Professional presentation will make a great first impression and help you gain traction. Here’s how to start.
People who buy art or fine craft don’t want to buy from amateurs – they want to buy from artists who know what they’re doing. Although that should be fairly obvious, many artists give the impression that they aren’t professionals when you take a look at their online presence.
Your art website is your headquarters on the internet, open to a global audience. To appeal to collectors, draw interest and make sales, your site must have credibility. This leads to gaining the trust that is essential in acquiring customers of all types.
Our checklist will help you increase your authority and credibility online:
1. Use excellent photos. You work hard in your studio to make beautiful art or handmade items. When you post poor photos of your collection, it hurts you more than you might think. Blurry, out-of-focus images, with inappropriate backgrounds or poor lighting come off as amateurish. Your competition has great photos; you need them also.
2. Include photos of yourself. Help your site visitors come to know you as an artist. Including a photo of yourself on your About page is important, to become more real to them and more memorable. Share shots of yourself working in the studio, at a gallery opening or a festival. This reinforces your involvement in your studio practice and as a professional.
3. Provide third party testimonials. Word of mouth carries more weight than advertising. Online reviews and services such as Angie’s List exist because people trust other people’s recommendations. Testimonials from satisfied customers are like gold, and can be placed prominently on your website. This is a very effective way to gain credibility.
4. Detail your expertise. Have you been working as an artist for many years? Have you developed your own technique, which hasn’t been used before? Have you taught a class, written a book or an article about what you do? Build your authority and your credibility by sharing that information on your website. Who is the expert on your own work? You are. Beginning there, describe how you work and how you have mastered what you do.
5. Keep it free from typos and grammatical errors. Have you ever shopped on a website that was rife with grammatical errors or typos? Doesn’t really inspire trust, does it? Make sure your own site is as perfect as possible when it comes to spelling and grammar. Review your website for any of these problems by reading each page out loud. This technique will help you spot problems more easily.
6. Include your bio and resume. What is your background, education and experience? Share those credentials on your art website. Include exhibitions you’ve participated in and awards you have received, as well as a list of group or solo shows.
7. Share press mentions. Have you been interviewed for an article on a blog? Is your work included in any magazine or newspaper features? Press begets press. Once a reporter or blogger has written about you, you are seen as newsworthy, which tends to recommend you for more press attention. You may even want to share the logos of the publications where you have received coverage on a “Press” page, or on your website Home page.
8. Update your site regularly. As events happen, keep your site current. Do you have a calendar of upcoming shows and fairs? Make sure you stay on top of that list. Are you coming out with new work? Upload images of your most current art or handmade goods. An out-of-date site looks abandoned, so you must review it regularly and keep it updated.