Art Marketing Online Art Blog
by art_marketing , June 30, 2008—12:00 AM
In my next few blog posts, I want to hear your thoughts about having a personal website, belonging to art community websites, and how having an Internet presence may have helped you with marketing your work. Here are some thoughts about personal websites and why they may not be working for you.
#1 No one is marketing your web site, including you....it__™s just sitting alone in cyberspace and you have minimal traffic. You__™re asking yourself why you__™re spending money on this electronic business card that just sits there and looks pretty. Why can__™t it do more for me? That begs the question....If I don__™t generate any leads or sales thru my personal website, do I take it down or just join another art website to help things along? (topic for next blog post)
#2 You are not a webmaster/techie and you have to get someone else to change the images and update text. Therefore, your personal website never changes and is never updated with new artwork. If you want to improve it__™s features to keep up with technology, well that__™s another significant cost. If your website sits there statically and you can__™t make changes, does it lose ground from a search engine point of view because nothing ever changes? (Good Article: 7 Reasons Why You Can't Trust the Webmaster with SEO)
#3 No method for taking payments from customers.
#4 You__™re socially disconnected from the online art universe. While it__™s nice to send your family, friends and clients to your personal website, you are not getting the added social advantage of having all the other artists online linking and connecting and having all of their family, friends and clients find you because you__™re part of the same web community!
#5 You don__™t have a blog. Now don__™t roll your eyes in the back of your head....this is going to be the topic of another blog post! However, you should begin the process of understanding the importance of blogging, content, and social connectedness on the web in terms of generating leads & potential customers. Blogging and the generation of your own content has changed the face of the Internet AND the way to market a person/place/product. No one is asking you to become an expert but I will tell you that in your line of work - artist and sole proprietor of your business - blogging could not be better suited for you. Your customers want to know you on a real time basis as they contemplate buying your work. They can talk to you directly about your inspirations and techniques. Ideally, your blog should be part of your website or online gallery so viewers don__™t have to jump back and forth between URL__™s.
Some final thoughts___..
If I am an art patron or art consultant, I am going to your personal website to look at your art __" not to evaluate how beautiful it is or how easy it is to navigate or how much of a personal statement it makes. It is a tool for me to look at art __" period end of story. Even if you want to register your personal domain name (www.creativegenius), it can point to any URL on the Internet __" even a web gallery on a community art website if that is the tool you want to use as your professional presence on the web.
There are some artists that have had success in building both an art business as well as a popular personal website (www.mattbates.net). However, do you feel your time is well served spending time/money with a webmaster/graphic designer trying to communicate exactly your creative vision for your personal website? Unless you know how to code, how will the final product ever be exactly what you wanted? Or is your creative genius better focused on your art where there is no middle man ___just you and your art supplies to create the next work of art.
There is a parallel to the point I__™m trying to make about a ___beyond customized personal website vs. the virtue of the tool itself that is goal. Think of ordering a cup of coffee. If you want caffeine, you can buy a cup of coffee from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. Where are you more comfortable and that may give you the answer. I am in NYC right now in the basement of 30 Rock___.writing this post having just ordered a cup of coffee from Starbucks. I__™m not kidding___.just coffee...black. I was actually feeling a bit embarrassed because I didn__™t want some complex concoction " just caffeine. Seems to me you are either Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks. Both will provide you with ample caffeine but one tastes better and it™s A LOT cheaper!
An online professional gallery on a community art website may be just the right amount of caffeine!