Don’t delete people from your mailing list or wipe them off your radar just because you think they’re not potential buyers.
Kyle Vincent Thomas, Weathered (study). Oil on canvas mounted on panel, 20 x 16 inches. ©The Artist
Part of your job as marketing wizard for your art is to figure out who your audience is. But there will be times when you come across people attracted to your art that don’t conform to your notion of an ideal patron.
When I was a naïve young curator, I worked with a number of collectors in our local community.
Some people looked, dressed, and lived as you would expect a collector to. They were well-coiffed, wore designer clothing, drove shiny imported cars, and owned lovely homes tended to by housekeepers and gardeners.
Then there were Mr. and Mrs.
I haven’t said it in awhile, but remember that your contact list is your #1 asset. No one knows the same people you do and people are more likely to buy from you if they know and like you.
When people hand you their business cards, what do you do with them? What you DON’T do is add them to a bulk email list. Aside from that, you still want to keep in touch. Here’s a process that works for me.
Collectors want to know you’re going places. Reveal–through your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.–that your art career is active. If your work is good and you present it well, we’ll be interested. If you have good content, you will gain readers. More readers=more people to refer you.
Outside of the major international art fairs that attract the world’s elite collectors, there’s no single place you can show up and be seen. There is no magic pill for attracting high-end buyers. What you need is true grit. It takes persistence and determination, which is why the life of an artist isn’t for everyone.
Did you ever consider that inviting your fans into your (or someone else’s) home could be a reward in itself? It could be your way of saying Thank You for their support. Follow the example of artist Janice Mason Steeves. Instead of planning a sale, you could schedule a preview.
Give your art buyers only what they need at the time of the sales transaction (receipt, business card, etc.) and save the rest for following up at a future date. Here are some ideas for how to keep your name in front of your art collectors.
Are you assuming–perhaps incorrectly–that certain connections are separate from your art connections? Regardless of the type of work you did before diving into your art career, every contact you have made is valuable.
Include previous connections on your mailing list. As I share in this week’s podcast, it’s all about cultivating collectors!
Art Marketing Action newsletter (a written version of this podcast)
Cultivate Collectors for your art (online class begins July 8)
Don’t shrink your mailing list just yet (newsletter)
I’d Rather Be in the Studio! (book, pages 17-19, 197-211)
Instructions for subscribing to the Art Marketing Action podcast on iTunes.
It’s February! The month when I (and many others) revert to those days when I used to put Valentine’s Day cards into decorated paper bags that were attached to the backs of elementary classroom chairs. While I no longer stuff greetings into paper bags, I am an easy target for anything with a heart on it or anything that’s pink and red.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to follow suit, and you don’t have to get all sappy. But you can take advantage of the season and show your patrons, collectors, and community a little love. It’s a perfect time to pay attention to that contact list.
Jennifer McChristian, Chapter Four. Oil on panel, 16 x 20 inches. ©The Artist
First, make sure your contact list is up to date. All names, addresses, and email addressees should be entered into