Someone buys a piece of art directly from you. You’re about to hand over the art, but then you wonder if you should be providing anything else at the same time. Consider including the following six items with each sales transaction.
- A receipt of sale
- Your business card
- A brochure about your art
- Instructions on caring for the art
- Copyright notice
- Certificate of Authenticity–if needed
The fifth item on the list is important. Most buyers will not know or may not understand that you retain copyright or what that even means. Use gentle wording. “While you own the artwork, please be aware that I retain copyright to the image. This means . . . “ should do it. It’s a lot nicer than “WARNING! The artist retains copyright. You may not duplicate this work in any form without consulting the artist first!”
[ The copyright notice can be combined with the Certificate of Authenticity. ]
You shouldn’t give buyers–upon purchase–anything more than what I’ve listed above. Why? Because you want to save other items to send later. You’ll need to follow up regularly in order to keep your name in front of your collectors.
Start by sending a Thank You note in the mail within a week of the sale. You can’t be assured that an email will get through to the recipient, but you can be 100% positive that a handwritten note will be appreciated and will stand out. Then, every few months, send your collectors anything from the list below.
- Articles about you, about art, about collecting
- Articles about something you know is of interest to the recipient (I couldn’t help thinking of you when I saw this . . . )
- Changes in your contact information
- Invitations to events, gallery openings, teleclasses, etc.
- Newsletters (See I’d Rather Be in the Studio! pages 117-137 for details on creating and sending newsletters)
- Announcements of awards you’ve received
- Postcards from your art travels
FINAL WORD: Don’t show your entire hand! Give your buyers only what they need at the time of the sales transaction and save the rest for following up at a future date.
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