Creating connections and more sales: Valuable add ons for emerging artists

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Show appreciation to buyers with small extras. (Photo: Courtney Hedger, Unsplash)

 

Artists need more than paint and canvas to make an exceptional impression when they hand over their art to a buyer.

A business card won’t do it, and bubble wrap or a protective sleeve is just an appetizer for really showing you care for your art and your art collectors.  That said, really beautiful wrapping of your art is a smart strategy for standing out.

Your goal is to show appreciation to buyers who support you – and to show how much you want them to value your work.  Start with one or two of  these  additions to your artists marketing tool kit:

Certificate of authenticity –     Give this to the person buying the piece as proof that it is a valuable work and created by you. This certificate should include specifics about the piece, including dimensions and the size of the edition if it is a limited edition, according to Saatchi Art. Create a certificate that reflects you as an artist, and be sure to print it on high quality paper, not just basic copy paper. 

Caring for the work handout –  Keep your artwork looking fresh and clean by giving buyers instructions for handling routine cleaning and maintenance. Check out these  variety of instructions as a starting point, then personalize them to your art and your buyers.  Include instructions  on displaying your work – whether to avoid sunlight and how to anchor it and more.  After you compile your instructions, ask three friends who buy art to read and edit them for clarity and completeness.  Then design the handout so it’s attractive and include a way to connect – email, text messages or something else – for buyers’ questions or needs.

Lagniappe. Create something small that will you give as a bonus gift to collectors as they buy.. It’s a little extra, a surprise that you give in appreciation.  Come up with a few ideas: a sketch, a bookmark created out of old work, a few cards with your most popular images on them,  or a calendar featuring your images and those of a couple of friends. You also could give high quality chocolate bar, sourced locally, or something that relates to your work and your themes.  Mint uses greeting cards and sometimes, our limited edition prints such as this Enchanted Apple, created in our Summer Jobs program by Mint Artists Natasha Guest.

Mint’s Enchanted Apple print could be a wonderful bonus gift for a major collector.

Buy again discount – Offer buyers who spend at least $250 a discount card that will give them 15 to 20 percent off if they purchase another piece within 90 days. Make sure the card has a space to fill in the valid until date and that you provide a list of upcoming shows where they may purchase your art.    

Some artists prefer never to discount their work so they may want to offer a discount on framing from a local frame shop or a  gift card for coffee in an independent cafe that shows quality art.  Then ask the collector to join you coffee and bring along a few new pieces!  Your goal is to connect and understand your collector, and perhaps make a repeat sale. 

Be sure to collect details about your buyer, including their partner’s name and their address.  Artists also may want to invest in some beautiful thank you notes, showing their art, and send one within a week or two to buyers. 

Take time to arrange and prepare a few of these extras during the slower months, so you have them prepared to give to buyers at art fairs, studio visits or other events.