Are you announcing, commanding, or inviting in your marketing messages? There is a place for each of these in your art marketing, but I encourage you to be aware of which you’re using and when. An announcement is a presentation of the facts. “I’m having an exhibition. The opening is at this time and this place. Here’s how you see my art.” Tamara McElhannon’s lovely announcement is pictured here.
Are you announcing, inviting, or commanding? Sometimes announcements are all that is needed – there’s nothing to invite people to. But if you want people to show up, let them know you value their attendance. Invite, don’t command.
Whether you’re sending an invitation to an exhibit opening, an open studio, or a holiday party, be sure you’re answering all of the questions the recipients might have. Here is a checklist you can use as a starting point.
One of the excuses in my book – excuses that keep artists from promoting their art effectively – is “I don’t want to bother people.” You know what it feels like to be bothered and you don’t want to do that to anyone else. But don’t err to the other extreme.
Robert Mapplethorpe “believed the show began with the invitation and each one was meant to be a seductive gift.” How could you seduce your patrons with your next invitation?
David Castle, Elementals, Candied Trees. Watercolor on paper mounted on canvas, 22 x 30 inches. Private collection. (c) The Artist
Everyone wants to know the answer to this question. How long should someone remain on your mailing list? Or, more to the point, why should you keep someone on your mailing list after five years if you never hear from them and they never bought anything from you?
During a visit to artist David Castle’s studio, he shared with me this story. A certain couple had been on his mailing list for five years, and he was seriously considering dropping them. After all, he had neither seen nor heard from them in five years. Then, out of the blue, David got a phone call. They were going to be in town and