As you know, it doesn’t take much to get me going and deciding to have a rant. Today’s rant is due to an article I just read. You know that I only post about articles if I disagree with them so hold onto your hats – you know what’s coming …
Someone wrote an article about art marketing. An expert. No doubt a person who sells loads and loads and loads of artwork? If he/she follows their own advice, I don’t think so. Anyway, these are his eighteen secrets for getting visitors to your art website. Well, I’m just putting the first bit (in italics) and then adding my own snarky comments.
- Make a list of galleries that feature work of a similar style to yours. Send them a letter of introduction . I nearly stopped reading there and then. Do you know how many of these galleries get every week? Whilst I applaud the idea of a real letter and not email, the chances are a assistant will open it and throw it in the trash with all the rest.
- Pay to use an email marketing list focused on decorators, interior designers, or galleries. Pay? I don’t think so. There are so many ways to promote that are free. And who wants unsolicited email? Not me.
- Join your local chamber of commerce and get your website listed in the business listings on their website. Sorry but CoC websites are usually horrible and get infrequent hits. You’re better off asking for (free) links on well-established, well-visited sites. If you must – link popularity is a thing of the past.
- Have a monthly open studio and promote it each time with adds (sic) in the free section (normally community events) of your local newspaper. Fine if you’re a painter but what if you’re a photographer or your specialty doesn’t mean you need a studio? Remember the an open studio event will cost you money and time (wine, nibbles, inviting people, promoting).
- Send out regular online and offline press releases every time you have a significant event or achievement. You can see the problem with this straight away. If the media is accustomed to getting regular messages from you and then they don’t for a while the message is that you have had no ‘significant achievements or events’.
- Contact your old school or college alumni and ask to be added to the alumni listings on their website. Oh come on. You’re probably listed anyway and how many people visit their old school sites? And then, are they going to buy your art just because they went to school with you? Really?
- Join 10 free online galleries, add a few pieces of your work and your profile information (including your website’s URL of course). OK, I work quickly on the internet. But I think this would take me probably an hour for each site. I’d be better spending ten hours making art, writing a lot of blog posts, writing a proposal, contacting that couple who expressed an interest last week or, because the writer says that the whole purpose of this is to drive traffic to the artist’s site, making sure that my site is in tip top condition. Also, why would people go to your site? If they wanted to buy, they’d do so from the gallery site.
- Optimize your website for search engines. Aha, this is when the writer says “you can buy our SEO Success System For Artists“. There you are then. Some would argue but SEO is a dead industry.
- Take out small paid text or display ads in specialty magazines. More spending! Do you know what the chances are of someone typing your URL into their computer from a magazine are? Aha, but how about a QR code in the ad? You know how keen I am on QR codes. Well, no actually. People who scan QR codes aren’t people who read magazines, they have their favorites on their phones.
- Create a Facebook page for your art/art business and invite fans. Facebook, Facebook, Facebook … Yes I’m a great proponent of social media and if you want the people you went to school with to see your art, then fine. (Didn’t I just cover that above?) Use social media by all means but do not spend more than three minutes a day on Facebook. Use social media properly.
- Join social bookmarking sites like Digg and Delicious and place their icons on your website so people can share with friends and online community. Both dead when it comes to marketing. I haven’t used Digg or Delicious icons for about six years.
- Do the same with Twitter and Facebook icons on your website – you will first need a Twitter account. Oh will I really? So you have a website that you’re trying to drive traffic to, right? That’s what the article is about. So why do you have Facebook and Twitter icons that will send people somewhere else. Is that the daftest yet?
- Join local arts organizations and ask to have your website listed in their resources section. Same as the Chamber of Commerce above.
- Write a (keyword-optimized) article related to your art and submit it to Ezine Articles. Be sure to include your website URL in your profile. Do you know, that was a great idea in 2002. I’d love to know why the writer suggested that one.
- Put your artist business logo and URL on your car. People who like what they see will write it down and check your website. Will they? Tell me, when was the last time you saw www.somethingorother.com on a car and then risked life and limb to find a piece of paper, a pencil and write it down?
- Merchandise – put your logo and URL on everything. When a customer buys from you at an open studio or event include your logo and URL on the packaging. Get some promo coffee mugs made with a piece of your art and your URL and send them out to friends, customers, local arts organizations, and local businesses. More money! More time! Do you really want your art on a cheapo coffee mug anyway?
- Add an email newsletter signup form on your website with a message encouraging visitors to leave their email address for updates on your events and new work. This too is more or less dead. Established artists with a select list of collectors will still find their email list useful. If you’re not established, try it. Get a free trial mail service. Sent out an attractive, HTML email and note how long it takes you. Send it out. See how many sales you get. (Haha). See what percentage of your emails were actually opened. Don’t renew the free trial.
- Personal Networking – This is the most powerful way to do anything but it’s also the one we seem to avoid at all cost! He suggests getting to know other artists. All well and good but are they your potential clients? How is this going to send potential buyers to your website, exactly? The writer suggests weekly Try it. Balance up the time and the gas money you spend and evaluate the results. Hmm.
Wow, I enjoyed that. I haven’t had a good rant for ages