It's pretty hard to imagine that any artist would not have a website. But for some the challenge, or desire, or sense of need just isn't there. I can't tell you how many times I've gone into galleries and found more than one seriously good artist who does not have a website. I just scratch my head and wonder: is this 2008, almost a decade into the next century?
One of the main problems with not having a web presence is that you deny everyone who cannot walk into that gallery, or your studio, a chance to engage with your vision, which is pretty much 99% of the rest of the world.
Then there's the problem that this article can't even reach these artists because they are not looking for it in the first place.
But that doesn't stop me. If even one artist reads this...
Which of These 12 Reasons to Have a Website Work For You?
1. Are you ready to upgrade your professional presence? Websites are taking the place of brochures, and more and more they are replacing entire portfolios. Your material is instantly accessible and easily updated for galleries and collectors.
2. Do you want more name recognition? With an online gallery, your website reaches an international audience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long. This gives people an opportunity to know you at their leisure, and increases the chances of them buying.
3. Do you need an easy way to follow up on interested collectors & buyers? Research shows that it takes from 12 to 32 contacts (gulp!...and this is research that's been conducted over 5 decades with thousands of products!) before people put down hard cash on a purchase. With a website, collectors, galleries, and art lovers can return again and again to view a piece that excites them, or to learn more about you as an artist.
4. Do you want to give fans and collectors a way to refer you to others? It's far easier, and less intimidating, to check out your website than to set up a time to meet you and see your work. Increasing anyone's comfort zone is always a plus.
5. Do you like the idea of creating a historical perspective of your work? Offers you the chance to create depth and longevity by cataloging and organizing the entire body of your work, as you want to show it.
6. Do you intend to build a database of "warm' collectors and buyers? Research shows that someone who buys once is most likely to buy again and again. With a website, you can keep in touch and let past buyers know about recent work, shows, articles, etc.
7. Do you want control over where your website visitors go? You have 3 to 9 seconds to keep a visitor on your site. When done right, visitors want to stay and explore. With simple design methods, you take charge of where people go next [to a gallery or museum where you're exhibiting, a catalog you're in, a book, article, art-affiliated websites, new work, etc.]
8. Are you ready to increase your income? A website can become an online business that sells your art, craft, expertise, or a combination of these. And in virtual space, overhead is far more reasonable than real estate. In fact, if done right, there's no better return on a stretched dollar than a thoughtful, strategically designed site.
9. Are you prepared to promote your work for pennies? A website is the cheapest, and most valuable promotional tool for new work, press releases, articles, archived collections, and anything else you can think of.
10. Do you want to build a steady cash flow from additional expertise? I call it: Reap While You SleepTM. Have you developed a new technique in your field, know about valuable resources, learned a lot that others would want to know, teach a class, invented/developed a product related to your field? With the right help, you can develop any expertise - the more arcane or esoteric the better - into a continuous stream of passive income that flows from your website into your checking account...while you sleep. Thousands of people in other professions do it all the time.
11. Are you primed to gain valuable exposure? A website - unlike any other method - introduces you to the Global Village. With a website, you can expand your visibility by becoming a contributing member of a national or international, online community of your choice The buzz words right now are blogging and social media.
12. And...most important of all:
Are you ripe for growing your professional credibility, a la the 21st Century? Like the ubiquitous business card, everyone wants to know, Do you have a website? It's probably a good idea to keep in mind which century we're living in, yes?
Ariane Goodwin helps artists take their careers to the next level, so they can make an honest living doing what they love. Besides art-career coaching and my seminal book, "Writing the Artist Statement: Revealing the True Spirit of Your Work," I also host the annual smARTist Telesummit, the only professional art-career conference online or off that helps you build your art career from the comforts of home. Visit my blog at http://www.smARTistCareerBlog.com to sign up for your weekly smARTips to advance your career one tip at a time.