Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Marketing your art

"A bar of iron costs $5, made into horseshoes its worth is $12, made into needles its worth is $3500, made into balance springs for watches, its worth is $300,000. Your own value is determined also by what you are able to make of yourself." - Wayne Dyer

I've been sifting through Alyson Stanfield's 'I'd rather be in the Studio' book and have been looking at marketing art and how I can make the best impression, reach the widest audience and improve art sales. This all takes work.

For anyone who thinks that artists simply draw pictures and people arrive on their doorstep to buy them need to seriously rethink that scenario. Artists, if they want to be successful, work like dogs to sell their art. And promoting yourself is not an easy task for most artists. You put yourself on the line. Its your work that you've put your heart and soul into that someone else gets to decide if it fits the market or suits the gallery. Rejection is part and parcel of this game.

However, market we must and the paper industry is a prime medium to get a message and image in front of the eyes of potential customers.

Postcards and business cards are traditional for most types of business and provide an opportunity to create a little piece of your vision and a sample of your artwork for the world to have and hold. This is a double sided postcard, with a dog portrait on the reverse and my email address which I use to promote the portraiture side of my work. I also use business cards and have invested in some magnetic ones. Some people keep card stock business cards in wallets or handbags, others stuff them in desk or kitchen drawers or simply lose them. But I have found that people keep magnetic ones, usually on the fridge or file cabinet or other metal surface and they have lasting impact as they are a daily visual reminder.

Post cards and business cards have a short shelf life, and I don't do large runs of them because I know that I may want to change them seasonally or promote another piece of art or have a different theme or colour. So runs of 100 or 200 are what I use. I use more before a show if I want to use them to tie into a specific event.

I distribute cards to many people in the course of my week. It could be anywhere from the post office to the local coffee shop. I also do random 'drops' where I leave a card on a restaurant table or bar and let it do its own work. For those who worry about giving out personal contact information, well, I don't know of a way to get responses without mailing, telephone and email information. Its a risk you take, however, I've never had an adverse response to date.

I have a few postcards and magnetic cards available from this run before I print new cards. The first six people who request it will receive a copy of both the cards. Just comment here or email me at jeanettejobson at gmail.com


"JeanneG" said...

Me, me, me, please.

Jeanette said...

You got it Jeanne. Can you send me your mailing address again please at my gmail account?

vivien said...

me me me please???? I hope I'm in time! I'd just love to see one of the magnetic ones .... but anything!

Those magnetic ones sound a really great idea

Jeanette said...

Yes, you're in Vivien. Just send me your mailing details and I'll get them off to you.

Stacy said...

Jeanette, those magnetic cards sound like an awesome idea! As does the random drop. So I got two new marketing ideas from your post! :) Where do you have the magnetic cards made? Or do you take your regular cards and glue a magnet to the back? If I'm one of the first 6 I'd love to see samples. If not, it's okay because at least I have the two new ideas. :)

Rose Welty said...

Jeanette, this is so timely...I was looking at business cards/stickers/magnets yesterday and pricing and trying to get ideas.

I hadn't really thought that seriously about the magnetic cards...I was a bit down on the business card idea because as you say, people just lose them (I always do).

Good food for thought! Thanks for sharing.

Jeanette said...

Stacy, no problem, I'll send you a sample. I get them done at VistaPrint, but I'm sure you can get them done pretty much anywhere.

In fact you can buy sheets of magnetic business cards at Staples (Business Depot) and print your own. They are simply a magnetic sheet with a white surface that is printable.

Jeanette said...

Rose, I'm trying to go 'green' in marketing where possible and find that magnetic cards, while more expensive to produce, do last and people do keep them, which is the whole purpose of producing cards.

There will always be postcards and cardstock business cards, but I see them as having a brief life, like a tv ad, then disappearing into the recycle pile usually. It all depends on how you view your advertising and what impact you want from it.

I don't give magnetic cards to everyone. They're for my 'special' people. Those who I think will actually order a commission or pass on information or who is a good networking addition.

vivien said...

:>D I'll get my address off to you - thanks

Alyson B. Stanfield said...

Thanks for the mention, Jeanette! Just remember not to read the book before you go to bed. Too much to think about.

Robyn said...

I was going Drat, drat, drat, waiting for the comments to open, having seen eight comments and knowing it was my own fault for not visiting more often. Now I see that there may still be a chance for me. I would love one, Jeanette if I'm not too late. Please.

Jeanette said...

Robyn, you're not too late. I have received only one mailing address so far so first come first served. :)

If you can email me your mailing information, I'll get the cards off to you on Monday or Tuesday. jeanettejobson at gmail dot com