Newsletters are a marketing tool that any artist can employ to keep themselves top-of-mind among fans and potential buyers.
You know why you’re writing the newsletter: to promote and further your career as a professional artist. Now you have to ask yourself, “Why will people want to read my newsletter?”
Here are some tips to create a newsletter that people will want to read.
1. Be consistent. Your newsletter is a reflection of your professionalism. Pick a day every month say, the 1st or the 15th and make sure that your newsletter always goes out on the day you select.
2. Be brief. We’ve all read newsletters that are far too long. Set a hard limit for yourself – the reader should not have to scroll down in their browser more than once to view in its entirety. If your newsletter takes up more space than two full screen views, it's too long. Focus on writing brief, punchy paragraphs. In the age of information overload, brevity is key.
3. Be creative. You're an artist; you want your newsletter to look good! Be sure to include lots of images of your work and links to your website. Your newsletter is a reflection of your artistic self in addition to your professionalism.
4. Make it about something more than your career. This goes to the heart of why people will want to read your newsletter…because it's interesting. Talk about what you're seeing and hearing in the art world and the world at large. If you write about what you care about, it will be interesting to readers as well.
A critical part of your newsletter is the process of building and maintaining your email list. Once it is set up (minor tinkering aside) it will become a matter of pushing a few buttons to send your newsletter to everyone you wish to read it.
Creating Your Newsletter Emailing List
When building your email newsletter list, it's important to ensure that you use an “opt in” approach. Invite them to join the list before making them a permanent part of your newsletter marketing. Once you know they want to receive the newsletter you can add their email to your contacts.
1. Start with people you know. Send them an invite and get your friends and family to sign up to receive your newsletters.
2. Invite people to receive your newsletter when you exhibit at shows. A signup sheet or book is essential, but also provide the option of leaving their business card.
3. Your website should have a button so that people can easily ask to receive your newsletter.
4. Encourage friends on Facebook to subscribe to your newsletter.
5. Correspond with other newsletter writers and arrange for reciprocal plugs in their newsletters.
6. Capture email from people who buy your work and ask if they'd like to receive your newsletter
7. Collect business cards from everyone you talk to at art shows and relevant events. Once a month send out an email to those whose cards you collected inviting them to join your email list.
8. Near the end of your newsletter, ask people to forward it to friends and invite them to subscribe.
Creating Your Newsletter
Think in terms of regular sections, much like a newspaper or magazine. Keep in mind that you want to develop a newsletter that carries an appeal beyond yourself and your work.
1. An Advice or Tips Column: You're a professional artist and your experience is valuable to other artists who may be encountering similar challenges. Career anecdotes are often a good way to humanize your newsletter.
2. Local or Relevant Art News: Establish yourself in your community. Share news about shows, seasonal events, classes.
3. Link to informative or interesting websites: If you visit art-related sites on regular basis, share them with you readers. You can become an authority on quirky or interesting art news.
4. Write about your current and upcoming work, events or other projects. Include dates and locations for any showings and always include a link to your Artspan web site.
5. Share your works-in-progress. Share pictures of your studio and of sketches and drafts of your latest work.
A Few Don'ts
Now that you're on your way to creating a newsletter, here are a few quick “don'ts” to consider before you begin sending it out.
1. Be responsive to people who ask you to unsubscribe to your newsletter. With the high volume of spam today, you want people to look forward to your newsletters, not consider them a nuisance. 2. Don't add people to your newsletter email list without first inviting them (via email or otherwise) and receiving a response in the affirmative.
3. Don't forget to double-check any links you include in your newsletter to make sure they are active.
While the newsletter is a simple and straightforward tool, don't forget that it should always reflect both your professionalism and your creativity. They should be interesting to read, interesting to write and provide benefit to your audience.
Oh, and don't forget to include us on your email list, we're looking forward to reading your newsletter!