Michelle, a woman in my mastermind group, marveled at my list size: How did you get that many people on your email list?
It was easy for me, I replied, because I understood the value of a list when I started my business.
I was fortunate to appreciate the importance of a list due to positions in my past work experience.
How I Built My List
As an assistant to a U.S. Senator, I came to recognize that my boss’s donor list and my Rolodex (yes, it was that long ago) were the most valuable assets in our office to ensure continued community support. As a museum curator and educator, I knew how much we relied on our members and donors for financial support.
Lists are indispensable in both of those situations, which is probably why creating a database of names was the first thing I did when I started Art Biz Coach.
Starting with the names in the database, I focused on expanding my list, primarily by sending a newsletter with useful content every week since March 2002 – no exceptions! (Now it’s twice a week.)
My subscribers know that they can rely on hearing from me on Mondays and Thursdays, and that I do my best to share something that will help them grow their art businesses. This has not only increased the number of people on my list, it’s also helped me build trust with them. (You can subscribe by using the form in the sidebar to the right.)
My hope is that you read this article and fully understand that you can’t discount the impact a mailing list can have on your art business. Nor can you afford to have a list and ignore your responsibilities for nurturing it.
Evaluate Your List
The first thing I work on with most clients is evaluating their list. Here are some questions I ask.
How many people are on your email list? What are you doing to build your list?
What do you send to your list? How can you make it more valuable to them?
How frequently do you use your list? Are you consistent and reliable?
How do you keep your list? How do ensure its security?
How do you cultivate your list so that people feel like individuals and not just one of hundreds?
When clients aren’t getting good results, I can often trace it back to the fact that they’re not using their lists.
Your mailing list is the #1 asset in your art business, but only if you continue to develop it and keep it warm.