Marketing 101 for the Artist – Part 3

In Part 3 of this 5-part series, guest contributor Steve Gray looks at the methods you can use to market your work.

Communicate, prepare and plan, and media

You have read about why you need to market your artworks, how to start an artist statement and perhaps you have worked on who you are aiming to market to. Now let’s explore a bit deeper with a plan of action and the methods to make the plan work.

Marketing is about making things happen at the right time to encourage people to look at what you have to offer. To do so requires timing and the right approach.

Timing
Grab a calendar and note down when you want people to be marketed to (if you have an exhibition coming up for instance you will have the opening as an end point to aim towards). If you are aiming to get a gallery to represent you then you might want to plan a time to aim for that to happen. (It doesn’t mean you will, but it’s a point to aim to!)

Methods
Now you have the time frame(s) to work to, you have to figure out your methods. Consider these as starting points:

  • Emails
  • Website
  • Social networking such as Facebook, Twitter, etc
  • Postcards (yeah, printed ones…)
  • Calling cards (to send out with your postcards and other material, and to hand out to people face-to-face).
  • Letter of introduction (add in a postcard and links to your website)
  • Adverts in art related magazines, newsletter and or websites
  • Phone call (to make an appoint to catch up with the gallery owner for a chat)
  • A media release to newspapers and magazines with the aim of them writing a story on you and your work
  • Interviews: there are websites where you can be interviewed about your work, and it’s free… surely that’s got to be of value.
  • Videos: Youtube can open a lot of eyes to what you are up to.

Budget
Between your calendar and the media methods above, you should have a solid starting point to work towards a plan of action. The next part of the plan is to figure out a budget, so do some research on each item in your plan and find the most cost effective ways to get the most out of your expenditure. Then put your plan into action. Oh and a key tip: do as many free or low cost items that you can first, that way you can keep more cash for art materials!

Key tips…

  • Make sure everything you write is right. Have someone check it for correct spelling and grammar. You will miss little mistakes every now and then.
  • Think creatively, you are an artist after all, so check out what you can do to get noticed.
  • Keep yourself ‘nice’. Make sure anything you say or do is within suitable cultural boundaries of niceness so you cannot be seen to be offensive. One slip of the wrong word and your name can be mud (not a good look I can assure you).

All posts in ‘Marketing 101 for the Artist’:
Part 1 – Why do artists have to bother with marketing?
Part 2 – Your works and you: what you want to achieve
Part 3 – Communicate, plan and prepare, and media
Parts 4 & 5 – Handy tips for online marketing

Steve Gray - Guest Contributor on Artin GeelongSteve Gray – Artist & Writer
“After years of looking at artworks in galleries (far and wide), and interviewing a big bunch of contemporary visual artists, I came to the conclusion there are still many artists who need a hand with marketing what they do. I hope this series of ‘mad jottings’ on the basics gives you some info to work with.” http://artstuff.net.au and http://stevegray.com.au/blog
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