I’ve written extensively about the process of selling art – everything from building relationships to following up and closing the sale. Today, I’m going to share a simple tip that will help you turn your sales into marketing tools for future sales.
In past posts, I’ve encouraged you to follow every sale with a handwritten thank-you note. This thank-you note adds a warm, personal touch that will let your clients know you truly appreciate their business. By adding one simple line to your thank-you note, you can encourage feedback from your clients and get a picture of the artwork you sold them that will be of incredible value to you in your future marketing efforts.
The line to add to your thank-you note is this:
If you have a moment and would be willing to snap a photograph of the piece, I would love to see it in its new home, and I’d love to share the photo with clients who are considering my work. You can email the photo to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This simple request almost always results in a photo, and often several photos, of the piece. I have found that my customers are not only happy to take the photo, they enjoy showing the piece off and love the thought of helping the artist’s career along. Often, the client will also write a little note to accompany the photo, sharing their feelings about the piece.
You may adapt the photo request to suit each individual situation, based on the relationship you built with the customer.
Now you have photo of the piece in a beautiful setting that you can post to your website, your blog, and your newsletter and place in your portfolio. Future potential buyers will be influenced and encouraged when they see your work in other collectors’ homes. When they buy, you’ll ask them for photos, and the cycle continues.
Don’t be shy about asking – the worst that can happen is the client will ignore the request, but no one is going to be offended that you asked.
By the way, it’s never too late to ask for this photo. Getting in touch with past clients to ask for a photo of artwork is not only a great way to get the image, it’s a great excuse to get back in touch with a past buyer and remind them of your work.
Have you requested photos from clients in the past? Have those photos helped you make sales? Post your experiences, opinions, and thoughts in the comments below.
Sample Photos Our Clients Have Sent Us
Yes, I have benefitted from asking for this. In fact, a client took a video of his wife as she discovered the painting he had purchased from me for her birthday. Her reaction was priceless and has resulted in two commissioned pieces thus far. Here’s the newsletter post if you’d like to see. https://www.dalehousemurals.net/nl/?nid=203390&type=html
Regarding asking clients for a photograph of a paintings new home. If you sell through a gallery, it is unlikely that you know who the client is. How do galleries respond to the request to pass on an address to the artist?
Hi Lorraine, I just saw your post on RedDotBlog. I am in California and a curator friend of mine said that there is a law that requires the gallery owner to pass on the client information if you ask for it.
As an artist it’s really important to know who owns your work. I just went through this myself. I write an introduction letter and a thank you for their interest in my work then ask them if they wouldn’t mind sharing shot of where the piece’s new home is. I also direct them a bit as to how to shoot the work straight on from across the room. Keep it light and friendly. 🙂 You can also ask them if they received a Certificate of Authenticity and offer to provide it if the gallery did not.
On 2 out of 2 occasions when i asked for a photo of my sculpture in its new home, i received really terrible photos.
I have mostly received terrible photos, too – unusable.
For the most part, I’ve received unusable photos, but for the handful that are good & the testimonials that often go with, it’s worth the ask!
Yea indeed. I ask my buyers for a photo, easy with cell phones & email. I don’t always get a response.
I snap my own when I personally make the delivery and or installation.
It makes for a very useful album.👍🏼
I love seeing my artwork hanging in someone’s home! It gives me such a warm feeling to know that someone loves something I put so much of my heart and soul into! I am anxious to learn how to get my art into more people’s homes and out into the world!
I did this today when I delivered a large piece of art to a client’s home. Hung the painting took the picture myself, then I post them on social media. I also have customers who buy my art at festival shows, which I do a lot of, take a picture with the painting they purchase. It is funny how buying art makes people smile. I haven’t seen one picture yet where they don’t have a big smile on their face while pointing to or holding the piece they just purchased.
Really like this idea and am going to put it to use – thanks