Your marketing mix is a blend of actions you take—both online and offline—to promote your art.
Your ideal mix is your ideal mix and nobody else’s.
You have to figure out what works best for you, especially if you're trying to make a living from your work.
At the same time, all of the options for where to spend time and energy could drive a person batty.
Should you be on Twitter?
Should you purchase an ad?
Should you send another email?
I suggest considering 3 criteria for deciding whether or not to make a task part of your marketing mix.
1. You are seeing results.
After you have implemented a marketing task consistently over time, are you benefiting from it?
Notice the words “consistently” and “over time.” You can’t try something once or twice and say it didn’t work. You have to have made a commitment to doing it on a regular basis. Perhaps you do it monthly for a year or weekly for 6 months.
Sporadic action doesn’t result in a good test sample.
The benefits you seek from your marketing might include any combination of the following:
- More sales
- More opportunities for teaching or exhibiting
- More sign-ups in your classes
- More names on your mailing list
- More engagement from friends and fans
- More referrals
- More connection to others
- More visitors to your site
After doing the task consistently over time, do you see any of the above?
When we get results, we are more likely to enjoy the task and improve at it. This brings me to the second criterion for deciding what to add to your marketing mix.
2. You enjoy it.
There are marketing tasks that you must do—regardless of whether or not you enjoy them. For example, you must create, maintain, and use your mailing list because it’s your most important asset.
While you won’t like all of the tasks that make your business hum, you won’t be effective if you absolutely detest doing something—even if you’ve seen it work for another artist. Pouring that kind of rotten energy into a job that’s supposed to be about connecting people to your art has disaster written all over it.
Don’t waste your time on such tasks, and don’t waste your followers’ time.
By example, I saw great benefit in doing my weekly podcast for 2.5 years, but I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t like reading the same text I had written for my newsletter. There were other ways I wanted to spend my marketing time and additional ways I wanted to add audio to my offerings.
I discontinued my original podcast in 2011 and revived it in an updated format (that's more fun for me) in 2016.
There are plenty of things you could be doing to promote your art, so why waste your time on something you despise?
Again, you can’t enjoy every aspect of each ingredient in your marketing mix. Hopefully you will enjoy most of the process or at least appreciate the benefit you receive from doing the work.
3. It’s the best way to spend your time and resources.
Here are three examples of what it means to use your time and resources wisely:
- If you are GREAT in person, you should be out there networking and meeting new people. Plenty of people build businesses in this traditional manner rather than spending time on social media. Work to your strengths.
- If you have only $500 to spend, it’s better to send postcards to your list instead of buying an ad. You have to consider long-term benefits, and the list (your most important asset) always wins when it’s one of the possibilities.
- If you’re at the point in your art career that you seek gallery representation, you’d get much more from visiting and networking in galleries than from sending a bunch of emails. Yes, it takes even more time and effort to do this, but it rarely works to send a bunch of emails to people who have no idea who you are.
What’s your ideal marketing mix?
Do you have a list of tasks you implement consistently?