It is not everyday that I get to conduct an interview here at The Colorist. And even rarer still the chance to hob-nob in the greater world of art business. Are you an artist in need of guidance in marketing your wonderful art? I'll take that as a yes.
Alyson Stanfield, the ArtBizCoach, has written a new book you must read:
I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion.
Yesterday, I linked you to her terrific web sites and the book info page. Everything at the ArtBizCoach is action-oriented. "Do This" is Alyson's catch phrase, and she is sure to get your business side up and running if you'll read this great reference and motivational book.
Perhaps because I have been remiss in getting out proper mailings, I was interested in the artist's newsletter. Some artists live entirely off of patronage from their mailing lists, and I wanted to know the best way to crack that nut.
Alyson, thanks for stopping in.
Casey, I'm really happy to be here. I knew you before you had a blog and I've enjoyed watching you build up your online presence. You're doing a fantastic job! What's on your mind today?
I want to know more about newsletters, both hard copy and e-mail types. Do you support the idea of a special newsletter for gallerists and/or museum curators?
Casey, I really don’t. I think they’re too busy to read your news and you’re too busy to write a couple of different types of newsletters. I’d feed them information the old-fashioned way: letters, brief email updates, etc. I recommend newsletters as a way to keep in touch with patrons.
Also, my patron newsletter I plan to make twice yearly, due to my slow studio production. Plus, I have the daily blogging for frequent news. What wisdom can you offer about newsletter frequency.
It depends on the format. A printed newsletter can be costly, so it doesn't make sense to do it more than two or three times a year. But I might bundle up some of your blog posts and do an e-newsletter in between the two printed versions.
As you know--since you read the book--I believe the most important criteria for writing good newsletters is having news. Everything else is secondary. If you can create good content that people want to read, you can easily do a monthly newsletter. Reread what I just said. I said, “that people want to read.” It’s not about what you want to tell them, but about what is of interest to them. People will make time for things they can relate to or are entertained by.
Also on newsletters, the best one I saw in Googling examples was a short and to the point one from a bar which included a discount coupon for hot wings. It had the brevity, the reminder and the hook. Can you offer some examples of artist's newsletters you feel hit it out of the park?
Very few artists hit a home run with their newsletters. One I particularly love is in I’d Rather Be in the Studio! and that is Elia Woods’ newsletter. It’s not all about her, but about the subjects (vegetables!) in her photo-transfer quilts.I particularly liked the chapter title: "Send a Killer Newsletter". Right away the task has gone from a business obligation, to how to excel and get results with one's newsletter.
I also enjoy Anne Leuck Feldhaus’s newsletter. Her brightly-colored paintings are always uplifting to look at and she features her animal rescue groups as well as another local artist in each issue. I commissioned two pair of earrings from an artist I found in her newsletter last fall!
As I see it, you have two options for hitting it out of the park with your newsletter: (1) Be a fascinating storyteller or (2) Be funny. All you have to do to see that I’m right is to recall why you read something and why you pass it along to your friends and family.Thanks for these answers, Alyson. Looks like I'm on track now to publish my killer newsletter. If you're reading my blog, and wish to be on my mailing list for a newsletter, send me your mailing address (snail mail) to caseyklahn (at symbol) Gmail dot com, no spaces. I also send a high quality postcard with an artwork image.
Interested in winning a free copy of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion? Visit this site, read the instructions, and enter. Your odds are good as she’s giving away a free copy on most of the blog tour stops. You can increase your odds by visiting the other blog tour stops and entering on those sites as well.