Artist Marketing Management by Simon Elam


This Winter semester 2023, I wanted to get real-life experience in the communication field by running marketing and brand image for some of my artist friends, starting off with Natalie Dixon. This would include helping artists develop and execute strategies to grow their audiences, promote their artistic brand, obtain more creative opportunities, and eventually get paid for their art. I spent many years as an artist, struggling to do everything myself. With this project, I hoped to give other creative people the chance to do what they love by taking care of everything else. I have gained valuable experience this semester, and hopefully this venture will continue to grow into a successful business.

The Project

This project started with Natalie Dixon, “an ambitious performing artist, composer, choreographer, and actor with experience in multiple plays, musicals, dance performances, music concerts, song collaborations” (description from her website), many of which song collaborations she did with me a couple years ago. We talked over the phone one day about all of her goals as an artist and the struggle to get herself out there. I offered to help her with marketing: putting together a mailing list, cleaning up her social media presence, building her a simple website, and giving her general promotional guidance in exchange for $40 a month to help cover website hosting and some CRM tools.


I started off this project very clumsily, not knowing much about the many tools and methods of marketing. Having run my own marketing back when I was trying to promote my music, I had some experience using Hootsuite and sending out email newsletters with a music website called, but my main skills from that time were actually making the music, videos, and other creative content. I had to consult several friends for advice about what tools to use. My friend David Deputy introduced me to GMass, an email marketing service that integrates with Gmail. I asked around about good text marketing platforms, but never did end up using that. Over the course of this semester I learned how to use GMass, more effectively use Hootsuite, became proficient with website creation with Wix, and learned more about other tools and practices.

Project Processes

What I lacked in specialized knowledge in marketing tools I made up for with my general understanding of marketing strategy. Understanding the importance of consistency, I first helped Natalie compile over 24 videos of her dances, songs, and theatrical performances so she would have a baseline of two videos a month to share on social media and to her mailing list subscribers. Secondly, we started recruiting her friends on Facebook to her mailing list. Then I helped her write out an effective personal description for her online profiles, replaced old pictures with newer, better ones, and updated urls and profile tags where possible. Lastly, I created a website for her with links to her videos and music, an up to date resume, her mailing list sign up link, and current events involving her.

Finally we were ready to send out her first posts to social media and to her mailing list. I followed the strategy we wrote out, posting two videos a month to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and to her email mailing list.


Natalie teaches choreography to a high school theater group, and they performed this past weekend (March 31 and April 1). I got to visit for the performance, and I really enjoyed adding a section to her website to promote the event and emailing the targeted portion of her mailing list that lives near by to invite them to see Natalie’s work in person.


This project has taught me two, seemingly contradicting lessons: 1) marketing is a lot of work, and 2) marketing doesn’t have to be hard and can actually be a lot of fun. I remember at the beginning of the semester looking at the potential work I would have to do for this kind of project, especially if I were to start working with other clients. I found this LinkedIn post that helped a ton:

I have now started working with a couple more artists with more to come in the future. I have found that I can be confident in the skills I have gained to help these artists gain more exposure. As I get more proficient in the months to come, I have a goal to help my clients get their content out there nearly every day with minimal effort from them. I know I can attain that, and I feel excited to start doing this more and more.