Unlike traditional artists, most NFT artists don’t have a team of people supporting them, especially in their early stages. It’s up to you to build the skills necessary for marketing your work, building your brand, and telling your story. When done well, these skills are critical factors in monetizing your work. To be blunt, selling is about a hell of a lot more than the art.
Marketing + Personal Branding
Before you can begin to market your work, spend some time reflecting on yourself. What are your values? What are values you can offer others in web3? What's your unique perspective? What are your goals?
A common misconception is that personal branding is a logo, font, and colours. it's actually your story, voice, content, community, and presence. Your personal brand is a representation of who you are and what makes you unique. It’s the consistent experience that people have with you, whether they're interacting on social media, your website, or at IRL events.
The act of studying yourself will help to provide you with the clarity and confidence needed to jump into web3 with purpose. It will create a foundation for your personal brand that will grow and evolve over time. Just as you do.
An effective way to bring that personal brand to life is storytelling. What is your personal story? What were the motivations and inspirations behind a particular collection or piece?
The art of storytelling has sold art for centuries. Think about the stories behind great pieces like Grant Wood’s "American Gothic" or even Banksy's "Girl with Balloon." They have a narrative that gives value to the artist and their artwork. The stories help provide genuine connections with your collectors, followers, and clients.
In those moments of human connection, you are no longer an artist that's created a piece of work. You're a representation of shared experience. An inspiration that others want to support.
Community is a great way to share your story and your work with a more curated and supportive group of people. It can include existing and potential collectors, and other artists. If done well, it can also be an effective way to distribute your work, gather feedback, and strengthen your circle of support. An exercise in community building:
Book 15 minutes with 10 of your most engaged members. Prepare questions in advance and ask all members the exact same questions. What's their experience with your community? What do they look for in a community? Do they have recommendations of other great communities? Where else do they spend their time in web3 and NFTs?
Their answers will tell you how to better your community for members and provide clues about places to find other, like-minded, members.
Each day we see artists from web2 make the scary and unpredictable transition into web3. There are promises of autonomy, ownership, and financial freedom but little discussion about what it takes for artists like you to realize these promises. If this is your path, it’s a must that you invest considerable time and energy in creating and growing your personal brand, storytelling, and building strong community. Many people collect because of the art. More people collect because of the artist.