The writer of this guest blog is Alyson B. Stanfield of Art Biz Coach.
Your contact is your most important asset. The people you know–regardless of whether or not they are part of the art cognoscenti–will help you succeed. And no one can succeed on his or her own.
In the simplest terms, a contact list contains names and contact information of people you know or might like to know. For the artist, a contact list usually begins with friends and family, and then expands to buyers and potential buyers.
You use your contact list to stay in touch with all of these people–to keep them informed of your goings-on. In a nutshell, your contact list is the primary tool you use to share your art with the world. Sincere sharing is much easier and much more effective than trying to sell.
These days, the artist’s contact list contains both bricks-and-mortar addresses along with email addresses and phone numbers. It might also include friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter.
Guidelines for Your Contact List
►Don’t delay. The longer you wait to begin or to update your mailing list, the more work you make for yourself. You don’t want to have something to tell everyone and then have to carve out time to input names into your computer. Building a contact list is something every artist can do regardless of experience. You already know people! Having said that . . .
►Give yourself a break. Forgive yourself for not starting earlier and don’t look back.
►Build your list from scratch. Don’t purchase a mailing list. Lots of people will eagerly sell you a mailing list, but you’re going to annoy a lot of people on your list who have nothing to do with your work. No purchased mailing list can be as valuable to you as the one you build with a keen eye on your long-term goals.
►Use software that makes it easy on you. While names and addresses are waiting to enter your computer, keep everything in a file folder so that it’s in one place when the time comes.
►Use your list! It’s absolutely worthless if it gathers virtual dust on your hard drive.
►Treat those on your list like gold. They will help you succeed. They want to help you succeed.
I will talk a lot about contact lists (building them and using them) in my art-marketing workshop in Durham May 20-21.
I’m thrilled to be introducing the new edition of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion at HUB-BUB in Spartanburg on Sunday, May 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. I’ll do a brief talk and then answer your questions. I’d love to meet you, so please stop by!