Blogs filed with the tag - Website
Nov 19,2006
An Interview with Jane Appleby (Part 1)
Filed under: Marketing Tags: Promoting Website Traffic Emails Jane+Appleby

Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since the spring of 2000. Jane's site has consistently attracted high numbers of visitors each month. So we sat down with Jane for an in-depth discussion on her approach to her website, and her thoughts generally about promoting her art successfully. On websites and promotion by artists MyArtClub: You have a lot of visits to your website. Do you feel you benefit from having this regular traffic? In what ways? Jane: The regular traffic is a benefit not only to me but to other artists I figure. Having the site helps people know that I have been producing new work and am taking my art career seriously. Also anyone going to MyArtClub.Com may venture to find an artist they like and that's always a good thing. If you don't have your own unique work to start with than I guess you may be worried about other artists taking customers away. I don't worry about that too much as art has more to do than just one painting that sells well. It has much more to do with how you connect to people and who you connect to. I believe it's good to let past customers or people interested in your art be remembered at different times of the year like at Christmas Holidays, Summer, Spring Break and the like. There is something special about an artist's connection with the people that admire their work. It's more personal than providing a necessary piece of home improvement. After all much of the time people connect to the artist as much as the artwork. I want to keep that connection going. MyArtClub: What feedback do you get from your website visitors? What feedback do you get on the emails that you send out? Jane: Actually I do not get many reply emails (less than 5% respond back) from my outbound emails from MyArtClub.Com. People are aware it's a group send out and even though I encourage feedback, I do not expect it. However I do not take this to mean that "my fans" so to speak do not like the piece or my work, or me as a person. The few emails I do get are mostly encouraging and kind. That keeps me sending more out. So thank you to those of you that have responded because art can be lonely without input. The fact that you can get feedback at a click of the mouse is great. A little goes a long way. All you need is one person saying "Hey that's the best piece you've done yet!" and you have enough motivation to do another (whether it sells or not). Others point out spelling errors and offer words of advice and that is also helpful. I make sure I respond back to thank them. Misspelled words and other errors seems one of the surest ways to look unprofessional so I really try to avoid that now. I keep the site updated with new images perhaps once a month or so. I try to keep the emails short, polite and informative with a personal little update or hello. I try not to send more than one or two [email] per month. It gets boring having to click to delete email too often. On top of that there is always an option to unsubscribe, so I do not worry that my emails are intrusive. Just the fact that people actually haven't opted to be deleted off the list of fans says quite a bit. In Part 2 of the article, Jane discusses how she generates traffic to her site. About Jane Appleby Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since spring 2000. She is program coordinator and past president of the Burnaby Artist Guild, as well as active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Artfully Yours and the Burnaby Arts Council. Our thanks to Jane Appleby for her valuable contribution with this article. This article was first published in the My Art News Letter #9 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:42
Nov 24,2006
An Interview with Jane Appleby (Part 2)
Filed under: Marketing Tags: Promoting Traffic Website Website Jane+Appleby

Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since the spring of 2000. Jane's site has consistently attracted high numbers of visitors each month. So we sat down with Jane for an in-depth discussion on her approach to her website, and her thoughts generally about promoting her art successfully. On websites and promotion by artists MyArtClub: What ways do you get customers to come to your website? Jane: By handing out my card to anyone that might be interested-even the milkman. (He actually came to one of our shows). When people ask what I do I say, "I paint..." Usually they want to know more because they are not sure what I paint so when they ask I explain briefly and mention "MyArtClub.Com" -and I offer my card. If I feel it appropriate to ask for their email I do but otherwise I leave it up to them. When I invite people to my shows I include the web site address on the invite (in bold or some other colour to make it stand out). People that cannot make it might like at least to view some paintings over the web. Many like to preview some of the show and actually ask if they can see the painting before the show. I find it easier to promote MyArtClub.Com as it is a site of many artists and I mention that often. I may say something like: "You know there are a number of wonderful artist on the site my work is on that you may enjoy". I expect not everyone will like what I do so I invite them to view others work. And I truly do like the work and calibre of artists that I "share the site with" so am happy to promote it. Furthermore, I think it is important to provide opportunities for people to learn about art, and that it can be something fun to view or to take part in. And heck people love talking about the latest site to visit so why shouldn't it be MyArtClub.Com or ApplebyArt.Com? Part of really promoting is talking about what you do to as many people that are interested. And because I not only sell art but I also teach that opens up the discussion to almost anyone that may be interested in taking up a creative outlet. In that way I have been able to get many people visiting my site. MyArtClub: Do you use other ways to promote your art? Jane: Word of mouth has seemed to work the best for me so far. But I highly regard the galleries, offices, restaurants or any other location that an artist hangs their work at as one of the most important ways to promote work. Not to mention the people that work there. I always try to respect what they do and I am thankful for their support. MyArtClub: If you had 2 or 3 suggestions for artists to raise their profile or visibility, or to increase website traffic, what would they be? Jane: Hang your work to show!! It's a lot of work but worth it even without sales. What job doesn't have its brunt of grunt work? Of course include your web site on the cards that describe the painting or have business cards available there for people that may want one. What an artist have a "Business card"? Absolutely!! And many of them! MyArtClub: Time spent promoting takes away from time creating art, how do you balance this out? Jane: I work fast so that helps. It has been interesting to find out about running a business and learning as I go. I do not have a business background (it's actually in Biology) however getting a degree prepared me for perseverance in completing tasks. Much of my time creating inspires me to want to share my work with others and thus gets me to the computer to upload images and post updates. I have a digital camera that I like because I do not have to take a whole roll to developed them so when I finish a painting I feel it gets it's little showing right away as I put it on the web. It may take much longer for me to actually frame it and get it to a gallery so I guess I like that initial landmark of at least getting my painting on the web. And it's important to pat yourself on the back once in awhile! In Part 3 of the article, Jane discusses the benefits of having her site. About Jane Appleby Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since spring 2000. She is program coordinator and past president of the Burnaby Artist Guild, as well as active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Artfully Yours and the Burnaby Arts Council. Our thanks to Jane Appleby for her valuable contribution with this article. This article was first published in the My Art News Letter #9 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:47
Nov 24,2006
An Interview with Jane Appleby (Part 2)
Filed under: Marketing Tags: Promoting Traffic Website Website Jane+Appleby

Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since the spring of 2000. Jane's site has consistently attracted high numbers of visitors each month. So we sat down with Jane for an in-depth discussion on her approach to her website, and her thoughts generally about promoting her art successfully. On websites and promotion by artists MyArtClub: What ways do you get customers to come to your website? Jane: By handing out my card to anyone that might be interested-even the milkman. (He actually came to one of our shows). When people ask what I do I say, "I paint..." Usually they want to know more because they are not sure what I paint so when they ask I explain briefly and mention "MyArtClub.Com" -and I offer my card. If I feel it appropriate to ask for their email I do but otherwise I leave it up to them. When I invite people to my shows I include the web site address on the invite (in bold or some other colour to make it stand out). People that cannot make it might like at least to view some paintings over the web. Many like to preview some of the show and actually ask if they can see the painting before the show. I find it easier to promote MyArtClub.Com as it is a site of many artists and I mention that often. I may say something like: "You know there are a number of wonderful artist on the site my work is on that you may enjoy". I expect not everyone will like what I do so I invite them to view others work. And I truly do like the work and calibre of artists that I "share the site with" so am happy to promote it. Furthermore, I think it is important to provide opportunities for people to learn about art, and that it can be something fun to view or to take part in. And heck people love talking about the latest site to visit so why shouldn't it be MyArtClub.Com or ApplebyArt.Com? Part of really promoting is talking about what you do to as many people that are interested. And because I not only sell art but I also teach that opens up the discussion to almost anyone that may be interested in taking up a creative outlet. In that way I have been able to get many people visiting my site. MyArtClub: Do you use other ways to promote your art? Jane: Word of mouth has seemed to work the best for me so far. But I highly regard the galleries, offices, restaurants or any other location that an artist hangs their work at as one of the most important ways to promote work. Not to mention the people that work there. I always try to respect what they do and I am thankful for their support. MyArtClub: If you had 2 or 3 suggestions for artists to raise their profile or visibility, or to increase website traffic, what would they be? Jane: Hang your work to show!! It's a lot of work but worth it even without sales. What job doesn't have its brunt of grunt work? Of course include your web site on the cards that describe the painting or have business cards available there for people that may want one. What an artist have a "Business card"? Absolutely!! And many of them! MyArtClub: Time spent promoting takes away from time creating art, how do you balance this out? Jane: I work fast so that helps. It has been interesting to find out about running a business and learning as I go. I do not have a business background (it's actually in Biology) however getting a degree prepared me for perseverance in completing tasks. Much of my time creating inspires me to want to share my work with others and thus gets me to the computer to upload images and post updates. I have a digital camera that I like because I do not have to take a whole roll to developed them so when I finish a painting I feel it gets it's little showing right away as I put it on the web. It may take much longer for me to actually frame it and get it to a gallery so I guess I like that initial landmark of at least getting my painting on the web. And it's important to pat yourself on the back once in awhile! In Part 3 of the article, Jane discusses the benefits of having her site. About Jane Appleby Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since spring 2000. She is program coordinator and past president of the Burnaby Artist Guild, as well as active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Artfully Yours and the Burnaby Arts Council. Our thanks to Jane Appleby for her valuable contribution with this article. This article was first published in the My Art News Letter #9 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:47
Dec 07,2006
An Interview with Jane Appleby (Part 3)
Filed under: Marketing Tags: Jane+Appleby Emails Website Calendar+of+Events

Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since the spring of 2000. Jane's site has consistently attracted high numbers of visitors each month. So we sat down with Jane for an in-depth discussion on her approach to her website, and her thoughts generally about promoting her art successfully. On websites and promotion by artists MyArtClub: Do you have to spend a lot of time working on your website to have these levels of visitors? Jane: No - Only to put new images on it and a few shows or classes that come up. Again, a little goes a long way! MyArtClub: What are the main benefits to you of having your site? Jane: An Internet gallery is the main benefit. I believe it adds a certain degree of professionalism and enables some feedback. A belief in taking what I do seriously while maintaining the Internet gallery is also a part of this: it makes me feel more business savvy. Whether that helps I don't know. However "if you believe in yourself then so will others" - that's the motto I go by. It helps with sales too. As a side note the site has been more useful as a gallery than a chat room and that's what I prefer it to be. Even though no sales have been ordered through the site by email I must say it helps people make decisions on their art purchases; whether they are mine or not. Further it helps not to only judge your worth by the amount of sales you do. And if I am contributing to influencing people's perspective on visual arts than that in itself is satisfying. MyArtClub: You show 30 artworks on MyArtClub.Com. You have included some links to other sites. You are often in the MyArtClub.Com "Calendar of Events". Are there some things you do that you find create interest in your art more than others? Jane: I would say having more than 10 art works adds to the site as it gives a fuller range of what I do. The links help show the validity of belonging to an organization such as the Federation of Canadian Artists or a certain Gallery and that helps people know you are for real and not just a Cyber Being of some sort. Whether the links from the other sites help bring viewers I am not sure but again even if its one that's better than none. The "Calendar of Events" is there for those that come across it so it should be up to date however I think it's the mostly the art that keeps people coming back. So I guess it helps to have new work and photos that represent the work properly. I take the digital photo straight on, and then I crop and edit colours so that the painting looks as good as possible. If the painting is good but the picture is poor I get a better picture. For example: "Angels Among Us" was taken on slide film and then transferred to a disc by London Drugs. Even though they did a good job, the image worked much better taking it digitally in the first place. So I did not include the image till I got a better digital image from my camera. "Get the picture?" In Part 4 of the article, Jane provides a summary of her tips for artists. About Jane Appleby Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since spring 2000. She is program coordinator and past president of the Burnaby Artist Guild, as well as active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Artfully Yours and the Burnaby Arts Council. Our thanks to Jane Appleby for her valuable contribution with this article. This article was first published in the My Art News Letter #9 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:49
Dec 18,2006
An Interview with Jane Appleby (Part 4)
Filed under: Marketing Tags: Jane+Appleby Website Promoting

Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since the spring of 2000. Jane's site has consistently attracted high numbers of visitors each month. So we sat down with Jane for an in-depth discussion on her approach to her website, and her thoughts generally about promoting her art successfully. On websites and promotion by artists MyArtClub: Thank you very much for sharing this information Jane. Would you have any closing thoughts? Jane: Here are my summary tips for artists: "Present yourself as a serious artist but don't be too serious" "Keep your emails informative and brief but slightly personal and fun" "A little goes a long way! - Use what ever feedback you get to motivate you to do more - even if it's criticism." "Make an effort to get feedback: Show your work (framed and unframed); talk about art in general; send out emails even if they are not regular; just do it!" "Have as many business cards as you can manage: home, pockets, wallets, and car but do give them out and make sure they are where your paintings are so people have access to them. It takes many business cards to get one contact. It's money well spent. Sometimes I have given the same person a dozen cards because they lost it or what ever but I may still offer another to them. Also include your website address (link) with every email you send with your signature (This can be added to a signature by clicking Insert then signature). "Talk with a lot of people and ask what they do and tell them what you do". It only needs to be brief: " MyArtClub.Com" says it all! "Hang to show to new people as much as possible but also keep past admirers included, or at least updated" "Pat yourself on the back once in a while - even if it's just to let someone know what you do or have just done." "Believe in yourself and others will too." And lastly, "Good Luck!"-because I am sure that's also part of it! Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since spring 2000. She is program coordinator and past president of the Burnaby Artist Guild, as well as active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Artfully Yours and the Burnaby Arts Council. About Jane Appleby Jane Appleby has been an artist on MyArtClub.Com since spring 2000. She is program coordinator and past president of the Burnaby Artist Guild, as well as active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Artfully Yours and the Burnaby Arts Council. Our thanks to Jane Appleby for her valuable contribution with this article. This article was first published in the My Art News Letter #9 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:58
Feb 01,2007
Picking a Domain Name
Filed under: Marketing Branding Tags: Domain+Name Website

What should you consider when picking a domain name for your website? First of all, picking your domain name is all part of building your brand identity as an artist. So you want to pick a name that supports your brand. A domain name that identifies with you, the artist. What would someone guessing your web address think of or try first? Most often it is who the artist is. Therefore your name represents your brand, even though your style may change, your subjects may change or your media may change. As an artist developing a career you want people to be able to search for you on the web based on your brand. And using your name as your domain name is part of building that brand. Unless you have spent the last 5 years creating those cute pink porcelain pigs and plan to spend the next 15 years creating those cute pink porcelain pigs and your absolutely famous for your cute pink porcelain pigs, you should resist picking a domain name like www.pinkporcelainpigs.com. Mind you, if you are that artist, then you do want the domain name www.pinkporcelainpigs.com. Otherwise the domain name that you pick can restrict your brand. You can have more than one domain name, and use them for different applications. For example, let's say you are a landscape painter, and you do ceramics pigs too. Reserve both names, and point them to the appropriate locations on your site. Having two or more names allows you to advertise and build on more than one brand. How do you know what names are available? You can go to any domain name registrar and they will have a mechanism where you can put in the name you would like to register. It will tell you if the name you want is already taken. In most cases, it will also provide you with a list of alternatives. Or just write to us at webmaster@myartclub.com. On the world wide web there can only be one BillSmith.com. So what do you do if BillSmith.com is already taken and you happen to be another Bill Smith? Some obvious choices are to look for variations on the name. WilliamSmith.com BillJSmith.com WilliamJSmith.com BillSmithArt.com What if my name is hard to spell? What do I do if my name happens to be Peter Tchaikovsky and people have a hard time spelling by name? Should I use my name as my domain name? The answer is still yes. Because it is part of your brand, and you want people to learn about and remember you. Another opportunity that is recommended, is to register the names of close misspellings. What would someone most often mistype? From our example above, you may want pinkporcelainpig.com as well as pinkporcelainpigs.com. What domain name ending should you use? Should it be ".com" or ".ca" , ".net" or ".org"? The ending ".com" is most popular, from the beginning of websites, and it means representing "commercial" sites. When attempting to find you, a visitor to your site would most likely select ".com" first. The ending ".ca" represents "Canada" and in Canada that is a likely next choice. For example, you could choose BillSmith.ca, especially if BillSmith.com is not available. Choosing both is also a way of blocking out the hordes of next door neighbours to your site. Having billsmith.ca and billsmith.com protects you from someone else doing this. Should you invest in a lot of names? The number of names should reflect the significance of your web presence. Typically doing the above strategies is a good idea, but as it does require annual or multi year commitment to pay for the names, it can become a significant cost. Look at your overall plans, and usually go with one or two names. Don't get too excited and register a ton of names just on speculation. The rules for creating your domain name are simple. Domain names must be between two (2) and fifty (50) characters long and made up of The letters a through z (no accents). There is no distinction between upper and lower case letters ; The numbers 0, through 9; and The hyphen character (although it cannot be used to start or end a Domain Name) You will notice that the space or blank character is not a legal character. A good place to see names available is www.internic.org/whois.html - it can also be fun to try to see what is available! In our next blog, we will discuss how you use your domain name to build your brand. read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:57
Mar 03,2007
The China Syndrome
Filed under: Commentary Tags: Website Copying China

We often get email asking about the incident last year when it was discovered that art from a number of our artists was being copied to a website in China where they were selling copies of art for very low prices. As many of you may know, a hue and cry went up across the land and the website was taken down. What you may not know is that another one sprang up to take its place. So the question is inevitably what can you do to protect your art from being copied. The short answer is never let any one see it. Not exactly palatable advice for an artist who wants people to see and enjoy their art. However the reality is, that if it can be seen on the internet, then there is a way to copy it. Like the old adage that says the locks only keep honest people out but never stop the real thief so it can be said about people taking a copy of your art image. Despite the fact that MyArtClub.Com puts filters over the art or suppresses the right click option, there is little you can do if you know how to read the underlying HTML code that presents the page. So it only keeps the non-technical people from being able to copy your image. If you can see it on your browser, then there is a link to the art image that exists in order to present it. And if you can see it on the screen, then you can take a picture of it on a digital camera, never mind the computer. Which brings up other places that people can copy your art. If it is in a gallery or on exhibition, if it is printed in a magazine or your publish art cards to advertise your work, then it can be copied using a digital camera. So unless you are planning on hiding your candle under a bushel basket, then publish your work on the internet and if it gets copied onto a Chinese website, so be it. At least they had the good taste to copy your work. In the next blog, we will explore ways to reduce the chance of your work being copied effectively. read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 11:36
Mar 24,2007
Increase your website 'Hits'
Filed under: Marketing Email Recommendations Tags: Website Traffic Business+Cards Promoting Emails Email+List

There are lots of easy ways to increase your traffic and build your customer base. Your own traffic building efforts will guarantee a huge difference to your site visits. Here are 6 top ways: Add more artwork. Most artists with more hits have more art on line. If you have unused art space on your website, fill it up, and enjoy more traffic. If you are not sure what to do, especially newer artists please don't hesitate to email the webmaster@myartclub.com for assistance. You can add more art at any time, and even add more art spaces as needed. Keep your art work current. Active artists change some of their images and information at least every couple months. It does not take long to keep your content up to date and the payoff is great. Visitors will return often to your site for more when they find it is changing! Invite your fans to see your work on line This is one of the key ways to increase your traffic, especially to easily keep in touch with your customers. After you load or reload an art work, use our "Notify Fans" feature to send an email with your personal comments and a direct link to the art image just loaded. Got some news you want to share? Let your network know! Update your mailing list. Your customer and network list is gold for you. If you send out emails (the fastest and least cost way to keep in touch) you need to keep your email list current. Load up your email list to your website by logging in to your site then click on "Market your artist site", then click on "Maintain your mailing list information." You can load up your email addresses either one at a time or in bulk. Contact us if you need any help. Use your web address. Three ideas for showing your website address (shown on your webpage, i.e. www.MyArtClub.Com/Joe.Smith): 1) at the bottom of all correspondence and email, 2) on all pamphlets or business cards and 3) on any listing of you as an artist, or art group. List your web page with search engines and directories. Listing your website and art work can increase your traffic especially for new customers. MyArtClub.Com has links on line to several free search engines and directories sources. Click on our "Links" page which is found from the main MyArtClub.Com page, on the right hand column under "Resources". This article first appeared in the My Art News Letter #12 read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 01:20
Apr 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? read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:53
Apr 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! read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 02:56
Aug 11,2011
Top 5 key customer-driven necessities to sell art
Filed under: Analysis Marketing Tags: Customers Findings Promoting Website Basics Organizing Selling

A lot of artists wonder what it takes to sell art. They wonder what they have to do to become self supporting selling art. Some dream to earn a good living as an artist. There is nothing wrong about the idea of selling, and selling often. It doesn't have to be some wild and crazy dream to earn a good living from art. But it does have to be a business. Stop for a moment and ask yourself this: who do you know that makes a good living doing as they please? Is your answer a movie star, sports star, political figure, perhaps business owner? Think for a moment...are these people really free...totally free....to do anything they like and yet will continue to grow their incomes? Consider these career types a little deeper and you will see the movie star has to play a written role on screen and do it well, the sports star has to practice, produce points, and the business person is expected to add value to the bottom line. If they do not, their income will diminish and probably quite quickly, not grow. I think the only possible positive answer to this question is someone who is financially independent with a broad portfolio of business interests not reliant on the investor. A wealthy person can earn a living from their money and investments. They do not have to serve others to live comfortably if their investments are well managed. Artists who are financially independent are indeed fortunate, however in order to sell their art beyond sporadically, they still need to behave as if they are in business. As an artist you may think simply producing art is a valued service. Isn't that enough value add to be paid? Maybe, but only if someone else takes care of the admin and selling. It will take great art marketing. In short, all thriving businesses must provide products or services to customers that are 1) unique, 2) desired, 3) known, 4) convenient and 5) current. Let me explain these points from the view of the customer, with the example that they are purchasing a cell phone which is selling extremely well, the iPhone 4. Artists can provide these 5 necessities, here is how: 1) Unique A cell phone has a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). For example, the Apple iPhone 4 offers slimmer phone, better screen viewing, among other features. Apple itself as supplier is also important. Apple is a well known provider of designs that work well. The stronger the USP for a product vs. other similar solutions, the better it will sell. All works of original art are by nature unique. Uniqueness of art is a major attraction. This does not mean the art must be only the original. Our art marketing customer survey showed that of all potential customers, 65% said they purchase originals and 67% buy copies. How the customers value their unique personal connection to the work is more the nature of uniqueness in the art world. Artists create a personal brand image that is unique to them. There is only one you. Customers value knowing the artist, and add the uniqueness of the artist to the uniqueness of the work in valuing an individual art work. Build more about yourself into your art marketing. 2) Desired There are two main desire marketing aspects, product benefits and scarcity. In the example of the iPhone 4, it has sold very well because the USP offered is something customers value. If the USP of the iPhone 4 was that it made random noises, customers would not like that USP, and that product benefit would be not valued! When Apple launches any new product they follow a set formula to make it seem scarce. The build desire to the point early adopter buyers line up over night to be the first to have one. Sometimes the uniqueness can turn off a buyer, so just being unique is not enough. A desired work of art is beyond just unique. Customers in our survey (78%) mainly bought on impulse, because they loved the work. Really great quality of the art is the essential element that is required. Components of quality of art abound, but here is one particular simple view I liked. Artist (or should I say 100 artists in one click here to understand why I say that ) Shea Hembrey suggests the main aspect of art can be summarized as Head, Hand, and Heart. Does the art and thus the artist stimulate intellectual interest or curiosity? (the head) Does the art illustrate the highest skills of the artist? (the hand) Does the art show the artist's passion? (the heart) A big part of desire is scarcity, whether real or perceived. When Apple launches any new product they follow a set formula to make it seem scarce. They build desire through pre-launch marketing to the point that buyer's line up over night to be the first to have one. Original art is very scarce, yet rare is the line up! Creating scarcity is what merchandizing marketing does when the offer is time limited, or available only to the first few in the door, or limited quantity, etc. Artists with better merchandizing use these techniques to boost client's desires. Very few artists market this way, until maybe after they die, and someone else takes up the marketing challenge. Consider pre- releasing information about the art. Arrange a private showing only for special clients. Consider a website with log-in for those privileged few to view hidden pages. 3) Known This element is about people knowing about an available product. Typically advertising whether formal or by word of mouth, are the means. Apple and the iPhone 4 are certainly well known, and are advertised everywhere, just to keep it top of mind. Artists and their art must be known in many ways. Known as to who they are, recognizable in their art, and known for what they stand. The more you show, and are seen by your customers and potential customers, the more chances you have to be known. It may sound simple, but it may be the artist's greatest challenge to become known. The good news is that, if uniqueness and desire levels are high, then getting known is much easier, as others will help pave the way. Until that hallowed time when others jump in to do your all your marketing, you need to focus mainly on your art, and building customer base as best you can. Communicate to your buyers often. Websites, newsletters, emails and social media facebook are great ways. Let them know you are still out there, so you too are top of mind. Be sure to follow up with your current clients to ensure they are most satisfied. When you are very sure they are, ask if they may want to invite a friend or two to your studio. It would be a way to show your appreciation to the client, and that they may show your works to potential new clients. 4) Convenient Today with the general conveniences offered by stores, shopping centers and the internet, all with carefully crafted displays and customer policies, it is hard to imagine buying an iPhone 4 could be made even more convenient. Notice too, a big part of the convenience is the display is especially set to maximize impulse purchases. As mentioned earlier, customers reported that art is mainly an impulse buy. One implication is that art must be available to be seen. So just being out there, everywhere, with highly attractive product is best. While this is not practical or easy, the more you do to offer your art, the better. Each year plan your exposure count. How many people will see my work, and will know it is by me, and will come to know me and my work? The more you can be seen by potential customers, the more you will sell, and grow your business. Offer to hang the buyers purchase. Offer to help them choose a frame. Offer great money back or gift exchange policies. Our art marketing customer survey also found of art buyers that 70% buy for personal use and 58% buy as a gift. Don't miss the gift opportunity! Have a convenient gift exchange policy. Tickle the customer's impulses with the age old suggestion that this makes a great gift. 5) Current A product can be all of the above, but if it is perceived as out of date, it will not sell. In the cell phone example, the iPhone 4 is the current rage, for sure. But sales will plummet the day Apple announces the coming of the iPhone 5. The price of the iPhone 4 will drop at that point, to bring more clients in to their customer base. New art does not necessarily bump out old art, but there is a school of thought that art from living artists should be perceived as recent works. After all, if you are progressing, a customer may perceive your more recent works to be higher on the progression scale. Keep your products and services evolving! You should be showing progress as an artist, you need not however, to be following fads. Stay true to your art AND progress. All your marketing print and web promotional items should be current and refreshed regularly. Stay with the times. Reflect what is going on in our world, through your work. Tell us some interesting stories through your work. Are you in business? The list above shines more light on the nature of the demands our customers place on all sellers, and in particular artists. Notice the customer perception of how you fulfill the demands is key. I know you do this already, and can do even more, when you break down what it is you are providing your client. As you think about these, do you see ways to make this a reality? How are you doing in each of these categories? Which area holds the most promise / opportunity? read more ...

Posted by Art Marketer at 10:57
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