Art Marketing: The Benefits of Word of Mouth Marketing For Artists
Word of mouth marketing is a simple, free and a very effective art marketing technique for artists to utilize. Word of mouth is the process of an artist verbally passing on information to others about their art / exhibition / show / event / site etc. Word of mouth marketing (or WOMM) is often overlooked by artists as an effective marketing tool but think about your own experience and decision making processes. Hearing about something from a friend or other trusted source provides more credibility then a paid advertisement, brochure or e-mail alone. People prefer to have personal contact and often make decisions based on personal recommendations from people they trust.
When exploring WOMM consider the following:
Who – Who would be most likely to share my message?
What – What would they say? Will it be a positive message?
How – How many people will they tell?
Negative messages in WOMM spread fast and are not easy to recover from so always make sure you are spreading a positive message. Never bash competition or argue with customers. If a bad experience happens with a possible message spreader then the best thing to do is to do you best to resolve any disputes fairly and remember to smile! Don’t believe in the old adage “the customer is always right?” Well, I have been to a lot of art fairs and something that I see way too often is when a fair attendee critics a piece of an artists work and rather then either ignoring them or chatting with them to get better insight (real or just polite) the artist gets upset and defensive. This leads to the artist attempting to “teach” the attendee a thing or two about art. Then, rather then the attendee not spreading any message at all he/she tells all their friends how nuts the artist is and exaggerates the flaws in the art to make a point. Now, rather then no message a negative message with the artists name attached has been sent out. You may think “well, its just one person” but take a look at the chart below to really understand the power of word of mouth for artists. Now think about how much damage could be done if that message spreader knows someone who knows some big decision makers in the art world you were hoping to please.
Please excuse the middle finger graphic but this image from growmap.com is a
great visual example of how word of mouth works!
Make every interaction (physically or digitally) be a positive one and use the power of word of mouth to propel your art success to great levels.
All you have to do is tell someone!