I started not to include this one since it's so obvious, but I remembered that there are many artists that still have not taken this step: Get yourself a web site, online portfolio or SOME type of online presence! The fastest and most cost effective way today to connect with prospective clients is to do it online.
Even when connecting with potential clients offline, sending them to your web site is the most efficient way to jumpstart the process of turning a prospect into a paying client.
Send people to your site.
Once you have the web site, you must send people to it! You can have a great looking site, but if no one is coming to it, it's just like having a masterpiece painting hanging on the wall of a closet.
Free ways to send traffic to your site: Get listed on the major search engines.
Include your web address in the signature of your emails so that every email you send out advertises and links to your site.
Join online forums or online groups that people who are most likely to become a client of your's would use.
Your web address would also be in the signature of each post you make on these groups or forums, sending more traffic to your site.
Post ads on free classified sites such as Craigslist.
Link exchanges: Ask to be included in the list of sites that your prospects may frequent.
Include that site on your own list of "Favorite Sites" or "Links" Posting your web address offline as well as online, such as on business cards, car signage, anywhere that you may post your phone number.
Paid ways to send traffic to your site: Google Ad Words, a service of Google that allows you to post text ads that are found by your target prospects through key word searches.
Banner ads on sites that are visited by people who are most likely to do business with you.
These still are an effective way to generate traffic to your site if you place the ad on the right sites.
Paid classified ads in a newspaper or other publication that already reaches your targeted audience.
Many of these publications also post your ad on their websites.
Get them to CONNECT with you once they are on your site:Every visitor that comes to your site has now become a lead.
This is because they were interested enough in what you have to offer to click the link that takes them to your site.
This action can "lead" to that visitor becoming a paying client.
Many prospective clients will visit your site everyday, but if there is no method of capturing info on them in order to follow up, you've lost the window of opportunity.
The key is to get their email address or other contact info in order to follow up with business.
Some of the best ways to capture this info is to give the visitor something in exchange for their info.
An e-newsletter does the job very well.
Developing an e-mail based newsletter with info that your target would find interesting and of value is a great way to get visitors to connect with you.
Sign up forms for your newsletter should reside in prominent areas on your site, and on more that one page.
An e-newsletter also allows you to position yourself as an expert in your field.
This increases the value of your art, product or service and can lead to increased business.
Contact and follow up: Marketing studies have always shown that a prospect doesn't take action until at least afterseeing your message 9 times.
Once you start developing a contact list, contacting prospects via your e-newsletter will keep your business top of mind.
Send your e-newsletter out to your subscribers at least monthly, each week if possible.
Every edition can include an offer to purchase your art or design product or services.