You have a sales force right under your nose: your collectors.
The people who loved your art enough to buy it and live with it are your biggest fans and are probably itching to share your art with their friends, families, and colleagues.
Help them out!
Your first step to turn them into an art-selling brigade is to stay in touch with them. Sending email newsletters, private emails, postcards, and holiday and birthday cards keeps your name in front of them.
People are more likely to remember to recommend your art if you remind them that you’re still working in the studio.
Here are some ways you can make it easy for people to promote you and your art.
Suggest an unveiling.
Collectors are proud of their acquisitions, especially if it’s something they’ve commissioned. Gently suggest that they host an unveiling of your art.
With their friends in attendance, you can yank off the black fabric and give a little talk about the piece.
Be ready with business cards, brochures, or flyers about your work.
Have a show in a collector’s home.
Everyone likes to help out artists! If your collectors live in homes that others would envy, ask if they would consider hosting a solo show and art sale in their home.
Offer to pick up the costs of the event.
Give note cards to collectors with your art on them.
Multiply the eyeballs on your art by giving collectors a packet of note cards. Use the piece they bought from you on the front of the note cards so they have a story to add to their correspondence. Of course, your name, short artist statement, and website address should be on the back.
Every time your collectors send a note on your cards, someone new will be introduced to your art.
Create a business card box.
Build or buy special boxes to fill with your business cards. Give them to collectors for display near your art. (You can see that this must be a handsome box if you expect it to stay in view.)
When guests admire the art on view, your collector can easily place your card in their hands.
It never hurts to ask.
You’ve heard this before. The only time it hurts to ask is if all you’re doing is asking. But you won’t risk that because you’re staying in touch – nurturing the friendship – through your correspondence.
Here’s another one: You don’t get what you don’t ask for.
Ask collectors to bring friends to your openings and events. Ask if they have friends who might be interested in your work. Ask if they know of offices that need new art.
You’ll be surprised at how many people take you up on your ideas.
Host collectors-only events.
Treat your collectors like the VIPs they are. Some things need to be reserved just for them.
Schedule a collectors-only preview before an exhibition or an appreciation night at your studio.
You won’t be meeting any new collectors at these events, but your current collectors will be more likely to buy from you again after being treated like royalty.
How do your collectors help you sell more art?
How do you help them in the process?