Do you struggle with how to market your artists’ open studio and get buyers through the door?

You are not alone I promise you. As an artist the very last thing you really want to do is endless marketing and sales. When just creating is so much more satisfying.

Opening up your House or Studio is both an exciting and exhausting thing to do. Ideally you’ll be part of an Art Trail; something you can set up yourself if there isn’t one near you. I set up the Newhaven Artists Trail, as part of the AOH/Brighton Festival Fringe, back in the UK, some years ago. It was a lot of work, but also helped to launch my professional art career and meet influential people.

One of the most critical things of course is getting the word out there and having the right visitors coming through. Sometimes it’s more about the quality than the quantity of your visitors. For example, would you rather have 100 random wanderers, or a few serious art buyers who invest in 1 or 2 of your pieces each?

Let’s look at the 10 steps you’ll need to follow to get those ‘right’ people to your doors.

How To Successfully Market Your Artists’ Open Studio And Get Buyers Through The Door.

How To Successfully Market Your Artists’ Open Studio: 10 Steps To Success:

1: Get Very Clear On Your Goal.

Ask yourself, what is it you specifically want to achieve? Is it: 

  • Numbers through the door?
  • Number of actual sales?
  • Amount of money made?
  • Number of mailing list sign-ups.

Most artists don’t even think about this when planning their art event, let alone when putting your Artists Marketing Plan together.

2: Create A Timeline To Your Event.

Ideally, you’ll start the big picture planning 3 months out. But what if it’s a bit closer? You still MUST make a timeline to market your artists’ open studio.

  • Use a paper or online system to track the 6-8 weeks prior (or less if you’re reading this with 3 weeks to go).
  • Clear out a good chunk of time each day.
  • List out any items you’ll need to action straight away.

For example you may need to get marketing material printed, so get into that action first. 

3: Define Your Ideal Target Market.

This is the NUMBER ONE MISTAKE I see happening. You must work out the following:

  • Who is your ideal customer avatar?
  • Where do they live exactly?
  • How will you attract them to your open studio?
  • List out the benefits for them in attending.
  • Why should they come to your open studio?

I talk about this subject a lot, and you can read my specific blog on the topic here: How to discover your ideal target market here.

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4: List Out What Marketing Strategies You Will Do.

Try not to have too many strategies, ideally you’ll focus on 3 – 5 max. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you got a budget, if so how much?
  • What Free Strategies can you easily do?
  • What Paid For strategies would be best? For example Facebook Ads.
  • Where do your ICA hang out most?
  • List out your Top 5 Strategies.
  • For Example: Live Video/Facebook Ads/PR/Instagram/Flyer Distribution.

5: Where Will You Send People (url)?

Otherwise known as a Call To Action. People are busy, so where can they get your info fast?

  • There must be one clear place to send people.
  • Make it a short and easy url (so people can remember).
  • Avoid sending them to your Social Media, as this is too random.
  • Use a Landing Page ideally, or your website.

Make sure all the information they will need is on this page, and links through to Google Maps, so they can use this to get them to your venue on the day.

6: Can You Build Your Mailing List?

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you’ll know by now I ALWAYS talk about List Building. So, on the venue page, can you add an opt-in pop-up box, so they can stay in touch with you?

Ideally you will offer them a Private View Invite in exchange for their email address.

  • Get yourself an Email Marketing Provider and set up a new List. For example a lot of people start out with Mail Chimp. I prefer Convert Kit, Aweber. Action Campaign or Get Response, but you must do your own research.
  • Create a simple opt-in and place it on your website.
  • This might be a challenge but it’s building your business, so get it done.

If this is a bit of a tech nightmare, then get in touch and I can direct you to my best resource to help you with it. That could be another blog, video on YouTube, or a Facebook Live video training.

7: Allocate Time To Plan/Create/Write Everything Out & GET ORGANISED.

This is why you should do THIS piece 3 months out. Because it’s the largest section, but the most important. Work your way down this list:

  • Write out everything you need to get done.
  • Project manage your Private Viewing as a side project.
  • Work out what physical materials you’ll need.
  • Get these designed and printed.
  • Write Copy for your website, Social Media, press release, emails, etc.
  • Create marketing graphics (on Canva/PicMonkey/Photoshop).
  • Use your Trail logo/graphics too.
  • Then list out in priority order.
  • Estimate how long each task will take.

8: See What You Can Delegate.

Don’t feel that you have to do all of this on your own!

  • If you are in a group, then delegate out all the tasks.
  • If you are part of a trail, this should be automatically done.
  • If you’re running solo, see who can help you out.

9: Diarise Your Actions For Each Day.

Don’t be tempted to skip this part, as it’ll keep you sane when everything else is going on! Learning how to market your artists’ open studio can be overwhelming, just know taking action, however small is going to make your art business grow. Keep focussed, you are nearly there.

  • Gather all the above information.
  • Plug it all into your diary.
  • Use coloured pens or markers to help visability.

10: Take Action & Monitor.

If you do a good job all this Marketing Plan, you’ll only need to do it ONCE. As you can re-use next time…

  • Keep an eye on what is working well.
  • Notice what isn’t working and see how it could be improved.
  • You’ll want your stats for next time.

Most importantly, please don’t rely on OTHER people to market your artists’ open studio. YOU need to do your equal part and be a ‘team player’. Just because there is a brochure, and some Social Media posts, this doesn’t mean you can do nothing! It definitely isn’t enough either, so get stuck in.

I have a Live Video (now the #Replay) training further into this topic on my Artists Marketing Academy Facebook Page. Watch the free training here.  

YouTube How To Successfully Market Your Artists' Open Studio