This post is by Clint Watson, former art gallery owner and founder of BoldBrush, known for FASO Artist Websites, the leading provider of professional artist websites, the $38,000+ BoldBrush Painting Competition and the free daily art marketing newsletter, FineArtViews. As a self-proclaimed "art fanatic", Clint delights that BoldBrush's downtown San Antonio, Texas office is full of original art, as is his home office which he shares with his two feline assistants Kiara and Lilly. You can connect with Clint on Twitter, Facebook or his personal blog at clintavo.com
While we're all sequestered in our homes, we're all facing the potential for lost or wasted time. So let's ask ourselves: How can we use this time to get better? How can we be of service and use? I know, without a doubt that great art is being created around the world at this very moment. Perhaps by you! Our entire team is focused 100% on whatever we can do to help you market and sell more art. With that in mind, we're focusing FineArtViews on sales and marketing ideas more than ever before. The following article was selected from our archives as it seems quite timely in the current situation and provides ideas we think you can use to improve your own art marketing.
Here in San Antonio, my favorite restaurant is Pam's Patio Kitchen.
The food is unique and amazing. Plus, David, the owner, has great taste in wine and has a knack for finding wines that you don't see anywhere else. Over the years, the owners, Pam and David have become great friends of ours. 
Every so often, they host a "private" wine dinner on an evening when the restaurant isn't normally open. Often, they invite a winemaker, and they pair the winmaker's wines with various courses of dishes that David dreams up. It's great food, great fun, and we learn (and purchase) many new wines this way.
In fact, it was at one of their wine dinners that we learned about our favorite Pinot Noir, Foxen.
Now, these dinners, initially aren't posted on Facebook, they're not on Instagram, and they're not advertised on the their website. They don't even send a slick email newsletter about them. In fact, one of the charms about these wine dinners is that they are almost like a speak-easy. You kind of just have to know about them.
If they're so "secret", why are they always packed?
I have a theory about that. One that visual artists can learn from.
Learn The Art of Personal Outreach
Whenever David meets someone in the restaurant who he thinks would be interested, he must make a mental note (or written) of that fact. He takes the time to really get to know people and he has an idea about their likes and dislikes. It's one of the great things about Pam's: at any given moment, David will leave the kitchen and just come out to talk with his guests. It's not uncommon to see him sitting at a table in the dining room, sharing one of his favorite wines with restaurant patrons.
Then, as the wine dinner approaches, he must think through who would be interested and he reaches out to those people, personally.
I usually learn of these dinners in one of three ways:
1. In person - David tells me about one while I'm in the restaurant dining
2. Personal email - I receive a personal email from Dave alerting me to an upcoming dinner. A personal email, not a newsletter.
3. Personal text - this is one of the most effective ways - I receive a text message from David, often with a photo of one of the wines and a short invitation to attend or save the date.
Here's an example of the last one I received. (Which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to Covid19).
What can artists learn from this?
Focus on the 20%
What artists, what you can learn is one of the core principles in the BoldBrush Art Marketing Playbook: that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your collectors - your best collectors.
But, to maximize this strategy, you need to engage with your best collectors and prospects personally. You need to make them feel special. Remember what I said about the wine dinners? You just have to be "in the know." That makes people feel special.
Before you send an announcement of a new group of your artwork or upcoming show to your entire list, contact your best prospects personally.
Go through your contact list and ask yourself, "which people will most likely to be interested?"
Text those people an image of the piece you think they'd like with a short message - "I think this is the one you've been waiting for - would you like to see it in person?"
In a world full of noise and spam, text messaging people who you know personally can be extremely effective.
For those people whom you don't feel comfortable texting - send them a person email. Not a newsletter. You will make them feel special that you reached out personally, and they will feel doubly special a few days later when they get the newsletter and realize that you took the time to contact them first.
So what I recommend is this: When you have a new group of artworks, call, text and personally email your very best and closest collectors and followers. Give them a bit of time to respond, then announce your new work to your VIP mailing list, and a little after that to your full mailing list.
At that point, and only at that point, you can also post it on social media and any other channels you normally utilize.
Not only is this an effective strategy, it's one that can be done even during this Covid19 lockdown. In fact, it might even be more effective in this environment when people are craving personal interaction.
For my latest thoughts on art marketing, art sales ideas, and insider announcements about new FASO features we are working on and releasing, you should Follow me on Twitter, that's where I publish ideas and opportunities in real time. Be the first to know.
Until then, please remember, Fortune Favors the Bold Brush. Stay safe and healthy.
BoldBrush/FASO Founder & Art Fanatic
PS - If you've utilized personal outreach with success in your own art marketing, I'd love to hear your story! Please reply to this email (or leave a comment if reading on the blog) and let us know what has worked for you!
1. If you are in San Antonio, they are open for takeout during the Covid19 lockdown. Just give them a call and drop by and take your order, it's all outside with extremely minimal contact. This is the best food and wine in town. I've picked up four bottles of Gary's Roar in the last two weeks. If they have bottles of Sea Smoke or Foxen though, don't buy those - save those for me! Visit their website at http://www.pamspatio.com/ and place your order by calling, 210-492-1359.
Start an Instagram Engagement Group
Breaking the Ice - Starting Conversations with Potential Art Buyers (and anyone else who crosses your path!)