For an artist, getting the work into the world can be daunting.
Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have changed the game for marketing and sales. Anybody can create an account and get their work out there. And most everybody does! So how do you get people to sift through millions of images and look at YOUR work?
When it comes to social media marketing, lots of talented artist/businesswomen, including Alisa Burke, Linda Woods and Kia of Sticks and Ink, are expert and generous in sharing valuable information about mastering the skills required. Check them out and learn all you can because social media can make a big difference in exposure and sales.
But despite that fact, many artists will tell you they make a large percentage of their sales to locals who actually see examples of their work. To achieve this I use postcards, business cards, stickers and other paper goods to spread my images around town.
Postcards with your contact information and social media links on the back make great marketing tools.
Set stacks of them, as takeaways, near your work at galleries, shows and exhibits. Lots of people will pick them up. Some will frame them and put them on their desk. Some will throw them away. Many will remember your name and your work and look you up when they’re ready to buy original art from a local.
You can also hang them on community bulletin boards in places like your local library, Whole Foods or Sprouts, coffee shops and small business. If space is limited tack up a handful of business cards.
Business cards are an absolute must. I know! I know! People will tell you they’re an outdated method of communicating your contact information, but my personal experience tells me the opposite. I’m often asked for a business card when my art comes up in conversation. At social function, art fairs, community gatherings and local political events, I’ve been asked about my art and for a business card.
People WANT to look at what you create.
People like to look at, talk about and buy art from someone with whom they feel a connection. I cannot tell you the number of times I failed to make a connection because I didn’t have a business card with me, so I’m learning to carry them with me wherever I go, and I’m beginning to reap the rewards.
And because new clients often come by way of existing clients, I include a business card and postcard in everything I ship and mail so they have something tangible to share when a friend asks “about the artist.”
When ordering postcards and business cards from my favorite source, Moo, I also order sheets of stickers. I use them to seal the tissue paper I wrap around the art I ship, because opening a package I send should feel like opening a present!
I include a coordinating sticker when I sell handmade cards, just like my fav paper goods, mega-business, Papyrus.
I use stickers as seals when I mail business related envelopes and I give them away on Instagram.
Printed materials can be expensive, so I keep a file of images I want to convert to paper goods and order them when Moo is having a great sale. I particularly like their cotton business cards made from recycled t-shirts.
I’ve also used Snapfish with good results. And if you’re in the position to have some postcards made right now, Snapfish has a 70% off sale which runs through May 22. They don’t do business cards, but their premium postcards are wonderful!
I hope you’ll give some of these ideas a try and let me know how they work for you. And if you’ve used prints of your art as handouts, takeaways, giveaways or in other ways, please share your approach and your results. I’ve love to hear!