In light of my Press Bootcamp finishing up, I’m thinking all about the best and the worst of getting press for your art business.
It’s really fabulous when you get a media placement and everything works out and you have these amazing results – lots of new subscribers, fantastic feedback about how amazing your art is, and even a few sales!
But then on the flip side, it’s kind of awful when you get a media placement and the results are totally disappointing – a handful of new subscribers (if any!), no feedback about your art, and a completely empty PayPal account.
CUE THE SLIDE WHISTLE.
It can bum you out and make you think that you’ve done something wrong. You didn’t show the right pieces or answer the interview questions well. Or maybe you picked the wrong publication. Or – and I hear so many artists saying this – maybe your art just isn’t good enough for people to like it.
I hate to think that you’re out there losing confidence in your art just because a media placement didn’t wow you with the results.
The truth is that we have unrealistic expectations about media placements because so many people (myself included) hype them to us.
Media placements are awesome and can transform your business.
But each individual feature or interview usually isn’t the sort of thing that’s going to transform your art business.
It’s the growth you get from doing a lot of them that truly makes the difference for art businesses.
BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T MAKE THE MOST OF EACH INDIVIDUAL MEDIA PLACEMENT.
The first thing to do when you get published? Email your list!
A lot of artists are nervous to email their lists. While you shouldn’t do it every day or several times in a week, it’s great to email your fans whenever you get in the media because it’s exciting for them to!
It makes it clear that you’re a busy, working artist with things happening in your business.
It shows that curators (writers, bloggers, editors, reporters, etc) love your art too, which makes fans feel validated in their love for your work.
And it helps them remember you so that when it’s time for them to buy art, they think of you first just because they saw your art the other day.
The second thing to do after you land the PR? Grab the masthead or logo and find a place for it on your website.
If you have a special Press page, that’s of course a great place to put this (and include a photo and a link if you can).
You could also put it on the bottom of your homepage next to text like “As seen in:” or on your about page in a similar way.
And the biggest change to make when you get press is to add it to relevant listings on your website.
Go find the sales pages for each of the pieces featured (including prints of the same image) and add a photo of the magazine’s cover or the logo or just a screenshot of what the article looked like with your art in it.
If there’s a link, you probably don’t want to include it here because it would take people away from the buying page.
But pictures are great and you do want to name the of the publication in the text as well like, “This piece was published in Elle Decor in October 2016.”
THIS IS THE MOST POWERFUL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE BECAUSE IT COMES IN RIGHT WHEN THEY’RE THINKING ABOUT BUYING THE ART BUT THEY’RE STILL QUESTIONING.
They’re wondering if their hipster friends are going to make fun of them for picking this artwork. They’re wondering if their husband is going to hate it. They’re wondering if they’re going to hate it in 5 years.
And when you jump in with a trustworthy source (practically any media feels trustworthy to most people) saying that the art is fantastic enough to put in their publication, all those fears float away.