prtothetrade

Marketing Advice for Painters, Photographers, Artisans on Arts Advocacy Day.

In 1 on April 13, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Today is Arts Advocacy Day. It’s a time for all Americans to pause and consider how important the fine arts and presentations arts are to us.  There’s a hearing in Washington that may impact the funding the arts receive this year. You can follow the proceedings of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee at  http://bit.ly/ya5fT.

You can take part in Arts Advocacy Day by visiting Members of Congress to support the arts. Do it in 2 minutes at the Arts Action Center.

Here’s my small offering to the working creatives who are the heart and soul of American arts…

Hello Painters, Sculptors, Photographers, Collage Artists, Fine Craftspeople. Lately I have been getting a lot of phone calls from emerging artists asking how they can promote themselves. In response, I’m going to answer a few of the inquiries.

In general, PRT3 doesn’t take on individual artists as clients, although there is nothing we would like better. The reason is that your time and money are better spent in creating than in paying us to write your press releases and drive traffic to you website.   That said, there are a few tips I will gladly give you and hope that they will help you with your self promotion efforts.

Traditionally, artists draw the line at salesmanship. Recently, a very famous artist told me that to be successful, he had to be:

1 part Michelangelo. 1 part Mick Jagger. 1 part Billy Mays.

In other words, 1 part artist, 1 part showman, 1 part self-promoter.

It’s difficult to be all three, particularly if your best reason for using your creative talents is to get into that zone where the outside world doesn’t exist. Where it’s just you and the medium.   It can be done, however, with relatively little effort.

  • Thanks to the Internet you now have your own forum. Start with your website, as most of you have. Be sure as you build it to balance the graphics and images of your work with some really content.

The reason being that the SERPS crawl the content and not the images. If you want to come up at top of the search, put a good, big headline on the home page. Let people know who you are-instantly.

The long interfaces with lots of flash and fancy graphics are nice, but generally interest killers. Make that home page your slave. Make it work for you. Use it to identify yourself, your artistic approach. Load it with keywords.

And be sure to put a headline on each of the following pages. Write them in 60 characters and you can use them as metatags for the SERPS.

  • Drive traffic to the site. You can do this with a blog, Tweets, inbound links from bloggers, press releases and articles you post on the web.

When you take a few minutes to write about your work and post it in an article on the web, you’ll pick up traffic. Same for press releases on the free and paid PR posting sites.

Benefit: Journalists scan these sites for info. You might just get picked up in a writer’s search and, voila, free publicity.  Caveat: Building a presence on the web takes time. If you can do it yourself, cool. If not, ask your wife or husband, friend or neighborhood techie to help you.

  • Check out ART|Trope and see if you qualify for a micro-site. ART|Trope.

ART|Trope is a vetted on-line artist’s community. You will have to go through a screening process but it’s worth the effort. Your work will be seen by mover and shakers in your field of creativity. And that never hurts.

When you are a part of ART|Trope, you’re in a relationship-building arena that connects you to influential people like dealers scouting new talent, buyers looking for something special.  Plus, ART|Trop has live exhibitions in different cities from time to time.

  • New York City has an Arts Council that offers artists low-cost seminars on how to build a brand, create marketing materials, make contacts. There is probably an Arts Council in your town. Check it out.
  • Learn how to write a 500 word press release. It’s pretty standard suff, something you can do yourself. For best results, follow the rules.

If you already have a gallery, make sure your dealer is spending enough time promoting you. There are self-checks for this. Red Grooms said when he started out, his dealer gave him a show every two years. Any less than that, and you’re off the map.  These days, I’d shoot for an annual show, provided you can create enough quality work to make it.

I hope these words point you in the right direction. If you still feel adrift, please feel free to call me at PRT3.  I’ll share what knowledge I have on this subject.

In the meantime, keep creating.

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