A lot of people love my art, but feel reluctant to have it in their house.
Well, even my own parents call my art psychotic and messed-up. My mother, after years of denying my identity as an artist, came to me asking for a painting now that I had been exhibited in quite a few shows.
But here’s what she said:
So to a point, I relate to people who complimented me but never made a purchase, not even a $25 print.
And you could probably imagine how happy I was to make a sale on an original.
The sales was made in October, at the Mythic People, Places & Magic Things show at the Mayflower Arts Center in Troy, OH. Within one week after the show has ended, I received my commission check: still a decent amount after commission deduction and tax.
That’s when I realized a sales was not the end.
It might be the end of my ownership of that painting, but not the final stage of its life-cycle.
Step One: Connect
If you haven’t connected with the buyer on social media, do it.
Because social media is a giant referral system in its nature.
Social Media, especially Facebook, inherited the oldest, yet most effective marketing method called Word of the Mouths and radiated its effect using the Internet’s infinitive power.
If your buyer posts about her purchase, all her friends will know what and where she bought.
If you post the product and tag your buyer in it, everyone follows her will see the post as well.
If 1 out of that 100+ FB friends your buyer has shown interest in your work, you’d have a potential lead.
You have the opportunity to network with everyone who responded to the post. (Even if you don’t make sales right away, it is still good to keep these people in your network.)
Now, I know many artists have difficulties communicating with others. Often, being outgoing really is not our strongest field.
That’s why I’m showing you how to do this, step by step.
Step Two: Ask for a Review
Here’s another fact:
Art buyers are more than willing to leave a review with the purchase, especially if that person bought an original directly from a gallery exhibition.
They want to know that they are not only spending money on a good painting, but that they are also making a difference in the artist’s career. If they can build a personal relationship with the artist, that is even better.
Now that I have added my buyer on Facebook, I’m ready to approach her for a review.
A few points to notice:
This is someone who willingly purchased your art with zero hard sales attempt from your end.
This is not a business partner, but an individual who is purely interested in your work.
Speak directly, firmly and with courtesy.
Articulate what you need. In most cases, that will be a photo of the artwork hanging in her house.
Tag your buyer during his/her most active hours
Step Three: Form a Friendship
Thanks to the Internet, it is much easier for people to build a general friendship nowadays.
By general, I mean this friendship doesn’t have to become overly personal. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing certain private emotions and life challenges with your buyer, that is perfectly fine.
As long as this is a genuine, kind & heartwarming relationship, it will benefit you in the long term. You may even call this networking, but networking has nothing to do with hypocrisy.
Some things you can do to boost your relationship:
Interact with that person’s posts. In most cases, liking the post is enough. Comment, only if you honestly have something to say. (Because there is nothing worse than snippet comments marketers paste under everyone’s Instagram to generate follow-back conversions.)
Make sure that person can see your artist updates.
Invite him/her to like your artist page.
Ask her if she wants to be included to your mailing list. (DO NOT add him/her without permission!)
DM if you have an exhibition in her area.
Tag that person in things you see (because we all have things popping up on our feed) that you believe is of that person’s interest, or something nice and fun.
Don’t miss those holiday greetings and birthday wishes.
One last thing:
This is marketing. And marketing is about interpersonal relationships.
Just because you are an introvert artist does not mean that you are incapable of forming a health post-sales relationship with your collector.
Keep in mind, though.
Do not reach out to your buyer as if you want that person to help you sell, or as if you are trying to sell another piece to her.
As I said, be genuine. In other words, be the person that you would be willing to speak to if you are in your buyer’s shoes.