Marketing Your Art – Here, There, and Everywhere

A professional artist’s success is in direct correlation to finding the right markets for his artwork. The million dollar question is “Where can I market my art and get the most out of my efforts?”
First, determine if you are really serious about selling what you make. Selling is what separates the amateur artist from the professional artist. As an artist you are creating a product. If you believe your product is valuable and you believe people will buy your product, then it is essential that you identify the market for your product.

The following are the main areas you should consider: Select two or more (don’t put all your eggs in one basket).

Art Galleries

Begin with developing a list of local art galleries that are within 100-200 miles of you. Art galleries are listed in your regular or on-line yellow pages. Take the time to personally visit each gallery on your list to determine which ones showcase the style of art most compatible with your art. Contact the owner or director of the gallery by telephone for a firm appointment to show your work.

Print Publishers

The print market is very profitable. When your art is in print, it is available and affordable to the widest possible audience, and your originals become more valuable. In my free online booklet, “Marketing Your Art” is available for professional artists wanting to market their artwork.

Fine art publishers can be found in art trade publications such as Décor Magazine, World Art News or On-line. Develop a list of those publishers you want to contact. The next step would be to send them a professional presentation of your work letting them know you are available for licensing.

Art Shows and Festivals

Outdoor shows and festivals are an excellent way for you to generate immediate income and see first hand how the art buying public responds to your work.

Many successful artists get their start and pay their dues with this venue. There are several Art Show and Festival promoters such as Art Fair Source Book (AFSB), American Art Festivals, Sunshine Artist Festival Network online that conduct 100′s of these events all around the country. Dates and locations are available in their directories, and you can contact them online or ask others artists and friends about their experience.

Banks, Restaurants and Corporations

Thousands of works of art are showcased and sold each year in banks, restaurants, and other private and public facilities every year. These locations are ideal prospects for the showing and selling of your Art. Local artists, local companies and the local public all benefit by having art displays in a bank or restaurant or business.

Co-Op Galleries

Co-op Galleries are generally local art associations that establish a location where fellow artists can hang their art. Contact your local art association for details about membership.

Commission Projects

Interior designers, architects and art consultants are constantly looking for artists. You can generally develop a list by searching your local phone directory yellow pages or online yellow pages. Contact these firms by telephone and send them your brochure.

Your Website

Your website is your own personal on-line gallery, open 24-7. This is a very cost effective way to show and sell.

A first class website is like a first class brochure; but, even better, it allows you to change and improve without reprinting.

Your website is of little value if no one goes there to view what you do. We cover how to fully maximize your website in our website chapter.

Trade Shows and Art Expos

These are high traffic professional events where you can purchase space to showcase and promote your art. Décor, Art-a-Rama, and the New York Expo are a few of the major annual and semi annual productions.

Studio Showings

Your home studio is an excellent and inexpensive way to exhibit and sell your work to friends, family and collectors. You should develop and maintain a mailing or e-mail list and should be in contact with this list on a regular basis.

Competitions

Competitions can be good venues, but generally do not produce much income. They can, however, add credibility to your resume or biography. Good sources for dates and locations of competitions are available through Art Magazine and American Artist Magazine.

Remember it is important that you choose the venues that you feel will provide the best results for you. You may not be able to participate in all those areas, but you need to choose two or more to begin with. Since you have many choices. choose the marketing option that best fits you personally and puts your artwork in the best light.

Real Estate Postcard Marketing – 6 Secret Ingredients for Success

Remember a few years back when all the fast food chains crowed about their “secret” sauces and ingredients? It sure added some mystique, didn’t it? Nothing improved the flavor of a hamburger or drumstick like good old-fashioned secrecy!

Now let’s transition to postcard marketing, where a similar concept applies. A small percentage of real estate agents have discovered the “secret ingredients” of postcard marketing. As a result, they enjoy huge success each time they conduct a mailing.

Other agents, however, do not enjoy such success. They send postcard after postcard, but, alas, no response. These agents do not know the secret ingredients of postcard marketing success.

Let’s uncover some secrets, shall we?

Postcard Secret #1 — Don’t Rely on Technology

You first need to realize that technology alone won’t lead you to postcard marketing success. If it were that easy, all agents would enjoy record-breaking responses from their mailings.

In fact, technology is the most straightforward part of the equation. A postcard marketing service will handle all of the technology for you. But there’s the rub. Technology can help you deliver a powerful message, but it cannot create that message for you. That’s your job.

Nobody knows your audience or your skills better than you, and nobody cares about your success as much as you do. So the message, and everything that brings it to life, must begin with you.

Postcard Secret #2 — Know Your Audience

When creating your postcard message, start by identifying your audience. This might seem obvious, but it’s a critical step upon which the rest of the process will rest. To identify your core audience, you simply have to ask yourself a series of questions.

What area do I want to represent? Am I focusing on buyers or sellers? Where might I find these people? What’s important to them? What do they want to know? What do I have to offer that might motivate them?

When you’ve answered these questions, you should be able to write a paragraph from the combined answers. This paragraph is your audience statement, and it will help you set your postcard marketing objectives accordingly. Once you’ve defined your audience, you can more easily determine the kinds of offers that might motivate them.

Postcard Secret #3 — Identify the Desired Response

Now that you know your audience (and assuming you’ve done some research to really get to know them) you can set the objective for your postcard campaign. Ask yourself, “What do I want to happen as a result of sending my postcards? What’s the ideal response?”

Here’s the key to this step. Don’t ask your postcards to do more than they’re capable of doing. I see real estate marketers using postcards to try and convince recipients that they offer superior service. That’s a lot to ask of an 8″ x 5″ piece of card stock.

Scale back your objective until you find something that (A) gives the postcard a more realistic task, (B) follows a more natural sales progression, and (C) capitalizes on known behavior.

What’s a good response to aim for? How about a phone call or an email? Now that’s something a postcard can handle, especially if you give people a good reason to contact you (like an insightful report on future construction in your area). And that leads to our next “secret”…

Postcard Secret #4 — Offer Something Great

We know from statistics that most consumers end up choosing the first real estate agent they contact. So you can capitalize on this known behavior by aiming for that critical first contact. This is where your offer comes into play.

The value and relevance of your offer will determine the size of your response. That’s a fundamental principal of postcard marketing that many agents overlook. A postcard without explicit value is a postcard destined for the trash.

Think of it this way. The postcard is only a messenger. A messenger without an important message is worthless. But if the messenger has valuable news or information, everybody wants to hear what he has to say!

Here’s an example. If I lived in a residential area suffering from “commercial creep,” and somebody offered me an exclusive report on future commercial development and how it might impact my home value … I would want that report! And I’d contact anyone to get it.

Postcard Secret #5 — Leverage Your Website

Have a website? If so, you have a perfect marketing partner to complement your postcards. The reasons are somewhat psychological:

The goal of any marketing program is to gain new business, but sometimes you have to offer indirect paths as well as the direct ones. Direct paths are for direct people. A direct path on a postcard would be a phone number. Some interested prospects will choose the direct route and call you straightaway.

But those who are less direct would rather learn more about you first. They need to get comfortable before they “raise their hands.” So why not build an informational resource section of your website and point to it with your postcards?

The point is to offer different response channels for the different personality types. A direct phone number for the direct people, and an indirect website path for the more timid souls. Then mention both paths on your postcards, and you’ve increased your chance for response — be it direct or indirect.

Postcard Secret #6 — Measure Your Success

Make sure you have some way to track the responses you get back from each mailing. This will allow you to compare one postcard message to another to see which one performs better.

First, establish a baseline response based on your first mailing (out of X number of recipients, X responded). Next, try to improve one element of the postcard, such as the offer. You won’t know if it’s truly an improvement until the test is complete, but that’s the whole point.

Lastly, send the new version of your postcard to the same list, the same number of recipients, and with all other things being equal. Track the results as you did before, and compare the two mailings. You’ve just completed a simple A/B test to determine which of two offers is more effective.

You can continue this testing in one of two ways: You can keep putting your winning offer up against new challengers. Or you can move on to other aspects of the mailing, such as the design, headline, list, timeframe, etc. The goal is to have a postcard that combines the best of all elements.

Conclusion

I hope you see now that the “secrets” of postcard marketing success aren’t really secrets at all. They are proven methods that have been used by direct mail marketers for years. And now that you understand them, you have everything you need to create your own postcard marketing success.

* Copyright 2006, PostcardSmart. You may republish this article online if you retain the byline, author’s note and active hyperlinks.

Making Connections With Your Customers Is What Direct Marketing Is All About

Those who are enthusiastic about direct marketing are constantly going on about how there is a huge opportunity to connect with possible customers through the internet. And you know what? They are absolutely correct. Being able to communicate with people through the web is quickly, and rather cheap. Also, there are multitudes of people online at any given point in time.

However, there is something these enthusiasts are holding back.

It can be a difficult process. Not only do you have to be able to reach the right people, you also have to reach them in the right way-you have to be able to engage them and have them take action. That’s how you connect with them.

People are influenced by their emotions. This is something that has always been true, and always will be true. Even though the tools of communication have changed (telephone, television, print, radio,fax, email, etc.), that does not mean that the nature of humans has changed. For many years, marketers have known that decisions people make have a lot to do with their emotions, and then they try to justify their decisions by using logic. This is always true, even if it’s a business decision or a personal decision.

The challenge is this: In terms of emotion, the internet is not the place to be. It is a great place for making informative posts, but most businesses need to do a better job of targeting emotions online.

This doesn’t mean you have to go crazy with emotion in your communications online. The end result isn’t (necessarily) to make people cry or laugh or get mad. But if you are attempting to get people to pay attention to you and to make some kind of decision, you need to target their felt needs. They are not going to your site only to get information (although they may believe they are). They are visiting your site because they want something or because they have an issue that they are hoping you can solve.

If you can make you viewers believe that you understand their problem, that’s half the battle. If you can then illustrate to them that you have a solution to their problem, you’ve got them on the hook. The only chore remaining is to work out the terms that would make a fair agreement.

Are you only talking to your customers or are you actually connecting with them?

Think about when you are the customer. What is it that really helps you to connect with someone on the internet? We would love to hear from you!