To experience art marketing success, to sell more artwork, to become a microcelebrity....
what you truly need with your prospects is ENGAGEMENT.
What is engagement?
Yaro Starack of Entrepreneuers Journey defines engagement this way:
"Engagement means that [your fans] are not only entertained and informed, they come away truly benefiting from your output. Their life has been enhanced in some way and they want more. . .This is about more than just attention. This is prolonged focus leading to action. It’s not easy to cut through all the information on the web and grab attention and it’s even rarer for people to be so compelled that they take an action just as a result of reading your words. . .Not only do you elicit an action, but that action is a cry for more. You’ve managed to convince this person through the content on your blog, that you are someone they can respect, who has authority about a topic and has done something that they want to emulate."
Are your Prospects Engaged?
1. Are your clients regularly emailing you and letting you know how your artwork has changed their lives?
2. Are people on your email list replying to your emails with praises about your artwork and/or your writing?
3. Do people email you with all kinds of questions, especially long detailed questions?
4. When you attend art shows do you have a little mini-following of devoted fans?
5. Do you find people linking to your blog or website unsolicited?
6. Do you run across people talking about your artwork in online forums?
7. Are you bombarded with requests to teach workshops, participate in exhibits or show your work in new galleries?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you have some engagement happening. The more engagement you have, the better positioned you are for promoting your artwork down the road.
Quality Trumps Quantity
But always keep in mind, it's not the quantity that really matters, but the quality. One email from a truly devoted fan is better than 100 emails from tire-kickers.
For example, not long ago I received the following email, which is not only a superb example of true engagement, but it means more to me than all the search engine traffic in the world:
"Clint Watson is doing as much,or more for modern American artists as the Medici family did for 15th century Italian artists. My only personal regret is not being computer savvy enough to take advantage of everything that he has so carefully and comprehensively crafted for our encouragement, marketing and networking. Clint, you have not only inspired my drive to be more prolific but also my determination to learn to use all the tool that you have so graciously offered. Thanks, A.G. Blankenship"
I'm truly blessed and humbled by A.G. words. As I read them, I experienced an "aha moment" that opened my eyes to the fact that . . . yes, my daily work makes a difference in the world . . . to at least one other person. When you experience that "aha moment" for yourself, you'll realize that you are truly engaging your prospects....that you are truly participating in the Collector Courtship.
How to Encourage Engagement
Most of what I write teaches you how to "encourage engagement." But here are a few general principles:
1. Alyson Stanfield says, you must choose the right words and entice your prospects.
2. Be visible, by Going Where the Collectors Are.
3. Drip, drip, drip messages to your prospects continuously by sending email newsletters, blogging, and mailing postcards.
4. Make sure you have quality "products" . . . in your case artwork to satisfy your followers when they're ready to take your relationship to "the next level" and make a purchase.
In upcoming posts, I'll be expanding upon this theme and giving you more specific ideas, tools and resources to continue your Collector Courtship.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic
PS - I really want to know how you engage your prospects! Please, leave a comment and share what has worked for you. You might just make a difference in another artist's life, simply by sharing one idea . . . . and making a difference in someone else's life is a wonderful feeling. Isn't that why you create art in the first place?
Related Pages and Posts
Engagement: The Magic Ingredient You Need For Success Online Today (Yaro Starak / Entrepreneur's Journey)
1 vs. 100 (Clint Watson / FineArtViews)
Become a Microcelebrity (Clint Watson / FineArtViews)
Arley Blankenship Fine Art (A.G. Blankenship)
Entice Me (Alyson Stanfield / ArtBizCoach.com)
Where the Collectors Are (Clint Watson / FineArtViews)
Drip, Drip, Drip goes the Twit (Seth Godin / Seth Godin's Blog)