Several weeks ago in Artist Websites: A Beautiful Example by Latifah Shay, I wrote about a great artist website designed by the artist herself. Today I want to share with you another website, this time one that we designed, and to tell you how it will benefit its new artist owner.
Kristen Hoard is a metal sculptor from Sacramento California. She creates really fabulous metal sculptures and metal wall art, most with a very strong fire element running through them. You can see a selection of her work on her new website.
Kristen’s sculptures are very marketable for a number of reasons.
Firstly, they have a lot of visual impact with the elements of fire and light coming through very powerfully.
Second, her work is consistent – even though she creates a variety of different pieces, almost all her work is recognizable in her signature style and themes.
Third, Kristen’s sculptures can appeal to a wide variety of art segments from art collectors through interior decorators to new homeowners. That opens up a lot of commercial possibility.
Finally she has a wide range of price-points – starting at around $500 through to pieces that can fetch $5,000 or more. That broadens her potential market further.
An artist like Kristen needs a website that doesn’t just showcase well but also supports the consistent marketing effort she has to put in to get the word out and make sales. That’s why she came to us at our sister business, Espresso Artist Websites.
“I chose Espresso Artist Websites because I wanted a site that would help me market my work more powerfully,” said Kristen. “I’ve had 3 years of experience with an earlier website so I knew what I was looking for. Presentation is very important but so is the ability to find new customers and build relationships with search engine optimization, blogging, social networking, and email marketing. When I came across the Espresso websites I knew that was exactly what I was looking for.”
Lets talk about how Kristen’s new artist website supports her.
Attracting New Customers
To build relationships that lead to sales, you first have to attract new visitors to your website. One very powerful way to do that is search engines. Kristen’s new Espresso website has an extremely search engine friendly design. Kristen also purchased the optional SEO training system and is currently working through researching her most powerful keywords and placing them in her site. The Espresso websites concept makes this extremely simple.
Another great way to attract new visitors is through social networking. Within a few hours of launching her site 40 visitors had clicked the “Facebook Like Button” on her home page. What that means if you don’t know Facebook is that in each of those 40 visitors Facebook news streams, a message showed up that they had “liked” Kristen’s website – and that was then visible to ALL the friends in their facebook networks. That’s powerful!
Impressing and WOWing Visitors
Many artists make a big effort to attract visitors to their websites but don’t deliver on presentation and content. That means those visitors will probably never return and that’s not good marketing!
Kristen’s site on the other had is compelling. All the images, whether on the homepage slideshow or in the portfolio sections really stand out. That’s a result of 3 processes – great quality work, excellent professional photography, and finally professional design. With a very rare exception, artists just don’t have the graphic and web design skills to showcase art like that.
The other part of wowing visitors is with the text content. Kristen’s “About” section is really interesting. I especially recommend that you visit her “Process” page where you can see descriptions and photos of how she creates her work. Also, check out her “Shows” page. Don’t you get the feeling that there is a lot happening in this artist’s career? That is an important perception to deliver because buyers like to associate with success!
At the end of the day this all means impressed visitors who will return for more – visitors who you can build relationships with and sell to.
Building Relationships & Selling
It is an established fact that repetition builds brand-awareness and relationships. The best way to do this is on the phone and with your feet on the street! We are great advocates of traditional marketing, however there is a whole world of relationship building that your website can do for you too. Like a giant marketing iceberg, the large part of the effort required to be successful is largely unseen and this is what your website can help you with. How?
Email Marketing: Those impressed visitors can sign up for Kristen’s email list. With an Espresso Email management system can easily send personalized mass-updates to everyone on your list. What do you write about? Mainly your latest work, and upcoming shows and events. It is about creating a perception of activity and success in your art career.
Blogging and Social Networking: I put these two together because they work in a very integrated way. An Espresso Website is built with a fully integrated WordPress blog backend. We chose WordPress because of it’s unprecedented support for social networking and search engine optimization and we made it fully integrated with the website because that way you get the most marketing power. Here’s how it can work: Kristen writes a blog post or updates her shows page with an upcoming show. A number of things now happen.
– First: An update goes out on her RSS feed – this means that her post can be found by newsreaders looking for content with her keywords.
– Second: The website automatically send updates to Kristen’s Facebook pages and Twitter account. All the people in her Facebook and Twitter networks will see the update and can choose to click through and read the post or show update.
– Finally: Kristen’s email management system can be setup to automatically send out daily or weekly summaries of her updated blog posts and shows updates.
THAT is automated, heavy-duty relationship building working for Kristen’s art career!
The final sales close phase of an expensive work of art will nearly always involve a phone call or studio visit. There are things that humans simply do the best – and don’t we all want to enjoy that feeling of being personally involved in an art sale anyway? I sure do! (Note: we do offer online payment systems if desired)
The point is that a good website – like Kristen’s can take care of a lot of the heavy-lifting marketing tasks, leaving you more time to create art, market with word-of-mouth, and close sales.
“I looked at a whole range of artist website options,” said Kristen, “from monthly fee portfolio services to artist websites with substantial up-front prices. Espresso was not the least expensive but they really stood out as incredible value for what they deliver – I think my new site is a great investment.”
Please enjoy Kristen’s website and the beautiful work that it showcases!
Learn more about Espresso Artist Websites and sign up for our free 20 page PDF report, “7-Steps To Sell Art Online” at http://www.espressoartistwebsites.com
Note: We are in the final stage of our launch phase and we’re still offering introductory pricing. This however will end on September 30 and the prices go up up up! So if you are serious about claiming a great website for your art career – don’t delay.