You might be leaving money on the table.
People who buy from you once 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. [Tweet “Show collectors 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.
Within 1 week: send a handwritten thank-you note in the mail.
Use note cards with images of your art on the front for all of your handwritten notes.
Don’t exploit this as an opportunity to ask for anything else. Thank-you notes are for expressing gratitude only, not for additional sales or requests.
Two weeks later: send an email.
In this message, suggest to your collector that you would like to stay in touch through social media, if you haven’t already connected there.
Explain, too, that you send a regular email with updates about your art and ask if they would like to receive it. If they are added to the list, you can keep the relationship warm through your planned emails.
If they don’t get on that list, they should receive a personalized sequence of email and regular mail to ensure they are not forgotten.
Three months: send something in the mail.
Earlier, you sent a thank-you note in the mail. At this point, it’s your choice. It doesn’t matter what you send or say as long as it’s from the heart.
You might send a postcard, a photocopy of an article that was written about your work, or an invitation to an exhibition.
If the purchase was substantial, you might consider a small gift, such as a set of note cards with your art on them.
Twice a year: your choice.
After you have followed up with email and regular mail communications within three or four months, your collectors can graduate to your VIP list that you take care of twice a year.
Again, what you do here is up to you.
Your collectors might receive a special mailing on an off-holiday (Arbor Day, anyone?) or their birthdays.
Or do something crazy like calling them on the phone. Tell them you were just thinking about them.
Nothing strikes awe in someone like the element of surprise.
How do you awe your collectors?