The New Year is a time for artists to look ahead to how they can grow and advance their art careers. Although 2020 is technically behind us, there are still some challenges to overcome as the world continues to work its way out of a terrible pandemic. This has been enormously difficult for everyone but artists and the arts community has been hit particularly hard. However, with the release of vaccines, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel and it is time for artists to look forward.
At the beginning of every New Year, we post an article with ideas and suggestions for how artists can to make plans for how to kick-start and best to tackle your art career goals in 2020.
Have you set up your art marketing goals for the New Year? If not, the following are 5 things you can do to kick start 2021 and improve your chances of success.
Many of these ideas have been offered up in previous “kick-start” posts but they are elementary and consistently implementing them is not. They are critical for artists if they are to market themselves and their art successfully.
Evaluate & Update Your Website
While the past year has given some artists the time and opportunity to either create or update their websites, for many it has been difficult to concentrate amid the worry of the ongoing pandemic. However, in today’s art world, particularly with all its changes, in order to be taken seriously, it is essential for artists to have a modern, professional, up-to-date website to display their art.
The annual cost to purchase or renew a website domain is typically less than $20. The cost of basic website hosting can be as low as $3-$4 per month. A website is an investment artists need to make a priority in order to be taken seriously.
For those of you who already have websites, if you haven’t reviewed it in a while, now is the time. When was the last time that you went page by page and link by link through it? We all need to do this to find broken links, pages that do not load quickly, graphics, images and other items that have moved, along with pages with misspelled words and similar issues.
The presentation of your art is as important as creating it. Take some time to review your site and make any necessary changes and corrections. Make sure all of the images on your website are sized properly and have a low resolution (a resolution of 72 helps your site load more quickly and protects your art from being copied by unscrupulous people). The images should also be color corrected if necessary, as some cameras and lighting do no always capture an artwork’s true colors. There are many free programs on the internet for this.
Also, do you have better images or graphics to replace what now exists on your website? Do you have new artwork that you just have not had time to photograph and add to your website? Do it.
While checking your images, make sure that they are labeled and tagged properly with good image descriptions. Search engines will only index your images if they have descriptions. By doing this, your images will show up in the image search results and when the images are viewed, viewers will be directed to your art website.
Rewrite/ Update your Artists Bio and Statement
A well-written biography and/or artist statement is also essential for artists and now is the time to review and update them. An artist does not have to be an accomplished writer to create a well-written biography and artist statement, but it is necessary for an artist to have at least one. It is also important to know the difference between a biography and artist statement as many artists mistake one for the other. Please read our article “Comparing an Artist’s Biography to an Artist’s Statement” for clarification.
Also, update your CV by adding any exhibitions, new publications or other pertinent information that has taken place since the last time it was updated.
Use Social Media
Social media has become a part of our everyday lives and is an important platform for all artists to employ in order to help market themselves and their art. Why is this? In our opinion, it is easy to identify and connect with the art community when using social media.
It is also an effective medium because it is a visual and simple way in which to present your art. Particularly now, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Instagram and even Twitter provide artists with opportunities (if targeted properly) to reach viewers who were previously unreachable.
Read our articles “Top 10 Reasons Why Artists Fail with Social Media”, “Using the 70-20-10 Rule to Succeed at Social Media Marketing” by guest blogger James Baxter, and “How to Write Social Media Posts That Sell Art” by guest blogger Frank Hamilton, along with various other social media articles on the LST website, for further advice and instruction on how best to use social media to grow your audience reach.
Press Release Marketing
Press release marketing is a low-cost way artists can market their artwork to a wider range of potential viewers. There are many “Free” press release websites, which take, publish and market an artist’s press release copy. One such site is PRLog.org. PRLog’s free press release submission includes a PDF version to send to your mailing list, a search engine optimized page, hyperlinks in the content, and the option to select location/industry and tag listings. In addition, companies like Star One Public Relations offers press release distribution services for as low as $10.00 for distribution to 70+ press outlets. Read our article “Successful Press Release Marketing for Artists” and 6 Benefits for Press Releases for Artists to help guide you in these efforts. Also check out our article “5 Ways Artists Can Promote Their Art Online” for more ideas.
Start a Blog
Artists should seriously consider starting an art blog as a way to attract and direct additional interested viewers to their art websites. An art blog is a great way to expand an artist’s target audience. It is also an effective platform to help artists market their art.
In 2021, we hope you will make at least some, if not all, of these suggestions part of your art marketing efforts. By implementing these recommendations, artists can experience increased traffic to their websites, find more people interested in their art and ultimately, sell more of their work.
However, as with any marketing program, it is important to focus your efforts. All artists should view the marketing of their art to be as important as the creation of it and an art-marketing plan needs to be well planned and performed consistently in order to be successful. Check out our article “5 Tips for Creating an Effective Art Marketing Strategy” by guest blogger Wendy Dessler, for more suggestions.
Good luck and have a creative, successful and prosperous 2021!
The Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery is pleased to announce that the May issue of Artists Down Under – Australia & New Zealand has featured the gallery and its parent company, Fusion Art, in this month’s edition.
The digital online magazine was the creation of Australian digital artist, Athalie Taylor. It was created out of a desire to feature and promote the Australian and New Zealand artists who met through a common interest in photography and digital art by participating in the digital art/Photoshop courses offered by Sebastian Michaels.
The article, written by Australian digital artist, Trish Hoskin, is an interview with LST and Fusion Art co-owner Valerie Hoffman. She discusses the history and creation of Fusion Art, the acquisition of the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery in 2018, and the art competition, exhibition and marketing & promotion opportunities both galleries offer to international artists on a worldwide basis.
The gallery thanks Trish and magazine editor, Pam Henderson, for the beautiful feature. The May issue of the magazine can be found HERE. The article is located on pages 64-67.
Please also visit the artists DOWN UNDER website to see the many talented member artists. Australian and New Zealand photographers and digital artists interested in joining the group and participating in the workshops offered by Sebastian Michaels can visit the My Photo Artistic Life website HERE.
Click HERE to see the current Light Space & Time competitions. In addition to its standard monthly online art competition (the 10th Annual "SeaScapes"), the gallery is currently running its 15th “Solo Art Series” (May 5th Deadline) and “Created in Isolation” (May 10th Deadline and special $5 entry fee) competitions.
The gallery is also running a special “10th Anniversary” online art competition in honor of the gallery’s 10th Anniversary in 2020. The deadline for this special competition has been extended to July 1st.
Also, if you haven’t already, please visit Fusion Art to see more art competition, exhibition, marketing and promotion opportunities for international artists. The gallery offers many different opportunities and awards, including cash prizes and opportunities to participate in a “bricks and mortar” Annual Group Show each year in Palm Springs, CA, USA.
Promoting themselves and their art is an important element of an artist’s marketing strategy. Digital marketing has become more and more relevant in every industry and this is no different in the art world. Online and social media promotion can reach a large audience of potential buyers and collectors and artists should use all avenues at their disposal to promote and publicize their art events and art career success.
Below are five of the most effective ways for an artist to digitally promote and leverage their art career success:
1. Post an Article on Your Website
These days all artists should have a website. A website is an investment artists should make a priority in order to be taken seriously. A web domain costs less than $20 per year and basic monthly web hosting costs as low as $5 per month.
Creating and posting an article on your website detailing information about your art news and/or event can help artists drive more traffic to their websites. Research has shown that artists with art blogs on their websites, where they post articles about news, events and exhibitions, receive more traffic to their websites.
2. Send an Announcement to Your Mailing List
Hopefully, you have been acquiring names and email addresses for people and visitors to your website and social media networks. Send these people a newsletter notice, a copy of a press release or a copy of your website article post.
Invite them to view your art or the event online as well as in person. Provide dates, times, addresses, telephone numbers, and links. Use your winning art as a graphic for the email, newsletter, article post and the press release to generate interest.
3. Create a YouTube Video and Promote It
Create a YouTube Video (Slide Show) about the art, the art exhibition, the opening of the show, etc. There are many free or inexpensive programs you can use to create these videos.
Create a YouTube channel and upload and promote the video to your contacts, networks, and friends. You have the ability to share and distribute the video directly from YouTube.
4. Post Your Event and/or News on Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for both reaching new fans and staying in touch with established ones. In order to announce your news, event or exhibition, post your article post, press release or YouTube Video on your social media networks multiple times at varying times of the day. Ask your friends to “share” these social media posts too. Be sure the post contains active links back to your website as well as to the art exhibition or event.
5. Create and Distribute a Press Release
Create a professional press release announcing your exhibition success in the third person (as if someone other than yourself had written about this event). Then research online press release distribution companies and select someone to distribute the release for you.
As we have posted in previous articles, there are companies that will distribute a press release for as little as $10.00, depending on the type and amount of distribution that you want. Make sure that the press release targets the art industry and contains active links back to your website as well as to the art exhibition.
In terms of expense, except for the professional press release distribution, the steps above are free, requiring only the artist’s time. In that spirit, starting with the 10th Annual “Botanicals” online art exhibition, the gallery will be providing a new award. We will be gifting our top winning artists, including special merit award winning artists, with a complimentary VIP Membership to Art.base.co. Art.Base produces 100,000 page views per month, 35,000 monthly unique visitors and has 10,000+ newsletter subscribers. With this complimentary account, artists can post their art news and events for free.
Also starting with the 10th Annual “Landscapes” art competition, entry fees will increase by $1, to $15 and $25 respectively. Early registration and the "Solo Art Series" entry fees will also increase $1, as we increase our awards, marketing and promotion efforts on behalf of our artists.
In the coming weeks we will be posting new and updated articles with helpful hints and suggestions for creating professional art press releases. If you are not already on the LST mailing list, please subscribe to receive our newsletter and announcements of new articles and competitions.
There are certainly additional ways in which artists can promote and market themselves and their art. However, we believe the above suggestions are the most effective ways in which artists can digitally promote their art career success.
At the beginning of every New Year, we post an article with ideas and suggestions for how artists can to kick start the new year. Now that the year 2020 has begun, it is time to review the past 12 months and make plans for how best to tackle your art career goals in 2020.
Have you set up your art marketing goals for the New Year? If not, the following are 5 things you can do to kick start 2020 and improve your chances of success.
Many of these ideas are elementary, but consistently implementing them is not. They are critical for artists if they are to market themselves and their art successfully.
1. Evaluate & Update Your Website
In today’s art world, in order to be taken seriously, it is essential for artists to have a modern, professional, up-to-date website to display their art. The annual cost of a domain is typically less than $20. The cost of basic website hosting can be as low as $3 per month. A website is an investment artists should make a priority in order to be taken seriously.
For those of you who already have websites, when was the last time that you went page by page and link by link through it? If you are like most people it has probably been a very long time! I think that if you were to do this with your website you would find broken links, pages that do not load quickly, graphics, images and other items that have moved, along with pages with misspelled words and similar issues.
Is this how you want your website visitors to see your art? Take some time to make these corrections. Also, if you have pages that do not load quickly due to large image files or due to flash and music features, these items should be corrected or removed as people do not have the time to wait on your pages to load. Otherwise, if not corrected you will be losing these valuable visitors to your site.
Make sure all of the images on your website are sized properly and have a low resolution (a resolution of 72 helps your site load more quickly and protects your art from being copied by unscrupulous people). The images should also be color corrected. (There are many free programs on the internet for this.)
Do you have better images or graphics to replace what now exists on your website? Do you have new artwork that you just have not had time to photograph and add to your website? Do it.
Also, while checking your images, make sure that they are labeled and tagged properly with good image descriptions. Search engines will only index your images if they have descriptions. By doing this, your images will show up in the image search results. When the images are viewed, viewers will be directed to your art website.
2. Rewrite/ Update your Artists Bio and Statement
Review and update your Artist Statement and Artist Biography. An artist does not have to be an accomplished writer to create a well-written Biography and Artist’s Statement, but it is essential for an artist to have at least one. It is important to know the difference between a biography and artist statement. Please read our article “Comparing an Artist’s Biography to an Artist’s Statement” for clarification.
Also, update your CV by adding any exhibitions, new publications or other pertinent information that has taken place since the last time they were updated.
3. Use Social Media
Social media is the perfect platform for artists to employ in order to help market themselves and their art. Why is this? In our opinion, it is easy to identify and connect with the art community when using social media.
We also think it is an effective medium because it is a visual and simple way in which to present your art. Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Instagram and even Twitter provide an artist with opportunities (if targeted properly) to reach viewers who were previously unreachable.
Read our article “Top 10 Reasons Why Artists Fail with Social Media” along with various other social media articles on the LST website.
4. Press Release Marketing
Press release marketing is a low-cost way artists can market their artwork to a wide range of potential viewers. There are many “Free” press release websites, which take, publish and market an artist’s press release copy. One such site is PRLog.org. PRLog’s free press release submission includes a PDF version to send to your mailing list, a search engine optimized page, hyperlinks in the content, and the option to select location/industry and tag listings. In addition, companies like Star One Public Relations offers press release distribution services for as low as $10.00 for distribution to 70+ press outlets. Read our article “Successful Press Release Marketing for Artists” and 6 Benefits for Press Releases for Artists to help guide you in these efforts.
5. Have Your Art Portfolio Reviewed Professionally
A professional Portfolio Review provides an artist with an evaluation of their art and a critique of how the art is being presented to others. Usually, during a portfolio review, the reviewers provide artists with additional ideas on how they can effectively market their art.
Much like art competitions, a Portfolio Review is an additional way in which artists can have their artwork evaluated and measured against other artists.
6. Start a Blog
Artists should consider starting an art blog as a way to attract and direct additional interested viewers to their art websites. An art blog is a great way to expand an artist’s target audience. It is also an effective platform to help artists market their art.
In 2020 we hope you will make these suggestions part of your art marketing efforts. By implementing these recommendations, we believe artists will increase traffic to their websites, find more people interested in their art and ultimately, sell more of their work.
However, as with any marketing program, it is important to focus your efforts and they need to be well executed and performed consistently in order to be successful.
Good luck and have a creative and successful 2020!
Every month the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery sends out hundreds of press releases promoting the Gallery’s monthly themed exhibition winners and Solo Art Series winning artists. In addition to in-house resources, the Gallery utilizes both external promotion partners and professional press release services.
However, artists can always benefit from additional publicity and should promote their art career and exhibition success, at every opportunity, by conducting a public relations (PR) campaign for their art.
Artists can do this for any newsworthy art related event. Please see our previous post 10 Events for Artists to Send Out Press Releases for guidance on what would be considered a "newsworthy" art related event.
One of the easiest and most economical ways for an artist to promote their newsworthy art related event is by publishing their own digital press releases.
Below, are 6 benefits of publishing press releases for any artist:
1. Instant Exposure for Your Art and/or Newsworthy Art Related Event
Once a press release is made live, it should be searchable on the internet. With proper keywords, title tags and meta-descriptions, the press release can be found immediately and easily.
2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Benefits
Press releases should contain keywords related to the subject matter of your press release. Make sure that any tags point to your subject as well. The subject’s relevant keywords and tags will make your press release article searchable.
3. Press Releases Create Backlinks and Increase Traffic to Your Art Website
Well-written, strategically placed press releases create backlinks and can increase traffic to the artist’s website. The number of backlinks increase the artist’s page rank with major search engines.
4. Press Releases are Industry Specific with Location Targeting
Most press release distribution sites are set up based on industry types (such as Arts & Entertainment) and geographic locations. This unique targeting improves the chances that the message will be read by the artist’s particular target audience.
5. Press Releases are distributed to Art Related Blogs and Art News Sites
Press releases also are distributed and read by art blogs and art news websites. This form of distribution will increase the artist’s overall reach and may potentially open up opportunities for additional exposure for the artist.
6. Press Releases Can Provide Worldwide Reach
Depending on the service and its target audience, press releases provide an artist with worldwide reach and exposure.
Artists who are interested in having an effective marketing campaign should consider adding press releases to their promotions and marketing mix. An effective public relations campaign does not have to be an expensive or time-consuming venture. There are both free and low-cost PR distribution companies on the internet.
For free press release distribution, we recommend PRLog. PRLog’s free press release submission includes a PDF version to send to your mailing list, a search engine optimized page, hyperlinks in the content, and the option to select location/industry and tag listings. One of the companies LST uses is Star One Public Relations, which offers press release distribution services for as low as $10.00 for distribution to 70+ press outlets. Star One also offers special targeted distribution for $30.
In early November look for a new post "5 Tips for Creating an Effective Art Marketing Strategy" by Guest Blogger, Wendy Dessler.
Every day I hear from artists who have an art website, are entering and placing in art competitions and are active in several social media networks, Despite this, these artists are not making sales and they are now discouraged at the dismal marketing results.
At this point-in-time some artists begin to feel overwhelmed, are unsure what to do next and some artists even begin thinking of stopping what they doing altogether! Without feeling totally discouraged and paralyzed, here are some things that artists can do to get back on track and going again.
Do not feel like you have to do everything on this list. Just attempt the easy ones first until you achieve some successes and then only tackle some of the more difficult or time-consuming tasks. In this manner, you will not begin to feel overwhelmed and discouraged.
Here are some ideas for an artist to get unstuck;
1. Start or finish that important painting or artistic project.
2. Call an art gallery owner/director in order to discuss showing there.
3. Put together and send entry materials to enter an important art competition.
4. Update, print and publish your artist biography and art resume.
5. Add new artworks to your website and art portfolio.
6. Write and publish a press release on your latest art news.
7. Outline and write a new post for your art blog.
8. Upload any of your new art to your social media networks.
9. Post positive comments in any social network art groups.
10. Contact prominent art bloggers to see if you can guest post.
I think that all of us get overwhelmed with the large number of choices that we have to make each day in terms of marketing and promoting our art, to the point that we may begin to procrastinate and eventually become paralyzed in our efforts.
To get unstuck, tackle the easy chores first. Do not try to complete do all of the projects at once. Consistently try to complete at least one task each day. With each completed task and with each success you will begin to feel better about your art marketing efforts and you will soon become unstuck.
Artists should use press releases to promote and market their art brand whenever they are involved in or when they participate in any newsworthy art-related event. Press releases are a very fast and effective way in which an artist can get their “message” to their target audience.
Today, there are myriad of press release services who will distribute an artist’s press release news within a 24 hour period of time, and importantly, for a very low cost to the artist. Besides getting the news/message out, press releases also create “backlinks” to the artist’s website, which in turn helps an artist in achieving a higher page rank when the major search engines index their website.
Just what are some occasions and reasons to create and distribute a press release? Below are what we believe to be the “Top 10 Events” for an artist to send out a press release:
1. Participation in Any New Art Shows.
2. Any New Art Gallery Representation.
3. Any Art Competition Success.
4. Participation in Any Group or Solo Exhibitions.
5. Any Speech or Presentation which is Art Related.
6. The Donation of Art or Participation in a Charity Event.
7. Any New Sale or Installation of Art.
8. The Announcement of a New Series of Art.
9. Announcing a New Publication or Book.
10. Receiving Any Awards or for Any Special Recognition.
Just remember that a press release should be when an event is “newsworthy” and it is not a commercial or a blatant self-promotion. An artist’s press release should answer the following questions for the reader: who, what, when, where, why and how. To write about anything else will make an advertisement out of one’s work and the press release will either not be accepted for publishing and distribution or it will simply not be read at all.
All press releases should have an “About the Artist” section, as well as an “Artist Contact” section contained at the end of the press release. In addition, there should always be links back to the artist’s website or blog contained in the press release.
Artists should begin to formulate and plan on how they can benefit from press release marketing and promotion now and in the future based on any of their newsworthy “art events”.
We previously wrote 10 ways that an artist can market and brand their artwork. In an ongoing series, we are providing additional ways in which an artist can promote and develop their brand. Today, a lot of individuals and businesses get marketing and branding mixed up. Simply put, marketing is how an artist reaches their target market with advertising, promotions and public relations. Branding defines the artist and defines what their target market thinks they are. Every time a prospect or a potential customer makes contact with the artist in person, print, virally or by other means, they are forming an opinion of the artist and the artist as a brand.
The following is a list of 10 additional ideas and ways in which an artist can use to promote, market and brand their art. This and the prior list of suggestions is forever changing as technology and the public’s tastes shift from one popular media or marketing vehicle to another. This list is in no particular order of importance for an artist to use to when developing their brand.
1. Book publishing is a medium which allows the artist to present their artwork to prospects in a memorable form. Today, book publishing is being used more and more by artists as a marketing tool. There are many POD (Print on Demand) websites that will allow an artist to design, print and publish their “Art Book”. This can then be used by the artist for marketing and presentation purposes. Most POD websites also allow for the books to be available for sale to the general public, if the artist is so inclined to do so. Presenting their work in this manner is a nice thing for an artist to have as a give away to prospects and gallery owners. There are even some art reps that want to keep an artist’s art book on file or be able to show their clients the artists work. Suggested publishers that seem to specialize in this type of self-publishing are www.blurb.com, www.lulu.com. www.createspace.com.
2. Document and Slide websites allow the artist to showcase their work in PowerPoint demonstrations and PDF presentations. These sites also provide the artist with a profile space and links back to their website. Keywords and tags are a part of each file that is uploaded and these files will also show up on all of the major search engines. It is one more way for an artist to get out there and to promote themselves, their art and their website. www.slideshare.net, www.calameo.com, http://issuu.com
3. Art licensing is an area where artists can supplement their regular artwork and generate additional income from their art. Art licensing companies are very specific as to what type of art that they are looking for and they will let you know what their creative parameters are. Most art licensing firms are always looking for new artists and they will provide ways for an artist to submit artwork for consideration, right on their website. www.porterfieldsfineart.com, www.millpondlicensing.com, www.comlicensinginfo.com
4. Podcasts are becoming a very effective tool for anyone that wants to get their message out. Think of podcasts as YouTube, without the video. A podcast can be used as a specialty message or a rehash of an old article or art tips for other artists. Whatever it is, it is another media in which the artist can connect to their target market and stay current with their prospects and customers. Links can be added to the artist’s blog or website for prospects to subscribe to. Podcasts are a great branding tool for an artist. Here is more information on creating podcasts; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podcast
5. Blogs are an effective means for an artist to not only brand themselves but it also provides another way in which to drive traffic to the artist’s website. There is free software such as WordPress, Blogger and Typepad that an artist can use to develop and publish their blog. These are content driven publications that people will read in order to be informed on subjects that interest them. Keywords, title tags, and meta tags are all a very important part of blogging as this is a way in which when people are searching certain words, that they will find the artist. It is almost like article marketing, but the artist is using their own website to achieve this. http://wordpress.org, www.blogger.com, www.typepad.com.
6. Art and business directory sites can be used to help build traffic to the artist’s website. A directory site can also help to build brand awareness. Directory sites are also an important link building tool for artists as well. The artist should try to get listed in as many directory sites as possible. Also, Google, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing and others have local business directories that artists should be in as well. See our Article 10 Free Directories to Drive Traffic to Your Website.
7. Newsletter publishing is another way in which to build and maintain an author’s brand. A newsletter can be a printed publication or it can be a part of an artist’s main website. If properly formatted and tagged, these articles will also show up on major search engines and drive traffic to the artist’s website. These are content driven publications that people want to read and learn about certain information. From the articles and content that is used and written about in the artist newsletter, those articles can then be used for articles sites, blogs and press releases. There are literally 100’s of newsletter software and newsletter templates on the Internet to use, follow or be inspired by. No matter what the artist chooses to use, the newsletter should speak directly to their target market, inform them of relevant issues and solve their problems.
8. An artist can become a guest author on other art “industry” blogs that are in the artist’s area of expertise. This not only provides the artist with a much larger audience in which to present their brand, but it will also help to get people to the artist’s website and their blog for additional traffic. Also, by an artists doing this, it will help the artist to convert more prospect email addresses for future promotions. Research the top 10 art blogs in your niche and approach them with idea of doing a guest article. Blog publishers are always looking for new content. The artist should make sure that the blogger’s guidelines are being adhered to and followed.
9. Become a timely commentator on relevant art forums and art blogs, which allow comments. When participating in discussions on a forum or on a blog, an artist will have an opportunity to promote their brand in their thread through their comments. This type of promotion is much like social networking and an artist should remember that their remarks are their forever and to think twice before they submit their comments. If the artist’s comments become a commercial or are self serving, a moderator will not allow them or may ban the contributor from participating. An artist should research the top 10 art forums and art blogs in their niche and join, get involved and become part of those communities. It is a great way for an artist to become known, network and expand their market.
10. Artists should join any available free online art galleries and art websites. These sites allow an artist to promote and show their work to thousands of people each day. In addition to showing their art an artist will also have the opportunity to have a profile, links to their website and in many cases a biography and artist statement as part of their presentation. Many of the newer free artist websites now have the ability for the artist to have a blog, post news items and upload press releases. In addition, some art websites have their own community forums for the artist to contribute to. An artist should have a fully developed and well written profile for any of these sites. They should make sure that everything is well written, spell checked and complete prior to uploading. An artist can get on to at least 30 to 40 of these free online art galleries. See our Article 20 Free Art Portfolio Websites to Market Your Art.
These are just a few additional ways in which an artist can promote their art and develop their brand. This may sound like a lot of work but once these different media are set up and functioning, it is then there for the artist to take advantage of these opportunities and to promote their art.
How many other artists do you know that are doing any of this? I am sure, not many and that is all the more the reason for an artist to take advantage of these low-cost opportunities and be ahead of the curve. Whether an artist will admit it, art is a business and a successful business will reach their target market in different ways. If done well and consistently over time the artist will see an increase in traffic, have a stronger brand and a resultant increase in their art sales.
Just what is a press kit and why should an artist have one? A press kit is just what it sounds like, as it is a group of documents presenting the artist’s background, education, experience, past exhibitions, publishing achievements, competition awards along the artist’s current and future shows, etc. Electronic press kits should be part of an artist’s marketing and branding program. In addition, a press kit should also be included and made a part of the artist’s printed collateral materials.
People who would have an interest in an artist’s press kit are editors of both print and online publications, gallery owners, art reps and prospects who may be considering purchasing your art. This may sound like a challenge to perform and extremely difficult to compile this information but in reality, I will show you that you probably have the bulk of the information already. This information just has to be compiled, formatted and packaged correctly.
Here are the main components of an artist’s press kit:
1. Biography – As part of any press kit, website or collateral materials, an artist should have a well-written biography and most artists already have this information. It should be updated and closely edited.
2. Artist Statement – An artist statement is necessary to allow any interested party to help them understand why you are creating your art and what you are trying to achieve with your art. See link below to our article on how to write an artist statement. How to Write the Perfect Artist Statement.
3. Exhibitions & Shows – All past group or solo exhibitions and shows should be listed from newest to oldest. What if you have not been accepted into any shows? Say so. Many artists without any exhibition experience skip all of this information as they are embarrassed that they do not have any exhibition experience to show. To me, by not presenting any information will say to the reader “I am inexperienced and I do not want anyone to know.” Remember, every artist had to start somewhere and if you are a good artist, that is more important than anything else to other people.
4. Exhibition Awards - All past awards (no matter how important or not) from any exhibitions should be displayed and shows should be listed from newest to oldest.
5. Past Publicity – Any brochures, exhibition postcards, news releases should be made a part of the kit and embedded into the package.
6. Current Shows – This would be a list of any shows or exhibitions that you are currently a part of, at the time that the press kit is being sent out. Have links to that gallery exhibit as part of this section. Make sure that this information is always up to date.
7. Future Shows – This information would be about any future shows or exhibits that you have been accepted in to, at the time that the press kit was sent out. Include links to that gallery show (if any or the current competition if any) as part of this section. Make sure that this information is always up to date.
8. Current Press Releases – These would be current press releases announcing your current shows, awards, appearances, sales, talks and any future shows. Again, same as 6 and 7 above should be kept up to date and current. See our article on how to write a press release. How to Write a Press Release for Art Events.
9. Contact Information – This information would include name, mailing address, telephone and email address or any other way that someone can contact you.
10. Website – Include a direct link to your website, portfolio, and blog. If you do not have a working website (Facebook, My Space, and Flickr do not count) I can direct to you several online artist websites that are free and very easy to upload to and to administer.
Now, all of this information should be compiled and formatted in a way that makes it easy to read and clear to understand. I suggest having headings for each page or section. Try to have each section one page in length only. Pick a plain text such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman. The idea is that you want this press kit very easy to read, such as an editor, gallery owner or art rep as they do not have a lot of time to read. However, a buyer of your art will take the time to read this information.
Finally, have someone (other than yourself) proofread your press kit very carefully for you. Save the press kit in a PDF file or at least a non-editable word.doc. In addition, have the press kit in printed form for any events and have the electronic version available online and part of your website too.
With a well-designed press kit, will make it easy for someone to learn more about you, your art and how to contact you quickly too. Good luck!
Today, I see many artists who want more exposure for their art and in order to achieve more sales of their art. In order to meet this goal, artists will begin to promote their artwork with a marketing program. When that marketing does not produce the results that were hoped for, the artist becomes discouraged and gives up their marketing efforts. The Rule of Seven may help to explain why an artist’s marketing effort does not create the results that were envisioned.
The Rule of Seven is a depression era advertising and marketing maxim developed by the movie industry. The studio bosses discovered that there was a certain amount of advertising and promotion required to get someone to see one of their movies. Over time, the movie studios realized that it took at least seven messages to get someone to buy a movie ticket. Thus, the Rule of Seven was developed which stated that a prospect needs to hear the advertiser’s message at least 7 times before they will take action to buy that product or service.
There is even another rule based on a study made by Thomas Smith in 1885 that stated that an advertising message must be heard at least 20 times before someone will buy! I am not sure about that, but the point of all of these rules is that advertising, marketing, and promotion must be done on an ongoing and consistent basis in order for the advertiser to see any effective results. Marketing is a process that takes consistency, effort and time in order for it to be efficient, to work well and to see any discernible results. Too many artists try to market their artwork but easily give up the process when they do not see immediate results.
How can an artist effectively adhere to the Rule of Seven when promoting their artwork or art business? In order to be effective, an artist should utilize an integrated marketing campaign which will reach its intended target. The artist must first identify and study their target audience. With the artist’s target market identified, selecting the media which will best reach the target is the next most important task for the artist to make. The marketing campaign may include advertising, email marketing, social media, public relations, article marketing, internet exposure, and blogs.
Whichever is the most effective media (or combination of media) for the artist to use in reaching their intended target will become the basis for communicating their message. To recap, there are three important components to effectively using the Rule of Seven:
1. Identifying and studying the target audience.
2. Determining the most effective media in reaching the target.
3. Delivering that message at least seven times to the target.
As with all rules and maxims, there are usually exceptions to the rules. I am sure that there are exceptions to the Rule of Seven as well. Overall, an artist can see from this rule that they just cannot send out a few “messages” and hope to have a successful marketing program to sell their art. The “message” needs to be delivered on target, effectively and consistently over a period of time in order for the artist to achieve success.
Press releases can help anyone, especially an artist to not only bring attention to their art but to generate traffic to their website and also to assist with the branding of the artist and their art.
Just exactly is a press release? A press release is defined as “a prepared statement, of something that is deemed to be newsworthy, that will be distributed to the news media in order to gain attention to a newsworthy event". The following are the elements of a good press release and should be followed when an artist writes their press release.
Headlines are a line of text at the top of the press release that in a single line will describe and bring attention to the event or the news that is contained in the press release.
In the past (prior to the digital age) headlines were created to not only draw the attention of the reader but especially to draw the attention of newspaper editors, in the hope that they would use the release in their publication. Today, this is still true, but now the headline is also written and used for keywords and SEO (search engine optimization) as it relates to generating page views and traffic back to the source of the press release. (Keywords are used by search engines to locate information that viewers have requested).
The headline should be descriptive and concise. If at all possible, try to limit the headline to no more than 120 characters. Each word should be formatted with the first letter being capitalized (not all caps).
Besides the headline being very important for SEO purposes, the summary section also allows the artist to expand the use of secondary and additional keywords. The summary should also be very descriptive of the event and why someone should want to read the rest of the press release. It is a selling opportunity for the artist to sell themselves, their art or their art event.
The summary is a single short paragraph and if it is too long the artist may lose the reader. Therefore, it is extremely important to write and rewrite this section in order to ensure that it gets the important points across why someone would want to read the full press release. Any sentences in this summary should be in sentence case, with the only first letter of a sentence being capitalized.
The rest of the press release is considered the body of the release and it will contain the following components:
The dateline contains the date of the press release and this is a very important component to the reader to see if the news is old, new, even newsworthy or still valid. This section also contains the city of origin of the release for location purposes.
The introduction of the press release is the paragraph that should answer the following questions for the reader; of who, what, when, where and why?
Details or Body
The details or what is also known as the body of the press release will provide explanations for, provide background and detail the thoughts contained in the introduction section. This may consist of several "body" paragraphs until all pertinent thoughts are set forth.
The body (details) should be made up of at least two paragraphs. The paragraphs should contain 5 to 10 lines of copy. All body copy and event details should be provided for in a descending type order (most important details of the press release nearest to the top, to least important details at the bottom or lower body paragraphs).
The about section is a short paragraph which provides background information on the company or organization who is issuing the press release.
The contact information section contains the name of the issuing individual, their telephone number, their email address, the company postal mailing address and the company website URL. The contact information section is also an invitation from the writer to the reader that they can provide additional information if requested.
A press release should be written in the third person as if someone else is writing about this event or news, other than the writer.
Always send any supporting images or graphics that will be used or was a part of this event or news. An editor is more likely to not only look at the press release but will tend to use the press release if it contains interesting pictures.
Study press releases of major companies or other artists who you would like to emulate (all of their websites usually have a press section) and see how they have structured and written their press releases. There is nothing wrong with this and by following the best, it will increase your chances of having more and better publicity, if the press release is in an acceptable form for the industry.
Finally, there are hundreds of free press release distribution companies on the internet, locate them and use them to your benefit the next time you have an art event, art exhibition or something that is newsworthy about your art. Your press releases will help you draw attention to your art and will also bring additional traffic to your website.