Are you inspired to start marketing your Art or Creative Business and really get things moving? But now you are not exactly sure how potential buyers will find you? Well getting to grips with List Building is really the start of your marketing journey.

So what is List Building and why should you do it?

List Building is the activity of consciously and strategically putting in place a series of actions that will take people from ‘just finding out about you’, to ‘wanting to hear more’, right up to becoming a paying customer. A mixture of online (often automated) and offline. So you do the work up front and the rest takes care of itself.

Why should you do it?

Well, you won’t have any customers if you don’t. List Building should be the core of your professional online sales and marketing activity. Building a database of potential customers is the life-blood of any business, and being an Artist is no different! Imagine putting on a show and having nobody to invite…

So what do you need to do next?

First you’ll need your Effective Marketing basics in place, before you can go to the next stage here.

Then you need to understand the underlying principle of list building, that people will only give their email address to join your List, in exchange for something of value (and for free).

For example: a Free Report, E-Book, Video-series, or other information of value to your target audience.

Once you have your ‘Free Giveaway’ completed, your only job is to send people to that page, or opt-in box on your website. Then build an on-going relationship with them over time. There are many ways to do this and here I have listed out my favourite 12 for you.

12 Free List Building Basics For All Art Businesses:

  1. Instagram posts

You have a couple of ways to do your list building on Instagram. Firstly in your bio you have the option to add a URL, so you can either use your website or a specific landing page. Then when you are posting, don’t forget to talk about this in the post description and drive them to your bio.

Secondly create an Infographic image with details of your free giveaway on there, including the URL etc. Back it up again by also adding this information in the description. So long as you aren’t doing this every day, this is perfectly acceptable.

  1. Pinterest pins

You can pretty much do the same strategy here on Pinterest too; except that the links on each of your pins are clickable (which they aren’t yet on Instagram). The other major benefit of Pinterest pins is that they stay visible permanently, much like a web page, so you will get everyone who lands on your account looking around. On Instagram they can get lost down your feed.

Read up more on Pinterest and how you can use this not only for list building, but also for developing, marketing and selling your artwork.

  1. Tweeting on Twitter

Twitter is such a fast moving Social Media, that you can tweet about your free giveaway pretty much every 2nd to 3rd day, which is even better. Do so either with an image, or purely a text tweet. I have mine ‘pinned’ to the top of my feed, which is another way of doing it too.

  1. Google+

Sometimes we forget about Google+, but although it looks very similar to Facebook, and operates in the same sort of way, it’s much easier to grow your followers. So post up an image or Infographic with your free giveaway on it, and you can even decide which ‘circles’ to want to see this post.

More on using Google+ in this blog article.

  1. Blog posts

Writing regular blog posts for your own site is a great list building strategy, although not as fast as others. Create your blog, have an ‘opt-in’ box set underneath each post, and then promote the post.

Of course I’m a little biased as a blogger, as each time I post a new blog I get people signing up to hear more about my Artists Marketing brand. 🙂

  1. Guest blogs

This is a really great strategy as you are now writing for someone else, and their audience. When you get your blog posted on another website, the link back to yours is strengthened. I’ll be writing about guest blogging later, so look out for that post.

  1. Videos on YouTube

As previously mentioned on this YouTube article creating and posting consistent videos onto YouTube is a fantastic marketing strategy. You should carefully choose you title, descriptions and tags based on your keywords.

In the description you can have as many links as you like, so adding the URL of your free giveaway there is ideal. You can also add it to the videos themselves, as text, or spoken instructions. 

  1. Periscope

This is one of my favourite new list building strategies and I’m so excited about all the different options with this new platform. The best way to do your list building on Periscope is to go live and hold up something with your url on a piece of paper and ask viewers to opt in. It’s very interactive and lots of fun.

  1. Business cards from networking events

So many people just don’t think about list building when they go networking. But if as you collect a card, you ask if it’s ok to add their details to your customer list, where you send out great value information – most people are good with that.

  1. Competitions at Art Fairs

This is great fun too, and I think I learnt from a master back in the day. Most artists I saw set up their work, got out a book, and hoped to make a sale…

However, you a missing a trick here. Not only should you really be actively engaging with your prospects, but what if you ran a competition. A competition that people would need to sign up for, thus providing you with many more people on your list.

The first time I saw this done, the artist in question got a bout 1,000 new people onto his mailing list. How wonderful is that!

  1. Creating E-books

Now this might not be for everyone, but if you like me, enjoy the writing process as part of your creativity – then putting together simple ‘how to ‘E-book to sell or offer for free on Amazon is a fantastic way to get the word out there. A really great strategy of you are an Art Teacher or run Workshops of any kind.

Read more blogs on how to teach your art.

  1. Write a book

Much the same, but on a larger scale of course! Actually not as big a task as you might think, and you can self-publish too.

Of course all of these strategies are ‘Free’ List Building strategies – if you have a marketing budget that will allow, then you can very effectively us Facebook Ads (Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest too) or Google Ads, or any of the other paid-for options. This will speed up your results but often require a good amount of learning up front. 🙂

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