Wednesday, September 16, 2009

art promotion

I had promised myself not to delve into another heavy topic, but after talking with my friend Monika over at splendid willow recently, I began to reflect on promotion and marketing. Or in my case the lack thereof. I readily admit that self promotion is the hardest part of being an independent artist (and business owner).

To my own ears, I just don't sound sincere when telling someone about my talent, skills, and general goodness. I am a little better at the behind-the-scenes stuff like maintaining an email list, sending out newsletters, and promoting events, but only to a small degree. I still have a hard time imposing my work and wares on other people. It seems like there must be a better, more organized, and less intrusive way of handling promotion through new media. Maybe not.
I am not spying, prying, or looking to steal your creative marketing ideas, but I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. If you are interested I'll be glad to share more of mine in future posts.

Speaking of self promotion, inleaf now has a page on facebook and I would love for you to become fans. It is not my intention to duplicate the blog over there. Instead I envision the facebook page to be a place where I will feature new work and publicize shows and other events. No pressure to join though – I know that the world is divided about "social networking" and its merits.


  1. you should capture email addresses through your website and blog from people who are interested in receiving news about inleaf. that way, it's not an imposition at all because they've opted in.

    we use vertical response at work to send newsletters and maintain our email lists. it's pay as you go.

    let me know if you have any questions about it.

  2. I read this the other day (perhaps you've already seen it?), and even though it doesn't address the questions you bring up on this post specifically, it may help a little bit as far as your discomfort with marketing yourself. I don't know...maybe you'll think it's a stretch, but I found it inspiring. And maybe what you need is to be inspired about how you are going to tackle marketing your work, if that makes any sense... Anyway, the link:

    Your work is beautiful and inspiring, and as so, worthy of beautiful and inspiring marketing...don't you think? What that marketing is, of course, I don't know...but I think it's important that you give yourself permission to advertise your work first -- and you may need to come to an explanation/plan (in your own words and terms) just like this other artist did, so that your goals and reasons are very clear and permeate all your work (including how you sell it)...

    Anyway. I know this is all easier said than done. From what I can see here, you are incredibly talented, Lotta. And I don't mind saying that one bit.


  3. Wow...its like you took the thoughts right out of my head. I am EXACTLY in this predicament. I am the total opposite of a salesman, yet that is what we are with our own labors of love, right? My intent is to come across to people as confident and happy with my work, not pushy. I think that would speak volumes.
    So here is how I am currently handling my own self-promotion:
    I am really putting my work out there. I read and apply much of what the Etsy Success shop owners suggest. Marketing is a new world for me so I am trying to educate myself as much as possible. Where I differ from actual interaction. I don't really bring it up unless it is natural. I just don't want to be pushy and it is sooo not me...I want to make good decisions to grow my business, but I want my work to speak for itself more. And I figure the best answer to this is being very visible in appropriate ways, ex: advertising, networking, treasuries, blog exposure, etc....
    Does this make sense?
    I could definitely use help in this area too :)

  4. Friends should write about your talent and work, so it will be more people who will know you.
    I will blog about you if you want.

    Would be interesting.

  5. Lotta Dear, you are not imposing your work. The world needs YOU!!! (That is the way I see it). How would people know you even existed if you did not tell them!!! (same goes for Blue Hour Designs). I will keep pushing and pushing! And hold your hand if needed. You are so talented Lotta. Cyber hug, Mon

  6. oh, wow, Lotta, you know i relate implicitly.

    but, in saying that, i've actually found my "mailings" work: i use postcards. people seem to like getting a piece of work in the mail.
    this year, i'm thinking of making calls, as well. though it terrifies me and i'm planning on having a friend do it for me.
    of course, the online world is vast and prolly quite useful, i like a world that still deals in the tactile.

  7. Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful comments. I will be return with specific ideas of my own. I encourage everyone to read like Maria suggested. Sarah's writing about the hand makers role in todays mass market and the relationship we have with our customers is absolutely perfect. A special thanks to Molly for yet again reminding me about the importance of the hands-on approach. I am making my own cards this week, to mail and to give out person to person...

  8. Hej / hi Lotta,

    Marketing can be tricky and it is important you embark on a strategy that harmonizes with your brand and where you want to take it.
    There are many ways to do this and they don't have to be intrusive or loud - effectiveness in my experience is to target well and to do it with style and sincerity. Your offer is amazing (your talent!) and your intention honest, and with that you will find a way that works for you.

    I worked many years with 'bran creation' and 'viral marketing' (seeding brands into a market segment) and would love to help you brainstorm.

    Jag skriver mer till dig via email.



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