I got this question from a gallery start up recently. What would you do if you were new and wanted to get established?
- You cannot leap frog time: Marketing a new business takes time. All the techniques you employ will make an impact but time is the most powerful tool. The longer you show up the more you are noticed.
- Dominate What You Can Afford: New businesses want to spread their marketing to lots of places. OK if you’re cash supply is unlimited but… that’s rare. So it is best to dominate what you can afford. One impression does not do anything. You need multiple impressions over long periods of time to build trust. But pick an audience (a single magazine or perhaps two) and be in every issue with the largest ad you can afford. (If you cannot be in every issue, use one fewer publication and smaller ads.) Being seen consistently is critical.
- Look Successful: How? Size, design (elegance) and what you are featuring (quality art).
- Halo Effect: They may not know and trust you. Who do they trust? Hire that person as your spokesperson or at least offer a testimonial. It helps.
- Put Customers to work: Those who love you should tell others. They won’t think of it on their own. Ask (graciously) for recommendations. “Is there a collector you know that might not be aware of us?
- Be everywhere that matters. Be seen. (Tastefully)
- Generate Publicity: Find something newsworthy you can do. Local press is a great place to start. Newspapers, Magazines (local), Radio and Television. Have a lecture series, a celebrity come to town, hold an event, make a major donation.
- Don’t let up. You may think you’re everywhere and visible but it takes many impressions before people notice you. Meanwhile you think your message is getting old. It’s not. Be consistent in message and keep it visible.