Such is a theory I've come up with and am going to experiment on. Marketing has always been something that has eluded me. In fact, I sometimes feel utterly confused and frustrated when I try to come up with how to get my work out there for people to see.
What works to get attention? I'll tell you two things: It is absolutely not numbers, and it is absolutely not shameless plugging.
At the time of writing this, I have 3,200 Facebook friends and 13,500 Twitter followers. Every time I post a link to either area, I'll get a few likes or click-throughs. Nothing huge. So sheer numbers don't work...
I'm excited about my work every time, but it's difficult to convey genuine excitement without sounding like a shill. So shameless plugging don't work...
What works to market an artist? Funny enough, most artists aren't good at marketing. If they were they'd be in business management or advertising rather than putting their ideas into some form of media.
It's at this point many marketers would suggest learning a bit of marketing. Learn about ads, social response patterns, engineering of trends, and how to create viral hits. Except, few marketing experts even know how to do this, let alone some artist who picks up a secondary skill set in the craft.
What is an artist to do? They should do what they know, of course! That's more artistry! Produce more art, put it out there, and let it speak for itself. Rather than wasting energy into marketing, the artist can devote their energy to art that will catch the attention of someone out there.
Like I said, it's a theory.
I have some evidence to suggest this works. Since this past October, I've been photographing local high school sports when I get a chance. People seem to love the shots (more on artists and response in another post) and I'm getting attention for my photography that way. People watch my Facebook timeline more actively now, and I've had numerous requests to shoot other projects, like minor league football, events, and portraits.
The photographic response has been so good that I'm on the verge of creating a business in order to start serving the market. And that was all from just getting out to games and taking photos for athletes and parents as a volunteer. The response has been massively better than when I'd post a shot to my wall and shill for my fashion or portrait shooting abilities.
No matter how many people you have paying attention, they don't want to see shilling. They want to see skill in action, and a passion for that art.
So here I go, continuing the experiment to test the theory. I'm going to devote more energy into photography and writing. Someone will notice. Someone will like it. At least in theory.
Wish me luck. And feel free to copy!