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
The follow-up process for students is different than that for buyers and collectors.
Once someone has studied with you, they are likely to take additional classes from you, which means it’s just as important to follow up with students as it is with your collectors – if you want to grow your class sizes and offerings.
You have to show students that you care before, during, and after the program they enroll in.
Here are five ways to do that.
1. Ask for Evaluations and Testimonials
Evaluations can help you improve your offerings while showing students that you care about the experiences they’ve had with you. You’re asking to hear their opinions.
Evaluations can also be a source of testimonials for your programs – if you ask the questions the right way.
Keep your evaluation short. I suggest some variation of these three questions:
What did you most enjoy about this class?
What was your
Living the life as an artist is hard enough, but it’s made harder when those we’re close to don’t support us.
We need people around us who can support us emotionally – people who believe in our message to the world. It really stinks when friends and family don’t believe in our goals.
Have you lost friendships because people couldn’t support your life as an artist?
You might be leaving money on the table.
People who buy from you once – whether it’s a work of art or your teaching services – are more likely to buy from you again than people who have never bought from you.
It’s less effort to nurture relationships with people who already know, like, and trust you than to find new people to share your art with.
Take care of the people who have purchased from you. Show them you care now instead of contacting them only when you want something from them.
One of the biggest mistakes artist-entrepreneurs make is not following up with people who have given them money. Here’s a plan to awe your collectors – not just once, but over the course of your relationship.
If you sell art from your studio, rather than through a gallery, you have no excuses for not following up appropriately. You have the name and contact information of your collectors. Gallery artists envy you because that data isn’t usually shared with them.
Follow this plan to stay in touch with collectors.
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….
You know the type.
She attends your show and tells you what a wonderful artist you are. This makes you feel good. You’re happy for people to connect with your work this way.
She comes to the next opening and gushes in a way that makes you blush.
She raves repeatedly about your art. I love your work! she says.
Yet, she never buys. She’s implying, I love your art, but it’s not for me.
Exercise Your Courage Muscle
Who knows why people don’t buy. Maybe they don’t dig that yellow speck in the lower left. Or maybe they just emptied their bank account to pay for a root canal.
If not closing the sale is bothering you, maybe it’s time to exercise your courage muscle and ask the
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
The holidays make us think about giving gifts to those who are important to us, so don’t forget your most important buyers and collectors. Here are a few ideas for themed kits you can use as patron gifts. Notice how, depending on your selections, you can spend next-to-nothing on these.
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.
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?