It’s February! The month when I (and many others) revert to those days when I used to put Valentine’s Day cards into decorated paper bags that were attached to the backs of elementary classroom chairs. While I no longer stuff greetings into paper bags, I am an easy target for anything with a heart on it or anything that’s pink and red.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to follow suit, and you don’t have to get all sappy. But you can take advantage of the season and show your patrons, collectors, and community a little love. It’s a perfect time to pay attention to that contact list.
|Jennifer McChristian, Chapter Four. Oil on panel, 16 x 20 inches.
First, make sure your contact list is up to date. All names, addresses, and email addressees should be entered into your database. Always remember my mantra: Your contact list is your #1 asset. It’s vital to your success that everyone (everyone!) you know is on it, and that you’re able to access it at a moment’s notice.
Next, use your contact list! It’s only your #1 asset if you actually use it; otherwise, it’s worthless. You’ll send the usual newsletters, email announcements, and postcards to your list, but add a twist.
Send an unexpected Valentine’s Day surprise to the VIPs on your list: a great article about collecting or caring for art; a packet of note cards tied with a red velvet bow; or free passes to the art house movie theater (for the platinum VIPs!). Last spring, jewelry designer Shannon Sunderland sent a small polishing cloth with a beautiful letterpress note that said, “Thank you for being my customer.” This wasn’t an expensive gesture, but really showed some love to the people on her list!
Finally, add to your contact list. You should be meeting people and building your list with regularity. You’ll use your email list differently from your snail-mail list, but you need both to stay in touch effectively with your contacts.
KNOW THIS———-~> Your contact list is your #1 asset–IF you use it.
THINK ABOUT THIS—~> Are you using (in a good way) your connections to their fullest potential?
DO THIS————~> Show a little love to your community by reaching out to your contact list. Tell people you care about them. Thank them for buying your art, giving you leads, and showing up at your events. Marketing your art gets a whole lot easier when you remember that it’s about building relationships and sharing your art rather than mastering selling techniques.