... promote myself
The playing field
In order to promote yourself well you have to understand the rules of play in your discipline. Not to be able to comply with them precisely, but to be able to play your own game within them. The personal approach is always the best: make sure your presentation and your promotional material fit in with who you are and with the nature of your product.
Think about a business card, portfolio, folder and website, but also about advertisements and press releases. No matter what resource(s) you choose, your promotional material should give insight into your work and speak to your target group. It is important that it looks neat and professional. Consider asking others to write about your work. You should choose what fits you, not only in the design but in the form also. If you are rarely online, then make a folder instead of a website. If you do have a website, mention the url on your business card. You can make your promotional material very expensive (also in the time you invest in it!), but for €100 you can have a business card and a portfolio on paper or on cd-rom. Check out what your collegues are doing and learn from that.
Use your network to promote yourself as much as possible. Make sure your network is aware of what you’re involved in by talking about it, or by making a mailing list which you can use if you have an exhibition, take part in an exchange, etc. Always carry business cards with you and be active in conversations.
Of course you can always promote yourself everywhere, but one opportunity is better than another, and the way you promote yourself varies with each situation. In conversation at a party you might talk about what you do; at a fair you give a presentation of your work and pass out folders. Visit exhibitions and presentations and don't be afraid to talk to people you haven't met before.
Promotion by others
You can also hand the promotion over to an agent, a gallery, etc. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything yourself: you always have to provide material for the promotion, such as photographs, a CV, etc. And of course showing your work on the websites of other people, in a gallery or in the brochure of a producer, for instance, is also promotion.
Going on the road
Acquisition also involves succes but also rejection. Don’t take it too personally. Ask why you got rejected, you can learn a lot from the answers. Be friendly and considerate, if not now, maybe later you can do business together.
- marketing in the art sector(pdf)
- making printed matter (pdf)
- writing a press release
- networking (pdf)
- Advertising (pdf)