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6 - Upgrade your customers
Another way to increase your income is to upgrade your customers to a more profitable product ("deluxe" shampoo for color treated hair, for example). It's really pretty easy, once you get hang of it. Here are some upgrade ideas that have worked well for my clients:
• Encourage your customers who ordinarily buy giclee reproductions to purchase an original painting.
• Introduce your existing customers to some of your more expensive or larger pieces of art.
• If you have collectors who so far have bought only your sketches or drawings, suggest they purchase one of your paintings next time.
7 - Cross-sell your customers
Cross-selling is simply selling your customers something different from - but related to - what they're already buying. Think back to shampoo example. Wouldn't it be relatively easy to cross-sell hair conditioner to someone who already uses shampoo?
Now take a look at your own artwork. Cross-selling might mean selling a piece of your pottery to one of your painting customers, selling a painting to one of your sculpture collectors, or suggesting your art note cards as an add-on sale when a customer stops by to pick up his pet portrait. Be imaginative, and you can increase both sales and profits.
8 - Get to know your customers and collectors
Remember that your customers are people first, customers second. Take your relationships beyond "business" and build personal relationships, as well. If appropriate, invite them to social gatherings, send a holiday card or drop them a postcard from your favorite vacation spot.
When you're chatting with your collectors, make it a habit to listen for important dates and occasions. Then remember their very special occasions with an artwork gift. Imagine having a small piece of your artwork forever connected in your collectors' minds with their 50th anniversary, birth of their first child or grandchild, or their son's graduation from medical school. Sometimes a little goes a very long way.
9 - Let your customers get to know you - and your art
Don't you just love it when you get to watch another artist at work and see for yourself how they do what they do? You're not alone.
Almost all art collectors are curious about how you create. So it makes good business sense to find ways to share your process with them. You might invite them to an informal demo. Show them photographs of location that inspired you. Or even let them try process themselves. Take time to show your customers what makes you and your art unique.
Customers who understand how you apply your paint, why you use those strange-looking long brushes, or how you get so many layers of color onto your canvas are not only educated about what you do - they're interested in what you do. And that will translate into more sales, and more referrals.
10 - Build strong, ongoing relationships with your collectors
Don't be shy about asking your customers for advice and input, whether it's on how you showcase or hang your work, or on new projects or techniques you're trying out. Do it one-on-one, or host a studio open house (notice I did not say "studio sale") to find out what they think.
And when you've just finished a new series or collection, or you're ready to hang a new gallery show, invite your best customers to your studio for a special preview of your new work. They'll love it.
Most importantly, be yourself with your customers and collectors. Yes, you may meet a collector or two who wants to be dazzled by art double-talk and rhetoric. Most collectors, however, will want to get to know real you. They'll love hearing about your feelings about your artwork, some of your artistic quirks - and even some of mistake youíve made.
Once customers and collectors really connect with you and your work, they'll be back for more. And that's good for every artist's business.
Best-selling author and coach Kathy Gulrich helps clients get from 'idea' to 'action' to 'results' more quickly, and more easily - whether they're looking to write a book, develop a new product, or market their product or business.
In a nutshell, Kathy is all about taking action - and getting exceptional results. Learn more at http://www.smARTbusinessCoaching.com