Marketing Your Art vs Marketing Your Teaching

You're an artist.
Let's say you also teach classes.
One is a service and the other is, for lack of a better word, a product. You have to promote both.

Deep Thought Thursday

How is marketing your art different from marketing your classes?
How are they similar?

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13 thoughts on “Marketing Your Art vs Marketing Your Teaching”

  1. Hi, Alyson. Great question. I have begun marketing my studio workshops and because it is new to me, I’ve sort of been all over the place with it. What I have not yet done is buy ad space in any print or online venue. I have begun to get students (yay!) but want a lot more. I find that my printed info displayed at shows gets a lot of attention but no follow through. This weekend I plan to have interested parties sign up and I will follow up with them instead of leaving the ball in their court. I’d love suggestions from others.

  2. I have been a teacher for many years and am just now entering the art world.
    A class on writing an artist’s statement was almost impossible for me, as these two things are very different in terms of marketing. Yes, one IS selling a product, and the other is a service. One is for people who want to own an item, the other is for people who want to make their own (for the most part….a very few people take classes to better appreciate the process).
    The only thing in common is selling yourself, but it is still different aspects. Art collectors may not be interested in someone who teaches beginners (because they don’t understand a good teacher has to have real depth).
    I am also sure people don’t read advertising they are not immediately interested in, so collectors and students are two different groups.
    Since I am right at the crux of this question, I think a carefully managed mailing list and attention to which audience you are advertising for are the keys. The cross-over customers will take care of themselves, and could get either/ both mailings, etc.
    This is where a website is handy, since it is included in all publicity items and visitors will see and click on the pages they are interested in!
    Great question…can’t wait to hear from others!

  3. In both you are marketing your vision. Look for the deeper commonality. For me, it is building community through relationships. Everything I do is about learning to be a better artist collaborator and learner; and thus an art producer and a teacher (hint: I think the best teachers are learning from their students).

  4. I agree with Suzanne. But I also have two websites – one for my art workshops ( and one for my paintings, which also lists classes and links to the art workshops website.
    People are finding me through the workshops site, too, and sometimes coming from quite a distance, often because they like my artwork. But I have a few testimonials up there from students, too, to let people know I’m a good teacher.

  5. I don’t think so, but I guess it depends on your perspective. A lot of my students come because they like what I do, but I what I teach is much larger than what they generally know about my work (in addition to teaching different media than they might expect).
    And Suzanne is right about students and collectors being two different audiences (though sometimes there is an overlap).
    Making art and teaching are two different things. My perspective is that I don’t want to teach my students how to paint like carbon copies of me – I can show them that, if that’s all they want – but my intention is to give them the tools and skills and help them see in ways that help them create art like themselves. And I come from particular teaching philosophies that I like to make clear on the teaching website, which people wouldn’t necessarily know from just looking at my work.
    Like Sunnie, I also taught in the classroom. Coming from that perspective probably shapes my responses.

  6. It seems like there is a big difference between teaching children, and teaching adults, as far as separating your art and teaching. Still, sometimes I have so much fun making samples for the kids projects, I start wanting to take the projects further.

  7. i have one big database of people, buyers, collectors, students and galleries. for a while i thought it was the right thing to segment the database and send info about workshops etc to only people i thought were interested in specific information (ie i segmented the database myself a short time ago) but now i’m thinking that I don’t want to make a decision for people without really knowing, i want everyone on my db to know everything. I send regular (yeah right!) emails and rotate, depending on current happenings, between exhibitions, new works and workshops. My current task is to work on shortening my email news as much as possible providing a quick easy, memorable read. For me, the artist and tutor, the marketing is all about me so i might as well go forth and multiply, so yes , Sue, i agree with you!!

  8. Marketing classes if all about marketing to a need – which to me is quite different than marketing my artwork – which is more about marketing myself and our collective love of beauty.

  9. Susan, I totally agree with you! For me, this is true as well. I feel building a community through relationships with both collectors and students is so important. Developing one’s colloborative and learning skills are always prime — I learn much from my students and collectors. Their thoughts and advice have enriched me as an artist and teacher. As well, I’ve found the more people see my work at galleries and notice my teaching PR material at shows, the more the inclined they are to want to try a hand at it themselves. It seems one can really feed the other (for now). The draw back for me is that I can’t always balance both very well. I find producing art work requires a very diferent state of being for me than the one that composes a workshop or course. Mind you, I’ve only been doing this for three years (almost) now. I get a creative high from doing both but get equally burned out as well. Even still, I plod on trying to find ways to deal it.

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