Details, Details, Details!

Building a great business, no matter what that business is, is all about developing relationships with your customers and then being able to keep in touch with them.

The success of your art business relies on letting people know when new originals are available or a new show is on or when new reproductions or products are available for sale. You need a great database to be able to contact your clients easily. A great database has all their contact details – full name, address, phones, emails, websites, and other important information about them to help you personalise your promotional materials or correspondence.

Good databases take time to develop so if you haven’t already got one, start now. One great way to build your database is to collect the details of everyone who attends your next exhibition. Simply have someone at the door to take down the details of every visitor. Be sure that the person has handwriting you can understand or if people fill out their own forms, that you ask them to print their details. Perhaps offer a lucky door prize to encourage them to leave their details. By filling in the form they give you permission to correspond with them but don’t drive them nuts sending emails every day!

Develop a V.I.P. list – the people on this list are your regular clients and collectors. If these people keep showing up at your exhibitions and keep buying artwork from you, they need to be treated a little differently. Every client is special, just some are more special than others. This list of V.I.P.’s will get sneak previews at new work, first invites to shows etc. If you look after your best clients, they will look after you.

If you find that there are people that come to your shows simply to drink the free booze, then maybe they might come off the invite list for the future. Remember you are allowed to pick and choose your clients, just like your clients pick and choose whose art they buy. A database can be divided into different groups – one for your regular clients, people you meet at networking events and want to keep track of for a later invite and so on.

With Facebook, blogs and websites, playing such an important role in our lives today, both personally and professionally, it’s important not to forget the personal touch and the effect a card in the mail can have on someone. A good database allows you to keep track of what’s happening in your business, treat it with the respect it deserves. Like all important files on your computer, make sure you regularly back it up and store it in several safe places, treat it like gold!

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