Guerrilla Art Marketing, a different approach!

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Guerrilla marketing, what is it?  A proactive, get out of the arm chair, and get in the rumble of promoting your own artwork! Kinda like art marketing gone bananas!

This article is an extension to the Gallery Research, your next venue in selling your art. 

Previously discussed was how to approach the gallery by mail. 

In this approach, you get a little more involved!  After your initial visit when you made a stealth visit to the gallery and you've obtained the directors name and phone number, you're almost ready for this next step.

You're satisfied with the gallery in that it sells similar work to yours, the price ranges don't blow you out of the water, the look and feel of the gallery shows of professionalism and the staff was helpful and kind. 

Take up your phone and give the gallery a call. 

I know this sounds like a cold call,  but it's not.  It is a legitimate art marketing technique to improve your chances at gallery representation and is faster than awaiting responses to a mass mailing. 

Take courage in that you may have already met the director in your stealth visit, and now, put that person's face into your mind and RELAX.

When the phone is answered ask to speak with the gallery director.  When they are on the line, begin the conversation by stating on a recent trip, you visited the  gallery and were impressed with the professional staff and any thing else that impressed you. 

(Surely there were several things that you liked!)

location, decor, wall space, look and feel, etc. etc. But mostly, the art!

Let them know you too are an artist, and that you are coming to the area for another visit and would they give you 20 to 30 minutes of their time for you to show them some of your recent work? 

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Art Marketing, how to be quiet.

Then be very quiet! Allow the gallery owner time to answer. 

9 times out of 10 they are going to say, why don't you send slides/photos/CD.  You explain that the size of the work, or the method in producing it, the brush work, or the glossy finish, or the color's never seem to photo well and it's really best to be seen in person!  (Which is very true, nothing beats seeing art work live!)

Then again, be very quiet.  (This is really the hardest part)

Again, allow the owner time to answer.  Suggest that since you'll be in the area, its not any trouble to you, and that you think the visit will benefit both of you.

At this part of the conversation, you simply are arranging a face to face meeting.  We artist's are very interesting people and have a wonderful background story. 

So does the Gallery Owner!  And this meeting is for the two of you to get to that next level of involvement.

So lets assume that you are successful in arranging a meeting.

If you weren't, take heart. Hopefully you received an OK to send a brochure, and the director will now be looking for this mail. In it's cover letter mention your conversation!
Once your meeting is arranged, prepare well for it.  Bring only the best of your best work.  Dress appropriately and I shouldn't have to tell you to be groomed up nice. 

This includes brushing your teeth!  Nothing will destroy a great meeting than if you have a kicking dragon mouth! (Us guys tend to forget this)(Most women didn't need to hear any of this!) So prepare!

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After a bit of small talk, really break the ice with, "How did you get into the gallery business?"  or "What is the story about this wonderful gallery?"This is a Dale Carnegie technique where you are helping this gallery owner to relax and open up.  Why?  We are talking about hopefully, a very long term relationship, and you need to understand this individual.  It's also part of S. Covey's 7 Habits, Seek first to understand, then be understood.

Delay showing your work as long as possible in order to grow this relationship first.  Once your work is shown, and hopefully a good response, then explore the contract in detail. 

Questions that need to be answered at this time will be:

  • Commissions taken.
  • Discounts
  • Shipping
  • Payment Frequency
  • Featured Shows

Now that wasn't so bad was it!  You can practice this art marketing strategy with a friend just to help you get over any insecurities ahead of time with some role playing.

This concludes this short article on Guerrilla art marketing, I hope it helps you in your next move up in the art world!

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