Interview Tips for Artists

By Carolyn Edlund

So, you’ve connected with a member of the press and you’ve gotten an interview scheduled. Great! Now what?

 

Make the most of the opportunity, both during the interview itself, and afterwards, as you take advantage of the free publicity:

 

Preparation

  • Become familiar with the media outlet first. Who is their audience? What formats do they use?
  • Know what you want to accomplish before you go in. Is it your goal to promote your newest work, an upcoming show, a release of merchandise with your licensed designs? Make a list of ways you can bring this into the conversation.
  • Have some “quotable quotes” ready. It might be your unique selling proposition or a fascinating bit of trivia about your medium.  Reporters love good quotes, so think about and prepare these before you speak.
  • Be sure to have press releases, photos of your work, videos, your artist statement or resume, etc. as needed by the reporter to enhance the final interview piece. Articles about artists need photos of your art, or you working in the studio, don’t they?
  • Are you being interviewed on television or radio? Do a dry run with a friend to get used to speaking about yourself so that your final interview runs more smoothly.

 

During the Interview 

  • Don’t interrupt the interviewer. Allow them to ask the full question before you respond.
  • In general, keep your answers short and to the point. Avoid rambling, which can become confusing or uninteresting.
  • If the reporter asks a question you don’t know the answer to, admit it. Or offer to find out for them, and supply the answer before they publish.
  • Any controversial or off-the-record remarks may get included in the interview article, so be careful to keep your responses polished and professional. Be honest, friendly and approachable.
  • Stay away from jargon or terms the audience won’t understand, but be sure to use descriptive language so you can help the reader or listener visualize your technique and your inspiration.
  • Make sure you are aware of deadlines, and work with the reporter. Keep your appointments, get answers back to them promptly, and provide supplemental information as soon as it is needed.

 

After the Interview – Publicize!   

  • Use your website to share the news.  Announce your interview on your blog in a post, with a link to the source. Create a “Press” page on your site if you don’t already have one. Use the publication’s logo, and headline for your article, with a link.
  • Put the news about your interview, with a link, as a LinkedIn status update. Share in discussion groups as appropriate. If you import your blog feed to LinkedIn, your blog post about the interview will also share your news.
  • Share your link on Twitter, using hashtags to draw more interest, such as #wildlife  #photography, or use the Twitter address of the publication in your tweet. You’ll probably get retweeted by them, extending your reach.
  • Use Twitpic to share an image on Twitter of yourself in a TV interview, or show some of your art which was included in an interview.
  • Pin any image of yourself or your work from the article, if it is online, onto a Pinterest board. Use hashtags there also, and a link to your site as well.
  • Celebrate your newfound publicity by posting on Facebook, and sharing on Facebook groups that you belong to. Sharing this type of interview usually is not looked at as spam in groups.
  • Post your link on Google+, and select “Extended Circles” and “Public” to reach more people. There is an option to share with people not yet on Google+ through email.
  • Send your announcement and link to the interview by emailing your personal network . Use individual emails rather than a group email.
  • Use a link to the interview while it is current in your email signature.
  • Print out the article about you. Include it in your press kit. This type of social proof shows that you are a great interview!
  • Use your article as a reason to contact prospects. Sharing your press exposure can only help those galleries or retailers who are considering your work.
  • Send an email newsletter to your list of customers, subscribers, friends and business connections. Include a photo and a link to the article.
  • Include copies of your printed interview with your promotional materials at trade shows, and send them to any sales reps or agents you work with.
  • If your interview article is printed online, make a comment on the article thanking the reporter. You can add clarification, or answer other comments.
  • Submit your interview article to StumbleUpon, Delicious or Reddit to share with a wide variety of readers.

Comments

  1. Great stuff! Very helpful, thank you!

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