I received this email from Robbie Brokken, Gallery Director at the Lanesboro Art Center in Lanesboro, MN. Naturally I think she’s smart, since she sells the Fiber Art Almanac in her shop! She forwarded this to her mailing list, very kind of her since she is so busy, and I think it is worth a shout out:

Excerpt from Art Marketing 101, 4th edition page 164.

Top Habits of Successful Artists

Continually contact people

Make it an aim to call four people a day… Whether they be new prospects or current clients.  It’s guaranteed that not only will you become quite efficient on the phone, but your business will flourish.  Clients are the mainstay of any business. To call four people a day could take 15 minutes.  Don’t make them long conversations; in fact, they should be short, with a specific aim in mind.  You could ask for referrals, invite the person to visit a future opening or exhibit, and invite him to your studio to see your new series of work, thank her for a recent purchase. Be Creative!

Add to this list of four calls a day, sending four postcards. Now you have eight contacts a day; a total of 40 contacts a week!  If you try this for two months, you will be amazed at how your sales increase.

Follow up

Not only do successful artists follow up after they send out information, but they follow up even if they receive a rejection.  This means that they send out a postcard with one of their images on it, photo print, an announcement of an exhibition, whatever it is-at least every 6-12 months to all prospective clients and galleries and to former purchasers.  The rule in direct marketing is: you must contact people three times before they respond! As an artist you won’t have a huge mailing list/ it will be quite intimate, perhaps 100-400, so the cost to do a mailing is not overwhelming.

Use innovative marketing

Successful artists are always thinking of innovative ways to market. They are willing to take a risk if they feel a new idea might work.  For instance, new places to exhibit – an orchid show, an interior design show, a real estate show, a music conference, a sci-fi convention – whatever they think might work for their particular art style! Presentation is always consistent and top-notch, of course.

Press coverage

Successful artists consistently receive press coverage.  Although she might not get direct sales from this press coverage, a successful artist knows that in the long run it means many people see her name, artwork and progression over the years. This means a lot ot potential buyers.  It also means that the newspaper/ magazine approves of you.  Name recognition is of the greatest importance in any business.

Long term goals

All the successful artists I know have had long-term goals. This means they did not make it overnight.  They planned and strategized and suffered to get where they are today in the marketplace.  They never gave up.  They knew their aim, and they knew there would be down periods, as in all businesses. Aims and goals are the mainstay of any business.

And, really this is basics for any business–me included! Buy the book here!