Show a little love to your community

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 your database. Always remember my mantra: Your contact list is your #1 asset. It’s vital [...]

Spook yourself into action

Halloween is as good a time as any to spook yourself into action. While I usually try to be reassuring and supportive with these newsletters, I’m here to scare you this week. Boo!

What if a collector calls for a commission? Are you ready with your pricing and conditions? Can you say “No, Thank You” if it’s not something you’re interested in? Can you under-promise and over-deliver? See articles on art pricing.

What if a venue has an opening for your work next month? Is it photographed? Is it framed? Is your mailing list in shape? You sure want to spend your time on last-minute promotions rather than inputting names into a database! See Promote Your Exhibit. What if you sold something? Do you have your sales tax license? Are your Thank You notes ready to go? Do you have a computerized inventory list where you can input the collector’s information? See software for your [...]

Don't Shrink Your Mailing List Just Yet

David Castle, Elementals, Candied Trees. Watercolor on paper mounted on canvas, 22 x 30 inches. Private collection. (c) The Artist

Everyone wants to know the answer to this question. How long should someone remain on your mailing list? Or, more to the point, why should you keep someone on your mailing list after five years if you never hear from them and they never bought anything from you?

Here’s why.

During a visit to artist David Castle’s studio, he shared with me this story. A certain couple had been on his mailing list for five years, and he was seriously considering dropping them. After all, he had neither seen nor heard from them in five years. Then, out of the blue, David got a phone call. They were going to be in town and would like to visit his studio. Of course, he was happy to welcome them. And [...]

Remember

It’s time again for my annual Memorial Day issue. This is the day I give you reminders of what you should be doing to build your career and reputation and to sell more art. This is an incomplete list that reflects some truths as I see them at the moment.

Remember that you are in charge. This is your life and your career. Don’t listen to anyone else’s definition of success, but know how you would define success for yourself. Don’t sit by as others try to steal your power.

Remember that your mailing list is your #1 asset. Get it organized, update it, and, most importantly, use it.

Remember that your images stand in for your artwork. Make sure they are first-rate.

Remember that your artist statement is the backbone of your marketing efforts. Until you can articulate what your art is about, you will find it hard to write brochures, Web copy, grant [...]