If you are or/and know many artists in the creative industry you are sure to have heard of their plans to get rich off NFTs as of recent. Can you actually become rich by selling NFTs? Certainly. But is it easy? Is it guaranteed? Is it for everyone? Certainly not.
In the same way that the stars of YouTube (most starting in the 2010s) didn’t just “turn on a camera and speak about random stuff to earn millions of dollars”, NFT money is a hustle. No magic pill type of solution here I am afraid.
Here are some tips and skills required when it comes to building a successful presence as an artist in the NFT world.
Like everything in life, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. When approaching your NFT journey you’ll need a routine, a plan of action, and the discipline to follow it. Each successful NFT artist has their own method that works. Still, some ways of staying consistent are: deciding on a theme for your art and sticking to it, building a large and coherent body of work, paying daily attention to your marketing strategies, doing something to promote yourself online every day, working even when you don’t particularly feel like it, etc.
- Understand the Digital Art World
There is no use trying to succeed in a space you don’t understand. Imagine a music artist trying to get a number one hit without understanding the ins and outs of label contracts and management responsibilities – it just wouldn’t work. Nowadays, being a successful artist is about playing both in and outside of the establishment, in and outside of the playbook. It’s about acknowledging tradition and new trends without mimicking them.
The most known artists of our time are not necessarily the most talented, but the ones who understand the art market the most, managing to enter powerful and selective institutions such as galleries, museums, and auction houses. And in the digital art world, the most known digital artists and NFT artists are the ones that have managed to build a coherent and recognizable brand around their artwork on the internet. The NFT market is still quite new, and most art critics remain sceptical about considering everything that runs through it as “art.”
If you want to specialise in CryptoKitties or CryptoPunks, in trading cards or character design, go for it. The future of art might as well lay there. But whatever you do, do it proudly and do it professionally: build your brand around it, build your fan base around it, build your digital persona as an artist around it. That is understanding digital art that belongs to the emerging crypto art movement.
The NFT world is confusing so you need to hold your head high and carve out your own space. Don’t be naive but instead do your research and trust your gut. You’ll have to build an audience and draw in your first buyers. The profits won’t necessarily be incredibly high at first. Your situation will become more stable in time… sounds familiar? Yes: it is exactly like trying to succeed as an artist in the real world. But it can be done; it just takes perseverance. It takes passion for your own art and for that magical tool we call the “internet.” The digital art world may be tough to win over, but it can be extremely rewarding when you do. Your attitude towards the process is essential for both getting positive results and for keeping your mental health. If you persevere in creating quality art and promoting it, if you don’t give up at the first negative outcome, if you keep a proactive and enthusiastic attitude, you’ll be a great NFT digital artist.
- Know the Digital Economy
You’ll need to know the value of Ethereum and learn to check how much it changes in a week’s range. It is a currency far more volatile than the dollar, which can play in your favour or against it, depending on when you decide to buy or sell it. You’ll also have to figure out how to make that digital money useful to pay for your expenses in the real world. If your artwork starts selling well in an NFT market, you’ll have to read a little about blockchain protocols to avoid scams. Collectors are willing to support beloved artists in these markets, and some speculators want to inflate the value of certain pieces to make a bigger profit. Having a sense of the digital economy also means understanding that sometimes you can get lucky and sell to a totally random person that just came across your art.
- Do Your Research
Because the concept of NFTs is so new, the rules of the game are not completely defined yet. Some people are trying to take an easy path and sell art whose copyright they don’t own. It’s easy to copy NFTs and it’s a major problem. Copyright is a major issue, and this post on NFTs and copyright will help clarify some of the important aspects. But whether the market is new or old, plagiarism is still plagiarism and should always be avoided. By looking into what other artists have been doing, you can find inspiration to create something new and unique. Originality is one of the most rewarding things in this new digital art world. It is always a good idea to check what people have already been selling and what no one has thought about selling yet. Create ways of interacting with your audience through your sales: make it fun for them to try and collect the most of your products, offer some perks to the ones that buy more.
- Market Yourself
To sell well in an NFT market, you’ll need to be really active on social media, gain an audience and start gathering collectors. It is a process; building a brand takes time, but it pays off. When your brand is recognizable, and when you appear like an accessible creator, people are more open to the idea of buying something from you. It’s important to have an active life on social media. An Instagram profile will allow you to exhibit your art to a large audience, and Instagram stories are a good opportunity to interact with your public. Ensure you always have new content to post regularly. It is okay if you start small; it is actually the only way to start. If you stay consistent, your audience will slowly grow. Keeping different social networks up to date is demanding, so choose what you can actually manage. It is preferable to have a really impressive profile in one of them, then four or five mediocre profiles on different platforms. Ensure that in all of your social media presence, the aesthetic and the name of your brand are the same. Make it easy for your followers from one platform to find you in the other ones. NFT markets have forums like Discord where you can interact with other NFT digital artists, answer their questions about the things that you’ve already figured out, and ask them about the ones that you’re still trying to learn.
- Stay Up to Date
Some platforms such as Rarible and OpenSea are still available for anyone that wants to create an account and start minting NFTs to sell them there. And if you grow on them and prove your worth, you can get a badge verifying your credibility as an artist. But other NFT markets are more exclusive: they require you to go through a selection process, ask about your background, and want artists who already have a fan base. Once you start doing well in the most democratic markets, you can apply to move your way into the more exclusive ones. Markets that allow fewer creators to enter have the perks of involving more visibility and less competition. Becoming a successful NFT Digital Artist can be very demanding, so you must do it with passion: don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the process.