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Holiday Opportunities

 

I have long resisted the commercialization of the December holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Yet, the season offers opportunities to give personal gifts to those who will appreciate them. This is my not-so-subtle lead-in to using the holidays to promote your work and leave lasting impressions with your "A List" of prospects, former clients and galleries.

If I were the director of a gallery (once was) or a buyer of fine art photography (always on the look out) I'd certainly appreciate receiving a bound portfolio arriving in a gift box. Galleries receive portfolios all of the time. But seldom do they receive one with a personal inscription for the appropriate holiday, and gift wrapped as well.

Gifting a portfolio of your very best images can yield several long-lasting benefits. You reacquaint the gallery owner with your work – assuming you have presented work earlier. You create the perception that you desire to exhibit with this gallery over others, especially if your portfolio is numbered with a low-print notation, such as 3/15, indicating the recipient is one of only fifteen to receive your portfolio – and the third on your list to do so. Third, you give the gallerist an unexpected gift – the best kind.

For the most impact, there are two things you do not want to do: include a cover letter, or anything in your personal inscription on the inside cover that is other than well wishes for the holiday season and a prosperous new year. Your gift does not want to in anyway appear to be a marketing piece – even though it is.

"But this is way too expensive," you might say. Not really! Not if you have done your homework as I've outlined in previous articles. Research whether the gallery is appropriate for your work, which of the holidays the gallerist celebrates, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, the correct spelling of their name, etc. There is a good website that offers concise insight into gift-giving during each of the celebrations, http://webtech.kennesaw.edu/jcheek3/holidays.htm. You may also be surprised that many non-Christian cultures celebrate Christmas gift exchanges.

If you order in multiple quantities the costs can be about $20 for a good-quality portfolio. For $20 to $30 dollars, you leave a lasting impression and open doors for future conversation. Order more than you need and you'll have copies to use throughout the coming year for other marketing opportunities.

I don't have a particular favorite on-demand publisher. There are numerous good ones whose offerings and quality continually improve. Competition is wonderful!

If this makes sense for you, get started NOW. To do it right, you have to decided on the images, select who is to receive your gift,get the proper addressing, select a publisher, find appropriate packaging material, and then send your packages early in December.

In January, plan to follow up with a card from your portfolio collection, wishing the gallery owner a happy and prosperus new year. Then, a week or so later, call the gallery and make, or reestablish your personal connection.

Let me know how it works for you.