When Success Knocks-Creating Opportunities Through Marketing
I really appreciate when press comes my way. It's rare (although it may seem to happen a lot to me) and it's usually because of my marketing plan. I've written about that before, so for this blog I'll skip it. If you are interested in setting up your own marketing plan and making goals, scroll through my previous blogs.
When fun things happen like being featured in Plein Air Magazine, you usually get a little advanced warning. In my case, it was a few months. Things like this have happened to me before so I know there is always a chance that it would be cut at the last minute, so I didn't tell anyone until I saw my name on the cover of the Aug./Sept. issue.
I reached out to other artists that I know who have had similar features and asked them for help. I asked:
What should I do before the articles get published?
How can I best take advantage of this publicity?
The people I reached out to are nationally-known Master Pastelists, writers, and other people you've read about in art magazines. I don't want to divulge their names because I've developed relationships with them over a lifetime, and know they would not do this for just anybody. You have your own famous people-think about it for a second, and I'm sure you can come up with a few who might be willing to help you on your path.
The wisdom I received from these lovely artists was varied and helpful, I mixed it all together here for you...
Purchase ads in the same magazine where you were featured for 6 insertions after your article. It takes a person 6 times seeing your name before they remember it!
Purchase tear sheets or extra copies of the magazine or newspapers so that you have originals-this is SO much more impressive than photocopies. I used actual issues of magazines with cover letters introducing myself to gallery directors and museum curators.
Make sure your website is totally up-to-date with titles, prices and how to purchase artworks, and what workshops or classes offered.
If you don't have workshops or classes, set up demos with other orgs that you may be connected with. I sent out an eblast to my previous students and asked for suggestions. Several belonged to organizations that welcomed the opportunity to have me demo.
While the article is relevant (same months the magazine is out) get it in front of the eyes of the people you want to see it. For me, there are a few people; two major hotel owners, two curators, and a whole bunch of people I want to sign up for classes. I made sure folks saw it by mailing it to them with a cover letter, and posting it some place where they wouldn't miss it.
I'm grateful for the help and advice of all these fine folks. I ask for help when I'm in over my head. I hope to always have the humility to do that, and hope you do as well. I am available for help as well if you need me.
One thing I learned is not to have expectations. I know better than to think I'm any better or worse than the 2 million other artists who sent press releases to the major magazines. I do know that I have to make my work stand out somehow and this is going to be different for each person. Its all business and nothing more.
(this was my ad BTW)
I also don't expect this to make or break me. It's one great opportunity. It won't be my first or my last. But it requires a bit of finesse to make it really pay off over the long run.
I also don't have expectations that this will equal art sales; at least not right away. One would think that having your work splashed across printed pages would result in tons of new collectors, but that doesn't always happen. What does happen is people see it, admire it, and may remember it when they are in the market for something along those lines. I also want them to remember the galleries that represent me because their success is my success.
Don't think that all this is too far-fetched for you.
When you are ready and have your work at it's best, opportunities will come to you. When the first comes, take it and use it as a lever for the next one. You also have me rooting for you and wishing you the best!