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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Outside the Frame, May 27 show recap

On Wednesday’s Outside the Frame show, we explored the remaining eight tools that along with the Mailing List (covered in episode 3) and Studio Press Kit (covered in episode 4) comprise the 10 Essential Marketing Tools you need to promote your work and yourself.

The most basic of these essential marketing tools is the business card. This is the ultimate networking tool. Take a second and look at your business card as if you are seeing it for the first time and through someone else’s eyes. Does your card capture your attention? Does the contact information jump off the card? Remember that you only have one chance to make a good first impression and if your card doesn’t measure up, you should consider redesigning it to maximize its effectiveness.

The second essential marketing tool is the business stationery. This includes envelopes, invoices, letterhead, title cards for artwork, labels, etc. Your business stationery is your advance team – promoting you and your work as it makes its way around from one person’s hands to the next between you and its final destination. Once at that final destination, your identity and message needs to grab the attention of the recipient and induce them to choose you over your competition.

The third essential marketing tool is your promotional material in the form of post cards, flyers, and brochures. Most of these promotional elements were discussed in prior episodes. The one promotional element not covered previously is the Leave-Behind.
The leave-behind is a gift left with a customer or prospect as a reminder of the company or its product. A leave-behind that provides information about the product or services will be more effective than a product that bears only the company name. Top five most used leave-behinds are: #5 letter opener, #4 mini calendar, #3 notepad, #2 magnet card, and #1 the pen.

The fourth essential marketing tool is your portfolio that should contain between 10 to 12 and certainly no more than twenty quality images of your work. Your portfolio should be organized in such a way that the entire collection is cohesive – not just a hodge-podge of pieces tossed together. The portfolio can be hard copy or digital.

The fifth essential marketing tool is the show catalog. For every exhibition you should have some sore of catalog created, whether prepared by you the artist or the gallery. For the festival artist, a simple 5 by 7 inch catalog that features pictures of your works, prices, order form and contact information enables people to grab a catalog and take it home with them which is especially convenient where portability is a must. In the hands of your potential customer, the catalog becomes a member of your advance team where it can be passed from one person to the next.

The sixth essential marketing tool is the website that can be used as an extension of your physical gallery or as your physical gallery. After a number of years online, I’ve found that utilizing a combination of collective sites in conjunction with my own personal website is most effective. There are a number of books and tools available to help you build your site … just do a Google search. However, I cannot stress enough the importance of understanding Search Engines, Meta Tags and Descriptions as these drive traffic to your site and help people find your work on collective sites. A good free resource to learn about Search Engine Optimization can be found at Market Leap just click on the University link at the top of the page.

The seventh essential marketing tool impacts all the other tools and that is the proper photographing of your work. Photographing your works is also important as a means of documentation required for copyright registration to deter theft of your work. Poorly photographed art diminishes the work and reflects badly upon the artist. Besides if the client cannot see the work, how can they be expected to buy your art? For information on how to photograph 2-D, 3-D and smaller works utilizing a copy stand; see my website to download a diagram and instructions.

The eighth and final essential marketing tool is the all-important current price list. Anytime a product is offered for sale, there has to be a listed price for that product. However, as this process is so frustrating for artists many neglect this critical step toward selling their works. Artists often ask, should I price my work low so it sells and if I do will it undervalue my art? For the answer to this question be sure to come back next week as the show will be devoted entirely to pricing strategies.

Don’t forget to send an email to me at with a list of the tips of the day from episodes 1 through 5 to be eligible to win the Outside the Frame Listener Appreciation Drawing. See my Paint and Pen Blog for details.

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