This post is by Jason Horejs, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Jason Horejs and his wife, Carrie, own Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ., which they founded in 2001. Jason also publishes RedDotBlog.com, a resource for artists interested in creating and strengthening relationships with galleries, as well as those looking to sharpen their own selling skills.
Marketing art can be a huge challenge. How do you get your art in front of people who will not only love it, but want to buy it as well? Should you invest in magazine ads? Participate in art festivals? Show your work in a local gallery? All valid tactics you should be pursuing, but you may be overlooking your best marketing opportunity: Selling to collectors who have purchased your work in the past.
This seems like an obvious suggestion – after all, past buyers clearly like your work and have explicitly told you they are qualified to purchase (nothing says “I can buy” like pulling out the credit card and buying). Yet I find that many artists and galleries are not putting their full efforts into marketing to past purchasers. If you aren’t actively pursuing sales with past collectors you are neglecting your best pool of potential buyers.
In a typical year 25-50% of my sales are made to existing customers. Existing collectors tend to buy larger and more expensive works, and the more they trust me and the better the relationship, the more frequently they will buy.
Perhaps you haven’t been as good at following up as you would like simply because you haven’t had a follow-up plan in place. I want to share with you some suggestions that will help make you a follow-up expert. Better follow-up will lead to more sales.
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: your biggest risk with collectors is not that they will stop liking your work, it’s that they will stop thinking about you. Don’t let this happen!
In this post I will give you a broad picture of what client communications should look like – I’ll focus on more specifics in future posts.
The Big Picture | Long Term Strategies for Keeping in Touch
Before I dive in to specific tactics, let's take a moment to discuss my thoughts and motivations underlying my follow-up plan. By understanding what the long-term strategy is, you will better understand my suggestions and why each is important.
Build your Mailing List
Job #1 is building a mailing list and keeping it organized. You are going to have a hard time following up with your customers if you don't have a good mailing list. Make sure you are keeping all of your addresses organized and up to date in a format that makes it easy for you to access the information.
Our ArtSala service will allow you to keep track of collectors, but a spreadsheet or even ledger book, will as well. Do what makes sense for you and allows you to easily keep track of your customers and potential customers.
Marketing is a numbers game, so the larger your pool of potential buyers the more sales you are going to make. Building an effective mailing list takes time, so if you haven't already, get your mailing list started today.
Your goal in your continuing contact with collectors is threefold:
- Continue building on the relationship you began when you first met or when they first bought
- Keep them thinking about you and your art
- Position yourself so that when they are ready to buy, you are the one they think about
To read more on how to "Keeping in Touch With your Art Collectors" continue to the original full article on RedDotBlog ....
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