Artists seeking to develop a website to showcase their work have many options. Website designers offer a range of solutions ranging from simple template-based sites to fully customized designs built entirely around the persona of the artist and their work. Understanding the benefits of each option is important, as the art marketplace is highly competitive.
Part 1 – Understand Your Audience (Who are you selling to?)
Your artist’s website is the foundation on which you will build your complete online-marketing strategy. Every marketing tool and program will seek to draw attention to your website gallery. So, what is important in a website? What do arts professionals look for? What will give you the edge you need to be recognized?
The first question you need to answer is â€œWho is your audienceâ€. Are you selling, or planning to sell to decorators, galleries, collectors, or art investors? Just what is your objective? â€“ itâ€™s important to be very clear about this.
If your primary focus is decorators (e.g. interior decorators, design consultants, etc) you should have a large body of your work online so that clients have as much work to choose from as possible. You may also want to be able to change and update the work regularly yourself because you are in a very dynamic commercial environment. Presentation, while important needs to be balanced with other requirements.
If your target art market includes galleries, collectors, or investors, five qualities stand out:
- Stunning presentation of your work â€“ it should lift off the screen.
- Only your very best work can be shown â€“ only those pieces that you would LOVE and be 200% proud to show to an arts professional. If that means only 5 pieces then your website should have only 5 pieces. In this market segment itâ€™s all about quality â€“ not quantity.
- The work should show consistency in theme and style â€“ or if you show multiple styles or themes they need to be showcased in separate sub-gallery sections.
- The art must be the center of attention. The website should showcase beautifully but not distract from the art in any way.
- The website should communicate the essential YOU. Who are you? What motivates you? What are you passionate about? How is your personality and consciousness reflected in your work? What sort of statement are you making about life through your art? And ultimately – why are YOU worth collecting?
Donâ€™t ever underestimate the value of you in the marketing of your art. Roger Ailes wrote a great book on public speaking several years ago titled, â€œYou are The Messageâ€. Similarly, as an artist, â€œYou are the Artâ€. Collectors know it â€“ you need to know it. Be sure to choose marketing materials that effectively showcase you as well as your art â€“ your website in particular.
In the next post we’ll look at some of the various artist website options available and how they serve the needs of these art market segments we just discussed. Stay tuned….