Activate Your Marketing for a Bigger Audience

Is your marketing too passive?
Are you putting your art out there and hoping someone will see it, buy it, or give you a show?

Yellow Male Cat

Jack isn’t always interested in being active.

I’ll confess that I’ve become complacent with my marketing. I write my blog posts every week and post to Facebook and Twitter. Then I sit back and wait for something to happen.

And I rely too much on my existing list without reaching out to new potential audiences.

Fortunately, my coach is correcting my ways. She’s amazed that I have had such good results, and pointed out that I could help a lot more people if only I’d become more active with my marketing.

This got me thinking about all of the passive marketing that we do. How could we approach it more actively in a way that puts us in the driver’s seat of our destiny?

Here are a few ideas.

Social Media Engagement

Passive : Post updates. Like others’ updates. Accept friendships.

Activate Your Social Media →  Seek out the people and businesses you really want to connect with. Friend them, like their pages, comment on their posts, and promote their activities.

Mailing List

Passive: Add a sign-up form to website. Send a newsletter. Update list.

Activate Your Mailing List →  Ask people you meet in person if they’d like to be on your list.

Segment your list and target specific messages to each segment as appropriate. Have a plan to contact your top customers once a quarter.

Exhibitions & Events

Passive: Install the art and hope it sells. Send a postcard and an email blast to your whole list. Hope people show up.

Yellow Male Tabby in Bed

Every so often, Jack gets a wild hair and rolls over. Can we call it active?

Activate Your Exhibitions & Events →  Train the venue staff about your art. Give them selling points. Visit weekly to check in.

Write personal notes on the postcards you send. Send personal emails to the people you most want to attend and invite them to a private showing. Pick up the phone and dial your VIPs.

Gallery Relations

Passive: Ship the art to the gallery. Attend opening. Cross your fingers.

Activate Your Gallery Relations →   Call the gallery every 3 or 4 months and ask them how you can help them sell more of your work. Bonus: Bake cookies for your gallerist.

Teaching and Events

Passive: Schedule class or event. Rely on venue to fill the registrations.

Activate Your Teaching →  Send a personal note (email or, better, real mail) to the people you most want to attend. Pick up the phone and invite them. Offer to write a guest blog post to help promote the event.

We need both passive and active marketing, but our businesses slow down when we rely on passive alone. How are you being too passive with your marketing? How are you activating it?

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12 comments to Activate Your Marketing for a Bigger Audience

  • Kathy Friedline

    PASSIVE PASSIVE PASSIVE me. I will be using some of your tips in the next few minutes for an exhibition that I am co-chairing!
    Love your new format!

  • Great tips, as always! I will be putting this list on my desktop.
    I might add one thing: be sure you have your portfolio with you at all times on your phone or in your purse.

  • I am bookmarking this post as I am a passive marketer…I admit it…ugh!! But in my defense I am getting a bit more bold this year, asking people to join my FB sight and be on my mailing list…but this is more of a push…thanks!!

  • Alyson,
    Thank you. I love the idea of targeting specific types of customers rather than one emailing. Just so you know, I recently held a one woman show as a challenge to one of your workshops. The results were amazing. Your training was and is amazing! Thank you so much.

  • I think these marketing strategies you’ve shared are very effective, and makes a whole lot of sense. What’s even better is that they can be put into effect right away.

    Thanks for sharing,

  • What I learned here today will always be a part of me!
    Thanks Alyson.

  • Cree Scudder

    Wow…I am passive on all counts.
    I’ve not finished updating my new website in six months.
    I’ve not attended juried shows in which I have been included (scheduling conflicts with my being out of town).
    I’ve not been actively looking for new clients…no keeping in touch with my base, other than through Facebook.
    I have to get on the ball.
    Thanks for your generous replies co-artists.
    And, Alyson, I think you are making me more and more aware of how to survive as an artists — everyday. Thank you!