Marketing At the JPOpenStudios
A little about how we market the event and what you can do to make your experience the best possible!
If you build it, they will come... But, only if YOU tell them where YOU are!
Get on our Email List So much of what we do relies on you!
If you are not on our list, you might miss important dates, news about the event and opportunities for you as an artist.
Be sure you stay in the loop and get on our mailing list now.
Our talented volunteers and staff do their best to promote the Jamaica Plain Open Studios as a whole event. We also work hard to try to get the art lovin' public to get into the various different neighborhoods around Jamaica Plain. But, with over 200 individual artists, in 60 plus sites, even our best efforts need a little help from you.
So, here are some hints to help you get people into your own site!
(Remember, this is YOUR event. If you choose not to do anything to market yourself and your site, then you can probably stop reading this and we will agree to assume that you are happy with the number of people who show up. Otherwise, read on and make yourself famous!)
Things that your JPOS Volunteers and Staff do:
1. The Map - We print tons of these and send them out in the weeks before the event through the various local newspapers. We also distribute them to local hot spots around town.
YOU CAN HELP: contact us to get extra maps that you can send out or help out by making sure there is a map box at your local work/store/hangout and that it is full.
2. This Web Site - Our online directory gets tons of hits, expecially in September. And, people come back in October to try to find artists that they liked during the event, to buy pieces for personal display and for gifts!
YOU CAN HELP - make sure your directory is up to date and has some way for people to contact you. Better yet, upgrade to a Gallery Listing and get some images of your work up.
3. The Artist Binders - Every year, we put together a series of binders with pages of bios about participating artists and distribute them to local hot spots like the Library and JP Licks.
YOU CAN HELP: Make sure to check your email to find out the deadline to get in these books and get your materials to us.
4. Various online calendars, etc. - We publish information about the event in a ton of online resources. WHAT YOU CAN DO: If you find that your favorite arts and entertainment calendar does not have the event listed, go ahead and add the info and let us know where you posted it (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What YOU can do to get people to come visit you:
This information can be used to get people to visit you anywhere you are showing! Our very scientific (not!) polling of artists in various locations around our event shows that, even in brand new group sites or off the beaten path areas, artists who let people know where they are GET TRAFFIC! So, what are you waiting for?
1. Email your people! Someone once said, "it's not who you know, it's who knows you!" Yes, we all hate SPAM. What we are going to do is not SPAM. In fact, if you do it right, people will want to receive your announcements!
How to Send Your Eblast:
a) Write a short blurb: "Hi, I am showing my paintings/photographs/handmade concrete tabletops at my studio (address) during the Jamaica Plain Open Studios on Friday and Saturday from 11-6 pm. I would love it if you could stop by.
b) Add a small (400 pixels wide is pretty good) photo of your work, if you can. (ask a friend for help!)
c) collect all of the email addresses of your friends and family for starters. Don't worry that your cousin is in Hawaii. She may have friends in this area that she can pass your invitation on to.
Don't forget to put out a pad of paper and ASK EVERYONE WHO COMES BY YOUR DISPLAY if they would like to stay informed of future events, EVEN IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHEN THE NEXT ONE IS! Anyone who signs up really wants to know. And, if you don't give them an opportunity to sign up, you are doing them a disservice!
d) Start an email and put your own name in the To: field. And then put everyone else in the BCC field. This way, your address book is not exposed to the world! You worked hard to collect those addresses and you don't want to share it with just anyone! Plus, your friends will appreciate your sensitivity!
e) Press send.
f) Go back to the Studio
If you are really serious about keeping people in the loop, check out some email marketing programs. We use ConstantContact.There are lots of others out there. It is not as expensive as you may think! If you sell one piece because of an email campaign, would it pay for the service?
2. Make your own postcards -
Make your own banners, signs and postcards using your favorite image editing software or layout programs.
Check in with one of our favorite local printer to see what they can set up for you. Red Sun Press
Hire a friend who does graphic design to handle it.
Or... lots of options, just pick one.
And, then mail it out to everyone one in your rolodex. Don't forget to set the guest book out and ASK PEOPLE WHO COME TO VISIT YOU to be on your list.
3. Make arrows - Many of our artists are just off the beaten path, around the next corner, or way the heck on the other side of the hill. If you want to get people interested, lay out some bread crumbs along a higher traffic area
Use chalk to draw on the side walk
Scrible "Art Ahead", with an arrow pointing toward your studio and make 10 copies. Stick them up around your neighborhood.
Get some balloons and put them on the path.
Some Words of Caution:
Do NOT hang signs or Banners on CITY PROPERTY - You will get fined a lot of money!
Do NOT hang signs or banners on private property that is not yours, unless you get permission first.
Do NOT create signs that may be considered in bad taste. We, the artists, rely on our neighbors and the community to help us make this event fun and successful. If you tick them off... well... just don't. If you think there might be a question, then just don't do it. (At least, make sure the JPOS name isn't on it!)
Do NOT use these logos if you are not a registered artist. That infringement will cost you!
5. Official JPOS Banners - We have vinyl banners for sale or for loan (with a deposit) that you can hang outside your studio during the event. Stay tuned to your email to find out when and where you can get yours. Oh, look! There are examples of banners in place above. ;-)
6. The Rolling Opening -
This little tidbit came from an artist who was off the beaten path, but still wanted to participate. She gathered her list of friends, co workers, aquaintences, relatives and their friends and divided them up into groups based on their association to her.
Then she sent out an invitation to each group.
The first group invite was sent to 20 people who were relativesand said "Come to my opening during JPOS, Saturday from 11-2. Wine, snacks, and art, plus lively conversation! Bring a friend and get a free card!"
The second group invite was sent to 25 people who were her co-workers. It said "Come to my opening during JPOS, Saturday from 2-4. Wine, snacks, and art, plus lively conversation! Bring a friend and get a free gift!"
The third group invite was sent to another 20 or so people who were fans of hers. It said "Come to my opening during JPOS, Saturday from 4-6. Wine, snacks, and art, plus lively conversation! Bring a friend and get a free gift!"
And that was just Saturday. She did the same thing for Sunday. She said the hardest part was trying to find time for a potty break in between groups of people visiting her site.
7. Attend a Marketing Class- We have partnered with the Eliot School to co-sponsor a number of Marketing Classes for Artists, including how to get publicity, how to photograph your art for the web, and Social Media for artists. We may also have a few new courses, specific to the JPOS event. Stay tuned to your email for news about them.
If you are not sure how to market yourself, ask for help, attend a class, or use one of our hints. The web is filled with different ideas to help you make yourself famous and, incidently, have a great event experience!