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Author Topic: Selling- Marketing Photography  (Read 4953 times)
Bro.Luke
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« on: July 01, 2008, 09:43:30 AM »
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Hi,

Well I must admit this is happening to me in a kind of reverse fashion out of my control.
Briefly my interest in photography and work at professional and semi pro work (asmp assistant, college lab tech, 2 year degree, ran a small product studio) over the past 10 years has guided me towards landscape photography. No sooner did I start really concentrating on this field I was "given" and Epson Pro4000 printer and an art gallery...yea an art gallery!

The owners of the gallery love my work and want me to fill it up and have given me complete control over the situation. I've figured out the printer and gotten most of the technical aspect figured out but the business marketing end I am wholey unprepared for. First off the move to the location-Tubac Arizona-totally drained my funds over a 3 month period. It's off season and that's a benefit as I have time to prepare for more of an opening come September/ October but that's be TOMORROW!

So far I have 15 decent framed prints on the walls. Another 50 (so far I add about 2 a day) "clearbag" mounted on  stiff board 13 x 19 prints and About 100 art cards of about 25 images and another small sampling of postcards.

I'm starting to feel like I'm close to advertising as it's not a semi empty room any longer but still not the best I can do...

The over head is embarassingly low and I have work on the property which is paying for rent and some materials. Real slow and about a $500 budget if no sales till season starts.

But I don't even know the questions to ask! I have been reading Alain Briots book and considering his CD about marketing...any reviews of his approach?

Obviuosly I'm in a weird place..the dream situation with no money to invest and not a track record to approach a bank for a loan. I finally figured out I need some advice or I will lose this opportunity more form frustration than lack of money....That budget is killing me and I need some solid direction so I'm not wasting my money as every dime counts...literally!

ANy advice would be greatly appreicatted! I'm working on a web site and hope to have that in short order to share the actual photographs.

Thanks,

Warren Allen
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spotmeter
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2008, 11:04:23 PM »
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The first part of any successful marketing campaign is to create an attractive, inviting gallery. I personally like ones that have benches where you can sit to look at the art. Make sure that no lights are glaring in your eyes from anywhere you sit or stand.

Second, you want to have a guest book so that you can contact your visitors again and again. A small number will buy on impulse, but more will buy on a second, third or fourth visit. You need to remind them that you are still in business, and of any new shows or prints you have.

Third, it is important to brush and floss your teeth, and rinse with hydrogen peroxide. You would be surprised how many gallery owners have bad breath! Dress and groom your hair to be like your visitors.  Avoid tatoos, earrings for men, and weird hair colors or styles. Keep your art on the walls and off your body.

Fourth, greet your visitors with warmth, ask them where they are from, and what they like in art. In other words, be nice. Too many gallery owners treat their visitors with disdain. Always give them a gift (postcard is fine) that has your contact information on it so that they can get back to you.

If someone complains about something in your gallery or art, thank them, and tell them how much you appreciate their comments. If they compliment your work, thank them also.

If you use any special or unusual equipment, you may want to create an area in your gallery with photos that explain how you use it. A short biography is also helpful, as many will want to know how you got into photography.

All of this is the core of marketing. It is what creates good word of mouth advertising. People who like you and your work may not buy, but they will talk positively about you to others who will.

Next, you need to find out who buys art in your town. Is it permanent residents, winter residents, or tourists. Other gallery owners will help you with this. Then you need to find out how to let these people know about you. Direct mail is good. You may be able to get lists of winter residents and send them a postcard with your best image, an announcement of your opening, and a time-limited X% off for their first purchase.  Other store owners may let you display a stack of postcards in their store.

Get the local paper to do a story on your opening, and then get permission to reprint the story. It will make a nice handout to your visitors.

Everyone needs healthcare, so see if the local doctors would be interested in hanging your work in their office with a small card showing the location of your gallery.  You may have to offer them a discount.  Local restaurants may also hang your work on their walls.

Hope this helps.
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BruceHouston
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2008, 01:00:11 AM »
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Those are priceless suggestions, Spotmeter.  Thank you; I too can use this advice.
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fotomachi
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 02:47:38 PM »
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Quote
Get the local paper to do a story on your opening, and then get permission to reprint the story. It will make a nice handout to your visitors.

I don't know anything about organizing photographic expositions, but I would certainly think about this seriously. I used to work in a second hand bookstore as a student in the weekends for some extra pocket money. It started out small scale but the owner had a "nose for business". Two times a year, he organized something in his store, usually expositions about a writer or poet (and he usually had several special works, like autographed books, limited or first editions, notes from the author, etc.). He had a friend working at a newspaper that was always happy to write an article about the exposition in the weekend edition. The number of people these weekend edition articles drew to his store were phenomenal... The only drawback - from my POV - being the relatively high number of "self-proclaimed artists" visiting the exposition - if you know what I mean... Also, he always had something special made for the occassion of the exposition: limited edition posters, limited edition books, limited edition reprint, ... but always "limited edition". These were sold at a decent price and left a good impression on the visitors. These sold especially well to collectors.
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Bro.Luke
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2008, 09:39:25 PM »
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Wow!

All great stuff...thanks!

Sorry for the delay in responding but I was on a trip and had no access to the internet.

I'm having a small opening this week end yikes! Luckily I won't be the focus of attention so a nice dry run. Another artists has climbed on board so we'll have a full room gallery for the most part so I'll try to put in some of your suggestions soon.

Thanks again.
BTW the gallery if located in Tubac Arizona, 14 Calle Iglesia just behind the Presidio if a small plug is allowed. We're having an open house for a rehabbed adobe on the compound Sunday Sept 21st 2008

All welcome! Mention LL!

Thanks,

Warren
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BlasR
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2008, 09:03:10 AM »
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The CD is excellent .

You should get it

Good Luck

BlasR


But I don't even know the questions to ask! I have been reading Alain Briots book and considering his CD about marketing...any reviews of his approach?
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plugsnpixels
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2008, 11:34:21 AM »
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Info on Alain Briot's marketing and fine art printing training materials can be found here and here.
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Free digital imaging ezine
http://www.plugsandpixels.com
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