Thursday, March 06, 2008

Promoting Your Art On the Web

"Barney"

This post is for my fellow artists and any entrepreneur looking to expand their reach. This week I want to discuss ways, places and ideas for promoting your artwork on the web and what it really means to be an artist in this digital age. I am over 40, and trying hard to keep up with all the groovy technology advances that keep popping up all over the place. Suggestions and ideas are welcome, post a comment and tell us what is working for you?

On Web Trends...
It is tough to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the web and what is hot at any given moment. Remember Flash intro pages? Arrrg! I hated those when they were a "must have" for every cool design oriented site. Yep the web has had many fads and as soon as everyone found their comfort zone with blogging then the new thing was "Vlogging". I do not think a "Vlog" would ever be the thing for me, so I do not mind missing that bus. The thing to keep in mind is that while you do not have to jump on each new web trend that comes along, it is still a very good idea to try to stay abreast of what is going on.

About Your Neighborhood ...
So you set up your own website and now what? Your website is like one address in one little city .... so where do you go from here? Where are there some other neighborhoods for you to play in? Do you want to sell on Ebay? Some artists do not like the "all inclusive", garage sale atmosphere of Ebay ... is that you? Ok then maybe that is not the neighborhood for you, what about Etsy? Think about the style of artwork you do and then go out and look for some folks you would like to be neighbors with. If you do floral paintings then dive into the web one night and spend the entire evening looking at other floral painters on-line. Where are they promoting their art? Where are they selling their art?

The Good The Bad and The Ugly ....
When looking at communities or sites to post your artwork on let your design instincts be your guide. If the site is not well designed then you might want to pass. However, you might also want to consider the traffic that a site gets. I decided that due to the overwhelming ease of use, and the sheer number of visitors it is going to be ok for me to post my new portfolio videos on the same website ( youtube.com) that has videos of people getting hit in the face with pies (OK and maybe a lot worse). Your ideal new web-neighborhood will have great art that you admire, and a stunning interface such as imagekind.com. If you are brave, you may also want to try some more common hang outs such as You Tube ... it really just depends on your audience.

Finding Time to Market...
Don't have time to promote yourself on-line? I hear this all the time from fellow artists and it is such a cop-out. Break the year up into quarters and promise yourself that you will do one web-oriented marketing task per quarter. By the end of the year you will have a web presence in 4 new on-line market places, or art communities.


2 comments:

Moira said...

Great tips. I would also add that the web gives you an opportunity to micro market to a specific buyer. For example, I have a Dachshund, and create a lot of Doxie art, so I frequently put my new pieces and t-shirts on a very popular Dachshund enthusiasts' website called Hot Dog blog. I love your 4 quarters recommendation, too.

Melissa & Emmitt said...

Hi Rececca!
Great post.
The web is an excellent place to do research and find the path that feels right.
No two people will follow the exact same route, and that is where the beauty lies. Set a goal, make a plan and take a step toward it. An abundance of opportunties unfold from there.