How to Scare Off Potential Buyers

©Jean Weiner, Clarissa’s Critters. Watercolor, 15 x 11 inches. Used with permission.

Art buyers might seem intimidating and self-assured, but they often have as many insecurities about the process as you do. They are sensitive to signals and opinions from you and from others. It’s your job to reassure them that they are making the right decisions. Without that positive signal from you, they might think they are being tricked instead of treated. Here are a few things that will scare off your audience and potential fans this Halloween.

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How Is Your Customer Relations Department?

Trying to keep up good customer relations at my recent workshop in Nashville.

Critical to all of your marketing is how you treat people. How do you stay in touch with them? How do you show people you care? Let’s look at three aspects of maintaining good customer relationships: recency, frequency, and attentiveness. How do you make people feel special? How do you stay in touch with them? How do you show people you care?

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Love Your List

©Dianna Poindexter, You & Me. Oil on masonite.

The people who give you their postal and email addresses are your secret marketing weapon. They have trusted you with their information and said they want to hear from you. They’re your Valentines! Pull an arrow from your quiver and aim some love in their direction.

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Structure a Sale to Unload an Oversized Inventory

Big Sale

How do you get rid of an inventory of reproductions, note cards, calendars, or anything else you no longer want to promote and sell? Have a sale! Here are some parameters for structuring your sale. Count your inventory.

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Gentle Persistence Pays Off

©Barbara Lee, Aspens - Hope Valley, California Sierras. Photograph.

Your contact list is your #1 asset, but you have to nurture it. You must grow it, feed it, and hold it precious. It is from your list that 80% of your sales will come, if you do the work. That’s why I have called the process of list-building “cultivating collectors” since 2002. It’s not “get collectors quick!” or “sell art right now!”

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Love for Your Collectors Starts with Empathy

McKenna Hallett

Perhaps the most important “E” on the road to love for your collectors addresses a critical part of everyone’s buying and selling experience: Empathy. Those first moments of contact are fragile and involve complex emotions.

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When the Deal is Done You Have Only Begun

Your relationship with a collector doesn’t end when the work is purchased. It has just begun. Discuss.

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You Say Customer, I Say Collector

At one of my fall workshops, a woman said to me, “You know . . . you haven’t used the word ‘customer’ once.” She wondered aloud why I hadn’t used that word. She was surprised it wasn’t in my workshop vocabulary.

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The Art Collector Next Door

Kyle Vincent Thomas, Weathered (study). Oil on canvas mounted on panel.

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.

Embrace them!

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

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Contact Lists: The Basics

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.

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