So . . . you are an artist, craftsperson or creative entrepreneur with work that you’d like to sell. OK, that’s great. Now you want to do some marketing. But which direction is your marketing going, inbound or outbound, and how do you know the difference?

Inbound vs. Outbound

Outbound Marketing:

  • Interrupts people during their lives and says “look at me, listen to me”.
  • Outbound marketing is old school (think advertising in magazines, newspapers, TV, junk mail, phone solicitors).
  • It’s not dead yet and is still often used, but it’s becoming less effective and easier to ignore.
  • You can block out TV commercials by switching to another station or hitting the mute button.
  • Or perhaps you only watch your favorite programs on a DVD and never see commercials anyway.
  • Do you open your mail over the trash can and simply dump all the junk mail before opening it?
  • Did you sign up for the Do Not Call list?

Inbound Marketing:

  • Inbound marketing is another animal, and it’s been rapidly becoming the marketing method of choice.
  • You’ve got a website and you use marketing techniques to attract people to it.
  • Instead of interrupting them, you invite people who have an interest to come visit you.
  • Then you offer them something free – interesting and helpful content that they appreciate.
  • This creates a “warm” audience for your business.
  • Keeping your website updated and relevant, and having a subscription to your blog will keep them coming back.
  • They will then remember you or bookmark your site, and when they are ready to buy, you are a familiar go-to person who can more easily earn their business.

The go-between is Social Networking:
This includes, your Facebook page, your LinkedIn profile, and your Twitter account. Another way of marketing yourself is to use StumbleUpon, or Digg, posting your articles on these sites or being listed in a directory which is frequented by people who are interested in the type of stuff you’ve got. These interactive methods are used to invite others to come and visit your site.
Ask Yourself:

  • When they get there, are you offering your visitors something that is truly of value?
  • Is the artwork and content of your website fascinating, compelling, or remarkable?
  • Would someone bookmark your site or subscribe to find out what you’re doing next?

Outbound and Inbound marketing can be used together to create an even more effective package.

  • A direct mail piece, such as a postcard, that you send to a gallery, customer or prospect should prominently invite them to your website – and use a “call to action” such as “Visit my site to see the newest additions to my portfolio”.
  • Email newsletters to your subscribers keep you “top of mind” and are an outbound way of reaching those people who have agreed that you may contact them, which is also called permission marketing.
  • This type of contact allows people to unsubscribe, and doesn’t violate any spam laws.

When the visitor does access your site, make it easy to contact you and interact. Some sites will have drop-down screens which attempt to get the reader to leave their name and email address. These are called “capture pages” or “squeeze pages” and can be a great way to get a mailing list together.
A really helpful book which will give you lots of ways to quickly become more marketing-savvy is, “Inbound Marketing” by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, founders of Hubspot.  As you come to understand the many ways to market yourself and your work, you can wisely choose how to combine outbound, inbound, in person and other ways to attract business.


Carolyn Edlund is the owner and author of the informative art blog for the emerging artist, Artsy Shark. I enjoy Carolyn’s articles and am grateful to have her share this guest article with us. Thank you Carolyn! ~Lori 🙂
*Let’s also meet on Twitterand on Google Plus, Pinterestand join in the fun at Fine Art Tips Facebook Fan Page! Please checkout my art too – ~Lori
You might also like to read these related articles:
3 Reasons to Start a Creative Blog For Your Business
Newsletter Art Marketing Tips that Work!
How to Use YourTube to Improve Your Art Marketing

Privacy Preference Center