Self-Promotion Doesn’t Come Naturally for Most
I know that it’s important to promote your art and share it with a wider audience. And although I do that, I must be honest with you. Self-promotion doesn’t come naturally to me and often it’s quite uncomfortable for me to do. I know a lot of us artists feel this way so we ignore that part of our business. But we all know that ignoring something doesn’t make it go away.
To see or hear others appreciate our artwork is important because it truly adds an invaluable dimension to what we do.
So, you owe it to yourself to not only create art but to also promote your art so others can appreciate it. It’s just the smart thing to do. And let me say this,
It doesn’t matter how great your artwork is, if you don’t promote your art show, all the planning and hard work in the world will not get eyeballs on your art.
Thankfully, there are several “non-evasive” ways you can promote your art and solo show without feeling like you’re being “salesy”.
Let me tell you, if I can do it, you can too. I’m going to show you some easy ways I promoted my solo art show and you can do the same too.
So here is what you do. Remember the artist statement and bio you created in “Curating Artwork” phase of planning this project, this is where they come handy. They will form the basis for your promotional materials.
8 Materials You Need to Promote Your Art Show
You will need to create the following materials to promote your art and get the word out there:
- Promotional Postcards
- Art Posters
- Press Releases
- Blog Posts/ Website Announcements
- Social Media Announcements
- Exhibition Invitations
- Exhibition Catalogs/Programs
- Business Cards
Depending on where you’re having your solo show, the gallery or venue might create and/or pay for some of these materials for you. Check with them first.
Whether you create promotional materials yourself or have someone do them for you, you’ll be responsible for providing the information that will be used to create the materials to promote your art show.
Pertinent information you need in all your materials
- Title of the Show
- Artist Statement/ Show Concept
- Dates and Time
- Contact Information
- A Great Photo of your Artwork
- Short Artist Bio
Here are some places online to print your promotional materials if you need to take care of that yourself.
You can also check your local copy and print center for quality and price. Make sure to have high-quality electronic copies of your promotional materials so you can also send them by email. You will also need these for your social media promotion. (More about social media promotion later).
Now that you have all these materials to promote your art show, “what do you do with them?”, is what you’re asking yourself. Right?
Well, your circle of influence should be your first order of business. Don’t underestimate how far you can get the word out if you use them. The promotional materials you created gives them an easy way to help you promote your art show.
And for the most part, they really do want to support you in any way they can. So, give them a chance to support you. Provide all those in your circle of influence with your invitations or postcards. You want to even give them full-size posters to post in their places of work if possible.
So, when I say your circle of influence, who exactly do I mean?
Your Circle of Influence
- Doctor’s Office
- Kids’ Teachers/ Sports Coaches
- Kids’ Doctors
- Your Spouse’s Circle of Influence
- Friends from Church/ or Place of Worship
- Your Art/Critique/Quilting Group
- Facebook & Other Social Media Groups to Which you Belong
I started with this group of people because they are the easiest and “non-threatening” group to deal with since you already have relationships with them.
However, having relationships with them doesn’t mean you should spam them. Don’t just send them the invitation/postcards without explanations. Get on the phone or meet and talk to them about what you’re doing and then give them your promotional material.
If you have to send it to them in the mail, make sure you add a handwritten note. Don’t send out mass mailings without personal notes. Keep in mind that you want to promote your art show not turn people off. And these are people you already know, so it should be pretty easy to write notes to them.
Promote Your Art Show on Social Media
Now, let’s move on to the internet. Don’t ignore social media. It’s a powerful way to draw attention and to promote your art show. Your following on social media form part of your circle of influence. The thing about social media is, you’re able to have a large following thus increasing your circle of influence.
So here is where you’ll be using the electronic version of your promo materials.
For all your social media accounts, post before the show, when the show opens, during the show and after the event (about the success of the show). Remember to use relevant hashtags when posting.
Create Facebook events, announcements and ads about your upcoming show. Keep your followers updated with open reception photos, photos of you at your solo show and more.
Send out frequent tweets about your upcoming event to promote your art show. You can also live blog on Twitter about say, your meet and greet or artist reception.
Use Instagram for invites and posting photos of the gallery layout and your artwork on the walls.
That’s it for using your circle of influence to promote your art show. In the next part of this series, we’ll work on reaching an audience beyond your circle of influence. See you then.
In the meantime, executing a successful show starts with a great plan. So download the free planning list now.
What are some of the ways you promote your art shows? Share your favorites below.
You may also be interested in the other titles in this series:
1: Planning for Your Solo Show
2: Curating Your Solo Show
3: Laying out Your Artwork
4: How to Promote Yor Solo Show
5: How to Write a Press Release
6: Installing/ Hanging Your Art Show
7. Opening Reception