You work hard to build an audience, so you need to make sure that you’re using your website to convert as many of those people into buyers as you possibly can. If your website is not up to the task of actually turning those people into buyers, then at least part of your effort is wasted. It’s a hard truth! To be sure your efforts at audience building aren’t in vain, I have 5 tips to share with you today that can make a big impact.
Before we get started, download my free Artist’s Website Self-Review Checklist, which will give you many more great tips on creating a successful art website.
#1: You need to make sure your website is designed to make it easy for people to purchase work from you
You never know when someone is visiting your website prepared to buy, so you should make it as easy as possible for someone to do just that. Three things you can do on your website to accomplish that:
- Make sure your main navigation includes a SHOP link
- Make sure that you are clear about which pieces on your website are currently for sale. This can be done in many different ways, but an ADD TO CART link or “email me for purchase information” are both pretty clear.
- Include a shopping cart in your website so visitors can click one button, complete their payment, and sit back and wait for your work to be delivered.
#2: Make sure your website is designed to appeal to your ideal buyer
First of all, if you’re unclear on who your ideal buyer is, I have another freebie that you can snag: The Smart Artist’s Ideal Buyer Worksheet>>
I know there are many artists out there who create a variety of work in their business. If this describes you and you have more than one ideal buyer profile—for example, your personal ideal buyer vs. your business’ ideal buyer (such as a realtor, interior designer, art consultant, etc.)—make sure that you choose one as the priority, and design your site around that ideal buyer.
If this is you, you need to ask yourself, “what ideal buyer profile is the highest priority in my business?” And you can’t get away with saying both! “Highest” means one—and only one–is the most important.
Let’s assume that your ideal buyer is an individual rather than a business. When that buyer is exploring your website, you want to make sure they quickly get—via your design, images, copy, and more—that they are, without a doubt, in the right place. You want them to think, “This is what I’m looking for. I feel like this is meant for me,” rather them not connecting.
#3: Put your most important information and relevant work “above the fold” on your website
In the newspaper business, the most important information that they want to communicate is placed, “above the fold” on the front page. Website design has borrowed this term as well, though it means everything that you can see on your home page before your visitor has to scroll.
Your ideal buyer should land on your home page and see all of the information you feel is important to them. In my Artist’s Website Self-Review Checklist, I talk about the three most important actions you want your visitors to take on your site. Well, those three things should be built into your above-the-fold content on your home page.
In addition to those three important actions, you should curate a handful of pieces of your work that are your most popular, bestsellers, or your most recent work. Don’t overwhelm your ideal buyer when they get to your website with a bunch of different pieces of work that they will need to visually sort through. You only have 15-30 seconds to capture their attention, so don’t ask them to do the work–do it for them.
#4: Think about how your ideal buyer would find the work they love and organize your portfolio that way
I see a lot of artists organize their portfolio chronologically or by medium, which isn’t a good idea. Your website visitor will go to your portfolio of work and won’t want to click through on “selected works from 2007 to 2011.” That means nothing to them and communicates the idea that they will be scrolling through a lot of work they may not be interested in.
Instead, organize your work informed by how you expect your ideal buyer to shop for your work. Think about what criteria would be important to them. Would they be looking for prints or originals? Might they be looking at your work by subject matter—landscapes, portraits, abstracts?
#5: Your website needs to help you capture your audience so you can build a relationship with them
Email is the best way for you to continue to communicate with your audience. Don’t assume that your social media audience is your only audience or that your business won’t benefit from a solid email newsletter. Collecting emails and communicating via email can be impactful and provide results.
Social media can be a good way for you to communicate with your audience, but it isn’t always a consistent tool for that. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every other social media platform owns your audience and can determine what access you have to them. By communicating with your audience only through social media, you’re giving control of your audience over to another business that can change their rules in a heartbeat. We’ve seen that on Facebook over the last handful of years and every other social media outlet will follow suit eventually.
I’m not knocking social media. I’m just saying you need to find a balance. Use social media to reach and engage with your audience, but balance that by building your own email list so you still retain some control.
The two best things that you can do to get email subscribers on your website are:
- Offer visitors something in return for their email address: a discount off their first purchase, a digital download, or some other special gift
- Use a pop-up window. These are hands-down the most effective at growing your email subscriber list. You can set them up to be as polite as possible while still being effective.
Create a marketing plan for your thriving art business
My Create a Marketing Plan for Your Thriving Art Business course will be launching in May. Within that course, I help you go from overwhelmed and confused to having a clear marketing plan. To add your name to the waitlist to be the first to hear when registration opens, visit artmarketingproject.com/marketingplan.
I look forward to seeing your strong artist’s website. Drop a comment below and share your site.