We all know that web sites and blogs live and die because of traffic. This puts Google, as the Internet's de facto
start page, front and center in most artists minds as a traffic-driving strategy. However, Google should not be the only.....nor even the main focus of your online marketing efforts. We've written about this subject before in our articles "What if Google Went Away?" and "Google Alone is Not Marketing." This series is exploring specific ideas to drive traffic to your web site....some will work synergistically with search engines like Google....while others will not be dependent upon search engines at all. All of these strategies will work with or without search engines.
Today's strategy is is to Systematically Nurture Your Prospects.
Who are your prospects?
These are people who have expressed interest in you or your artwork. You should have two mailing lists: a regular "snail mail" list and an email list. You might also want to consider segmenting your lists into people who have bought and people who have not bought. If you don't have an organized mailing list getting one set up is your first priority
. If you are just getting started, then simply start by making a list of everyone you know
What do you do with your prospects?
Communicate early and communicate often.....communicate, communicate, communicate! Did we mention that you should communicate with your prospects? Your number one online strategy is an email newsletter. Once people sign up for your email list, you have an easy and inexpensive way to get in front of them on a regular basis. We would recommend a weekly email newsletter. Monthly gets to be too few, in our opinion. You need to include content in your newsletter that will be of interest to your prospects - content about you, your work, upcoming shows, but also consider including general articles about art collecting, reviews of other artists, make it useful information not just all shameless self-promotion. By the way, this concept works with blogs too, and you should
have a blog *if*
you are committed to keeping it up to date....but blogs are not magic, just a piece of the puzzle. If you were to only pursue one strategy, we would recommend the email newsletter route over blogs. A really powerful strategy is to simply combine the two concepts by posting your information to your blog and then duplicating it to your email newsletter. And don't forget that snail mail list - they should get communication too. Due to time and expense constraints you won't be able to send to your snail mail list as often, but don't use that as an excuse to ignore it.
How do you communicate with your prospects?
We addressed this a bit already, but here are some suggested ways that you can systematically communicate with and nuture your prospects:
1. Email Campaigns
2. Personal Emails
3. Snail Mail Newsletters
4. Personal snail mail notes
5. Your web site
6. A Blog
7. RSS Feeds
8. Telephone campaigns
9. Open studio time
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic
Related Pages and Posts
Make a list of everyone you know
Writing for Non-Writers
What if Google Went Away? by Clint Watson
Google Alone is Not Marketing
What REALLY Drives Web Traffic
Review the Work of Another Artist
Focuse the Lens: Email Marketing Program
THE Biggest Mistake by Alyson Stanfield