There are many types of artists creating different wares (such as artwork, photographs, pottery, glass ware, jewellery, ceramics, and so on) who need to rely on marketing online to sell their works.
Many artists have faced the situation where they have been promoting their wares at an event, market or some other location when people who love their work can’t afford to make a purchase on that day. These potential customers may ask for a website address or contact details, so they can make a purchase when they are ready. Artists hand over their details, which are often handwritten on a scrap piece of paper, and wait to be contacted. Meanwhile, that torn bit of paper has accidentally been discarded and people move on with their busy lives.
This situation highlights the basics that every artist should have, including:
- a website – promote your existing and recent works.
- professional looking business cards – it needs to clearly state all relevant contact information, and contain a design that represents the artist’s work so it’s easily identifiable. A plain business card with just the details might not be enough to remind people as to who gave them the card and why they have it.
- email newsletters – constantly remind your potential and existing consumers of the wares they loved are available.
Why? Because all these elements remind potential consumers of an artist’s work, which is often shared with their friends and family, thus building that artist’s profile.
Let’s say you have all the things we’ve just mentioned in place and that original scenario happens where someone asks for your contact details. This time, you hand over a business card, pointing out your website, which showcases your wares, and you ask if the interested person would like to join your mailing list to receive your e-newsletters. Have a sign-up list at events, art shows, craft fairs, galleries and wherever else you may be displaying your work.
Include a sign-up form on your website. Strive for quality content that engages, so people will join your mailing list because they don’t want to miss what you have to say. If possible, offer an enticing free gift in turn for people joining. It should be relevant to your work and is a useful item or something that adds enjoyment. Examples of an artist’s free gift might be a post-card size imprint of a larger art piece or, depending on marketing budget, a customised mouse pad. There’s a large range of promotional marketing products out there, so do a little research and select an item that suits you, your work and your budget. Or you could provide an e-book download full of useful information and techniques.
That newsletter and the chosen free gift can build relationships and help sell your work – it’s a constant reminder.
While newsletter must contain quality content and be engaging, some times content ideas can be a bit elusive, but if you focus on you or your wares then you’ll come up with plenty of content fodder on topics, such as:
- how you create your wares,
- how you used a particular technique or style,
- what inspired you to create a particular work,
- how a particular work of yours or someone else’s work affects you,
- what you see at an art show or event that you attended,
- about the art show or event itself,
- about a particular artist who inspires you.
There is an underlying reason for publishing a newsletter, which is why it’s important to always include a call to action. It might be to visit your website, to accept an invite to an event where you’ll be displaying your work, or to contact you to purchase your work. This can be as simple as a linkable line of text enticing people to visit your website or accept an invitation. It can be more eye-catching with graphics or some other feature, but remember people are signing up for the content and not blatant advertising.
Not everyone is comfortable with writing, so if you’d rather spend your time working on your latest creative masterpiece instead of writing about it, then consider hiring a content writer to carry the burden for you.