Do you have clients purchasing several US$3,000 art pieces because they saw you in the paper? Does your business come mainly from referrals? Do you find it hard to network? If these questions resonate with you, you will be interested to hear about Marie Sand’s experience with media outreach.
Marie Sand is a full time painter who helps horse enthusiasts to deepen the unspoken connection with horses and nature. After taking the How to Sell Art Online 301 course on PR and Media Outreach, she was featured in several magazines and newspapers. She gained a number of collectors directly from these articles.
Marie Sand sat down with us to share her experience and advice with media outreach.
“First of all, I have to tell you that I was really intimidated to approach media and I didn’t know what I was doing. (The) How to Sell Art Online 301 course gave me the foundations and the reason for taking some time to learn about media. Ninety percent of my sales come by way of referrals. When I heard Cory talking about the media snowball effect, I knew I had to overcome my fear of reaching out to journalists and influencers.”
Marie had several aha moments she shared with us.
1. Journalists and influencers are always looking for great content. If you know your mission as an artist, research media that work for you, and have a story to tell, you are a goldmine for a journalist or an influencer. Knowing that you are doing a favor to them helps if you feel intimidated.
2. Choose the right angle for the right medium. There are many angles to talk about the same story.
Marie likes to use this Story Formula developed by Alex Blumberg (radio journalist, former producer for public radio and television): I am telling a story about X and it is interesting because of Y.
It helps her to think differently about a single story. Marie has been featured in a wide variety of media. She shared three examples that show how the media approached the same story in very different ways.
- In a fashion magazine in Finland, they emphasized the fact that she was a French artist in residence in Finland and inspired by nature and horses of the country.
- In a French Psychology magazine, she talked about how she transformed the burden of her hypersensitivity into a superpower to paint and draw people’s emotions.
- In a French horse newspaper, the angle was about the connection with horses and how horses mirror our emotions.
3. Find a hook that will catch the attention of the journalist or influencer. The magic pitch requires us to be creative and as artists we are…
Here is an example that led to an article in the national Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.
“I organize indoor drawing sessions with live horse models. When I started to write my press release, I talked about Drawing Masterclass. It sounded sooo boring. I gave some creative thinking to it. I suddenly had a vision so my pitch started like this:
Imagine walking in your living room, you sit comfortably in your favorite chair, you have every art supplies you need. And a ‘nude’ live horse poses for you.
This is what will happen Saturday from 2 PM to 5 PM blah blah…”
4. Start your email to the journalist or influencer by talking about his or her work. Marie’s experience with journalists is that it is worth refining the subject line of the email and the first two or three sentences to “hook” them.
Dear So and So – I always look forward to your stories about X. I know you like Y so I think you might be interested in this story.
The press kit follows. She learned not to spend too much time on the press kit. When she does, it means she procrastinates.
5. List 3 to 5 journalists and influencers today. Write them an email. And follow up with a call. It is important to spend time on identifying the right influencers and journalists who will resonate with what you do.
“I suggest you have a look through different stories they have written to get a sense of what they are interested (in) and (what) their angles are.”
Marie concluded by saying that she usually has a hard time getting coverage from small or local media outlets.
Her last piece of advice was “Think big!”
Marie Sand is a painter based in France. Her work is primarily on commission to create a unique Emotion Portrait™ that deepens the unspoken connection of humans with horses and nature. It begins with an interview in which the patrons share their emotions with Marie. Their perceptions and feelings are the raw materials of what will become their art.