Building your momentum
SPECIAL THANKS TO AUDREY HELLER, KEY CONTRIBUTOR
Every person who visits your studio is valuable. They may not buy your work today, but they might tomorrow, or six years from now, or they might want to send a friend to you. Make that easy for them.
YOUR GUEST BOOK IS GOLD
For an independent artist, your mailing list is your most powerful marketing tool. Giving your business card is great, but it puts the follow up contact in the control of the visitor. It should be in your control. Always have a guest book handy at your Open Studio! Invite every visitor to sign the guest book. You never know who is going to be a customer or who will link you to a customer.
ORGANIZING YOUR GUEST BOOK
Maintain your list in a searchable database. This could be a spreadsheet like Excel or Google Docs or a more dynamic database like Filemaker Pro. The more information you maintain, the more valuable this list becomes. It will be the key to your NEXT Open Studio. Some of it may seem like overkill when your list is small, but as your list grows, the extra effort will be worthwhile.
ORGANIZATIONAL FIELDS/ SPREADSHEET COLUMNS
- First name
- Last name (keeping the names separate gives you more sorting and personalization options)
- Second name (Spouse, partner, etc.)
- Street Address
- State (You might want to send a message to people only in San Francisco, or only Colorado, or only Chicago. It makes your e-mail more relevant than if it can be location based)
- Zip Code
- Date added to your list
- Source of Contact ("Open Studios 2014", "Web", "ArtSpan Mixer", etc. This is very handy for deciding who you will contact about future events.)
- Category (Friend, colleague, artist, none)
- Receive promotional mail? Yes/No
- Collector? Yes/No (These are folks who might get some extra loving, like a real card sent through the mail or a special invite or offer.)
- Notes ("Newlyweds", "Funny 6-year old who showed me his lego", "Regular visitor". Anything that might add a personal touch to a future contact.)
Your mailing list is your investment in the future. The time you spend setting it up, cleaning it, adding to it, and organizing it may seem tedious, but it will pay off over time.
Send cards or e-mails with pictures of artwork people liked after the event. Always include an appropriately sized image of your work, a link to your website, and a notice of your next event.