Thursday, July 9, 2015

Marketing Yourself and Your Art Business

How Offline Marketing Can Help Your Business

Start Local - promote yourself locally by joining local art guilds and participating in festivals and other types of shows. These clubs and events can provide you with valuable gallery experience and insight into the art world:
  • Local arts and crafts festivals are great for exposure, especially if you carry smaller, more affordable artworks. However, you will need special equipment for outdoor shows:
    • Tent to protect you artworks from weather, and to protect you from the sun.
    • Tables, display shelves / cases, seating for you and anyone who will be spending time in the tent.
    • Equipment for demonstrating your artistic processes, if you choose to demonstrate.
  • Join local arts / crafts guilds. These groups can provide you with valuable show experience, and connect you with other artists to receive inspiration and feedback for your artworks.A great artist group in the Springfield, MO area is the Visual Artist Alliance of Springfield.

Once you have interest generated for your artwork, you need to be able to give people reminders of your work and ways to contact you. Items like business cards, brochures, custom letterhead, etc. present your brand to potential clients and customers and serve as a reminder to them of your artwork.

Giving away smaller artworks as gifts, freebies with purchase of other artworks, etc. can also attract attention to you and your artworks.

How Online Marketing Can Help Your Business

Online marketing can be beneficial, but it is a lot of work and it takes a while to reap the rewards. For those who have the patience, here is a starter list of online marketing tools:
  • Online connection:
    • Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
    • Blogs such as Google Blogger and Wordpress
    • Websites
    • Online art groups and forums
  • Offer to sign people up to your newsletter on your website. This can benefit you in many ways:
    • It will provide you with a base of e-mail addresses to keep your customers (and potential customers) apprised of what you are doing (remember not to spam people - only add them to your list if they opt in!)
    • It will serve as a reminder of who you are and what you have to offer
    • Some blog platforms will allow viewers to follow your blog by email, subscribe to posts, etc. This can help bring returning viewers (and hopefully paying customers) back to your site.
  • Online auction / selling sites - Ebay and ebay alternatives:
    • Ebay - Lots of exposure, easy to sell items here because of the vast audience, and you may even sell for more than you expected - but watch the extra fees & charges:
      • listing fee - charged whether your item sells or doesn't sell. eBay now offers free listings, usually 50 or more per month.
      • percentage of final price & paypal fees - charged when your item sells
      • paypal will also take a percentage of your payment.
    • Etsy - you can list any handmade item you have for a small fee.
    • Bonanza - list as many items as you want, you pay nothing until your item sells.
  • Online merchandising and gift sites & communities - these sites are good for anyone who wants to bring in a small commission for each work, without having to store, package, or ship the items themselves - however, they can become more hassle than they are worth:

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