Image (c) Tracy Wall
Side note: Last night I purchased a work very much like this one (not sure it’s the same one since I had to leave it on the wall!) at Tracy Wall’s opening reception. I think, gasp, that it's my first pastel. It even made an appearance in my dream.
An email from a reader wants to know what you give to the person who buys art from you–”without going overboard.”
Consider leaving your collectors with these items.
- A receipt
- Your business card
- A brochure or “one sheet” (more on the one sheet later) or statement and bio
- Instructions on caring for the art
- Resources they might be interested in
- Something that says that you retain copyright and what this means if they want to use the image on a holiday card or blow it up and make posters out of it (hey, it happens!). See the Legal Guide for Visual Artists to get the lingo. I would say this is one of the most important pieces of paper you can give a buyer. Most people have no clue about intellectual property, and why should they?
Some artists will include a “Certificate of Authenticity,” which some collectors might find to be pretty neat. However (warning!), it’s my experience that very sophisticated collectors (truly, those purchasing thousands and thousands of dollars worth of art every year) will find this kind of odd. It just isn’t done at that level.
Follow-up with collectors.
I would say that you probably shouldn’t give your buyers–upon purchase–anything more than the items above. The challenge will be following up and staying on their radar screens. (Addition: As Tina noted in the comments and I chillingly forgot when I published this: Send thank-you notes immediately! Don't neglect this step.) Every couple of months you could send your buyers any of the following.
- Articles about you, about art, about collecting
- Articles about anything else you come across that you know they’re interested in (I was just thinking of you . . . )
- Changes in your contact information
- Announcements of awards
- Postcards from your art travels
What have I forgotten? How do you follow up with buyers, whether it’s immediately upon purchase or at a later date?