Friday, February 13, 2009

Promoting Yourself and Your Work

In this new year, I'm getting lots of new show announcements and contemplating my artistic and show goals for 2009.

As you contemplate doing this (and be active in this.. don't just 'drift'...), decide, in a volitional manner, what you want to become.

Do you want to keep things small and informal? Do you want to do art festivals and craft fairs? Do you want to sell in gift shops? Do you want to show/sell in a formal art gallery. Do you want to sell supplies, materials or teach your craft.

Pick one or two and focus on doing those well..and then you can expand as you 'master' the initial ones Once you have a sense of what you want to be, consider these tips:

  • Focus on promoting to that audience as a priority

  • Create the work that appeals to that audience

Have a logo and a 'package' that is professionally designed and printed. Yes, I'm sure your brother-in-law did his own logo in Word, but it looks like it! Get some serious professional help if you want a serious, professional image. And make sure all of your materials are coherent, work well together and promote the same concept. Large companies don't have branding guidelines and design guides for the fun of it!

Your promotional package should include, at a minimum:

  • Business cards that can double as price labels, earring cards, etc.

  • A sign with your business name, logo and URL of your website or Etsy shop

  • An electronic logo that may be used with one-off letterhead, sent to festivals, etc.

  • Website, Etsy page, Blog or, at least, a Flickr page with pictures of your work.

Your package can also include:

  • Website with schedule of events, shopping cart, etc.

  • Postcards (with future shows, class schedule, contact info, etc)

  • Booth and Gallery signage

  • Gallery Support Signage - name and logo, 'about the artist', bio, etc.

  • Biography and/or Artist's Vita

  • Product tags with info, 'the story', your logo, price 'block', etc.

Also, set goal to promote your work more. Whether that means applying for new shows and new groups at a frequency that's comfortable or approaching a new venue for your work... Set a goal and do it!

Keep track of what promotional activities create sales and do those activities more. Forget what is fun or easy. Do what works!

Think outside of the box when it comes to promotion. I know of a painter who issued a press release everytime she completed a new painting. Overdoing it? Maybe. Grandiose? Maybe. But she makes a living selling acrylic paintings on E-Bay!

What will get your work in front of buyers?

Now. Go start promoting what you do!