Updated: Mar 6, 2018
Part 1 of 5 Part Series.
So, you've been accepted to the County Studio Tour and you want to make it the best weekend ever...I've got some ideas for you.
You’ve received your acceptance notice for the County Studio Tour, and you are wondering what happens next. Or, you’ve been accepted, you’ve done the tour before and you want to make this the best year yet on the tour. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be publishing a series of articles to help you have your best County Studio Tour ever.
Before we get started, some facts… What does your money pay for when you sign up for County Studio Tour? Mainly, it goes into a pool that pays for BROAD-BASED marketing to the target audience.
Catalog Design and Printing
County Studio Merchandise
What it doesn’t pay for…
targeted marketing to YOUR customers
email blasts to YOUR lists
facebook posts to YOUR followers
instagrams to YOUR followers
custom postcards to YOUR clients, friends, family, contacts
Understanding this is the key to having a successful tour.
"It is NOT enough just to pay your entry fee and wait for people to find you on the tour."
Over the next couple of months, I'll be publishing 5 bi-weekly articles starting with this one. I’ll share some thoughts and stories with you about the tour. Most importantly, I’ll share some actionable items and workflows to help you while you are making your marketing plan for the tour and getting the word out about you, your work, and your studio. The material covered will help you understand how to best maximize your marketing efforts to reach your goals for that weekend.
The County Studio Tour is Your Stage
County Studio Tour is your stage. Very metaphorical, but stick with me on this. It’s the structure you need to host your performance (ie...your open studio). It is up to you to pack the house. The weekend is really about you and the way you want visitors and collectors to see your work, in it’s birthplace. You need to set the stage the way you want it and let all your fans know about it.
So, before we start shouting from the rooftops, let's figure out what having your best studio tour weekend looks like. This will be different for everyone. What needs to happen in order for you to consider studio tour weekend a success? The answer to this will be the foundation of everything you do between now and Studio Tour weekend.
My studio Tour Weekend would be a Success if...
Now, if you know right away what would need to happen for your weekend to be considered successful, great! Write it down. Look at this list once a day. Imagine what it would really feel like to achieve your goals for the weekend. Really feel this feeling. Skip to the bottom to see your tasks to complete before moving onto the next article in the series.
If you are unsure what would define a successful Studio Tour weekend for you, read on.... Grab a clean sheet of paper, or your bullet journals, and your favorite pen. Or, for you digital lovers out there, open a blank page in your fav note taking app (mine is #evernote). I want you to say the following phrase out loud….or, if you are at Starbucks reading this, just pull out your phone and put it to your ear and say the phrase into it so that people don’t think you are talking to yourself.
"I just had the best County Studio Tour Weekend Ever, and this is what happened…”
Pause here for a moment, take a deep breath, and close your eyes. Visualize how your space is set up, who is there, what conversations are happening, what music is playing, food, weather, etc. How do you feel?
It's time to write down what you are seeing. Don't skip this step. Write in the first person and just let it flow out, don’t edit or correct any thoughts.
"I just had the best studio tour weekend and this is what happened. I am writing this from my studio, cup of coffee in hand, inputting a whole lot of sales into quickbooks from the weekend. I am feeling grateful that so many people came and connected with my new work. They loved reading the stories that I wrote about each piece. Pricing was perfect. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The food was a hit. My guest artists also had great shows, finding new homes for many of their artworks. I loved getting a chance to talk with so many of my friends and collectors. The 2 commissions I booked will come in handy in the winter months keeping me busy. Setup and teardown was easy since I had my to-do lists created beforehand. I am so glad I took the time to pre-schedule social media posts before during and after to capture the event. I didn’t have to think about it at all all weekend. "
So, from here, I can get a better understanding of how a successful weekend would look to me. In this example specific goals for studio tour include:
Patrons easily connecting to artwork.
Sell 2 Large Paintings
Guests Artists Sell Artwork
Discuss and Book 2 Commissions
Organize and Automate all Social Media Before the Event
Create Checklists for Set-Up and Breakdown
Now, you should have a clear vision for the event as well as a list of goals you’d like to work towards.
Keep a copy of your list of goals somewhere visible that you can read and review at least once a day. You'll be referencing these goals a lot over the coming months.
Up Next: Creating a Print and Digital Marketing Plan - Publishing on Mar 6, 2018
1. Read your goal list everyday and feel what it feels like when you reach those goals. 2. Prepare for the next article by gathering all of your contacts into one platform for emailing. I use mailchimp, but there are others out there like constant contact and convertkit. Be sure that you have permission to put those contacts into your email client. 3. Figure out which social media platforms you'll be using to market the event. I use Instagram, Facebook Pages, Twitter and Pinterest(a little bit). 4. Have a centralized calendar ready to input upcoming dates and deadlines. I use a digital calendar that syncs on my Mac and all handheld devices. This works well for me, but go with a system that works for your lifestyle.
Feel free to reach out to me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.