Every sale begins with an offer. We’re going to consider getting someone to sign up to your mailing list as a mini-sale. So .. what was the offer that persuaded them to sign up?
Take a deep breath and imagine the day you realise you are supported by enough fans that you are self funded and free to live the artist life you want.
You don’t need galleries (but you can work with them if you want).
You don’t need to post to social media.
You don’t need to run ads.
You don’t need to do shows, but you can if you like and it will only make your list even more supportive of you.
You’re followed by people who genuinely love what you do and will support you, recommend you, buy from you, and build your practice for you through word of mouth between like-minded friends.
Imagine you’re there now, what does it feel like?
This is the third video of free training, if you haven’t seen the previous two, in the first I talked about what to send to the people on your mailing list, and in the second we explored the idea of a nurture sequence .. a series of emails that puts your best foot forward with people who are new signups, so it increases your closeness to them and fully gets them on board. It may be profitable, also.
From the feedback I’ve received, I know there’s a lot of trepidation about this whole thing. No-one wants to feel salesy. Words may not come easily to you. The whole thing may just make you feel anxious.
I’ve dealt with a lot of that in the video about what to send to your people, and how to make that comfortable for you.
But there’s another place where these feelings of salesiness come in, and that’s what we marketers call the squeeze page. If you want someone to sign up to your mailing list, that’s the signup page where you send them.
There’s a form on there, and when they put their email address into it, they get added to your mailing list and start receiving your nurture sequence, automatically.
So the question is, what to put on that page to tempt them to sign up. That’s your offer, it’s what makes them think it will be worth signing up.
Usually, in the wider non-art world, it would be something useful for your people that you can give away. For my mailing list, you may remember, I gave you the 7 things to do and 2 things to stop doing to improve your artists website.
So, the idea is, people would want that report, and they’d join the mailing list in order to get it.
If people unsubscribe afterwards, that’s fine, we don’t want those people.
So that’s the usual thing.
But for artists, here’s how I see it.
You have people who would love what you do, but they’ve never heard of you.
So you need a way to get in front of those people. I’ve already provided a pay per click ads course (it will open again next year), that’s one way, to advertise and target the sort of people you want. And my flagship SEO / search engine marketing course for artists opens each year before Christmas. So paying for traffic and earning traffic are two ways to get in front of new people.
What you might want to do with these people who have never heard of you is encourage them to like you on whatever is your favourite social media platform, Instagram or whatever.
That’s like a low level commitment. They’ve not given you anything, and they can unfollow you with a click. But, they like you enough at this point to accept you in their newsfeed.
Signing up to your mailing list is a deeper commitment. You get access to their email inbox, which is a really important place.
Liking you on social media, then, is a light commitment. Signing up to your mailing list is quite a serious interest.
Up from there, would be someone turning up to your preview, for instance.
So there’s the approach ..
- Seek out new people with PPC, SEO and/or social media strategies
- Get them to follow you on social media
- Get your social media followers to sign up to your mailing list
- Get your mailing list people to turn up to your shows and buy stuff
Let’s just nail this on. There’s a universe of people who would be perfect clients if only they had heard of you. Sale 1 is they click to follow. Sale 2 is for those who follow you on social media, you present the benefits of being on your mailing list and they choose to join. Sale 3 is they make a real-life commitment to come to your show or whatever. So by the time they are stood in front of you, they’ve already said yes three times, made a big effort to turn up, they’ve seen your materials, they know all about you, so the final sale is super easy, they are pre-sold.
So I think your join-my-mailing-list offer is greater intimacy. A feeling of being in the club, of being a group of likeminded people, and also you get to hear of stuff first. You get first pick.
Now, actually, once someone is on your mailing list you can tag them as a buyer, if they are. You can track peoples’ responsiveness to your emails.
So actually, you might run two levels of intimacy using your mailing list.
If you’ve a show or you’re about to launch your new collection online, out of your mailing list you could mail just your buyers and those who are really highly engaged, and tell them first, so they get first chance to buy.
Then later, mail the rest of your list.
Then you go out to your social media and so on.
So from the point of view of someone on your mailing list, they have some sort of premier access to your work. They get first pick.
So yes, you could send them something for signing up like a badge or a pack of cards or something, but that’s effort and brainspace and it ties you down and it’s a cost. I think the draw is intimacy and first pick. But .. whatever feels right for you.
Remember, if you are thinking widely about what you could offer those who sign up to your mailing list, I’m not a big fan of videos showing how you painted something, explaining your process. It’s buyer focussed material you need to send. Like I’ve said before .. I don’t care how you screwed in the spark plugs in that shiny new car I covet, I want to know how it feels to drive it.
If you have a customer-focussed process like Jacqueline Rooney (she outlines her process on her about-me page https://www.jacquelinerooney.com/about-me/), she takes a commission, goes and talks to the client to discuss what they want and see the room it will go in, then goes to the place they want painted and then creates something specific to really fit the room .. that’s a wow to a client. Talk about that all day. But how you apply the paint to your canvas .. only other artists care about that.
Remember also the buying process. There are people at the stage of wondering what to put above the fireplace. They haven’t decided anything, they just have a vague need. So if you write an article about how to decide, how to choose, and you don’t sell yourself at all, that could be behind a signup, it could be something they get for joining your mailing list, and you’d get people who are in the process of wondering what they want. They may appreciate your supportive expertise and you may be warmly considered when they reach the point of knowing what they want and they set out to find someone to do it.
This signup page with its promise of being an insider, it’s pretty simple. Nothing massively complicated. Maybe a few paragraphs of text, a headline, and the form and how that connects to MailChimp.
But I do recognise that even that can feel pretty daunting.
The results, however, are awesome.
Don’t dismiss this. It’s possible, and more importantly, it’s possible for you. Maybe even easy. Maybe .. a pleasure .. writing to your supportive fans and reading their reactions and feedback.
You need a list, a signup page, a nurture sequence and a comfortable way that’s really ‘you’ to stay in touch perhaps regularly. I’ve not mentioned one other thing, how to kick people off your list if they lose interest. You want a list of people who are hot to trot and to make sure you don’t end up in people’s spam folder, those who don’t read your emails have got to go. We do that automatically, don’t worry about that.
That’s all it takes to get to freedom and independence.
Now, you can do it, I’ve shown you how in these three videos. With a bit of nouse and effort, you can do what I’ve taught.
But if you want to be shown step by step, literally which buttons to press, and what to write .. I’ve got you, we can do this together.
I’ve created a detailed how-to course for you called The Uplifting Fanbase.
It’s for you if you want me to go through the setup step by step, show you what to write and which buttons to press.
We’ll be using MailChimp .. it’s not my favourite but everyone seems to use it so it is what it is.
These courses take a real load of effort to put together, but I’ve made this one as affordable as possible so I can get as many people set up as possible and really spread the love and success as far as I can.
This, truly, (you can see) is how I run this business, it’s all about the mailing list.
To actually get this up and running for yourself, take the first step now .. sign up to The Uplifting Fanbase and we’ll get your mailing list engaged, growing and significant.
Stay safe, sell art