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How This Painter Captivated an Online Audience

Artist Muna Khalid Al-Bader explains why social media and e-commerce helped her add to an already invested following. 

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Last year's pandemic restrictions forced artists to retreat, leaving galleries and exhibitions shuttered.

jaki good photography | Getty Images

Their future success was dependent on going digital. I recently spoke with renowned painter, Muna Khalid Al-Bader, who has built a considerable following with her unique approach. 

"Painting is a business," says the Qatar-based activist. "My customers were still looking for artwork and I knew I had to find a better way to provide it to them."

Because of the personal nature of creative work, it can be difficult to break out virtually. Social media, e-commerce and individuality can attract those in a digital space looking to invest in all you have to offer. By fulfilling that need through the following principles, Al-Bader's journey started on the easel and ended in online success. 


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1. Social media 

"By building an audience online, I was able to cut out the middleman and go straight to the customer," claims Al-Bader. "Hashtags became my biggest generator for traffic and I can directly link them to an increase in my online sales."

Muna sets her work up for sale on Artsy, a platform directly linked to fine art, and garnered immense attention by optimizing hashtags like #artsy, #fineart and #artoftheday. By utilizing the hashtags created explicitly for artsy, she reached people looking to buy art on the platform.  

Conversely in a recent survey commissioned by Melio and conducted by OnePoll, of 1000 small business owners adapting to the pandemic 31% of respondents said embracing new technology, (like our profiled artist did) has helped their companies during COVID-19.

2. E-commerce 

No matter what you sell, someone is looking for it online.

"I had to recognize the fact that my customers are not only in the galleries," recalls Al-Bader. "Like everyone else, they are online shopping from the comfort of their own homes."

In 2019 an estimated 1.92 billion people made purchases online and sales are expected to hit $4.1 trillion in 2020. Success is all about finding the right platform for your service.

Al-Bader explains further: "By going digital, I was able to bring the gallery experience into my customers' homes." 

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3. Stand out from your competition 

Whether it is online or in-person, Muna believes standing out is vital to any business strategy.

"Your audience is looking for authenticity," adds the artist. "Don't be afraid to be yourself and show them what you are passionate about."

Muna's fearless attitude has landed her relationships with UNESCO and the admirable position as a Qatari ambassador for the arts. 

With the above steps in mind, creators can monetize their following and create a strong business foundation taking them into the new year and beyond. 

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