Suffering from low-traffic blues on your artist website? Your number of visitors is only limited by you! If you have a big enough imagination, are willing to think outside the box, and don’t mind some serious old-fashioned elbow-grease you can bring in a nice consistent stream of art-hungry visitors.
Last week we talked about Attraction Phase online art marketing and bringing visitors to your artist website for the very first time is right in the heart of attraction phase territory. Once you have brought in a visitor the first time there are many ways to build relationships and eventually sell art – but getting their attention in the first place can often feel like fishing in a giant ocean but being unsure of the correct bait.
Apologies for the fishing analogy – I was a fanatical sport-fisherman as a teenager and the language still permeates my life!
Lets look at some simple but effective techniques to attract those art hungry fish to your website!:
- Make a list of galleries that feature work of a similar style to yours. Send them a letter of introduction and invite them to visit and review your website. Include a postcard with an excellent piece of your work.
- Pay to use an email marketing list focused on decorators, interior designers, or galleries. Send out a high-quality email invitation to visit your website. If you use this technique please make sure you are using or renting the list from a reputable art-focused organization
- Join your local chamber of commerce and get your website listed in the business listings on their website.
- Have a monthly open studio and promote it each time with adds in the free section (normally community events) of your local newspaper. Include your website’s URL
- Send out regular online and offline press releases every time you have a significant event or achievement.
- Contact your old school or college alumni and ask to be added to the alumni listings on their website.
- Join 10 free online galleries, add a few pieces of your work and your profile information (including your website’s URL of course). Remember though – the point of doing this is to bring the visitors back to your own website where you have complete control of the look and the content. That means – give them a taste of your work – not the whole gallery! Artist Moshe Mikanovsky has a great listing of free and low cost listings.
- Optimize your website for search engines. It needs to be optimized to have high-rankings when someone searches (separately) on your name and your style of work. There are lots of tips online about what to do – but if you get tired and want it all in one place you can buy our SEO Success System For Artists!
- Take out small paid text or display ads in specialty magazines. For example, if you paint fish you could place adds in fishing magazines! Experiment with low cost ads and find where you get the best results. Be sure to include your URL in the ads.
- Create a Facebook page for your art/art business and invite fans. Post regular updates on your events and achievements and also post samples of your work. Remember that the aim is to also have your fans visit your website to see the whole body of your work.
- Join social bookmarking sites like Digg and Delicious and place their icons on your website so people can share with friends and online community
- Do the same with Twitter and Facebook icons on your website – you will first need a Twitter account.
- Join local arts organizations and ask to have your website listed in their resources section
- Write a (keyword-optimized) article related to your art and submit it to Ezine Articles. Be sure to include your website URL in your profile.
- Put your artist business logo and URL on your car. People who like what they see will write it down and check your website.
- Merchandise – put your logo and URL on everything. When a customer buys from you at an open studio or event include your logo and URL on the packaging. Get some promo coffee mugs made with a piece of your art and your URL and send them out to friends, customers, local arts organizations, and local businesses. People talk and network a lot over coffee and you will be amazed how many people will see those mugs!
- Add an email newsletter signup form on your website with a message encouraging visitors to leave their email address for updates on your events and new work. For safety, make it a double-opt-in version. Note: Don’t send unsolicited email to arts professionals or anyone. It’s probably OK if it is a genuine personal email inquiry – but don’t add anyone to an email list without them asking. We are amazed by how many artists add us to their regular mailings without asking. You will alienate the people you are trying to attract!
- Personal Networking – This is the most powerful way to do anything but it’s also the one we seem to avoid at all cost! Here is a simple start: Go to a local art event – a gallery opening or show, or talk at least once every month (preferably every week). Make a point of talking with 5 new people each time and “be the artist”. Share your business card (which must have your website URL on it). Nurture the relationships and friendships that develop with artists and arts professionals. As an example, when we lived in New York most Friday evenings we would go to “Artists Talk On Art” at the Parsons School Of Design. Each meeting they would feature an interesting artist talking about their work and then afterward there was the opportunity to mingle and meet.It was always exhilarating to be amongst other artists and was also a great way to build community.
So, there you are – 18 ideas to attract art-hungry visitors to your artist website. Guess what – I bet if you use your imagination you can think of at least another 18. Try some of these and dream up some of your own. But remember to make the effort and do the work as well!
If you have some great ideas to bring visitors to your artist website please comment below..