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Chapter: Tools for Marketing
Marketing materials are extremely important in building your reputation and sales. Some of the most important pieces include: business cards, flyers, an artist statement, and an artist bio.
Create a business card, and keep plenty of them on hand. With the availability of online printing sources (see the Resources chapter), business cards are downright cheap these days. And you don’t even have to have a predesigned card to print–you can design it online through the printer’s website!
Carry the cards with you, attach one to every original, print or anything else you sell. Hand them out at networking events. Post them on bulletin boards. The card should reflect your name and contact information. A nice slogan or tag line to help people remember you is also a great idea. Try to pick a form of contact that won’t change frequently. That might be a formal address, cell phone number, email address, website address or blog.
A nicely designed flyer is also quite valuable. The flyer should contain information about you and your work. People want to know about the artist! A great flyer would consist of your artist bio, your artist statement, a picture of you and 1-3 pictures of your work. An artist bio (short for biography) is written to tell people more about the artist. The bio can be written in 1st or 3rd person, though it is often found expressed as a third person view (appearing like a publication review of the artist.) The artist statement can be anything you choose, though most artist statements reflect an artist’s philosophy and vision for his or her work. The flyer does not have to be large or printed in full color. A 1/2 letter size sheet works well, and can be reproduced on home printers. You will want to include contact information on this sheet as well. As with the business card, attach one to everything you sell. Again, if you don’t have a flyer design ready to print, you can design it online through most print-on-demand websites.
If you have enough written copy and pictures, consider a brochure. A 3-panel brochure, even a 1-color version, makes a nice addition to your marketing materials. They are also easy to drop in the mail as they fit in a #10 envelope. Add a greeting letter and a business card and you have a complete marketing package!
Promotional products are another marketing consideration. They are not just for big business! You can order pens, pencils, calendar magnets, note pads and a host of other materials with your name, tag line and contact information printed on them. These make great giveaway items to help promote your work. Printed promotional materials obviously work best when they have catchy phrases or some other way to remember you and your contact information. A website address is ideal here.
Tracking Accomplishments & Contacts
Keep track of your accomplishments. This list should contain the names and dates of any publications that reproduce your work, such as a magazine review. Also track any awards that you receive. If the local paper mentions your work, add that to the list as well. What you are establishing here is list of anything notable about you and your art. As the list grows, add it to the back of your flyer. This is resume building.
Anytime you make a sale, or you have a customer who is interested in your work, ask him/her for permission to be added to your mailing list. Entries on this list should include a physical mailing address, phone and email contact. While you may not have use for this list now, it will come in handy down the road. At some point you will be exhibiting in a show, or want to announce a new piece. Your own mailing list is the best place to start with such marketing. This includes mailing postcards to snail mail addresses, and/or the emailing of news releases. When the time comes, you will be very happy to have done this record keeping!