Welcome back to “The ABC’s of Art Marketing”—an alphabet guide to marketing your art, from A to Z. Today I’ll be focusing on the letter “D” and the value of diversifying the ways you target and deliver your art marketing messages.
D – Diversifying your Delivery
There is a wonderful cartoon by Gary Larsen, creator of “The Far Side” comic strip, in which a man is talking to his dog Ginger.
In the first panel the man’s speech bubble reads “Okay Ginger! I’ve had it! You stay out of the garbage! Understand Ginger? Stay out of the garbage, or else!”
In the next panel, under the caption “What they hear,” the conversation bubble says, “Blah blah Ginger. Blah blah blah blah blah Ginger. Blah blah blah blah blah blah. . .”
Since the Internet has made it so easy for everyone (and their dog) to market just about anything, many of the marketing conversations we get are “blah, blah, blah.” We can’t give our attention to all of them. If your message does not meet my current needs or interests, I’ll ignore it.
Ironically, that means creating more messages in more appealing ways, and sending them often enough to register but not to be annoying. It’s a fine balance but it’s important! Here are just two of MANY possible scenarios where diversifying might be the only way to get your message across:
• Your audience connects in multiple live and digital networks. To reach enough of them, you MUST adapt your messages to a wide range of groups, media, and equipment they use.
• Your message is like a needle in a stack of needles all competing for attention. To make YOUR needle stand out from the competition, you’ll need a variety of “magnetic” marketing offers that give your audience special opportunities, entertainment, or solutions to their problems.
1. Diversify your design/content
I get hundreds of cookie-cutter exhibit announcements via e-mail and social media that I can scan in a few seconds and delete in the blink of an eye.
If you send out the same e-mail invitation for your latest art exhibit to everyone, you treat all of your audience as if they are clones of each other. Please don’t just ask people to come buy your work. Tell stories about your art, causes you support or describe and show pictures of people at interesting art events.
Last year I purchased art from several artists and one of them blew me away when she sent me a personalized Christmas card that made specific references to the pieces I purchased. Another artist sent me a book by an author that she knew I respected.
Both artists remembered me as a person, not just a one-time sale, and as a result I am more likely to buy from them again and to tell others about their work and customer service.
2. Diversify your delivery
Digital communication is free, which makes it easy to deliver messages to thousands of people with a single click or touch to the screen.
On the other hand, once a digital message is viewed, it basically becomes invisible, pushed into the “read” section of an inbox, or worse, deleted!
I hear excuses that it takes too much time, or it’s too expensive to do direct mailings nowadays. Nonsense. When I get a beautiful postcard or a personal notecard these days, it’s cause for celebration and I proudly display them on my bookshelf. I know that the artist invested time, money, and energy into the design and method of reaching out to me.
If you are stuck in a rut, here are 26 ways to let people know about your art and accomplishments while also showing that you appreciate them:
• Business Cards
• Classified ads
• Rack cards
• Audio Books
• Pay-per-click ads
• Social Media Networks
• Text messages
• Web Sites
• Live events
• Telephone calls
All this variety could make your head spin if you don’t implement a system to manage your marketing communications. Decide on the frequency of messaging, the time between communications, and the sequence in which you will send them. Mark these on your calendar and you will have a simple plan to follow.
You have developed ways to produce signature art that is worth exhibiting. Now add diverse design and delivery to your marketing. You’ll keep it interesting for yourself and build your reputation as an artist to watch!
Follow the links below to read more articles in “The ABC’s of Art Marketing”—an alphabet guide to marketing your art, from A to Z:
A — Appreciating your Audience
B — Building your Business Base
C — Communicating Clearly, Consistently, and Cleverly
D — Diversifying your Delivery (current article)
E – Educate, Entertain, Engage, Enrich, and Evolve
F – Fostering Friendly Familiarity
G – Give to Gain
H – Hiring Help
I – The 5 “I’s” of Art Marketing
M – Mastering your Marketing Messages
N – Negotiating 101
O – Turning Obstacles into Opportunities
P – Procrastination & Perfection
Q – Quality & Quantity: Creating Art that Sells
R – 8 Rules to Improve Your Artist/Collector Relationships
S – S is for Sales
T – 30 Ways to Say “Thank You”
U – Switching from “I” to “Us”
V – Volunteering in the Art World
Y – Just Say Yes
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