The work begins AFTER you've gotten the sale.
You might think that you've got the big win after you close a sale but that is where the work of getting the most return on your effort and investments begins. Your best new collectors are your prior collectors. However, you need a strategy for reaching out to them. Patience and tradecraft are your assets here. Take a look at how I increased sales from Redmond Art Festival from $23,000 to $25,500 and on to $31,500.
After I finished this video, I called Doug. Doug is a collector of mine in Las Vegas who owns Solitude, Ice Cave With A View, and Moon Over Mt Baker. We've talked about Tree of Fire multiple times and, emboldened, I gave him a call and pitched the one behind my desk to him.
Like I always say, The Art Of Selling Art takes place at the practical level. It takes place at the application level. We had a conversation and Doug is going to collect Tree of Fire using ArtMoney.
This is turning out to be a good month.
- - Welcome to the Art of Selling Art. My name is Jason. And today we're talking about what happens after you've gotten the sale. Now a lot of people think and I used to when I started that once you get the sale, it's off to the next kill. Wash your hands, rinse, repeat, and go ahead and get the person at the door. You're not entirely wrong. However, my argument is that you are leaving a lot of money on the table. And my goal today with this installment is to help you take more of that money off that table. Help you bulletproof your career going forward. And help you set yourself up for success.
Let's add a little bit of context. This is about a month and a half after the Redmond Art Festival. And if you watch the complete guide to Art Festivals or Art Fairs rather that I sold four large pieces at the show and two of them had to be produced and delivered later. So for me, it takes about 30 days to produce a new piece of work, get it shipped, and delivered. And in this case, I had the opportunity to install it myself into the collector's home. And with that installation, I was able to create a follow on sale and this is what it looks like.
So this was Redmond Art Festival. And this was the piece that needed to be produced. And then this was the piece I was able to add to the sale once I was there in front of the collectors again. So there's a look the collector with the new piece. And this is the original piece that we installed. And it was a major large piece. 72 inches so not exceptionally huge. However, installing it in this location was actually a challenge. It was in as stairwell that, it goes up and then it turns around and goes back so it was a very narrow space to work in for such a large piece. And is also a very unique space that needed the right piece of art and thankfully, they found mine and they loved it. I wanna talk about that process. I wanna talk about the process of getting follow on sales both in situations like this where you actually get to have a communication in person with the collector. And also when you're doing it via email cause someone bought it online and you shipped it there to them and you don't get to see them again.
Okay, let's take another step back, add a little bit more context. There are three ways to make money selling art. Now I'm talking about selling limited editions and original editions and things like that. I'm not talking about licensing and all the other ancillary ways to earn money from your work. The first way we talked about, that's finding new customers, getting them on the door, and getting sale. Okay, that's what all of us are doing everyday. That's the grind, it's Facebook, it's Instagram, it is ads on social media, Snapchat, Google AdWords, email campaigns, it's all of that. It takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of money and of course money is time so there's a double whammy. Way number two is to get a greater return on your initial sale. So that means adding a second piece at the point of sale or increasing your price in general to get a greater return on your investment. And then way number three is this, this is what we are talking about today. It is gaining an extra sale, a little bit more of ROI from the collectors whom you already have. Now these are people who you already went through process number one with. You already spent all that money and time and now you have their information, you own it, and anything you get from here on end is basically free. So it's really important that you can capitalize on this. Also, there is some great articles on there about bulletproofing your career. And that's kind of why I have that term stuck in my head. But 100 collectors, 100 collectors could bulletproof your career going forward for the next decade or two. That's people who every year or two, buy a piece of your work. And you have a 100 of those in rotation, you can make an income. You can make a living wage and you can be a professional artist.
Alright, so way number three, you've got the sale, what do you do next? Let me go over quickly what happened with Michelle and Mark and then I'll go over a bit of a general way of, you can approach this using email and the phone or however you're communicating with your collectors. Michelle and Mark ordered this piece. It needed to be delivered. That means I had about 30 days of a gap between their purchase and their installation. Now whenever someone buys a piece of art from me, I say, "Hey you can take 15% off your next piece of art. Anything else you buy from me for the next three months, the next quarter." We're talking about why three months and why 15% in a little bit. But I gave that spill to Michelle and Mark as I give it to everyone at art shows. But I had the opportunity to do because the piece has been delivered was I was able to stay in touch with Michelle and Mark during that 30 day interval. So give them updates and say, hey your piece is being produced right now, here's a picture from the printer. And hey, we just packed your artwork. Let's, you know, it's gonna take... Here's a shipping number and it's gonna take x amount of time to get there. And I'll keep you updated on shipping notifications.
During those communiques, I was able to put in a little hints about, here's my catalog for your next piece. Now at the show, I manage to bring on the second day that piece, it's called Survivor. And Michelle really took a liking to it. So there's a little bit of luck involved in this. She really loved this piece. And what I was able to do is say, "Hey, I still have this piece, would you like me to bring it when I install, Multnomah Falls?" And she said, "Yes, please do." So I brought it then we did the install and it was there, we actually hung it in her office. And she was enthusiastic about it. And her husband loved that she was enthusiastic about it. And I managed to get this follow on sale for 2,500. So that's $2,500 for the sale. The actual piece is 28 something so minus the 15%, this was their discount and this discount was what pushed kind of Mark into the, okay I'm gonna get it category because now is the best time, now is my best opportunity to get this at the best price. And that's how that sale went.
Now I have a whole another second going on. And this one is involving augmented reality. So if you've done your diligence and if you've watched the augmented reality video which is also a part of the complete guide to art fairs. I have this one collector. He bought this piece called Her and had it installed and then he's been using the augmented reality and we've been going back and forth, this time in text messages, because remember I said, get their phone numbers, about a piece for his, this big empty wall that he has in kind of den area. Now they've settled on this. They actually came to one of my other art shows to talk about the piece. So they settled and this is just a sale waiting to happen. Here is an example of the quote that I gave them. And this is the format of quotes that I provide, all of my potential collectors. And I will post this into the group. Feel free to use this. Customize it, put it, make it to taste, and add your own voice, and send it out to whoever. I think it's such a really great format. It shows the piece, the size, the frame, and what not. And it also includes their 15% discount so that they can collect this piece for essentially a thousand dollars off, plus tax of course. And this is another thing we're working on. What I'm showing you here, what I'm trying to illustrate is that your best future collectors are your prior collectors. They've already qualified as buyers, they already love your work. You just have to help them see the benefits of this discount and help them find the piece of work that they love most.
Okay so you got the sale. Okay perhaps it didn't happen online. But it happened and... Or perhaps it didn't happen in person and it happened online, how do you engineer this process? I have two emails here that you are going to copy and customize. Make sure you keep the main elements of what we are about to discuss. Now this goes on with the few assumptions. First, that they've already purchased the work and that has already been delivered. So your first email will look something like this. You say, "Hey Mark, I saw you received your artwork a few days ago, and I just wanted to check in with you and make sure everything is in good order. Do you love it? Is it hanging in your home yet?" Now it's a really simple email. So few important things to take from this when you're making your own email. First, you wanna make sure that everything is good. Okay you're asking about their buyer experience. Everything from buying the work to being on the website to getting the work into their homes in the mail. So you wanna know if they came in damaged. You wanna know if they had a good buying experience. And they might say, "No I hated it. We went to your art festival, we sat in your both for 20 minutes waiting to talk to you." Or something to that fact, if any negative, neutral to negative response to this email about their... About everything being in good order, you have to take care of that before you move forward. Okay but let's assume everything went great. They got the work, it's in good shape. They love it. Okay so you ask them, "Hey do you love it?" That's just an affirmation. And then, "Is it hanging in your home yet?" And what you really want is a picture from them, so you can show it to your own social media, to your own potential collectors. "Hey here's what my work looks like hanging in someone's home." "And here's a picture of a happy customer." A selfie works really awesome in this situation. A selfie with your artwork, a picture of the artwork hanging in their living room. Alright, that is what you want here. So you're gonna get a response to this email and like I said, it's gonna be neutral or positive or negative. But you're looking for positive. And that email will be something like, "Jason, we love love love the work. It's hanging in our living room. Here's a picture. We're really really excited about it. Thank you for helping us complete our home." "Great, that's great Mark. I love the way she looks on your wall. Thank you so much for all the kind words and collecting my work. Your patronage means a lot to me." Okay it really does. They are supporting your career so say so. "Hey if I didn't mention at the show slash on the website, email, whatever. I always extend a 15% off of my work to my prior collectors. It is my way of saying thank you and helping you find a companion piece to your space, for your space, or for your office, etc. No pressure at all. The discount/special whatever you want to call it is good for the next x number of months. I'll send you a note nearer to the end of the sale period. Enjoy the rest of summer, winter, fall, whatever. Cheers, Jason." Now some important things that you wanna include in this followup email, the second followup email. You know you gonna customize this but these are the important things. First, you wanna say, thank you for your patronage. That's really important. Be thankful, be the appreciative artist. Second, you include the discount. Now there's a lot of talk about discounts and what amount is good.
In my personal preference, I feel that anything over 20% is starting to devalue the work itself. And I don't discount over 20% unless I'm really trying to get rid of something. So in this case, this is not a pressure scenario, so I say 15% off and that's pretty much the max that I give anyone. So 15% off my work for the collectors for x number of months. Now that's important because you don't wanna give them a blanket, you're a prior collector, boom 15% off for the rest our relationship, my career, or whatever. That's, one, is bad for business but two, you need to introduce scarcity to make them want to buy it. The hunters, the people who are looking at Edge of Solace in that big wall over their couch, they want to take advantage of their 15% off before it runs out. They said that multiple times. So you want to introduce scarcity and you want to give them a decent amount of time to be able to sit and enjoy the work, share the work with their friends, and get some feedback from the people whom they love, the people who visit about the artwork that they have in their home now. So you want to give them two to three months. I do three months, it's one quarter. You know, and I'm always thinking in business terms, so it's one quarter of the business year. So three months is my term. You can do two months, you can do one month after they receive the artwork. It's all up to you. Another factor that goes into this percentage discount as well as this time for me as my price work, is my price point is quite high for my artwork. So will also want to give my collectors a chance to absorb the amount of money they just dropped on me and kind of replenish the coffers a little bit before they have to go in and make a gut choice on ordering another piece of artwork. So that's what goes into that. Now the third thing that's really important is this email, is that the last sentence. "I will send you a note nearer to the end of the sale period. I am going to email you." You are telling them that you are going to email them. You're letting them know that you are going to show up in their email box. In essence, you are giving yourself permission to email them again. Now throughout this process, chances are that you've developed a friendship, a kinship with your collector. And you don't really need permission. However, adding that little bit lets them know that one, this thing is gonna end, and two, you're gonna reach out to them about it so that there's no surprise and no salesy feeling when you're like, "Hey it's over in two weeks, I just wanted to see how you feel about x, y, and z. You know, here's a new piece of art that I did or here is a piece of art that I think that goes with the one you collected." Yada yada yada... You're letting them know that the communication is going to continue and that's important. It's actually a good tactic for you to use in all your emails whenever you are writing to a new contact or working on a networking person that you just met. "Hey I'm going to email you again. Let's continue this conversation." Okay, so you got the sale. You followed up, make sure everything was good. You got some photo for your social media. And potentially you have landed a second or third sale with this collector.
You're still not done. There's still more for you to do to secure your future going on. This next one may feel even more difficult for you to do. But I promise you it is okay for you to do. And that is to ask for a referral. After this process is complete, and you have gotten a sale or they politely declined, the next step is for you to send them a note perhaps in a week or two if they declined or perhaps in a month or two after they've received their new piece of art and been happy and enjoyed it. You could say, "Hey Mark, thank you again for being a collector. Would you mind introducing me to someone who you feel could really enjoy my work or has a place for my work or has an office whatever." The point is that your collector likely knows other people with the same thoughts, the same mentality, and the same budget to be able to buy some of your work. The reason they haven't referred you up to this point is because they just haven't thought about it. There was a really good article published in New York Times about a week ago about asking for help. And the gist of the article was that, people want to help you. They just don't know that you need help. And they don't know that they can help you until you ask. Asking is the important part of this whole process. Asking is the key. Otherwise, everyone's busy. Their minds are on other things. And they just haven't thought that, hey let me introduce this artist to other people. You need to do the asking. And in general, I think it's nine times out of 10 or nine times out of 11, you're gonna get a positive response and they'll say, "Yeah let me think about it." Or, "Yeah let me introduce you to my neighbor Bill or my friend Mark who has just purchased a new house." Or, "I just went to Susie's house and oh her walls are bare. She needs you in her life." Your collectors are willing and happy to do this. They just have to be allowed to and you allow them by asking. So that is thing number four.
Now, number five is a stretch so bare with me here. This is something that I just started. This is an idea that was pulled out of an incubator that I went to the other day. And we were talking about our businesses and strategies with the bunch of other entrepreneurs, not necessarily artist. But the group got together and they're like, "Hey why don't you start a private Facebook group or private group in general where you share your intimate goings on in your business with the people who collected your work." So these are intimate details of your business only for the people who have collected your artwork in the past and they're interested in your career. So what I did is I created a private Facebook group called Jason Matias's Collectors Only. And I literally did this like a day before I recorded this video. And I'm going to populate it with the people who have collected my work in the past. And the idea is to give them a window, a privilege window that they've earned by collecting my work, into the future of my business and the things I'm trying to do and the things I done and things like that. And that is just a way of adding value to the people who have collected your work cause they're interest is in you. They like you and they like your artwork. And you've got to put two those together and create something of value for them. So that is yet again another that you can do after the sale to create value for your collectors and through a medium like that, you can ask for investments, you can ask for patronage outside of collecting the artwork, for funding future projects, or funding future shows. And that's a really key aspect of having collectors and having patrons.
So recap, you finished the sale and you are not done. You want to followup and you wanna go for a second sale because your collectors, your prior collectors are your best future collectors. Then you wanna ask for the referral and then you wanna create something of value that gives your collectors a window into your artistic career and how they can be a part of it. If you have any questions about this whole process, I know I talk kinda fast and I got the New York accent. So feel free to put it in the comments, send me an email, or drop your questions in the Facebook group so that everybody can learn from your experiences. If you have some success doing this, please go ahead and post that in the Facebook group so we can share it so we can all learn together, right, we all grow together. I keep saying it over and over. Let's do it. Thank you for your time. And thank you for both believing in me and what I do and believing in yourself and taking these huge steps toward bulletproofing your career. I will talk to you in the next video, cheers.
Why can't I just stick to the script, Aubrey - [Caller] Hey sorry, I forgot you are recording. Do you like Reese's Puffs? - No I hate Reese's. - [Caller] What kind of cereal do you want? - How about Lucky Charms? - [Caller] Lucky Charms, okay, I will get you Lucky Charms. - Cause I'm five years old. Do you?