This concerns me as I don't want to be left with the proverbial egg on my face. I don't want to find my basket tattered and broken on the ground and only handful of cracked egg shells to show for all my years of hard work.
I find that this dependence I have on one social platform makes me uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my Facebook audience. They are so supportive and bless my every day with their kind words I have to remember that it is all great while the honeymoon lasts but the beast can rear it's ugly head and can turn on you very quickly. One ill thought out post or even an innocent "LIKE" emoji attached to something that others disagree with can have dire consequences and in no time at all you can see all your hard brand building flushed down the toilet.
What is an artist to do? Well I have made the decision to diversify my marketing efforts in several ways. I still encourage everyone I can to "LIKE" my Facebook studio page @JulieTownsendStudio but I also try to capture their email address so that I can add them to my Studio VIP list. My list is now over 500 and is growing daily. This way I still have an avenue to reach my fan base even if someday I find myself in a place where I can no longer depend on Facebook as my major marketing tool.
I am also focused on building my business using Pinterest to drive more traffic to my Etsy Shop and Website. Pinterest is a visual search engine and not a social media platform and since artwork is all about being visual I think Pinterest is a perfect partner. I will blog more about Pinterest in the future but for now this blog is my suggestions for growing your email list.
2. USE YOUR ETSY SHOP SALES- Etsy actually doesn't allow you to use the email address associated with each of your sales and while it is tempting to add that email address to your email list you will eventually get into Etsy hot water. What I have done on my Etsy Shop is make one of my two mandatory variations allowed on each listing to ask the following question. "Would you like to join my Studio VIP list?" and their options are "Yes, please add me or No thank you." So I have given them the option to opt in and you would be surprised and how many "Yes" replies I get. This has been a great way to build my email list.
3. JOIN MAILCHIMP-About a year ago I took the plunge and opened a free account with Mailchimp to house my email list. I uploaded the data from my Google contact list and while there are a few additional services that I would like to have seen Mailchimp offer me, such as being able to keep good notes, address and phone numbers on each client, I'm overall satisfied. You can't beat FREE. I am able to build my list up to 5000 subscribers, send out my studio newsletter and create a signup form that I can add to my website. I'm sure there are plenty of other cool things that the program can do but I'm old and have to take my time figuring new technology out. In my opinion, Mailchimp isn't as user friendly as it could be but it serves me now and I usually am able to figure out what I'm trying to accomplish with the help of Youtube.
4. OFFER AN INCENTIVE- I feel it is very important to give your clients a reason why they should want to join your email list and hear from you on a regular basis. I mean some may just like your art that much but I feel that I need to add a value to this decision to allow me into their private life. In my case, I have decided that for most of my studio giveaways you will be automatically entered if you are part of the VIP list. Let them have access to free stuff that you don't tell anyone else about. I even eventually plan to give my VIP list members the first opportunity to see my newest artwork and have a chance to purchase it before I show it on social media or list it on my shop. You can also consider offering a special VIP discount code. Just think of somethings that will make them just a bit more special to your studio and the email address will begin to pour in.
5. DON'T FORGET TO ASK- You can't grow you email list or your social media following unless you ask. Don't let the opportunity pass you by. If you are chatting about your artwork then make sure you let them know how to find you. Ask if them if they have a Facebook Page or and Instagram account. Oh, and don't forget to ask for their email address. Always have your business cards in your purse or pocket along with a pen and paper to write on. Meeting people in person is by far one of the best ways to grow your local fan base and I don't know about your, but I never have a shortage of words when it come to talking about my artwork.
You can subscribe to my VIP list by using the sidebar here on my blog and LIKE my Facebook Studio Page while you are at it.