Marketing to an audience is part and parcel of being a successful creative professional. If you ignore this element of your practice, it will be more difficult to tell or engage others with your work and consequently, your audience just wont be able to find you.
As a creative graduate, marketing your practice should be high on your to do list before your graduate in order to showcase you, your practice, and your professionalism to others- Don’t forget, in today’s competitive graduate market, many graduate employers will expect you to have excellent marketing practice and be visible to them.
Marketing your work may not have been a key element of your practice to date, so if you are approaching your degree show and have not previously thought about your marketing strategy, here are my 5 top tips to help you get started:
Develop your brand by keeping your messages consistent… Know why you are marketing your practice and help your audience build a great expectation about you and your products by keeping your messages similar, concise and clear.
- Be found online by making sure that your twitter biography is the same as your facebook, Linkedin and so on and so on…this will help you be visible and build trust in your online presence.
- Keep your visual design reflective of your practice.
- Make sure you ask GSA career service for their ‘marketing’ handout to find out more.
If you do anything make it a business card…Business cards are probably the simplest way to promote yourself. Business cards don’t have to be fancy and are fairly inexpensive. They are worth every penny as they will help to connect you to your audience or customer, so make sure that you have your business card with you at all times. Core features of a business are;
- Your name, contact details , email, phone number and a short piece of information about your creative practice.-You would be amazed about how many business cards that have some of this information missing!
- See this Entrepreneur.com article on developing business cards to give you some ideas on how your business card can be transformed into an essential marketing tool: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/71900
Keep a stock of eye catching images to send via email /mail to hand at all times…. you never know when you might be asked to supply a image of you or your work for marketing. Recording your work should be part of your practice anyway, so when you are archiving your work why not take a few more images specifically for marketing reasons…
- Make sure that your images are up to date, representative of your current practice and professional- poorly presented images will only suggest poor professional practice.
- JPeg’s are the standard format for most digital and internet applications. Keep the file sizes low and if displaying online you may want to create a watermark it to stop others using it. There are many free ‘watermark software’ options available online, that can help you to do this.
- This Creativeboom article on online portfolios is a useful guide on how to use your images successfully: http://creativeboom.co.uk/tips/the-common-mistakes-with-online-portfolios/
Have a few different blurbs written ready to add to press releases or emails…this is a great time saving tip, a pre-written blurb can help you quickly respond to a request for information…
- Writing Artist/ Design statements ( 50-100 words in length) are great practice to adopt. They are short statements about current work to support an audience’s understanding of the image (see here for more information: http://www.artbusiness.com/artstate.html)
- Having a short pre- written blurb about your practice is also a great way to help you in networking situations and pitches as you will have already considered how to articulate your practice in a clear concise way to others.
- Find out the fundamentals of writing a press release here: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Press-Release
Develop your mailing list…….and keep it safe…mailing lists of audiences and customers who are already engaged and interested in you work are an essential element for supporting your practice. Galleries, funders, employers and opportunity providers will always interested in your mailing lists and your supporters…
- Always invite audiences to join your mailing lists by encouraging them to follow you on twitter, ‘liking’ your facebook page or signing up for an e- newsletter.
- Don’t ignore your list, send them regular up-dates about your practice, invites to new shows, details of your professional developments and success.Keep your contact informative, useful and high quality!! Where you can get them involved with with your work..See this Sumac link for further ideas about your mailing list http://sumac.com/creative-ways-to-grow-your-mailing-list-with-no-money
- CreativeBoom have a great article on how to work with your mailing list/clients to keep them engaged: http://creativeboom.co.uk/tips/how-to-successfully-keep-in-touch-with-clients/
The more you progress in your creative career the more you will develop effective marketing strategy that suits you and your practice. Just remember to keep doing it….
- Marketing for creative people: http://www.magdaolchawska.com/entry/139
- Creative-choices: http://www.creative-choices.co.uk/develop-your-career/article/6-tips-for-effective-marketing
- Wishful thinking: http://www.wishfulthinking.co.uk/2010/06/07/artists-creatives-internet-marketing/