- I bought a pair of classic Converse All Star sneakers because they remind me of the good ol’ days growing up.
- I bought my favorite T-shirt because I like to see people smile or say “Cool” when they read the caption.
- My wife and daughters get their hair done or buy jewelry because they make them feel beautiful, not because they need them.
People buy non-essential things like art, fashion, entertainment, etc. because of how it makes them FEEL, not because they need it, and not because of price.
Artists (and other Creatives), let’s take it a step further:
People by art, books, music and other creative things because of the connection they have with the artist just as much as because of how the work looks.
I recently bought a painting from artist Patro Ulmer for at least 3 reasons other than because of how the work looks:
- Patro is becoming a recognized artist in the local community and I want to be able to say I have one of his works.
- Patro has reached out to me and I’ve gotten to know him. I felt I was buying from a friend as well as an artist.
- Patro has let those that know him also know his cause: That he wants to see the art scene in his city grow. I feel my purchase in part went toward that.
So here are the big questions, and maybe a little home work on your part:
- How does your art make your past customers FEEL?
- How do your past customers FEEL about you (not your art)? Sure, the art itself is at the core, but people buy because they like YOU first, then your art.
- What do your past customers say they like about you?
- When was the last time you contacted those past customers?
- Do your customers know your CAUSE? How can you tell them if they don’t?
Art, especially in a down economy, is not a necessity, but people are buying. People will buy more from the artists they feel they have an emotional connection with than those they don’t.
What are effective ways you suggest to building relationships with your customers?