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Vermont Crafts Council’s Spring Marketing Conference

VT Crafts Council - Spring Marketing Conference

This Wednesday, I’ll be presenting at a seminar at the Vermont Crafts Council’s Spring Marketing Conference. My seminar is entitled Time to Make Nice with Your Computer. I came up with the theme based on the reactions I witnessed at last fall’s marketing conference.

A number of people showed up for a seminar on how to use a blog to promote your business. I heard grumblings from people about how they now had “another thing to do” – and on their computer no less. I can relate to that. The last thing I need is to add something to my never-ending list of things to do.

But the fact is that artists need to market themselves. You can’t just assume that you will create work and the buyers will show up.

You can count on one of three resources to get it done:

  1. Time
  2. Money
  3. Luck

Since I had the time, I spent last week engrossed in online research. I investigated del.icio.us, Facebook (I was already a member), Indiepublic, TalentDatabase, and Flickr. I could have spent even more time looking at other tools, but I would get no sleep and starve to death (and I need my cheese) – there are lots of options out there!

The main reason why social networking tools are ideal for artists is this: as artists, the one thing we have over any mass-produced item is our story. When you meet someone at a craft show or during an open studio, you have the opportunity to tell your story in person. However, what do you do during the rest of the year? How can you get people to connect with you and your work?

The answer lies in the use of online social networking tools.

Create your own buzz.

I know that only having a website isn’t going to cut it anymore. I enjoy talking about my work. I love getting feedback. I only attend 2 craft shows a year and participate in Vermont Open Studio Weekend – how else am I going to connect with people?

I hope to see some of my fellow Vermont artists at the conference. While I can spend an hour talking to myself, it’s not as much fun as having a conversation with others. There are also interesting seminars other than mine, so check out the schedule and I’ll see you on Wednesday!

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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