A website is your place to shine and a space where you control your audiences' experience. You can take them on a journey through your work, your processes, your story and guide them along the way.
A website, blog, online gallery or portfolio allows you to showcase your work in exactly the way you want. You can tell stories and share information about each piece, as well as provide information about how you work and where they can see your work in person. Having your own platform allows you to capture your audience's attention for a longer period of time, gather their contact information, and communicate directly with them. When you know who your customer is, you can more effectively answer their questions and be proactive in asking for the sale.
Social media is not enough!
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are great for fostering relationships, encouraging engagement, and sharing on a daily basis, but you do not control these platforms. I repeat...you DO NOT control what happens on these platforms. Most of your followers don't see your posts, the algorithm is constantly changing and favoring different types of posts, you have very little ability to personalize your pages, and they could go away at any time.
Building an audience on social media can be really fun, but you need a way to get them off those platforms, on to your website/blog/online space, and to gather their information (aka EMAILS). Email marketing is still very effective and an even more intimate way to communicate with your customers, clients, and audience.
Where to get started...
There are many website builders and hosting sites available to get you started. Most offer templates so you can simply drag and drop or you can utilize other functions they offer to create a more custom website. Some of these sites are...
> Wix (the website builder I use)
> Go Daddy
> Big Cartel
This list is certainly not comprehensive and you will probably have to play around with a few of the options to find what works best for you depending on your needs.
What to include on your website once you've found a builder or hosting site...
> Home Page (tell your audience exactly what makes you unique and what you offer)
> About Page (this one should showcase YOU - people want to know the artist behind the work)
> Galleries of your work (features, special collections, etc)
> Shop (if you want to sell work directly from your site)
> Contact Page (make sure people know how to reach you, especially if they can't buy directly from the site)
> Event or Exhibition information
> Email list sign-up (provide this opportunity many places throughout your site, not just on the home page)
> Social media links
The most important part of building your website is to have fun during the process!
My website has gone through MANY updates and has changed dramatically in the last six years. This current version is the most research I have put in to the science of website design and how to present information effectively to my audience, so if you want to look at an example, feel free to have a look around at the rest of this site.
Find your joy!
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