Can Marketing Be Fun? Part 2

Marketing CAN be Fun, Creative & Unique
Be Creative.

Ok, if you’re reading this, you are probably a person involved or interested in the arts and/or a small businesses person, and therefore you are by definition a creative problem-solver. What can you do to make your marketing efforts really creative and really reflect your business in a way that’s unusual –  memorable for your customer and fun for you? Again, if you can make your marketing fun in some way, you’ll be more likely to do it, have better results, and move your art business further. Here’s just one way to look at your marketing tools in a new way.

Make Something Unique
Ok, you have all the traditional marketing tools, business cards, etc., and it’s either not working like you hoped or it just doesn’t feel right. What can you develop or create that reflects your business that’s unique and memorable? Here’s a couple of examples, I’m sure you’ll have seen or be able to think of more.

You’re a potter, and you make wonderful, original raku pots with an unusual glaze. What about a little raku take-away, like pottery “business cards?” Get a rubber stamp made with your basic contact info, and cut, stamp and fire away! You’re a watercolorist. Little watercolor cards, again stamped with your info? Maybe you dance – videos of bits of your dance performances on a mini-disk? Maybe you’re a shopkeeper specializing in hand-made clothes – what about a card on a string like a clothing tag?

Brainstorm. Get your family and friends to help – both in the idea and in helping make it. If they helped think of it, they’ll have more fun helping you make it. Ask what can you develop or create that reflects your business, that really express what is unique or wonderful about you and/or your business? At this point, no idea is too far-fetched – write down everything that comes to mind, you can winnow things down in a few minutes.

Choose. Develop. Create. Distribute. Once you have some ideas, pick out the ones that seem to “match” your art or business the best, and think how you can make them simply and inexpensively. Don’t go overboard! These are not end products, just little “tastes,” little reminders, teases to bring customers back.

You don’t have to give these out to everyone, have mass-produced backups for big events and everyday encounters, and save the special items for really interested folks, the ones you want to “push” a bit into becoming customers. And maybe, these special little handouts will spark an idea of how you can revamp your everyday marketing tools in a new way.

When I was at the Textile Center, I worked out an idea of a little “brochure” to help us in our first Capital Campaign. With Margaret Miller’s help, we wrote up the text, copied, folded and it sewed into a little cloth cover closed by a string and button. They were small, simple, and fun to make, used up some of the excess fabric we all have, cost practically nothing and best of all, were very effective! They literally tied the message up in a physical reminder of what we were selling – a center for textiles.

What can YOU do?

Can Marketing Be Fun? Part 1

Marketing Strategies

“Marketing can be fun!” Does this make you gag, roll your eyes, and choke? No way, you say? But it can be true. Marketing yourself and your work doesn’t have to be the never-ending chore that many people believe. But, I do think the only way that it’s going to be effective for you is to figure out a way to make marketing strategies be part of your every day art/business, and that means making it fun for YOU. All the marketing advice in the world isn’t going to help you out if you can’t or won’t follow it because it’s too hard, too scary or takes too much time away from producing your art or serving your clients. In this blog, I’ll be addressing ways and ideas that I hope will spark other ideas for you. And, please feel free to share your ideas, questions and success stories, too!

Focus your marketing time and tools.

There are a lot of ways to market yourself and your work, and it can seem very overwhelming. Doing too much is one of the ways to make marketing your work instantly “not fun.” So, be strategic – pick just a few things that you can handle on a regular basis, especially if the method is new to you or you have to learn new technology. You don’t have to join every networking group, social media site or professional group to be effective. Again, if you pick marketing strategies that are fun for you, you’ll be more likely to do them on a regular basis, and that’s the key. Consistent, doable effort can go a long way.

Think about focusing your marketing tools too. Brochures, postcards, flyers, handouts, business cards, websites, social media pages, etc. etc. etc. It never ends, does it? Ok, what is easiest, and most effective for you to do? What can you do on your own? If there’s something that you really want to do but can’t, where can you get help to do it? Can you get a service like us to help once in a while? If so, then budget for it, and then follow up! And don’t think you have to do everything!

Coleoptera

Mixed-media artists book covers, paper, painting, metal leaf, found objects, screw post bindings. Blank interior, hand-made paper by Betsy Dollar.

20000 Leagues Under the Sea

Mixed-media artist books, covers metal leaf, painting, found objects, screw posts. Interior hand-made paper (blank) by Betsy Dollar.

Mounds Park Block Prints 2011

Hand painted block prints inspired by Mounds Regional Park in St. Paul MN. Copyright by the artist, 2011.

January-March 2012 Events & Exhibitions

Ongoing
Project Art for Nature (PAN) http://www.projectartfornature.org
Group show at the National Eagle Center, Wabasha MN http://www.nationaleaglecenter.org/
Through January 9, 2012
Nature art exhibition in a variety of media by Project Art for Nature artists. At the beautiful Eagle Center through the first part of January. The Eagle Center is well worth a visit on its own merits, it’s situated on gorgeous Lake Pepin on the Mississippi River. Demos with live eagle, river view decks and our art! A can’t lose day trip from the Twin Cities.

Friday, January 6
Lowertown First Friday
6:00-9:00 pm
Northern Warehouse #206
308 Prince Street, St. Paul
Open studio event.
http://lowertownfirstfridays.com
Open studio tour in 5-7 buildings in Lowertown St. Paul, around the intersection of 4th & Broadway (around the Farmers Market). Block prints, paintings, journals, cards, and more.

Friday, February 3
Lowertown First Friday
6:00-9:00 pm
Northern Warehouse
308 Prince Street, St. Paul
Open studio event.
http://lowertownfirstfridays.com
Open studio tour in 5-7 buildings in Lowertown St. Paul, around the intersection of 4th & Broadway (around the Farmers Market). Block prints, paintings, journals, cards, and more.

Friday, March 2
Lowertown First Friday
6:00-9:00 pm
Northern Warehouse #206
308 Prince Street, St. Paul
Open studio event.
http://lowertownfirstfridays.com
Open studio tour in 5-7 buildings in Lowertown St. Paul, around the intersection of 4th & Broadway (around the Farmers Market). Block prints, paintings, journals, cards, and more.

December 2011 Events & Exhibitions

Ongoing December-January
Project Art for Nature (PAN) http://www.projectartfornature.org
Group show at the National Eagle Center, Wabasha MN http://www.nationaleaglecenter.org/
Through January 9, 2012
Nature art exhibition in a variety of media by Project Art for Nature artists. At the beautiful Eagle Center through the first part of January. The Eagle Center is well worth a visit on its own merits, it’s situated on gorgeous Lake Pepin on the Mississippi River. Demos with live eagle, river view decks and our art! A can’t lose day trip from the Twin Cities.

Friday, December 2
Lowertown First Friday
6:00-9:00 pm
Northern Warehouse #206
308 Prince Street, St. Paul
Open studio event.
http://lowertownfirstfridays.com
Open studio tour in 5-7 buildings in Lowertown St. Paul, around the intersection of 4th & Broadway (around the Farmers Market). Block prints, paintings, journals, cards, and more.