12 Parts to a Successful Visual Artist Press Kit
Before we start, in case you’d rather download this info as a pretty little PDF for easier reading (plus 4 bonus tips) here it is!
Let’s not waste time.
Here’s the article:
Running your art business and creating your works of art can seem overwhelming to say the least. But it’s worth having a complete press kit. It can give you a leg up and make you feel “put together”.
More than that, having a collection of media on hand to give anyone who wants to buy, publicize or learn more about your work feels really good.
A press kit will drastically cut down on the feeling you can get when it comes to publicizing or marketing your small business. Because at any time, you can refer people to it for a complete visual summary of you and your work.
What exactly is a press kit?
A press kit is a bundle of content comprising everything a person or agency would need to know in order to promote, learn about or need in order to decide to buy your art. And a good Press Kit answers everything about you professionally and succinctly. More importantly, it allows you to stop having to repeat yourself.
Why a Press Kit is Essential?
Your press kit gives potential reporters, businesses, venues, bloggers, patrons, fans and publications the best sense of who you are along with all the media they need to make a decision about whether or not they will be involved with you in one way or another. It tells why your work is desirable, collectible, exclusive and/or profound. In essence, it’s one of your best, in-the-trenches, gorilla warfare marketing tools!
Besides showing them who you are, you’re also giving people a tangible way to remember you once they’ve left your presence.
This fact alone makes you 100 times more memorable and creates a piece of marketing memorabilia that can be used and passed along without any additional work or effort by you.
Mindset on Profit and Loss:
Before you start, you need the right mindset. I’ve learned so much from being fortunate enough to work with people like Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi. The one thing they constantly preach is mindset. So, let’s start with this:
The more you trade your time for money, the more your success will be limited, But by the nature of your business, you already must spend most of your time creating because that’s the one thing you can’t automate, your talent.
That means the more you can “set it and forget it” with other things in your business, the better!
Life is less and less about the 9 to 5 and your competitors who’ve ditched it to run a small business like you are automating and building their businesses online at lightning speed. So we need to get you positioned for the win right now!
Here are 3 reasons to set up your creator press kit:
- It Does the Work For You
- It Boost Professionalism
- Reduces the Need to Retell
And it’s highly unlikely reporters or marketers will choose to write about you if they have to do the legwork of searching and putting the information together themselves.
So, with that being said, you can start by completing another piece to your marketing foundation. Let’s get your press kit ready to give to anyone who needs it.
NOTE: Most of your press kit will be content you type into a PDF. Some will be digital. Post your press kit on your website where it is easily accessible to everyone. And have printed copies too.
The Quick List of What’s Inside Your Best Press Kit
- Ultra Short Bio
- Artist/Creator Statement
- Biz Card
- Contact Info
- Press Releases
- Video & Streaming
Here’s the list that defines each piece.
The 12 Essentials
1. Ultra Short Bio
This bio for your Press Kit is best when it’s written like a friendly letter and no more than 140 words. Be yourself. Be relatable and approachable. And add one or two interesting bits of info to highlight the essence of your personality, baby! This gives everyone a great sense of who you are without having to read a novel.
2. Artist/Creator Statement
Your artist statement is different from your bio because it tells more specifically WHY you create your works of art in the first place. It tells about the inspiration behind your work, and what you hope to achieve with it. For example, you may create your work to enlighten, entertain, empower, or move people in some way.
A list of these, if applicable, will give credence to your work. Don’t worry if you haven’t had any exhibitions or shows yet or if it has been a long period of time since any occurred. Be honest. Tell readers if you’re new, if you’re seasoned, or if you’re just now starting to branch out again after a long break. They’ll appreciate your honesty.
Anything you can add about your schooling, training or awards is an important piece to filling in the puzzle about you. Don’t be embarrassed if your list doesn’t match the ideal image you have of yourself as an artist. Every one of us begins somewhere and being proud of your accomplishments shows that you value your efforts and the path you’ve taken thus far. Be the authentic, real you.
And whether these are group shows, collaborations, solo exhibits, classes you’ve taught, or trainings you’ve taken, add all of them to your press kit starting with the most recent.
Often you’ll be surprised at how well-represented, publicized and trained you are!
Today, the Internet has obviously replaced television and newspaper as the top source for marketing. An artist without a website is losing out and we can’t have that! It is mandatory to create a beautiful web presence these days, so be sure you’ve got this one nailed down!
6. Biz Card
Another fantastic piece not to be overlooked and often under-rated is the business card. With so many unique options today, your business card can become a work of art itself. Hop on to any of the many sites available to get yours now. Be sure to make your name, logo, genre/medium/style and contact info the most prominent part of the card. Keep it simple and clear to make it most effective.
7. Contact Info
Regarding your contact information, more is best. Include your email, phone number, address (if applicable), website and social media channels.
Often it feels as if email is enough. But that’s no longer a best practice. By providing more ways to connect, you increase the volume of contacts you can potentially get and, of course, that’s the goal!
8. Press Releases
If you have any current press releases, share them. The more press coverage the merrier. When people see you being promoted, they’ll want to jump on board to promote you too. Be sure to provide links and keep these up to date.
Don’t be shy about telling everyone where you’ve been publicized. Write about it in blog posts. Continue to add to your online presence. Remember, this provides a footprint of your public past. Use brochures, news releases or postcards in this part of your digital and print package.
Collaborating with businesses, bloggers or other artists is a fantastic way of giving additional credibility to your work as an artist. It shows you’re open to working as part of a team. It tells others you are willing to give your own time and effort for the good of a group. In essence, you are showing that you are someone they will want to work with and/or support.
If you have pricing that is consistent, then by all means, include it. If you have a range, then it’s also important to include it along with defining attributes that affect the price.
12. Video and Streaming
Today, video is as important in many cases as are still images. Most people are now putting videos online or streaming live. If you have a YouTube channel, use IGTV, or anything similar, then include the URLs and/or your usernames.
Here’s an example of a simple YouTube video showing street artist, Banksy’s, work. It takes very little time to put these kinds of videos together, but adds a huge impact on your marketing. To learn how to do one for yourself, go here.
As you follow this roadmap down the path to creating your fabulous artist Press Kit, here’s what to keep in mind. These last tips will ensure it ends up looking polished and professional.
The Final Touches To Polishing Up Your Press Kit
~ Choose a maximum of two fonts (one is best). If you use two, keep one as the main font and one as a secondary, complimentary font. I prefer mixing modern with an easy-to-read cursive font. See my logo for more on that.
~ Always include your logo on each part of your press kit. If your logo is simply your name, then be sure it is placed at the top and is a visible element everywhere.
~ Include your contact information on each sheet or digital piece of material in your kit.
~ Use high quality materials for all of your print media and high resolution images and design for all of your digital media.
Having this essential press piece in place will be a building block to helping you create the profitable artist lifestyle you desire as well as help you look put-together and professional.
Self-promotion is sometimes a bit difficult, I know, but selling your artwork or creative products largely depends on it. Don’t worry about being absolutely perfect, just get it together and get it out there. You won’t regret it.
You got this!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Paula Soito is the founder and CEO of Arts Row, a regular contributor for Art Market Magazine, an international publication spotlighting the world’s most highly respected, living artists. Her articles, tools and courses have helped spur growth in the growing global arts industry which at the time of this writing tops $67bn in total volume by sales (2018 TEFAF Art Market Report artmarketmonitor.com). Her work has been published in print in Barnes & Noble and in digital and has been seen in countries around the world including the US, UK, and Canada. Paula Soito has written for and been featured in Follow Magazine, Barnes & Noble, Rand McNally, EBSCO and more….