If you are an artist, than you understand how challenging it is to build or maintain your business, especially in a depressed economy. Whether you are in fine arts or crafts is irrelevant; the key for successful self-promotion lies in developing a multifaceted approach to your marketing campaign. As artists, you need to go a step further than identity branding and product packaging if you are serious about growing your business. Those are crucial first steps, but there are several additional strategies that should be included in your self-promotion. Here are six tips to help you get started:
- Research your potential target base so that you can focus your marketing efforts on that population. Effectively targeting your clients will save you from wasting your time and from hearing negative responses!
- Effectively present yourself as well your art, and communicate with your potential customers in a way that is meaningful to them. Your goal should be to turn a one-time purchaser into a long-term client. The best way for you to accomplish this is to build relationships with potential customers. Why is this so important? Because people predominantly purchase from a person because they like and identify with them. If you are an artist trying to get your work into a gallery or retail store, maintain a professional, positive, friendly image. Think about the image that you are projecting to people you encounter. Be a person that someone would be comfortable having a business relationship with.
- Know and be confident in your artwork, and be comfortable discussing it with others. Be prepared to articulate what is unique and special about your art. A networking opportunity can present itself at any given time, so be sure to always have your business cards or other promotional materials available to give to a potential client. Your goal is to get your name and your artwork out there, and networking is a key element in accomplishing your goal. Build your email list as you meet people. While networking may initially be uncomfortable for you, it is an essential tool to use in getting your name and artwork recognized and building up your client list.
- If you haven’t yet created a website, now is the time to create one. While you may already have a portfolio to show potential clients, think of how many people can be reached with a website. The numbers are immeasurable! Invest the time in designing a professional site that effectively presents your work. Create a blog and a Facebook account as additional internet marketing tools. Your blog, Facebook page and website can be directed to each other, thus developing your web presence. Linking your website to similar art related sites through formal affiliations will generate additional traffic for you.
- Start an e-newsletter that can be emailed to your client list on a regular basis. Sites such as Constant Contact will aid you in doing do this. E-newsletters are a wonderful self-promotion tool in that they enable you to showcase your newest art or craft. A quarterly e-newsletter is a good place to start as it maintains regular contact with clients without overwhelming them. Be sure to reference your website and blog in each issue.
- As you continue to promote yourself an artist, remember to be professional, friendly and assertive, and don’t take any rejections too seriously. The arts are commonly referred to as a “no” profession for a reason. A thick skin is a necessity for avoiding a bruised ego. Try to attend art events regularly as they keep you visible in the art community and offer networking opportunities.