Your website is a major part of your efforts to sell your art. When designed well, it can be a highly effective marketing tool, particularly when combined with consistent social media and email marketing. Putting together a website can be intimidating, however, especially if you’re not the most tech-savvy person on the planet.
For example, questions we receive from artists include: ‘What is the best way to sell my art online?’, ‘How to make my website easy to use for art collectors?’ and ‘What career information (i.e. your artist statement) to include and what to leave out?’ Read on for four pointers that will help you create an effective website for your art business.
1 Keep It Simple
There is almost nothing as painful to the artful eye as going online, looking for an artist whose work we admire, only to be confronted with unreadable fonts, awful color schemes and weird animations when we get to their website. Keep it simple, folks.
The sole purpose of your website is to provide a backdrop to display your art in the best possible way. It’s not about showing off any additional design skills that you (think you) may have. Choose a white background and black or dark grey, easy to read and clean fonts. If you’re not sure you can pull this off, get a web designer to help you out.
RELATED: Understanding The Power Of Photography: Why You Need High-Quality Images Of Your Art.
It’s important that your site is easy to use. Create a straightforward navigation structure (i.e. the menu at the top of your site) and make it painless for gallery owners, art advisors and art collectors to access your career stats (i.e. your artist statement, your resume, your exhibition history, press mentions, etc) as well as your body of work.
2 Provide Concise And Relevant Information About Your Art
When deciding whether to purchase your art or represent you, collectors and gallery owners rely on the information you give them. Help them to understand where you’re coming from and what your art is about. Your website is your chance to present your art in the way you want it to be seen.
For example, if you work in series, write a one to two paragraph description about each series. In addition to high quality images, provide relevant information about each individual artwork on display, particularly if you have an online shop component to your website.
List the title, year of creation, the medium and the size. If the work is part of an edition, make that clear, too. Providing site visitors with some context about your body of work and complete information about each individual artwork will make it easier for them to connect with your art (and therefore easier for you to sell it).
3 Make It Easy To Contact You
If you haven’t set up your own website yet, chances are that you still need to choose your domain name. We recommend that you include your own name in your domain name (for example janedoe.com, janedoeart.com or janedoeartist.com).
This way, when collectors google you after seeing your work at an exhibition, you’ll have the most chance of your website showing up on the first page of Google search results.
Once you’ve set up your website, make it easy for galleries and art collectors to contact you. Provide a phone number and/ or email address. If you’re more comfortable with a form, make sure that the responses received go directly to your inbox and check it every day.
It’s key to make it easy for galleries to get in touch with you and for art collectors to buy your art. The last thing you want is for them to click away in frustration and start browsing Artsy for alternatives.
4 Don’t Forget The Technical Side
These days you can build your own site and maintain it yourself, at a very reasonable monthly cost. When you are considering a platform, such as squarespace, wix or Wordpress, try it out. Most platforms offer free trial periods.
Sign up for the free trial and see how you get on. Is it easy to upload and edit images so that your art looks good? Can you upload video to the platform? Is it easy to link your social media accounts to the website? Does it offer a blog component? Lastly, make sure the platform is configured to make your site look good on mobile devices, which is increasingly important these days.
One key question to ask yourself is how complex your site really needs to be. Can you live with a well-designed template that shows off your art beautifully (squarespace or wix) or do you want something entirely customizable (Wordpress)? In my experience, a well-designed template is more often than not the best solution for artists because a template requires less maintenance which reduces the risk of an outdated site.
Check out our online program if you'd like to learn how to build an effective website to sell your art.