I was talking with a successful artist the other day. She’s been working her niche market–doing a fantastic job at talking with decision-makers and making sure they know who she is. A recent conversation to get a commission ended with the decision-maker saying something like this to her: “We’re about a year away from bringing art into this project, but you can bet that you’re at the top of our list.”
Cool! She put it on her calendar to contact them again in a year (Yea! good so far) and seemed quite proud to tell me about this. I responded . . .
“You’re not going to wait a whole year to contact them, are you?!!!”
(I think I scared her and she knows me quite well. She kind of replied, “No, I guess I’m not”–waiting to hear from me why I thought she shouldn't be waiting a year.)
I suggested she plan on sending at least four mailings to this particular person throughout the next 12 months. They could be one-sided newsletters, articles about her, or anything else that will promote her work and make her look like the busy, successful artist she is. Her first one should be sent by the end of October. Clarification: This is real, put-a-stamp-on-it mail–the stuff you take to the Post Office. Don't add these people to your email newsletter list unless they have requested it. You want to personalize these mailings!
She should be doing this for all of the contacts in her niche. Hey, as long as you put together one mailing, you might as well send it to as many people as you need to.
You never know what will take place over the course of a year. You never know how many other artists that person is going to run into in the months to come or how many other portfolios he’ll look through. You have to keep your name in front of people.
Check out I'd Rather Be in the Studio! for more about artist newsletters, mailings, and following up (pages 115-159)