By Sergio Gomez, MFA
If you had met me some 15 years ago, I was not nearly as organized as I am today. I am sure that in my early years as an artist I missed great opportunities just because I forgot to do one simple thing… FOLLOW UP!
Yep, following up. It’s no so hard to do but, how easy it is to forget. Back in the day, I attended openings and events where I met some wonderful people. I would put phone numbers and business cards I’ve collected from people in my pocket and then weeks later I would find them around the house. By then, I didn’t remember who the person was or whose number I wrote on the napkin. LOL!
Well, those days are over. Today, I am very good at following up with the contacts that are important to me. As a curator and gallery owner I have to tell you that when I meet an artist and I am interested in the work as a result of a good conversation, I often ask him/her to follow up with me with an email. Half of the time, I do not get anything. That is because people forget and great opportunities get lost.
During my last solo exhibition opening, a gallery owner came to see my work. He gave me a card and asked me to contact him. Guess what I did? The next day, I contacted him! A couple years ago, during Art Basel Miami, I met three artists exhibiting from Mexico. We exchanged cards and I followed up right away. The result? A cultural exchange between Mexico and Chicago a year later. It doesn’t always happen that way but you just don’t know.
Here are some suggestions to help you follow up if you are somewhat distracted like me.
1. When you go to an event, assign one pocket or one spot on your purse to place all the business cards that you collect. Empty it as soon as you get home.
2. Use your notes app in your phone or take a picture of the business card you need to follow up with.
3. Follow up with a simple email that says how great it was to meet that person. Just a couple sentences. Make sure your artist website is listed at the end of the email.
4. If you did not collect a business card, find the person in social media and send a brief thanks via private message.
5. Don’t add the person to your mailing list without their approval. 🙂
There you go, follow up is a powerful tool to have in your arsenal. Don’t forget to use it. How are you doing in this area? Who do you need to follow up with today? Share your stories!
Do you have a powerful “follow up” tip that you use that gives you awesome results? Share it with us in the comments below!
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