Artists are afraid to sell their work.
I attend a lot of art shows, craft fairs, and gallery openings. I also buy a lot of art and hand-crafted items.
If you are a creator of beautiful things, I am your target audience!
Why, then, is it so difficult for me to stay connected with artists whose work I love (and even collect)?!
Because the artists don’t even try.
Every summer, I attend the biggest art and craft fair in New Hampshire. It is huge, includes hundreds of juried artisans, attracts thousands of attendees, and is even a great place for celebrity sightings. People attend this show to buy stuff.
Why, then, do none of the artists try to stay in contact with guests who visit their booth?
One year, I fell in love with raven photos by one of the featured photographers. I talked with the artist and wanted a larger size than he had with him – a size that he offered and had a price list for. He was excited, handed me a business card, and told me to get in touch with him.
Then he let me walk away.
I lost the business card, couldn’t remember the artist’s name, and still wish that I could purchase one of those raven photos.
Because the artist chose not to nurture a relationship with me via email, phone call, or even snail-mail, he missed out on at least one sale. Probably more.
Other vendors at the show do have an email sign-up sheet in their booth, but only one has ever sent me any emails. And, those were announcements about events the day before they happened.
It is time for creative people to overcome this fear of connection. It doesn’t have to take much time, it doesn’t have to be salesy, and it won’t make people hate you.
Here are three tips for any creative person who would like to generate raving fans through their email audience:
- Pretend the person receiving the email is actually standing in your studio door. What would you say? “Hello! Check out this new glaze. What do you think?” (There you go. All you need is a photo to attach, and I just wrote your first email for you!)
- Send emails frequently. You could even start or end each day with one.
- Talk about what you do – the tools, the techniques, the inspiration, the process, the results – but, keep it to one tiny detail per message.
Sounds easy and basic, right? It is. The more in-the-know your audience becomes, the more likely they will turn into raving fans and collectors of your work.
Go start right now.