Your Hidden Email Subscriber List
You have more ways to start an email newsletter list than you think
Regular readers know that I constantly beat the drum telling artists to "send regular email newsletters."
But a common objection I often hear from artists is that they don't have an email newsletter list so who, exactly, are they supposed to send the email newsletters to?
Many artists are simply convinced they don't have anyone to send to.
But I don't think that's true. Nearly everyone has more contacts than they think. I read recently that the average number of friends a user has on Facebook is somewhere between 245 - 359. For some quick anecdotal evidence, I went through a bunch of artists who are my friends on Facebook and, sure enough, most of them had at least 200-300 friends. Many, of course, had numbers that were much higher.
Now, how can someone with over 200 Facebook friends tell me that they have absolutely nobody to send their email newsletter to?
Seriously, think about how many people you talk to over the course of a few years. If you’re anything like me, you've got tons of contacts that form your "hidden email subscriber list":
* people you've met in the real world who gave you a business cards. Somewhere you probably have a stack of business cards somewhere that you never look at.
* phone numbers you've jotted down on scraps of paper
* People who've said "my friend so and so" would love your work
* hundreds or even thousands of email addresses in your mail program (I have hundreds and hundreds of people I've corresponded with in Gmail that are not on my official contacts list. It would only take a bit time to search through those past email messages to reconnect with those people and simply ask the if they'd like to receive newsletter updates from me).
* As mentioned above friends on Facebook (and if you're anything like the average user, you have hundreds there).
* People you see in real life every day and don't think about as being "customers"
* People you see on the weekends
* Your followers on Twitter
* People that have commented on your blog posts
* People who follow your blog via rss
* People who you've met at art shows / art fairs
* People you've met at gallery openings.
* A plethora of other ways you meet people.
Now, unless you are a complete recluse and a Luddite, you have dozens if not hundreds of potential contacts within your grasp to start a mailing list for your art business, right now .
If you don't have anyone on your mailing list, you don't have an exposure problem, you have an organization problem.
PS - What other ways can you think of to connect with people that would want your newsletter? Let me know your ideas in the comments.
 Remember, you can't simply add all these people to a newsletter list or you risk violating spam laws. You'll have to contact them individually and get permission. That's why it's a lot easier when you bake your newsletter process into your communication system and workflow all the time. But, the point is, you do have plenty of prospects to start with right now, and if you do a few at a time, you'll have decent sized list going before you know it.