Invite your best art collectors over to your studio to have a drink and celebrate your relationship.
Let us explain . . . .
Last week Kevin Kelley told us that artists can make a living by forgetting the long tail and simply finding their true fans.
Well said, Kevin. This is the same concept that we've been touting for months in this space, in posts such as Less is More, Artists Need to Fatten the Long Tail, and 1. vs. 100.
As we've pointed out in the past, back when we owned an art gallery, most of the sales (in dollars) each year came from less than 100 people.
The encouraging news for you is this: You don't need a ton of traffic and customers to be successful....you simply need a few devoted fanatics.
How do you find these true fans?
As we discussed in The Collector Courtship you....well....court them.
Think about what Seth said about Bruce Springsteen and his courting of his fan club, "At some point in the last 35 years, Bruce won over each one of those fans - one at a time - and began a relationship. One he respects highly. And every so often he throws a party and we're all invited to come over for a few drinks to celebrate that relationship."
When was the last time you had a party and invited your best collectors to have a few drinks to "celebrate your relationship?"
For this strategy to really work, you must be the one to court your fans....directly.
We can tell you, that when we owned our gallery, we courted collectors all the time, but, frankly, those people became our fans....because we were the ones doing the courting . . . not the artists.
As Kelley says, "To raise your sales out of the flatline of the long tail you need to connect with your True Fans directly. Another way to state this is, you need to convert . . . Lesser Fans into . . . True Fans."
Begin your courtship with your collectors today.
Here are some practical ideas to start with:
1. Cultivate a genuine relationship with each fan.
2. Remember details about each fan's interests (keep notes so you don't forget)
3. Communicate with each fan individually when you have artwork or news of interest.
4. Invite your fans to special events at your studio or gallery.
5. Allow your best fans to have special privileges....such as seeing new work before it is released to the public
6. When you open a new exhibit, have a special dinner or party for your past collectors
7. Write personal thank you notes to each person who purchases your work, and invite them to join your "inner circle"
8. Send good collectors notecards or small prints (that feature your artwork) as gifts
9. Throw a party for your best collectors to "celebrate the relationship"
10. Write a heartfelt note to your best collector.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic
PS - When you throw your party, don't forget to invite us . . . . we prefer a good Pino :-).