Why Nobody Came to Your Show

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 are nursing a sick child.

We’re going to focus on the able people on your mailing list who would be most inclined to come out and support you. Except they didn’t.

The reason they didn’t come is because you assumed too much.

Let’s look at 4 ways this might have played out.

1. You didn’t tell them about it.

You assumed the venue would get the word out.

Oops! You’ll never do that again. Venues, regardless of the type of venue, have an entire program of artists and exhibitions lined up. Sorry to break this to you: you are but a small fish in their big pond.

What’s important to you isn’t always critical to them.

You can’t rely on the venue to get people to your exhibition.

2. You relied on a social media post.

You assumed people would see your invitation on Facebook.

You can’t post an invitation once or twice to social media and expect results (especially these days). I don’t know about you, but

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How To Warm Up a Cold Email List

You were told you needed an email list, so you asked people to subscribe. And they did.

But you didn’t do anything with their subscription. Those poor people sat in your system. For months. Maybe years. Never hearing from you.

Your list has gone cold. Ice cold.

Now you realize how silly it was to ask people to subscribe only to neglect them. You’re 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 emailing them after all this time?

You’re right to be concerned.

Regular emails – regardless of whether you call them newsletters or not – are so valuable because they keep your name in front of people. And they keep the list warm.

If you are ready to pay attention to your list consistently (and clear that you will keep the commitment), you have a little bit of work to do.

You need to reintroduce yourself to your list before you ask them to attend an opening or to buy your art because it’s not polite to call on people only when you want something from them.

There’s no sense procrastinating your first-in-a-long-time email because the longer you wait, the more painful it will be to write. Not to mention the energy it will use up in your head and heart in the meantime.

Once you’re clear on the commitment, there are three options for an opening email to reestablish a relationship with those on your list. You can use them individually or in combination with one another.

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7 Ways to Segment Your Mailing List and Make It More Useful

Ever worry about bothering people with your emails or postcards?

You’re not alone. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to do right by your trusted fans. You know what it’s like to receive tons of email and don’t want to contribute to the overwhelm.

Even though everyone on your list has opted in to hear from you, it still doesn’t feel right to email so many people so frequently. I get it. And …

There’s a solution to this dilemma: Send emails only to whom they are appropriate.

In other words, target your messages to the people who want and need to hear from you rather than sending every email to every person on your list.

Email marketing platforms like Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Emma have the capability to segment an email list. Depending on your platform, you might find these features under Groups, Segments, and/or Tags. Some platforms use multiple names.

If you haven’t used this feature, the first step is to research how to segment a list inside of your email platform of choice. It’s worth it even if you have to pay a little for it.

After you’ve done that, you can make your list more useful by segmenting it in multiple ways.

7 Ways to Slice and Dice Your List

Your list segments will vary based on the messages you are sending, but these are the 7 types of segmenting that I suggest frequently to my Art Biz Coach clients.

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How To Start Your Email List

“How do I start a mailing list?”

It’s a question that I’ve been asked numerous times in the past few weeks. Hmmm … Where to begin?

One thing is for certain. “Start an Email List” is an overwhelming project that might stop you before you’ve even started. Instead of looking at it as a whole, break it down into steps to make faster progress.

Here are the steps to take. They aren’t numbered because you can skip around until you get to the “Finally” section.

(If you have a mature mailing list and you don’t need these steps, please don’t go anywhere. Jump straight to the end and share your experience with others. Your insights and encouragement are sure to be valuable to someone else.)

Start With Who You Know

Make a list of everyone you know who might want to hear about you and your art:

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Neighbors
  • Colleagues at a day job
  • Other artists

Don’t discount anyone because you believe they’ll never buy your art. You never know how they can support you until you bring them into your art life.

Save the following information for each person:

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The Only Gift You Need to Build Your Mailing List

What I love most about the holidays isn’t receiving gifts. It’s giving them.

I love everything about the process: from trying to find the perfect gift for a special person on my list, to wrapping it and watching them open it.

I throw parties and give “lovely parting gifts” to our guests (as if the party wasn’t enough). I decorate envelopes to delight recipients.

The thrill of gift giving is sacred in my book.

Unfortunately, when building a business, giving gifts can be tarnished by the giver wanting or expecting something in return. It’s part of the list-building process.

In return for your email address, I offered 6 free video lessons or perhaps a checklist, special report, or webinar at some point.

These presents are easy for me to deliver because I offer a service. I have loads of content that will help you gain recognition and sell more art.

It’s harder for artists to offer gifts in return for email addresses.

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List-Building Tactics For Artists Who Want To Increase Their Followers

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.

Online Ask

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.

In-Person Ask

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.

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Who Are The People On Your List and What Are They Doing There?

Erica Norelius, Dreaming of Sargent. Oil, 20 x 24 inches. Used with permission.

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….

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How To Attract More Followers to Your List

How to Attract More Followers

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

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It's All About Your Mailing List

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

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Activate Your Marketing for a Bigger Audience

Yellow Male Cat

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

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