One of the concepts (epiphany moments) which came out of the New Year's Eve meeting of creative minds I blogged about was self-promotion and how that varied from marketing. Up to now I have centered my efforts (never as extensive as my creative ones) on marketing. This I did largely through participation in higher and higher end shows. As they are also the ones which cost the most money, last year's economy brought a lot of that to a screeching halt. I had finished and opened the studio and I thought it would take up the slack of the three fairs I dropped. NOT.
I had not totally grasped consciously that I had to also replace the promotion those fairs gave me for the cost of entry. Fairs are not just an exposure to a market but they also have websites and brochures and postcards and advertising which promotes not merely the event but the artists juryed into the event.
I did spend a lot of effort last year with networking and posting blogs and links that got me high up on the list of mentions in Google. But blogs and websites are still not as effective promoting yourself as articles in magazines. And here comes the Catch 22. I have worked as a freelance writer and am master of the query letter but magazines don't want article written by the subject. Pen name? I do have one which I have not used in a while. Or do I ghost for someone willing to submit in their name? Or do we as artists promote each other? Or do I approach my friends in the media on a personal level and say, "Hey, how about me?"
Yesterday, while still mulling over those questions, I sat down and developed a "game plan" for 2010 to promote my studio. Obviously I am going to have to spend some money on advertisements. The art tour I belong to is set up to do out of my immediate neck of the woods but is that enough in the height of the art season? I win prizes for my work and I need to really capitalize on that.
How have other artistic readers of this blog dealt with these issues? How do you shamelessly self-promote?