It seems like forever since we published the first part of this 12-Tips article! We’ve been in technology-land moving all our sites (including AMS) over to a great new webhost who will be helping us manage some of our traffic spikes. Its such a relief to be back to the business we love – art marketing!
Here then is part 2 of our famous 12-tips article. Just to recap, in part 1 we covered:
1. Decide if you need an artist website
2. Know who are you trying to impress
3. Your website must fit with your overall art marketing strategy
4. Know that there IS a real market for art on the internet
5. Have your own website AND use online-portfolio services
6. Know what collectors and art professionals look for in an artist website
Now for part 2….
7. Showcase your work beautifully
You need to have visual design skills to create a beautiful artist website. Here are some points to get you started:
- Most Important: Use high-quality, professionally-photographed images. Excellence in, excellence out! (trust us – you don’t want the opposite)
- Keep the website simple and elegant with the focus on the art.
- Create multiple galleries to compliment the work – just as a good physical gallery would do.
- Choose colors that compliment (not overpower) the work. Think of the colors you would use in a physical gallery to showcase your work – neutral colors like crème, white, gray, and good safe choices.
- Think “minimalist” not “busy” for the layout.
- Keep your copy (text) brief. Let the art speak for itself! The exception is on the bio page where you want to lavish a little text-attention on a great story
8. Bring collectors and galleries to your website
Its no use having that stunning website sitting in hyperspace. Make it work for you! Here are some ways to bring quality visitors:
- Search Engines: If your website has been well optimized for search engines, a search on your name or your style of art should bring up your website in the first few pages of results.
- Letters of Introduction: A letter of introduction sent to a gallery or dealer is a very effective way to bring a qualified visitor to your website. Better still is to include a brochure or postcard of your work with the letter.
- Advertising online or in magazines: For example, if your art is minimalist and modern in style, a banner add on an interior design website focused on the same minimalist ethic could draw a lot of traffic to your site.
For a really comprehensive list of ideas check out our, 18 Tips To Bring Visitors To Your Artist Website article.
9. You need to be able to sell your work on the internet.
But there are many ways to do it! More important than anything is that you have clear and up-to-date contact information on your website. If a buyer likes your work enough to bring out their checkbook, they will normally be happy to call you to close the sale.
It’s also handy to be able to sell directly from your website, especially if you sell lower-cost reproductions. There are simple and cost-effective ways to do this.
10. Think again before designing your own website.
Have you really added up the total cost? Here are some questions to consider before you start designing:
- Do you have visual design skills/training?
- Can you wait several months for the site to be ready?
- Can you afford to give up a month or more of your valuable artist time?
- Do you have all the software and equipment needed to build a high-quality website?
- Are you fully trained in your design software?
Can you answer “Yes” to all of the above? If so, you might think about doing it yourself. Otherwise, think seriously about hiring a professional designer. Artists love to do everything themselves, but you have to be careful of becoming a “jack of all trades, master of none” – seriously.
11. Choose your website-designer thoughtfully.
The most important thing here is to remember what you are trying to create – a beautiful online gallery space to elegantly show your beautiful work – this is very different from building a high-volume website selling printer ink cartridges and paper rolls!
Look for the ability to design a space to present your work. One way to do this is to find artist websites that you like and then contact the artist to get the name of their designer.
12. Know what you should pay.
Artist’s website development prices range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. Typically, bigger design firms have larger overheads and will be significantly more expensive. On the other hand, Joe down the street can probably build you a website for $200 – but you probably don’t want that website!
At the end of the day, most professional artists will find a great website solution in the $800 – $5,000 range. Follow the steps we’ve outlined above and you’ll have a much better chance of ending the process with a smile on your face!