April 16,2011
23 ways to WOW your web visitor with your art
Filed under: Marketing Images Tags: Image+Size Customers Emails Photography Website

Whether your art marketing focus is to Show, Connect or Sell art to your fine art website visitors, the central point of an artist website must be your art images. Here are the basics to show your art in the best possible light, from a customer point of view.

Show your art well:
1. Use a good photo of your art. Photograph the art directly, never through glass. Use natural indirect daylight (on a cloudy day is best) and use a tripod when shooting
2. Crop your images - do not show any portion of a frame, and if you over-crop, meaning cut off some of the original work, that is far better than leaving a distracting portion of background
3. Don't fret too much about adjusting image colours on the photo. Showing art online is like standing on the TV showroom floor - every screen has different settings- so even if it looks good on your screen, you have no control over how it looks elsewhere. Instead you invite customers to come to see the work in person.
4. Present a selection of images as smaller images, called "thumbnails" on your site and provide a way to expand each thumbnail to a full page view
5. Load internet sized, clear images. Customers will not wait for your image to load, so use an image around 100 kilobits (Kb) plus/minus 20Kb in file size to ensure reasonable loading times, and yet maintain high image clarity. Too small a file size and the image appears pixelated or fuzzy looking.
6. Let your art be the focus of the page. Don't distract with conflicting background colours, patterns or animations such as scrolling text
7. Minimize the clicks -  Make it easy for customers to navigation from one full page image to the next, or to see text on your art page
8. Change up your images regularly, keep your site current. Email your customers to let them know when new content is added.

Connect to your customer
9. Tell the story - every artwork has a story - please tell it! Customers want to know more about the piece and about you the artist.
10. Give a story that helps the viewer relate to themselves. Imagine what your visitor would say if they showed this image to their friends and family.
11. Be sure your purpose comes through in your brief narrative to tell customers why you created this work, and how it connects to your central purpose in making art.
12. Use key words to describe your art, or your story that are preferred words for Google to pick up on. Search your topic on Google and see what words are going to best resonate with your audience.
13. Add links to relevant sites, blogs, that add more context to your narrative.
14. Insert a YouTube clip of you in your studio to add emotion and your personality to your art work comments.
15. Let your visitors make comments on your website and respond to them when they do.
16. Offer connections to social media, so customers can easily share the work with their contacts.
17. Let visitors sign up to follow your artistic progress

Sell to your customer
18. Show prices online. Customers want this on your website. They want to know if they can afford the work, and they don't like to ask in person. Price your works with potential galleries in mind.
19. Give customers a "call to action". How about a discount if you order by Friday?
20. Provide copies for lower price ranges. Customers have been found to buy just about as many copies as originals. Offering say a limited edition at lower prices enables a wider range of buyers to sample your work, and start to get to know your work better.
21. Connect the art for sale to your ordering system. Your site should provide a clear and simple means for ordering online.
22. Make it clear how to contact you, and that you stand behind your sales. Offer a guarantee to limit the customer's perceived risk to buy. Outline your purchasing and delivery policies.
23. Provide options for gift sales - what if a gift receiver wanted to return it, or exchange it? Our fine art market customer survey report shows that customers purchase art to give to others almost as much as they buy for themselves.

Your artist website should assist your art marketing efforts by enabling easy ways to accomplish most of the above. Much of this list can be quickly addressed for each additional artwork.

Remember that you don't have to do this entire list - see our article about deciding what your website purpose is as a guide to what you may want to do. Typically start at the top of the list and work your way down.

Do you your customers say "wow!" about your art? Do you agree these suggestions would help? Let us know how you wow your customers!


Posted by Art Marketer at 02:56 0 Comments
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April 02,2011
DIY Art Marketing - your top two considerations
Filed under: Commentary Marketing Recommendations Tags: Basics Goals Time Website
DIY (Do-It-Yourself) art marketing has never been so full of potential to help artists become successful. However artists need to realize results will be proportional to the amount of effort they put in.

DIY artist websites offer artists the advantage of low start up costs; total control over content and display options; and powerful art marketing tools.

With this in mind, artists need to consider how to make the best use of their time and money. We believe the key considerations are to determine: 1) your internet marketing goals and 2) your time commitment to execute your DIY effort.

Goals:
The first question to ask when considering your DIY web presence is:

What are your expectations from having a website?

Your answer might be some combination of:

  • To show your art to others

  • To connect with and build your audience

  • To market and sell your art

Time Commitment:
The second question you need to ask yourself is:

How much time are you willing to invest in achieving your DIY web presence objectives?

You might reply with one of these typical answers:

  • 1-2 hours / quarter Time to build and maintain a web presence is time out of the studio! Save me from the computer!

  • 1-2 hours / month- I just want to update occasionally when necessary.

  • 1-2 hours / week I am fairly committed I see online presence as an important part of my marketing efforts.

  • 1 hours / day I am on the computer a lot and I really want to promote my art and art career for part of my day!

An organized approach:
With your answers to these 2 top considerations you will know where to focus your efforts.

In upcoming blog entries, we will go into detail the web activities available to you to achieve your goals, reviewing the purpose of these activities along with their pros and cons.

A summary of many typical artist website features or activities can be found here or a short commentary can be found here.

Think of the three goals as if climbing a ladder. First build your site to show, then up a rung to connect, and further up to sell your art.

Your time commitment should focus on the minimum required portion, the Basics of each rung, before advancing to the next rung on the ladder. Select anything from Optional section to enhance your artist website efforts.

To Show
Basics: Prepare suitable "jpeg" images of your art. Upload art images. Upload a picture of yourself. Choose your domain name.

Optional: Upload a logo / signature header. Set site template colours and fonts. Group art by type in sub-pages (we call these "Studios"). Add your YouTube videos. Add a flash slideshow. Add music.

To Connect
Basics: Upload your Artist Statement, Resume and Contact info. Announce your website launch and subsequent updates. Link to sites you love. Add your domain name to your email signature. Add commentary, stories about each artwork.

Optional: Set prices for gallery sales. Upload calendar events. Upload your email list. Email news of shows etc to your list. Blog about your target customers needs. Segment your contact list and email targeted messages. Use Facebook, Twitter to connect from and to your website. Create videos on YouTube and post to your blog or website. Add lots more links. Post comments on the blogs of others. Showcase your unique expertise or passion.

To Sell (direct from the artist)
Basics: Set up a payment provider account (e.g. PayPal, Visa etc). Set your pricing for direct sales. Add Order Forms, Price List and an Art Catalogue. Ask clients to buy from your site.

Optional: Advertise on the internet. Offer specials do some merchandizing. Prepare prints or lower price versions of your artwork. Give your customers specials / freebies. Use eBay and other online markets to meet new clients. Target your customer segment and converse via their community's blogs.

How do you feel about our assessment? Your comments would help us understand your artist issues with managing an artist website. What have we got right or what have we missed?


Posted by Art Marketer at 07:53 0 Comments
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