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!