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Marketing Crash Course


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Before you start marketing your project or your practice there are some very useful questions to ask yourself. Who is your audience? Who do you most want to come? Are they fine art curators, children, other artists, random normal members of the public, students peers, academics or potential employers? 

Knowing who you want to experience your project from the beginning means it will be a lot easier to write good marketing and it will be much easier to find the right people to share it with.

(Showtime Night Market – Image of a stall-holder. Photo by: Keelan O’Hehir)

Writing a marketing copy:

A marketing copy tells your audience about your project in the most exciting, intriguing way. Its primary purpose is to get people out of their house and down to experience your work IRL.

Your marketing copy is NOT your artist statement. That’s worth saying again. Your marketing copy is not your artist statement.

Your artist statement is important to give people a way to understand your work when it is in front of them. Your marketing copy is the text you need in order to get people in the same room as your art.

A marketing copy should be short and punchy. Don’t give away the whole work, but don’t make it too abstract either. It’s like a party invite, make it fun and use simple and accessible language.

Marketing copy:

  • Big picture
  • One key idea
  • Most interesting aspects
  • Short sentences
  • Helps hook people

Artist statement:

  • Details
  • Maps all your ideas
  • More complex writing
  • Helps people get a deeper understanding

Tip: open up a festival website or guide and read their marketing copy and follow a similar structure.

Tips for writing a good marketing statement:

  • Think about what sets your project apart from other things happening right now. What makes it different?
  • Use less than 200 words.
  • Use clear and simple language (avoid academic jargon).
  • Make it sound fun and inviting.
  • Tell people what it actually is, e.g. “An exhibition about xxxx”, “A one-night performance”, “A large-scale installation”.
  • A good trick is to think about how you would describe your project to a random person if you were in a bit of a rush.

Tips for making good marketing images:

Images are really important and it is worth spending time and money making a good image if you want to attract more audiences to your show. A good quality image will make people assume they are coming to see good quality art. For visual artists — it is important to make a distinction between a marketing image and an image of your artwork.

Make sure your images are:

  • Indicative of your project, but not giving it away entirely (snippets or close-ups of what you’ll be doing work well).
  • Attention-grabbing (contrast, colour, and depth work well).
  • Easy to read when small.
  • Free from text.
  • Not a poster or flyer.
  • Not a logo.
  • High resolution (but no larger than 1OMB).

Marketing touch points:

Once you’ve got your image and copy together you will need to distribute it through flyers, posters, websites, social media posts and targeted emails.

Word of mouth also works the best! Talk about your project to everyone. Your excitement will be infectious.

Start with your immediate circle and then ripple out from there:

  • Family.
  • Personal networks (friends and colleagues).
  • Potential advocates/champions (people who like your work).
  • Social media (community).
  • Printed collateral (reaching unknown audiences).
  • Press Release (news and media).