I Was Accepted Into an Art Exhibition! Now What?

by John R. Math on December 26, 2012

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You entered an art competition and were accepted into a group exhibition, now what should you do to leverage that achievement? At every chance an artist should try to promote and market this success.

Hopefully, this article will provide an exhibiting artist with a plan of action to take advantage of this news and below are some ideas on what an artist can do to leverage this accomplishment through social media, traditional marketing, online marketing and press release promotions. 

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is becoming the fastest way for an artist to expose, market and brand their artwork. This is a relatively new marketing tool whereby an artist can make an impact and will be able to see and measure results immediately.  

An artist should have the ability through their art website to be able to post articles, news and press releases. This ability to post is very important as these posts will then create individual url’s that can also be posted all over the web in order to promote the artist’s event, create traffic to their website and to help generate backlinks to the artist’s website (more on that later).

Today, an artist should have free accounts for at least Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, MySpace and Google+ in order to take advantage of social media networks. Caution: Create separate accounts for your art promotion as you do not want to co-mingle your personal life with your business life! There are a lot of other free networking accounts that you can also join, but for now this will provide the coverage that you need.

If you belong to any of these accounts/groups, upload your posts to your social media pages in order to spread the word of your success. This is the easiest way for you to promote your art and to increase interest in and traffic to your own personal art website. This same post or page can also be emailed or posted to others who are in the art industry. Ask and have your (good) friends and followers to forward any posts on to their followers/networks as well (also offer to do the same for them too).

Recently, Google has provided what is known as the +1 feature, which is the equivalent of the Facebook “Like” icon. Whenever you press the +1 button on any post, page, website or Google search page, you are alerting your friends, networks and others that you are “endorsing or interested” in that page or post. People will be curious to see what you recommend and they usually will look too, as they do not want to be left out of something that may be important. Since I mentioned the Facebook “Like” feature, always encourage your followers, friend and networks to “Like” your post, page etc. as this will also increase interest in that post. The more “Likes” and more “+1” that you acquire, the more interest, more traffic and more exposure and promotion there will be for your website and your art.

Offline & Traditional Marketing

Offline and traditional marketing may take more time compared to other electronic promotions, but this method can be worth the effort for an artist to avail themselves of this type of marketing. Offline and traditional marketing still does very well for local and regional target audiences. If you have the time, the ability and the wherewithal to promote your work further, here is a link to some posts that we wrote about offline (traditional forms) of marketing and branding for successful artists: Offline Marketing and Promotion for Successful Artists, 10 Ways an Artist Can Market Their Brand and 10 More Ways an Artist Can Market Their Brand. Artists should use a combination of online and offline marketing in order to create an impact and to target their audience with their message.

Social Bookmarking

A social bookmark is a very important tool for artists to take advantage of in their overall marketing program. A social bookmark is a way in which an artist can alert their followers, friends and networks about a post, web page or a website. Think of a social bookmark as “someone’s own individual +1 or Like button”, as you are alerting everyone that this post or page is important and that they should also take a look.

More importantly, when employed properly, social bookmarks can create better page ranks and more traffic for the artist’s website. How is this done? There are literally hundreds of social bookmarking websites. When you join these sites, upload content to them (in the form of your art, posts, press releases, pages etc.) based on the information that you are required to place, when you post there, you are creating a “backlink” to your website. Why is a backlink important? When search engines index and grade your website, they base a large part of their page ranking on the amount of and the quality of the links back to your website. The higher amount and the better quality of the links, the better they will rank and place your website higher on their search engine, which results in more traffic to your site.

There are many services and programs that can perform this task for you, but I do not suggest that you do that, as you want good quality and industry specific (the art industry) backlinks and only you can determine what are worthy websites to link to. Here is a page that explains (in simple terms) what social bookmarks can do for you, along with many suggested social bookmarking websites to join and post to. http://caroline-middlebrook.com/blog/do-follow-social-bookmarking-sites.

Press Release Marketing

Press releases provide the same type of importance and effectiveness as a social bookmark. Why is this? A press release provides the artist with a very cheap and a quick way to promote themselves and their art to an extremely large and targeted audience. In addition to the press release’s effectiveness, a press release creates an automatic backlink to the artist’s website and for whatever reason, the major search engines rank backlinks from press release sites very high, thus helping again, to boost your websites page rank. The Light Space & Time website contains several related articles about this tool; Press Release Marketing for Today’s Artists and How to Write a Press Release for Art Events .

Artists should also belong to as many art websites as possible, like Fine Art America, Artspan, Artid etc. as they usually have a community section where you can post in a blog, post in a newsletter and are able to submit a press release or post an exhibition event in their Forums. Most of these sites also allow you to post an image with the post too. Take advantage of that feature, as people will tend to look at a post if it contains a picture.

We also recommend using PRLog and Press Release Point for distribution of free press releases and Star One PR for distribution of paid press releases ($10.00 to $15.00, depending on the distribution size). All of these sources provide the artist with the ability to be indexed quickly by all of the major search engines. By using these press release services, the artist is able to take advantage of their ability to spread the word of your art work, success and/or events and to quickly drive additional traffic to the artist’s website.

Also, remember that any advertising, marketing and promotion has a cumulative effect and consistency and repetition of the message is necessary to see any results. Don’t be like most artists and do a little marketing, see no real results and then give up! It just does not work that way nor is it meant to be that easy. It takes time and you will see results if you “stay the course”.

We hope that these suggestions are helpful to your art marketing efforts. In today’s hugely competitive marketplace, just entering and placing in an art competition is not enough to attract a lot interest to the artist’s website and their art. Successful artists market, promote and leverage their accomplishments whenever they can and you should too. Congratulations on your success, now tell the whole world and Good luck!

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