Posts Tagged ‘art marketing’

The Act of Marketing Your Website and Your Work

Some of you have requested an article on marketing and I have to admit, that is one area where I lack. When I think of Marketing, I think of getting out of my comfort zone and actually talking to people, and taking on new sites on the Internet, contacting galleries by postcard. It can be scary, but it is often necessary.

When I think of Marketing I think of spending money I don’t have to get something that I’m not sure I’m going to get, like SALES! There are no guarantees that any strategy will work in this day and age, but it never hurts to try.  Which leads me to telling you that I have done some research on marketing techniques for artists. I am going to share the simplest of them and hope that they’re not so simple that you have tried them all. So, grab a cup of coffee and spend a little time with this article and keep an open mind.

Marketing has many aspects and many options for the artist. Some avenues are simple and cost nothing, and others cost too much. Marketing can be so simple, yet so complex, or at least we can make it that. The big question is, What is marketing? Most people think that marketing is only about the advertising and/or personal selling of goods and services. Advertising and selling, however, are just two of the many marketing activities.

The American Marketing Association has unveiled a new definition of marketing to reflect the discipline’s broader role in society.  The new definition reads, ‘Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.’ ” Ok, you say, so what on earth does that mean?

Let’s talk about marketing activities for the artist, both on and offline. My “simple” suggestions for marketing your work and website are business cards, word of mouth, paid/free advertising, email, newsletters.

  • business cards-include these in your shipping of sold items. Be sure to have included your website, Etsy shop (if you have one) and your email address. The customer will appreciate the thought and might pass it along to other potential customers. It is important to have your business cards with you at all times. I had my hair cut the other day and was talking to my new hairstylist about my work. She asked if I had a business card and I gave her two. She was glad I gave her two because as she already had someone to give the other to!
  • word of mouth-my son and his friend were delivering Cub Scout fliers door to door the other day. They stopped at the local church and had a conversation with the pastor. He told her about my being an artist and she asked how she could see my work. He tried to show her how to get to my Etsy.com shop and was unsuccessful. So, he ran home and got one of my business cards and took it to her.
  • advertising– paid, plugs, comments on blogs, posting in forums are all forms of advertising. Paid Take a small ad in a newspaper, Google ad and other paid opportunities, if you have the funds. Plugs are free. Plugs are tiny advertising banners that you can place on someone’s blog or website but they have to have a “plug board” posted in order for you to do that. Comments on other people’s blogs are advertising in the simplest form. When I look at the comments of people I don’t know, I click on their name or avatar to see what they do.  Being involved on sites that provide forums are also a simple way of advertising. If I like what you say and your avatar is interesting, I click to see what it is that you do. A comment may ensue, I might save your site or shop in my favorites for future purchase possibilities.
  • email– Every email I send, has a signature that includes my name, artist, and links to my website, Etsy shop, cafepress shop, blog. According to the stats on my website, a lot of hits come from emails.
  • newsletters– This is something I just started for my own marketing. There are lots of sites and programs that offer templates for newsletters. I created mine in Microsoft Publisher. The newsletter can be used to announce a new series, a new website, a new blog, an award, a show. Send the newsletter either by mail or email to everyone you can think of, including previous customers. Look at it as a reminder that you’re around and are ever changing and adding to your work. This could bring in new purchases and returning customers.I intend to do a “mailing”  (actually an emailing ) this coming week to previous customers and friends.

All of these activities are useful when you are trying to market your work and your website. Of course not just one of these is going to bring the results you want, so mix and match until you get a successful combination.

Good luck!

I am always interested in your thoughts, opinions and suggestions. Please leave comments for me on this blog.

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"What Do I Do Now?"

Now that you have made the decision to create a website or have one created for you, you might be asking, “What Do I Do Now?”

Well, I am about to answer that question! So sit back and relax, I will try to walk you through the next steps in your process.

Keep it simple. That could be the most important tip I can give you today. Don’t add so many tabs or pictures or text that it keeps the potential customer or gallery owner there too long. In this day and age, no one has time to sit in front of a computer and sift through your poorly planned site to figure out how to use it. Keep it simple.

Some of the tabs you use might be the following:

  • Home– this page will be the first glimpse of your website. This is what  people will see when their browser opens your page. Keep it clean, keep it interesting, remembering that first impressions make or break you.
  • About the Artist– keep this simple as well. Don’t write  your autobiography with all of the details on this page. Give highlights that pertain to you as an artist and keep the focus on YOU. If you want to include your artistic philosophy here, make sure it’s neatly separated from your bio.
  • Gallery– You don’t have to have every piece you’ve made on this page. Post a few pieces that show the diversity in your work. You don’t want to show that you’re locked into a style that you can’t get out of. Show some old work and new work.
  • Links– Keep the links list, to a minimum. If you have logos for the sites on which you have your work, use them and link them to the site (this will make it easier for the viewer to go see what you are doing there). Link photos to the site where you sell that piece. Again, no one wants to sift through things. They want what they want to see, at their fingertips.
  • Contact the Artist– Offer a simple form that the viewer can fill out to comment or ask questions, that will be sent directly to your email account.
  • Etsy page -(if you are a crafter, and your main purpose to having a website is to drive business to your Etsy shop (or other shops) I would say to do this). If you are an artist looking for gallery representation and/or sales from this site, you might be wise to leave this out as not all gallery owners think Etsy a viable or suitable place for serious artists to sell.(This is up to  you, of course!) If you are an artist to whom gallery representation is not a priority, but this site is to get your work “out there” it’s your choice as well.

Please remember, this is not a blog. Keep the focus on you and your art. (It’s ok to mention your wife, husband or girlfriend/boyfriend, kids as people in your life with whom you live, but keep it focused and don’t ramble on about them). A  website is a factual tool that represents your work to the online world. This is not intended to necessarily bring out your personality, or be cute, you can use your blog for that. If you want to be taken seriously as an artist, you need to make the decision about what it is you want this website to do.

You can do this and keep it simple!  If this is your first time, keep these tips in mind and you’ll have a more interesting site.Happy Website to YOU!

Next post will hopefully address some marketing techniques that can drive viewers to your site.