Following on from my last blog post, Opening Your Studio to the Public, this post looks at ways to market your Open Studios Event.
If you are taking part in a wider Open Studios Event then most of your marketing will have been done for you. You will be featured in their brochure with information about your studio and where to find you. And, if you are lucky, yours might be the featured artwork for their flyer. All this information should be on their website too with links to your website and a short profile about you. To see an example of this go to York Open Studios.
BUT you will not be the only artist that the event organisers are promoting so if you want to drive more visitors to your studio door you can tempt them in with a marketing campaign of your own.
|North Yorks Open Studios|
What's in it for them?
You may want to offer a little "sweetener" or discount to every person who buys something from you at the event but don't leave it too late to tell them about the offer. If your Open Studio Event has an official flyer or brochure you can attach your own flyer offering a discount or free gift to every visitor - provided they bring the flyer with them. The discount might be offered on purchases over £50 or £100. Post out or give the flyers out to everyone on your customer database, friends, family and anywhere that you place your paper advertising.
Reaching Wider Audiences
Your event organiser will probably be using Facebook and Twitter to promote the event, updating their blog and even posting in a Linked In group. If you have a Facebook Page make sure that you "like" their page and ask them to "like" yours. Set up a Facebook Event and invite all your friends, making sure that your avatar image shows you or your art. Post regular updates about the event and add links to the official website. Check out your event organiser's Twitter, if they are using a hash tag make sure you add it to every tweet you send about the event, this will make yout tweets more prominent.
Electronic marketing is fabulous and costs nothing but time. this type of marketing is possibly more effective than printed information as it can reach a wider audience. If you have a customer email database then setting up an event on Evenbrite and sending out an E-flyer on Mailchimp makes you look highly professional and you can add images too. Evenbrite will send out reminders to your customers a week before the event and even jog their memories a day before the event if they have booked on-line.
|Suffolk Open Studios 2012|
Even if the visitor didn't make a purchase at your Open Studio Event you will still want to give them the opportunity to keep in touch and find out about your new work in the future. A prominently placed Visitors Book (with a pen) will give the public the opportunity to feed back about your work and studio. If it is accompanied by a sign that says "Do you want to subscribe to our newsletter? Please leave your details" this will remind them to write down their email or postal address. Also, if you haven't started a customer database this may be the time to start one.
Keep in touch - send a short email or letter thanking them for visiting your studio, or for saying nice things about your work and personally invite them to your next event. But don't overdo it - everyone who signs up to a database has the right to be removed from it too.
So all that remains is for me to wish you every success at your Open Studios Event. If you found this post helpful or you have anything to add please use the Comments Box.