If you want to be taken seriously as an artist – you need a professional website.
To generate sales, name recognition, and credibility – you need a professional website.
If your art is your business – you need a professional website.
“Websites give independent artist-entrepreneur credibility as we display our
creativity, talent, and products. The internet represents the potential to
connect with the world… When I meet an artist with a website, it conveys three things:
I want to be taken seriously as a professional, I have a vision of
reaching the world through my art, and I have a business mindset. Michele Wells
If you accept the statistics that 70-80% of potential customers are lost to businesses without websites, and your art IS your business, and you do not have a website, then you are missing out on attracting critical audiences and making potential sales.
You Want to be Googled!
Whether or not your art is your main source of income or an ancillary business endeavor, achieving success and name recognition in today’s market demands that your work is easily accessible.
Consider the gift buyer who wants to purchase a set of beautifully handcrafted pottery mugs or a unique silver necklace. The buyer goggles “potter or silver jeweler near me.” Even if your work is the most exquisitely designed and affordably priced in the area, you will never see that sale. The buyer has contacted the artist who has invested in a website with an image gallery of their work. You lose.
A Business Website Means Business
Potential customers will take you and your art more seriously if you have a professional online presence. The time and attention you have spent developing your website reveals your commitment to your art business and is a positive indicator of stability and sustainability.
Here are just a few reasons why a website benefits your business:
- Presents professional identity
- Builds credibility
- Provides an additional outlet for marketing
- Offers easier access to information
- Simplifies business transactions
- Provides a “window” into your studio, gallery, or retail space
If You Don’t Take Yourself Seriously, No One Else Will
In many instances, Calls for Artists and Applications to Exhibit request a link to your website. If you don’t have a website, you have immediately identified yourself as an amateur or hobbyist, signaling that you don’t take yourself seriously – even if you most certainly do!
Ask yourself this: How will a gallery director, magazine editor, or collector find and follow your work if you don’t have a website? Answer: They won’t. But the other artists who have websites will be found and maybe even “discovered.”
You Are Your Art
Art fans, buyers, and collectors often support artists they “like.” The philosophy that “you are your art” and that your art directly reflects who you are, what you believe, and what you value allows your clients to get to know you and your personality.
When your website includes an artist statement and artist bio in addition to high-quality images of your work, you are able to create an instant connection, providing a valuable and intimate dimension reflecting you and your art. Without a website, your “personal” profile would not be available.
A Simple Start
Begin building the components for your website by creating and organizing all of the essentials: artist statement, biography, professional headshot, a portfolio page that features high-quality images of your work, purchasing information for potential buyers, testimonials from happy clients, positive press, social media links, an upcoming events page, and contact information that is visible on every page.
Your next step is to decide whether to DIY or hire a professional website designer. Simple facts:
Do you have the time, patience, and knowledge to Do It Yourself – DIY? The learning curve for a DIY website can come at a very expensive cost. The average DIYer could take anywhere from 120-160+ hours to complete a website – the equivalent of nearly four full-time work weeks. (Schmidt, 2020)
When professionals expertly develop a website, the look and “feel” are professional, compelling viewers to engage.
A Valuable Investment
A rather harsh critic who commented on an artist’s reluctance to invest in a website stated that if a painter has the funds to invest in oil paints and canvases, then they have the budget to invest in a “tool” that will help sell the art in which they invested their valuable time and talents. It’s about perspective.
Ask yourself about the short-term and long-term benefits of investing in your website and what you want your online presence to convey to your audience. Your goal is to create accessibility and display your art in the best possible light. Without a website, you and your art are lost in the dark.
ARTS SPARK is a full-service website and digital marketing firm located in Saratoga Springs, NY, specializing in assisting artists “with the business of being an artist.” Services include website design and programming (including eCommerce), branding, content creation, print collateral materials, and hosting. www.arts-spark.com