Include prior connections on your mailing list

Are you a second-career artist?
Did you do something else before diving into your art career?
If so, your previous life and connections may be more beneficial to your art career than you thought.

Keith Murray
Keith Murray, Old Glory.
Oil on canvas. 36 x 24 inches.
©The Artist


Artist Lanie Frick
called me this week to confess a story that broke her heart. She had been in a different line of creative work before devoting herself to fine art. A few years ago, she decided to burn the sales receipts from that business. She couldn’t imagine that she’d ever need those again. Then she read my book and had a bit of a bad day. She realized that all of her previous customers’ names and addresses had been turned to ash. It dawned on her that those contacts could be very valuable to her now.

Lanie was right, and she wanted to share her experience in hopes that it might help out another artist. Perhaps it will help you.

Regardless of the type of work you did in another life, every contact you have made is valuable. And if your contacts purchased something (anything!) from you in the past, they’re even more precious. There was a reason they bought from you. Maybe a friend referred you. Maybe they liked YOU. Maybe you delivered on your promises. In the end, they trusted you. If you came through for them, they’re more likely to buy from you again.

This earlier contact is a connection to you and whatever else you may do with your life. It’s a connection to your art. You may think that your art would be of no interest to earlier contacts, but I urge you to think of it differently. Think of these earlier contacts as connections–however weak–that hold potential. If it’s true, as I’m fond of quoting, that everyone knows 200-250 other people, then you don’t want to neglect a single person with whom you have a solid relationship.

Not only do people who know and like you want you to succeed, they will also be disappointed if they hear about your work from someone else. And you don’t want to disappoint them!

KNOW THIS———-~> Connections, regardless of how insignificant they may seem, are critical to your success.

THINK ABOUT THIS—~> Are you including everyone on your mailing list? Or are you assuming–perhaps incorrectly–that certain connections are separate from your art connections?

DO THIS————~> Include your previous connections on your mailing list. Invite them to your openings, share your good news with them, and ask them for support. It’s all about cultivating collectors, which happens to be the name of the next online class that begins July 8. If cultivating collectors is on your list of To Do’s, take a look at the class content.

Tell us about your previous connections and listen to the podcast on the Art Biz Blog.

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