Guest Blogger: Leah Markham
A few years ago I was in London strolling through a park with my husband when we saw a naked woman moving from person to person.
With curiosity piqued, we watched for a few minutes and realized she appeared to be wearing a full-length beige bodysuit and handing out something to the people in the park. Then I noticed more people in bodysuits, men and women, all doing the same thing.
We drifted near one of the people so we could see what they were handing out. It was a small card, smaller than a business card, and square in shape. It had a short message that said something like “Naked Is In” along with a website address.
When I got back to the hotel and had access to my computer, I looked up the website as I was now thoroughly curious as to what was going on.
There are 4 things I took away from that experience.
1. A Website Is Not Enough
You need more than a website for your marketing plan. This may seem obvious, but I have come across quite a few people who, when their website was complete, assumed that suddenly they would receive visitors to their site.
How will they know about your website unless they hear about you first?
In business, the rule of thumb is that people need to hear about you more than 5 times before even thinking about making a purchase. Considering those terms, the more you do, the greater the chance people will hear about you and think, “Hey, I’ve heard of that guy/gal before – they must be worth checking out.”
2. The Best Marketing is a Collaboration
If one person had been in the park handing out cards in a bodysuit I think I would have been a little skeptical and creeped out. The fact that there were many of them immediately made me realize something was going on and I wanted to know what.
Just as they had a team of people working towards the same goal, it takes multiple avenues of marketing to promote your work and get out there. For little to no cost, you can use online tools like social media, blogging, email marketing, entering online competitions, adding your work to art directories, and online advertising.
But don’t stop with the online tools. Boost their effectiveness by combining them with offline marketing such as showing in galleries and at art shows/fairs, partnering with other artists and/or local businesses for an event or fundraiser, etc.
3. Be Creative
Obviously what I experienced was a far more creative way to promote something than conventional advertising. It obliterated the 5X rule and enticed me to learning more because it was so unique.
I’m not saying you should do something as extreme as put on a beige bodysuit and walk around the city handing out prints of your artwork. But if you don’t have gallery representation and need to promote yourself to get the word out, creative ideas that are different from the “norm” may help you stand out and be noticed.
But . . .
4. Make Sure Your Website Delivers
When I looked up the website address after receiving the card in a London park, I was more confused than ever.
They had such a creative way to pique my interest, but their website lacked information to the degree that I could not figure out what the whole thing was about. It was missing the same creativity that I found in the performance in the park.
More importantly, I had no idea what they wanted from me when I landed on their site. Were they promoting an event, a product or something else? I couldn’t even find contact information to inquire.
The business card ended up in the trash and confirmed how important it is to have a good website in place before marketing.
About Our Guest Blogger
Leah Markham provides Web design and marketing services for artists and businesses, and helps her husband with the business and promotional aspects of his art career. She created a video series for artists at Artist’s Websites, which walks you through setting up your own website and shows you how to promote your artwork online.
I’m an affiliate for Artist’s Websites and have reviewed a few of the videos, which I found helpful and well done.