Why artists, makers and creatives need websites
A website has become more essential than ever since our lives and businesses were turned upside down by this virus. Most of us are living under lockdown, or at least practicing social distancing at the moment, and non-essential businesses have closed their doors for a while.
If we aren’t considered an essential business, we have to rethink the way we work to keep on going in this difficult time. There’s only so long that we can take a break before it becomes financially unviable.
Having a website, and keeping it updated, is the only way that many of us can continue to operate.
Right now a website is the only way to let potential clients know who you are and what you do. It is the only way to connect with fans and collaborators, and to showcase your work.
Here are 10 reasons why you need your own website if you are an artist, maker or creative entrepreneur.
1. It gives you the professional edge.
Having your own website and domain name shows the world that you are a serious artist and not a hobbyist.
2. It increases your reach and visibility.
There are 5.5 billion searches a day on Google. Why wouldn’t you want to increase your visibility and put your work in front of more eyes? A combination of good images and well thought out SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) will help you get your art or products in front of people who are searching for exactly what you make.
3. It gives you a central hub for showcasing your work and communicating with collectors, clients or fans.
A website gives you somewhere to send your social media followers and fans to where they can see your full portfolio, read about your background, process and inspiration, and purchase your work.
4. It puts you in control of your marketing.
Social media algorythms are always changing, meaning that your followers may not always see your posts. A website gives you a place to collect email addresses of fans, collectors or clients so that you can speak to them directly in their email inboxes, and they’ll never miss your news or latest piece of work. That’s alot more personal than on social media.
5. Low overheads.
A website is relatively inexpensive to set up and run. You can create your own website with a content management system like WordPress and use a free theme if you want to keep costs really low. The only outlay that you will need to invest in at first is a domain name and hosting.
If you feel that you lack the skills to set up your own website, you can have it created for you and then update it yourself (with instructions from your web designer). Obviously this will add to the set up costs, but you can start with a simple website that won’t cost too much to build.
6. Sell direct with no commission.
If you already have an established relationship with a gallery then this may not be something that you want to do, but for some artists and makers, being able to sell directly to your collectors and clients without paying commission means more income and more profit. As long as you don’t have an exclusive contract with a gallery or other outlet, there is no reason why you can’t increase your income by selling direct.
7. Build relationships with your fans, collectors and clients, no matter where they are.
When you are building an email list of fans, collectors and clients and communicating with them regularly, they will start to feel like they know you and can trust you. This is a great way to prepare people to buy your work.
8. Writing about your art gives you a competitive edge.
By writing content for your website, you empower yourself and by extension your art. This is an incredible promotional tool and will encourage fans to become buyers and tell others about your work too.
9. It’s a jumping off point for sharing on social media.
When you feel at a loss about what to share on social media, find an image on your website or something that you’ve written on your blog or your about page to create interest and show a little bit more of yourself.
10. It open doors.
Whether you’ve been wanting to find gallery representation, or perhaps start teaching art workshops or classes, your website is a great way to put yourself out there and be found.
Learn more about creating a website and marketing your art, creative services or products online with Websites for Artists.
Tracy Algar is a visual artist, web designer and online marketing specialist who has been selling her work online since 2013. For more tips on creating a website and marketing your art and creative products online subscribe to her email list or Like her Facebook page.