Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Promote Yourself! Now!

I’ve talked about the late Lindsay Crooks before in this blog. Apart from being an artist of high calibre, he also thoroughly enjoyed surfing. At this funeral it was a surprise, I think, to the arty people, to find that the church also contained a large number of (ageing) surfies.
But something else was special about Lindsay. He was one of the few artists I know who had marketing ability. I guess Grahame Sydney is another; certainly his work is available in many reproductions and books, but Lindsay seemed to do it with a certain ease. We first met when he walked into my shop one day saying he’d met my wife up at the Health Centre and she’d suggested coming to see me. What he was doing was hiring out his unsold paintings at a very reasonable price for three months at a time. It provided Lindsay with an audience for the works, and the hirer with a certain thrill in ‘owning’ something special for a time, and the opportunity to have a change of picture regularly. All, as I said, for a very reasonable price. In fact the price was ridiculous, but the value of it was that it made Lindsay known. We would never have come across him personally in any other way. As it was, after that we would look out for his work, or go and see it in galleries – eventually we even bought a piece, something unheard of for us.
Artists aren’t, in general, good at self-promotion. Like builders and carpenters and other tradesmen who work for themselves, they won’t to get on with the job. Selling your skills and products is another ‘job’ altogether and many tradesmen and artists don’t have that ability. We have some other friends, husband and wife Wally Crossman and Rosalie Gillies, who are excellent artists. But neither of them is good at promotion, and it’s only in the last few years that they’ve had the recognition they deserve because others have promoted them.
I’ve come across a site that seeks to rectify this issue for artists. It focuses on fine art marketing, and is presented in the form of a blog (like this one). One post offers the following suggestions as kind of marketing resolutions for 2007:

Do read an inspiring book from a great direct marketer. Find out what kind of results other people get from good marketing and sales tactics, and get excited about the subject.
Don’t read books about "brand marketing" if you’re a solo or small business. Brand management is for the big guys.
Do make a note of just one or two new marketing activities you will put into action in the first quarter of 2007.
Don’t spend your money on printed promotional material unless you know exactly where it’s needed (for example, at a trade show)
Do sign up for our free mini-course at the top of this page, if you haven’t

I think this is a great site offering good ideas, and links to other good ideasDisclosure statement
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