This week the Business of Art Vault brings this question:
“How, as an artist, can I make my practice relevant to the way contemporary consumers choose to interact with their media?”
From this question I have decided to put together the online essentials for the visual artist.
#1 Create a Website for Yourself!
Why? Because this is going to be the easiest way to get your work out to the public. It is an easy way to show people your work, your artist statement and your artist resume. It is also easy for other people to share, link to, pin on Pinterest, post to social media sites, etc.
Blog vs Website? This is something to consider when starting your website. Do you want a blog, a website or both. I personal would choose both. Your website can be where you show galleries of your work, have your written documentation posted and your contact information. Your blog can be where you show your audience what you are up to, what you are making, how you are making it, the inspiration for your work, the shows you are in, the residencies you are attending … you get the picture.
How? Let’s assume you are like me and you know nothing about coding, website design, hosting and all that other good stuff that comes along with making a website. No problem! There are TONS of sites out there that make this stuff easy for you.
Here are some websites/blog sites that have great templates and will host your website taking all the hard steps out:
#2 Use Social Media.
Why? Because it is a great way to keep people interested and aware of what you are up to. By using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. you can remind your audience that you are around, working hard and making amazing pieces.
What’s the Key? Post regularly (this goes for your blog too). You have to keep posting new content in order to give people a reason to come back. If there is never new information why would anyone want to follow you on Twitter or fan you on Facebook? So make sure that if you start to use Facebook or Twitter that you are updating regularily.
Important things to consider: how personal do you want to be? What is the “tone” of your online personality? What kind of content do you want to share? Will your audience want to know that you have kids running around the studio? Will they want to know where you went partying last night? Think about what you are going to share on these sites before your start posting. The issue with Facebook and Twitter is sometimes the lines between personal life and professional life become blurry and you don’t want to turn your audience off by over-sharing.
Here is a great post about Social Media Do’s and Don’ts.
Popular Social Media Sites include:
#3 Add Your Work to Other Online Websites.
Why? Because you want to be in as many places as possible. The more work you have online in different places the better. This is going to open doors and get your work into the eyes of new people.
What’s the Key? Having great images. These sites are about showcasing your work and without great images posting to these sites is going to be a waste of time. Take a look at our post about taking awesome pictures of your work.
Places to post your work include:
#4 Think about Opening an Online Shop …
Why? If you aren’t ready to approach a commercial gallery or if you would rather handle the sale of your work this is a great alternative. Selling your work online can also open doors to opportunities depending on who might stumble upon your shop.
What’s the Key? I’ll say it again great images! Having high quality images are going to make all the difference here. Also, being aware of how to safely and properly ship your work is important.
Where? Here are some sites where you can you to sell your work or build your own shop:
#5 Start Building Your Contact List and Create Newsletters.
Why? What better way to send out your exhibit invites? Or the new listings to your online store? Newsletters are a great way to let people know about your upcoming events, new work and blog posts. Here is a great post with 23 Things to Talk about in Your Art Newsletter.
How? Building a newsletter can be really simple if you use an email newsletter provider like Mail Chimp (our personal fav.), Campaing Monitor or Constant Contact. All of these providers make it easy for you to add buttons to your website/blog and Facebook page so people can sign-up to your newsletter.
I hope these five essential online tools help you to build your online presence and get your work out to a new group of people!
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