Your email list is a means for nurturing trust, for building relationships, and, if you teach, for demonstrating your knowledge.
Your list is, as I’ve often said, your most important asset. It’s unique to you, your art, and your goals. No one has the same list of names and email addresses.
For more than 10 years, I relied on good content to build my list. I thought, correctly, that if I just share good stuff, word will get around and more people would subscribe. They did!
But I missed out on helping even more artists because I wasn’t proactively adding names to my list as often as I could have been.
I am more convinced than ever that we need to use as many avenues as possible to build our lists. Not quantity for quantity’s sake, but seeking the highest quality of loyal subscribers.
From time to time, ask people who follow you to sign up. Don’t beg, just ask. You can use the ask in combination with any giveaways mentioned below.
If you’re out networking, as you should be, don’t be afraid to ask people that seem interested if they’d like to be on your list.
Art Biz Coach has been helping support artists since 2002.
There are 25,000 people on my current email list, and perhaps thousands more who have left that list. There are 9,000 fans on the Art Biz Coach Facebook page, and thousands more that are somehow connected to me.
My point: I’ve crossed paths with a lot of artists.
They buy my book, sign up as a private client, attend a live workshop or event, or learn from me in an online program. Others might comment on a post on my blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Every so often I come across some familiar names in an old file or document. They were active in the Art Biz Coach community at one point and have since disappeared.
I wonder what has happened to them. Have they given up their art business? Are they more active on other sites?
While thinking about the engagement level of artists on my list, I wondered if you might have some of the same people in your life.
See if these sound familiar….
At last week’s Social Sharing Savvy training sessions, I received numerous questions along these lines:
“How can I get more subscribers/followers/fans?”
Watch the language you use and the energy around it. In particular, I’m worried about using the g-word: get.
“Get” could mean anything. It could mean that you buy a list or sleazily grab email addresses from people who didn’t ask to hear from you.
To my ears, getting sounds greedy and aggressive. With get, the emphasis seems to be on quantity rather than quality.
It sounds like you’re only interested in the marketing numbers when you should be far more interested in connecting with people who, in turn, want to connect with your art. You don’t just want numbers. You want the right individuals to add up to those numbers.
Stop looking for shortcuts. Start doing the hard (and much more interesting) work of caring about people and connecting with them authentically.
Instead of getting, focus on attracting.
3 Steps to Attracting People to Your List of Followers
Michelle, a woman in my mastermind group, marveled at my list size: How did you get that many people on your email list?
It was easy for me, I replied, because I understood the value of a list when I started my business.
I was fortunate to appreciate the importance of a list due to positions in my past work experience.
How I Built My List
As an assistant to a U.S. Senator, I came to recognize that my boss’s donor list and my Rolodex (yes, it was that long ago) were the most valuable assets in our office to ensure continued community support. As a museum curator and educator, I knew how much we relied on our members and donors for financial support.
Lists are indispensable in both of those situations, which is probably why creating a
One of the biggest excuses artists give for not being in more frequent contact with their lists is that they don’t want to bother people. You know what it’s like to receive tons of email and don’t want to contribute to the overwhelm.
I understand. Even though everyone on your list has opted in to hear from you, it still doesn’t feel right to email so many people if you haven’t established a marketing groove.
There’s a solution: Send emails only to people for whom they are appropriate. In other words, target your messages rather than sending every email to every person on your list.
All of the attendees at my Nashville workshop are grouped together on my list. Photo courtesy of Mary Claire Crow
Email marketing platforms like Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Emma have the capability to segment
Is your marketing too passive? Are you putting your art out there and hoping someone will see it, buy it, or give you a show?
Jack isn’t always interested in being active.
I’ll confess that I’ve become complacent with my marketing. I write my blog posts every week and post to Facebook and Twitter. Then I sit back and wait for something to happen.
And I rely too much on my existing list without reaching out to new potential audiences.
Fortunately, my coach is correcting my ways. She’s amazed that I have had such good results, and pointed out that I could help a lot more people if only I’d become more active with my marketing.
This got me thinking about all of the passive marketing that we do. How could we approach it more actively in a
Have you been baffled by what to do with the two lists that many artists have: one list for newsletters and a second one for blog posts?
My predicament (and solution) might be of interest.
Please read on even if you don’t have this issue because I’m sharing big news that affects your Art Biz Coach and Art Biz Blog subscriptions.
For years I have been struggling with confused artists who don’t understand the difference between subscribing to the Art Biz Blog and subscribing to my Art Biz Insider newsletter. I get it!
The sign-up form for this newsletter on the Art Biz Coach home page.
I was confused myself. What do I post on the blog? What do I save for the newsletter?
Many of you probably struggle with the same thing. You have one list for
It doesn’t take a genius to understand why nobody came to your art show. Let’s set aside the bad weather, natural disaster, flu epidemic, or major tragedy in the community. And not count people who are out of town or live too far away, or those who have tickets to the theater or a sick child. We’re going to focus on those able people on your mailing list who would be most inclined to come out and support you.
You were told you needed an email list, so you asked people to subscribe, and then they just sat in your system for months. Your list has gone cold. Ice cold. You’ve realized the errors of your ways and are now ready to commit to staying in touch with your list on a regular basis, but you wonder: Will they remember me? What will they think if I just start contacting them after all this time?
Your friends and followers on social media are valuable, but the people who buy from you and entrust you with their email and physical addresses are your VIPs.
My Art Biz Insider subscribers are my VIPs. If you are a subscriber, you know that I like to share gifts periodically as a reminder of how important you are to me.
My gifts are mostly worksheets or audio recordings, which wouldn’t be appropriate for your collectors and potential buyers.
So what do you give them? How do you roll out the red carpet for VIPs who offer their support and trust?
Here are some ideas.
Share Sneak Peeks
Before you post a new work to your blog or social media site, consider showing your list first.
Make it exclusive to them for 5 days and make it clear that