You are the perfect person to build your business and wonderful art “brand” by using Marketing & Promotion all year long and here are some helpful tips to get you started:
The Internet has given everyone (especially artists with artwork for sale) great and free tools to increase sales.
Have an Email List
Capture the email addresses of everyone you meet.
Cultivate a list of people who purchase from you or who are interested in your work. You may not mail (post office) to them due to the high costs. However, emailing — now that is a great tool. Your list needs to include: their name, city & state, year, what they bought (or interested in) and email address.
How are you going to use that list?
- Get the list into a database so you can sort it – Excel will work if that is all you can do. Or let the attendees do it for you at the art festival. Have an iPad or other tablet? Let people enter their own information — they love to touch the tablets.
- Email the people in the area when you will be there next. There are many effective ways to do this — you can do much more than just a message. But that’s another article.
- Send out regular emails or newsletters (Constant Contact has user-friendly templates) to your list of customers, friends and family can keep everyone abreast of your accomplishments. And excited about their next purchase from you.
- Need some sample topics that can be as detailed or simple as you like and will help to keep you top of mind with all your fans?
New art pieces you are currently working on
(with a sneak peak at your studio?)
Your shows, exhibits and where you will be
Stories about your weekend events or latest patron
Awards or honors that you have received
Community activities or groups that you
are involved with
Collaboration with other artists or organizations
Think what would happen if all 200 artists at an art festival sent emails or eNewletters inviting their followers to the festival. You would all be swamped with great buyers.
Have a Website
Have one – Have a great one – Have a mobile-friendly one.
Modern website basics – people (buyers) see you on many devices:
- With the plethora of smart phones and tablets art patrons are always exploring on-line. Is your website mobile-friendly as well as desktop friendly? Have you looked at your website on a phone, a tablet, a desktop computer? Have you looked at it in Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox? Do you look great everywhere and is it easy to lead viewers to the all important “buy”?
- How do you know your website is mobile-friendly? Easy – does it automatically scale to be readable on all devices or do viewers have to “pinch”?
- Update your gallery page regularly with work that is currently available for purchase.
- List the events where you are participating, with a link to the event web site (on the event’s site buyers will find maps, driving directions, event hours, hotel information to make their journey to find you much easier). Plus your viewers see the other great artists who will be at the upcoming festival – making them eager to come see you too.
- Introduce yourself, your techniques, your inspiration and your passion to website visitors, in text & images and perhaps with a video from your studio – people love to watch videos.
- Keep your website current, always fresh and exciting.
Give your website address to the art festivals – most art festivals have an on-line gallery and will link to your website promoting sales for you year-round. The art festivals also visit your website to find interesting information for press releases (more promo for you) and look for poster artists and images to include in ads (more promo for you).
You may not believe in it or like it, but it is a great way to build fans and get more exposure.
If you have a Facebook page (that promotes your artwork) then LIKE the art festivals in which you participate and post to their page and add photos. Ask them to LIKE your page in return. Together we can draw buyers to the art festivals.
Facebook and other social media channels change their delivery all the time (seems like every week). Engage someone to assist you in making the most of current trends in these on-line channels.
Participate in Art Festival Promotions
Art festival staffs send out press releases, create magazine articles, do radio & TV interviews, post Facebook articles and photos and many similar activities. They need interesting artist stories — give them yours!
Email exactly what you would like them to say about you and your artwork. Send along images of your artwork (and you) and you will be surprised how often it gets published just like you wrote it.
Sign up to be a part of any and all art festival promotions like t-shirt, poster and program artwork. If the art festival has an opportunity to sign up to be considered for any of those — do it — most of the time it’s a free entry. If you win, your artwork will be printed on hundreds of promotional items, a great advertising tool.
Ask about any other events the festival is doing in and around the festival weekend. Be a part of Opening Night or VIP parties. There may be a minimal cost for this, but it’s well worth ir to have a couple of extra hours to sell to high end buyers.