I'm all for inviting people to my events by way of social media. It can be a great way to get the word out and generate excitement for the upcoming opening reception or open studio.
BUT, there are a few sneaky problems with it.
1. You're inviting people and they're not getting the notifications.
Facebook and Instagram are curating what you see in your newsfeed so if you create a post inviting people, many will never see it. Thank you "helpful" algorithms.
2. They see your invitation, are excited and then totally forget about it.
Maybe they aren't sure if they can go so they're waiting to find out if it fits their schedule. In the meantime, your event isn't making it to their calendars. And, for most of us, if it's not on a calendar, we can't be reminded about it. And, we totally miss out on the fun event.
3. With it being so easy for people to become exhausted and frustrated by their experiences on social media, more and more people have gone analog and are no longer on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. This means that the people you want to come to your event may not be on social media! Or not on the same platform as you!
There is an antidote to this.
Send them a real invitation.
Yes, a card they can hold in their hands. A card that they can put on their fridge. A card that can brighten their desk. A card that they can show to others.
We've expanded everything we can do by all of the awesome digital tools we have and I LOVE it. But I also love getting a card in the mail.
Yes, there’s a cost to having postcards printed and mailing them. The flip side is that they're very effective. If you send an invitation with a beautiful image of your work on it, your friends will feel like they're being invited to something important because you went above and beyond by creating and mailing nice invitations to them.
How to Use It:
Mail it to your collectors!
Mail it to designers and gallerists that you'd like to come to your event.
Carry a stack wherever you go and hand it out to people you run into. When they ask what you've been up to, you've got a great invitation to hand them.
Leave a stack at the gallery where you show is going to be.
Leave a stack at any other places that make sense like nearby coffee shops or restaurants.
Go door-to-door and leave one for each home near your studio inviting them to your event.
If you don't have addresses for people, ask them for their address and tell them you're sending them an invitation. This is a great opportunity to say hello and reconnect with your collectors, supporters and those that you want to invite to your art event.
Your next steps:
Design your card. Keep it simple with an image and the relevant details about the event.
Have your card printed. You can print through a local shop or a company online that will mail it directly to you.
Address, stamp and mail the cards.
Pass out cards wherever you go.
Re-use the image you created for the postcard in your emails and on social media.
1. Look up the sizes for postcards to make sure you don't have to pay extra postage for say square cards.
2. Studies have shown that if you write a personal note **by hand** on the cards, they're more effective. Here's an example of what you might write:
"I hope you can make the show! It'd be great to say hello in person! -Your Name"
One thing I love about this is that it's a great tool for when you're feeling too shy to talk about your work. It helps to have a physical card to hand to someone so you can much more easily say, "I'd love it if you can make it to my opening."
Going old school like this can pay off by getting the right people to your event because you're personalizing your invitation. -Your collectors, gallerists, designers, your artist community and new faces will appreciate the hold-it-in-your-hands invitation. And you'll feel great connecting with people this very genuine way.
Hit reply or leave me a note in the comments to let me know if you’d like to make a postcard for your next event. OR, tell me what's holding you back from creating a real, hold-in-your-hands invitation for your next opening or open studio event?
With much love and gratitude,