Shop Talk

Self Promotion and the Art of Gift Giving

Freebies and giveaways can be an effective method of promotion and a great way to gain exposure. It’s a strategy used by both big businesses and smaller enterprises, with companies offering everything from coffee to makeup samples. Artists and designers often promote their work by giving things away. We’ve spotted all manner of offerings ranging from desktop wallpapers to downloadable recipe cards, gift tags, things to cut out and make or original art.

The act of giving a gift differs greatly from offering something for free. Think back to a situation where a friend or family member gave you something or performed an act that felt like a true gift. A genuine gift usually has the following hallmarks:

  • A genuine gift is often unexpected
  • It is given with no expectation of receiving something in return
  • It is a gesture of generosity and thoughtfulness
  • Giving a true gift involves effort
  • The receiver doesn’t feel any pressure to reciprocate
“A gift costs the giver something real. It might be cash (enough that we feel the pinch) but more likely it involves a sacrifice or a risk or an emotional exposure. A true gift is a heartfelt connection, something that changes both the giver and the recipient” ~ Seth Godin

Autumn Gift by E Cherry flat,135x135,075,t The Gift by raineydayz Pine Needles In The Snowfall by Joni Niemelä The Fairy of Cakes by Samuel Durkin

So how do you feel about your local coffee shop or makeup brand compared to a friend, colleague, family member or even a business (businesses can give gifts too) who has acted generously and has given you something you consider a true gift? And how might the act of gift giving influence the way we approach self promotion?

If self promotion is something that you struggle with, why not try gift giving instead? Think about the people who support you and your art and set aside some time and energy to create something just for them, to be given away for nothing and with no expectations. Then share it freely and see what happens. You might just be surprised at the results.