- by Barney Davey
When You Find Collectors It Pays Dividends!
Building a growing list of patrons who want to buy art from you directly is the best move you can make. Knowing how to find collectors is how to sell more art on a steady basis while avoiding the pitfalls of fickle galleries, constantly changing social media and untrustworthy third-party distributors.
What Is the Value of an Art Collector to You?
Do you know how much it costs you to acquire a collector? How much would you pay to add a collector to your list? Do not be embarrassed if you do not know. It is not an easy question to answer. Capturing and mining the required data is tough for all businesses. A precise answer is not possible.
1. Determining Art Collector Acquisition Costs Can Be Tricky
Let’s suppose you took a booth in an art fair for $800 and came away with four new collectors. You could say each cost you $200. But, that would leave out travel, lodging, marketing and other assorted expenses, which easily could double your cost.
The point of asking is to encourage you to track and categorize your marketing costs. To succeed at this, you also need to pursue aggressively learning how art collectors found you.
2. Being Proactive in Finding Useful Data Pays Dividends
While at a show, ask buyers and prospects if your marketing, show marketing, or another artist’s promotion pulled them in. In other communications, you can make a specific special offer related to your request for an address that will identify the source.
Being disciplined in tracking what attracts new art collectors will help you intelligently spend your marketing dollars. For instance, if postcards work then use them more frequently. If email works, then send more emails.
3. A Viable Email List Is a Most Valuable Business Asset
Be diligent about collecting both postal and email addresses. Your list of potential art collectors is your lifeline to success. A good way to ask for new list sign ups, and how prospects found you, is to offer something of value in return for their cooperation. For example, a mini-print, a box of notecards, free shipping, or a show special.
4. Keep Track of What Works
Collecting names arguably is the most important task you perform for your art business. If you are not making contact collection a high priority, start now. Make it easy for someone to give you their information on your blog, and your website.
Use an opt-in form from any of the many broadcast email providers. I use Convertkit because it is simple but offer marketing automation. If you want a service free to start try Mailerlite. It offers marketing automation even at the free level.
5. Keep Testing and Refining Your Offer
Try splitting your offers and promotions to the same list. By testing, you will find the most effective way of making your offers. The more your offers hit home, the better your results will be.
6. Ask for Referrals
Don’t be shy, an easy way to start getting referrals is to encourage your prospects and buyers to forward you emails, pass your postcards along, or tell others to sign up for your special offers.
Be creative in thinking about how you can develop unique ways to help you collect contact information. The payoff will be worth the effort as it drives down the cost of acquiring new collectors. This may be the most useful and least used method of finding art collectors. Use that to your advantage.
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