Offline Marketing & Promotion for Successful Artists

by John R. Math on September 14, 2010

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Everyday artists are being instructed by experts how to promote their art business online, in social media and in all ways digitally. The experts espouse these “must do’s and must have’s” on how an artist should market themselves virally. Yes, digital marketing is extremely important, but artists should not forget to market and promote themselves offline as well.

Marketing offline is another way to drive traffic to an artist’s art website and help to create new art opportunities. Overall, offline marketing helps to make art sales and to brand the artist and their artwork.

Here are eight suggestions on how an artist can successfully market and brand their artwork offline:

1.  Collateral Materials: An artist should promote and direct their prospects to their website every chance they can get. Website promotional opportunities should be a part of the artist’s collateral materials such as business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, business checks and mailing labels. In addition, the artist’s website should appear on their email signatures, be a part of their voicemail messages, appear on any social media networks and pages that the artist is engaged in. The idea is to get prospects and other interested people to go to the artist’s website and to make contact with the artist for further information.

2.  Press Releases: Press releases sent to local media provides the artist with an alternate way to present themselves and their art. Press release copy can be sent out about anything newsworthy, such as art shows, art awards, art sales, speaking engagements etc. These same press releases can reworked and recycled in order to be uploaded to many of the free press release sites on the internet too.

3.  Become a Columnist: Local news publications both offline and online are always looking for good writers who can write about interesting things and interesting ways. These are non paying positions, but the continuing publicity is an incredible way for an artist to gain more exposure to people who are interested in art. Become the local art expert in your area and reap the benefits in more traffic and more art sales.

4.  Networking Events: Local networking events are an excellent way for an artist to meet people and will allow an artist an opportunity to promote their artwork. While at these events an artist should try to make a good first impression and not try to sell everyone. If an artist tries to use any high pressure sales tactics and pushiness, the networking attempts will fail. A networking event is a place to meet people and to develop professional relationships. If the artist is unsure how to “network” call and ask the event administrator or promoter or even someone who attends a lot of networking events on how to handle yourself. They will be glad to advise the artist on how this is done effectively.

5.   Speak at Non Profits Events: Non-profits and charities always have monthly membership meetings and they are always looking for guest speakers to attend and speak to their membership. This is the ultimate venue for anyone in terms of “networking”. The artist has a captive audience, their complete attention and the artist controls the message. What could be better than that? If the artist is scared of public speaking and most everyone is, the more that the artist does it, the easier it gets. If the artist needs any training in this area they should join a local Toastmasters group to help.

6. Write Interesting and Helpful Articles: Editors of newspapers, magazines and newsletters are all looking for good, timely and informative article content. Just make sure the content is well written, grammatically correct and helps the reader to solve a problem or is able to inform the reader of something of value. Do not write a self serving commercial, otherwise, you will not be asked to write again. These same people may be looking for interesting interviews. Propose this to the editor as well as writing articles, as it is another way in which to get more exposure this way. The same articles can be uploaded to article sites on the internet too.

7.   Publish a Newsletter: A printed newsletter is an excellent way to present and to promote the artist and their art. Newsletters also provide the artist with an effective way to brand their art business. Newsletters are a message solely controlled by the artist and can be targeted directly to the artist’s audience. Newsletters can be handed out at networking events, brochure inserts or used as handouts. Newsletters can also be left in shops and stores at the counter to be picked up for further distribution.

8.   Join Trade Related Organizations: Trade organizations are another way to meet people and decision makers related to the art business. Remember, it is not just enough to be a member, become active, get on committees and become a valuable part of the organization. By doing this, the artist then becomes much more visible and well known to the other members. If these organizations have related trade events and trade shows, get involved, attend or help out.

In our local communities, on a state wide basis and regionally, there are a lot of different ways and different media that an artist can use to promote and market their art. Offline marketing opportunities are usually local in nature but if done consistently, effectively and well, will eventually lead to more website traffic and more art sales. Offline promotion also supports an artists’ branding campaign which always should lead back to the artist’s website, their online presence and to the artist’s artwork.

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