It is the best way to grow an email list and communicate on a regular basis with your buyers and prospects.
I believe artists need to build a relationship with art collectors who buy from them with no intermediary. The more art buyers you have that know you, the less likely you are to take a hit when one of your distribution channels fail.
It’s only a matter of time before a gallery will close, or your favorite social media channel pulls the rug from under you. You have zero control of these distribution channels. Their customers are not your customers. Anything you do to make sales through third parties such as galleries and social media is an expense causing you to earn less money.
I believe in using galleries. I know social media can help you sell art. I just think they need to be in the right perspective. That is, as secondary or tertiary methods of selling your art. Selling art to buyers one-on-one is your primary way to stay profitable and in control.
If selling directly to collectors is not your first method getting your art to market, start to fix that now. It’s your future. No one cares more about your career than you do. Relationships with direct buying customers give you control. They form a solid foundation that minimizes inevitable problems from third-party sales networks.
If you agree that building a collector base is a solid strategic goal, then you should understand why I believe you need to blog. It is one thing to recognize that marketing to buyers and creating a collector base is a good thing. It is another to get the job done.
The reason why artists should blog is it the most efficient way to build an email list and communicate with buyers and prospects. To sell anything, you need interest from many potential buyers. It’s a numbers game.
On average, 4-10% of your interested prospects and current customers may buy from you in a given year. Many factors affect the range. You might have done an extraordinary show, or produced an exciting series of art that takes wing and sells as fast as you make it. You may have improved your communications and kept your prospects enthralled with your art.
You can only do so many “extra” shows. And, we all know shows are never a given thing. You can do your best and still not have a stellar outcome at a show. You always strive to make art that will jump off the walls, but experience tells you that sometimes you strike gold in a way that is not easy to replicate.
You don’t always know why certain images create extraordinary interest. It’s a random dynamic that is part of creating art. It is the same for authors, filmmakers, playwrights and all creatives. Be grateful when it happens and work it to your benefit as you can.
That brings us back to blogging. Yes, you can do all sorts of things to create interest in your work. But, to build sustained interest from direct buying collectors, you need a list. There is no other option. Period. Without a list of interested prospects, you have nothing.
A successful blog sustains interest in your work. It helps you sell your art. You will grow your email list with a blog. Your prospects may love you and love your artwork. That does not mean they are willing to give you permission to email them without a reason. Besides, they will not give their email address with the express purpose of you sending sales messages to them. It doesn’t work that way.
As we noted above, only a small percentage of potential buyers buy in a 12-month range. You need to engage the rest on a regular basis to keep their interest. A blog does that for you. If all you do is send occasional emails that are notices to come to a show, or that you have new artwork to sell, your list will wither and die.
If your list is not growing and getting better, it’s getting worse. It takes active participation from you to develop and to maintain your email marketing list. It won’t grow, and it will not be effective for you unless you manage it with care.
A viable, responsive email list is a crucial part of your business. It is a bottom line asset that will make the difference between success and failure for most artists. Nothing will help you grow and maintain your email list better than a blog.
Your blog gives you a valid, efficient method to request email addresses from prospects. It gives you permission to send a frequent communication with them. It keeps awareness for you and your art high.
You can use your blog posts as content for your social media. Images from your posts can go on Pinterest and Instagram. You can publish links to your posts on your Facebook page and in your LinkedIn account.
You can repurpose your blog posts to publish a group of them as an e-book or even a physical book. You can use your blog posts to show as examples to support your requests to guest blog on a top blog in your market.
Your website is your virtual real estate on the Internet. You have exclusive rights to that virtual space. No one can take it away, change the rules, or stop traffic from coming or buyers from buying. Your blog is your dynamic marketing arm for your website, which is static by comparison.
You have a brand, which is your reputation. Before the days of the Internet, a personal brand came from what galleries and the media said about you. To a much lesser extent, what word-of-mouth said about you and your art. Today, everyone knows everything about everybody.
A blog puts you in control of your digital brand and your reputation. If you post to your blog with frequency, then when others search your name, they will find your posts, and your website as a result. If you don’t blog on a frequent basis, what searchers will find is what others have to say about you. Who wants that when you have the option to control your brand?