer Meagher
Will you be doing a presentation or just offering the information to members? If you do a presentation where would it be and would it be open to non-members? I live about 4 hours from Nashville.

Tuva Stephens
I was going to a summary in a publication for Tennessee Watercolor Society in their ARTBEAT publication. I won't do a presentation. Do you work in watercolor?

Spencer Meagher
Yes Tuva, I'm a watercolorist. You can visit to see my work. I just viewed Tennessee Crossroads on You Tube. Nice interview. I like your work.

Tuva Stephens
Thanks Spencer. They found me through my website!
No website/no interview...

Michael Cardosa

I've never been a big Facebook fan. I think people waste way too much time on it. However I understand it's value from a marketing perspective. I'm looking at how I can use it without compromising my personal information and list myself as a company instead. That might be the lesser of two evils...


Michael Cardosa
Good for you Carol, congrats on selling the work. At times I think about getting one of those comfy Unibomber type shacks in the mountains and disconnect... (OK, maybe not but passing fantasies do have their place...)

Spencer Meagher
I wonder of a Facebook page strictly for my art would be more secure?

Michael Cardosa
Not sure Spencer but going to find out... I'll let you know.


Tuva Stephens
I agree so much time can be wasted on Facebook. I use it to connect with friends but also as a way to market my work. I do announce events in case someone wants to attend and purchase my work. This has happened several times.

I am professional and positive always!

Tom Weinkle

you need to have a personal page to have a “fan” page. the fan page is a way that you can post updates without having to have everyone be a FB friend. they can simply say they like your work, and elect to get posts or not.

The key to having “some” control over FB privacy is not to install any extra apps, and avoid entering or displaying any information you wish to keep private. So, perhaps you don't want to put your phone, address, etc. on FB at all. Some people enter fake info... not sure if that helps or hurts.

just a thought starter.


Clint Watson
Spencer, Michael - you can always do what I do with Facebook - I simply consider everything I post there to be totally public - that way I don't have to worry too much about privacy. If someone contacts me "privately" on facebook, I almost never reply via facebook - I reply to them via email (if I have it) so that I retain control of that information and the storage of the data.

Spencer Meagher
Clint - I do try to keep personal info to minimum. Thanks for confirming that. I find facebook confusing to navigate.

Spencer Meagher
Tom thanks for clearing up facebook fan page. I'll check in to it.

Tom Weinkle
It's an adventure. You can tool around on FB and see how other people do it, and implement what you like, see what works. It can become consuming, so I suggest putting limits on it, like everything else.

good luck.

Michael Cardosa
Hi Tom,

Don't want you to waste a lot of time on this answering me but if you know I'd certainly appreciate the information.

I saw what you wrote to Spencer about needing a personal page before you can have a fan page. I guess what I don't understand is how do corporations do it? Do they designate an employee as the personal user or are there different levels of Facebook membership for commercial versus personal? I confess to not spending more than a couple of hours on Facebook from the time I set up my account a couple of years ago until I deleted it last week.



Tom Weinkle
Hi Michael,

Facebook wants individuals to signup. A company can apparently have a page, but it has many limitations. Having individuals signup is one of the things that makes FB so valuable to marketers. they can finely target, and as we all know FB or associates often sell data gathered from your wanderings and activities on FB.

As a matter of fact, you are right, that many companies and institutions encourage their employees to set up pages on behalf of the company. That gives them access to features some of the other pages do not have. Many people name their pages as if they were an entity, and not a person.... go figure. Fan pages allow you to have a name that is close to your art brand if you wish.....

I am not claiming to be an expert, so you may find more info at the link below. There are so called FB experts all over the web. Basically if you signup for FB, at the bottom of you HOME page you will see a link for advertising, etc. that's where some of these tools to create fan pages, etc. are.

I am not trying to hype any one person

also check out Alyson B. Stanfield, Clint has shared articles from her.

good luck


Michael Cardosa
Thanks Clint,another way to think about approaching this.


Michael Cardosa

Thanks so much for the information. I will definitely give all this a good look.

Thanks again,


Carol McIntyre
Thanks Michael. Selling a painting is always an upper for me.

I have one of those remote cabins in the mountains that I escape to for a month every summer. It is amazing how I manage to survive without TV, radio, newspaper, etc., and yet when I back home I get hooked right back into all of our communication systems. We humans are fascinating.

Tracy Wall
There was a story on NPR about compulsive e-mail checking and potential effects on brain chemistry:

In a nutshell, the excitement of connecting by getting those e-mails, texts or comments and responses stimulates a dopamine/adrenaline high. When levels then drop, it can cause one to crave even more digital connections.

The last thing we need is another addiction to blame for trouble controlling our behavior, but thought it was an interesting take. (though not saying that we”™re helpless from choosing whether or not to act on those behaviors)

Tuva Stephens
I will check the site later Tracy, but I am sure it is true. I was watching people coming into the doctor's office yesterday. So many people were texting or looking at their blackberry as they approached the check in area. Then as they would walk away flip open their phone and start texting again! Several people were around me receiving calls and talking loudly. Yes, I am hooked on checking my email and making comments but thank goodness I do not plan on taking the addiction any further....that's what addicts say isn't it?

Clint Watson
Tracy - NPR is right - for many people, email triggers the same dopamine rush as a slot machine.


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