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Complimentary Marketing

by Clint Watson on 1/24/2006

Perusing the web for art as I often do to provide the day's denouement, I happened upon an interesting art marketing idea.

I was enjoying the works of Utah artist, Keith Bond, when I was struck by a link on his site shouting, 'Win a Painting!'  Being a self-proclaimed art fanatic, I was intrigued.  After all I love paintings, and I REALLY love free!! (Note the extremely rare use of the DOUBLE exclamation point, denoting my extreme excitement at the prospect of a FREE painting.)  So with the excitement dripping from my mouse finger, I clicked.

Here are the details of his offer. I was instructed to print out the page and fill in my name, address, phone number and mail it in.  Now even I can do THAT. Ha! The joke's on Keith - He already HAS my address & phone number. So I would truly be getting something for nothing, it almost makes me feel like a US senator on payday.

View Keith Bond's artwork and register to win a free painting:

Seriously, I applaud Keith's innovation.  While free giveaways are certainly nothing new, I rarely see one in the art industry.  A key principal of innovative marketing is to take an idea that works from another industry and apply it to your own.  That’s exactly what Keith has done.

Keith will most likely garner a list of new prospects that he can cultivate into Keith Bond collectors, all for one small painting and virtually no out of pocket expense.

I'm not telling you to do the same thing, I'm just reminding you to be innovative.  Perhaps do something similar, but with a twist.  For example, I would have made the entry form an online submission as some people may not take the time to snail mail it in.  Of course, that would require the services of a software craftsman ... such as myself (you really didn't expect me to write an entire letter without at least one plug, did you?)  Or perhaps do something entirely different.  (How about a weekly blog featuring one of your artworks?) The idea is to get names of prospects, to keep people looking at your web site and therefore, your artwork.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to fill out several hundred 'win a free painting' entries. (Hey - he never said 'limit one.')


Clint Watson
Software craftsman & art fanatic

P.S. - Keith's works are inspired plein air masterpieces that make any man or woman want to pack through the Utah high country.  If you're interested in painting the Rocky Mountains with him, sign up for his June workshop - details on his web site.


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Topics: Marketing

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via web
Thanks for the reinforcement about the "WIN A PAINTING" idea.
The same idea came to me in a flash a few weeks ago. I'm going to be in an outdoor artshow for the first time and have no mailing list. I thought of giving away a painting to get one. Seems like a great idea. We'll see how it works.

via web
Hey Clint,
Great idea....wish I had thought of it. How can I add a " WIN THIS PAINTING" to my front page and gather prospects for my next show !! If anyone can do it you can......cheers

via web
Hi Clint,

I liked the idea of the free painting that Keith Bond has on his website. I would like to take that idea further as you mentioned and add that to my site also. Your idea of an online form is a good one.

via web
Hi Clint,
I like the way you take an idea and run with it - to my benefit! I have put up a "Win a Free Painting" link on my main page and emailed a newsletter to my clients. My goal is to expand my mailing list, so I asked that each person entering the contest post the correct email address of 3 persons that they believe would like to receive my Fresh from the Studio new art newsletter in the General Comment box.
Many thanks to you and your staff, along with Keith Bond for sharing a great idea!

via web
My website is all set up to give away a free painting. Less than 24 hours later I had my first entry…and found the source to be from my Southwest Art Magazine ad. So now I am a believer in the free painting and advertising.

I had asked you a few marketing questions last October, but then told you to wait on a reply as I was going to MX. I do need help getting into a gallery that actually sells art, will promote me, and allows for a reasonable sale price! What advice do you have regarding this?

I also have wondered if I should hire someone to promote me…ie…write a magazine article, and generally just getting my name out there everywhere. I am not talking about an art agent. What do you think?

Thanks for what you are doing. I’ve been with you for quite a while now and would think of having no one else manage my website.


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