Guest Blogger: Laurie McCarriar
Using a database or spreadsheet to take care of your customers can feel like choosing a Swiss Army Knife to file your nails. It works, but it sure is awkward.
Databases Can Be Too . . . Too
Database/spreadsheet programs for artists try to have the tools to do everything, but they can be a little clunky when it comes to actually using them. They promise to track your art, your customers, your sales, your shows, your editions, your invoices… and heck, probably even your dinner date next week!
The programs are so complex with interwoven cool database-y, interlink-y tricks that pretty soon you've got 10 windows open and you still can't find that note you made in a comment field about what your customer likes.
What is the right tool for any job? I think the right tool is:
- The simplest one,
- The one you will actually use, and
- The one where you can find the information you need quickly.
Evernote, an awesome, free app for Mac, PC & mobile devices, can do just that—and help you serve your customers better.
Your Collectors Deserve Better
Is your buyer a piece of data or a living, breathing person?
Customers (and potential customers) need nurturing. Relationships are so much more important to growing your business than filling out database fields for super-dupery sorting. When you put your buyer's name and contact information into your database of transactions, or a potential customer into your gmail contacts, they might get filed away and forgotten.
Evernote makes it easier to keep in touch with the people who love you and your work by supplementing your brain—making links between the things you know, and the people you've interacted with.
5 Ways to Use Evernote to Cultivate Collectors
1. Store your buyers' info.
Make a note for every person you want to stay in touch with.
Record all of your interactions including the conversations you've had, their hobbies, what they've bought… and ANYthing you can think of. You are not bound by rigid fields someone else sets up for you.
2. Search for connections.
Evernote searches all of your notes organically, retrieves and shows you connections and possibilities you may never have thought of.
Alyson has posted about how handy the web clipper is in Evernote for researching and syncing between devices.
With your customers and their interests lodged in Evernote, you can quickly do a search and find an interesting, pertinent article to send to your customer.
3. Connect spontaneously and informally.
You're walking down the street and you see something that reminds you of a conversation you had last month with a fan … but who was it? Evernote reminds you, and you can take a quick pic and email it off with a note.
As an artist in business, your most valuable asset is your list of fans. Doesn't it sometimes feel pushy to send out only announcements? With Evernote helping you, you can send them personalized notes that delight and inform them, so you stay at the top of their mind.
4. Keep your email inbox clean.
You can forward important customer emails from your inbox right to Evernote using your assigned Evernote email. Don't forget to modify the Subject line to include your customer's name. (See how to do this.)
5. Connect buyers to purchases.
If you also set up Evernote to track and catalog your art, use Note Linking in Evernote to quickly see what each customer has purchased.
All the information you need is at your fingertips in Evernote, in a format that is easy to access that you will actually enjoy using. Try it!
About Our Guest Blogger
Laurie McCarriar is an Asheville-based photographic artist and artist geek, who helps artists & creatives learn and embrace simple tech tools to make the business of art less overwhelming—you get more time in your studio! Upcoming online course and reference guide: Artist Geek Guide to Using Evernote (for Artists)—ninja tips, tricks, workflow and templates to track your art, organize your brain, and keep your customers happy. Evernote is also one of the featured topics at her Beach Geek Retreat Week, held in Sandbridge VA every September.