This post is by Clint Watson, former art gallery owner and founder of BoldBrush, known for FASO Artist Websites, the leading provider of professional artist websites, the $38,000+ BoldBrush Painting Competition and the free daily art marketing newsletter, FineArtViews. As a self-proclaimed "art fanatic", Clint delights that BoldBrush's downtown San Antonio, Texas office is full of original art, as is his home office which he shares with his two feline assistants Kiara and Lilly. You can connect with Clint on Twitter, Facebook or his personal blog at clintavo.com
The following article is part of an interview I did with the Pastel Society of Southeast Texas. You can read the full interview here.
There are three main reasons that you need your own artist website:
1. to ensure that your art is taken seriously
2. to project a professional image
3. to control your own marketing assets.
Ensure Your Art is Taken Seriously
Most businesses need a great website to be taken seriously. When an artist makes the decision to market and sell her artworks, she is making the decision to start a business. That might not be obvious in the moment, but that’s exactly the decision that is being made. And, since every serious business needs a modern, professional website that serves as its online hub, it follows that artists, to be taken seriously, also need great websites. Think about your own experiences: Surely you’ve had an occasion where you were interested in a business that you’d heard about, only to be disappointed when you couldn’t find a website where you could learn more, contact the company, or make purchases. Or, perhaps worse, you found an old, ignored Facebook page, which was of no help and likely presented woefully out of date information. Don’t do that to your potential customers! Make sure you have a modern, professional, up-to-date website so people can find you. Doing so will instill your prospects with the confidence that you are a serious artist.
Project a Professional Image
The second reason you need a website, and it flows directly from the first reason, is to project a professional image. Most artists are extremely discerning about the design and the type of frames that they will utilize around their paintings. Most artist are also concerned, when exhibiting, with the quality of the other artworks that hang near their own pieces. They worry that poor frames, or poor exhibits will reflect poorly on their own works and, conversely, know that great frames and great exhibits will reflect positively on their own artworks. Understandably, artists are concerned with safeguarding their hard-earned professional reputation. Many artists work for years, even decades, to perfect their artworks, so it makes sense to protect that professional image with great frames and great exhibits. This same idea extends to your website. When you don’t have a website, or, perhaps even worse, when you have a poor website, it can greatly harm the perception of your artwork by association. And, of course, a great website, by association, will elevate the perception of professionalism about your art. FASO takes this idea even a step further and has built a reputation, similar to a great art gallery, of being “the” place for great artists. So when collectors see that red fleur-di-lis logo at the bottom of your site, they know you are in good company.
For example, just take a look at the beautiful, professional artist website we built for (and in collaboration) Jeremy Lipking:
Your site can look that professional! In fact, we released a template inspired by the work we did with Jeremy called, creatively, the “Jeremy” template. And if you are a FASO member, or you join FASO, your site can look similar to his today.
Control Your Own Marketing Assets
The third reason you need your own website is to control your own marketing assets. There is a huge problem with relying on third party services such as Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, etc for your primary online presence. And that is this: you have no control over the presentation of your artwork, no control over changes that the third party site may make to the look of your listing, and no control over who is advertised on your page. For example, Facebook will gladly advertise your competitors’ ads on your Facebook page. This makes you a “digital sharecropper”, where you are working to build someone else’s platform. Think about this: there has never been a great online tech company built solely on another online tech company’s platform. But the history of tech is littered with failed companies that tried. I can think of two that you might have heard of: Zynga built games on top of Facebook, and eHow built content sites that relied on high Google rankings. Both were high flyers in their day, and both are struggling today because Facebook and Google pulled the rug out from under their business models. Don’t let that happen to you. Sure, utilize third-party platforms for marketing purposes, but make sure that you have your own website with your own domain name that can serve as a place that is always and forever under your control.
While these three reasons are the primary reasons artists need a professional website, they are not, of course, the only reasons. What motivations and goals do you have for your artist website?
FASO Founder, Software Craftsman, Art Fanatic
PS - At FASO, we've been devoted for more than a decade with building a platform focused exclusively on professional artist websites and that's why we've become the leader in the space. FASO is the easiest way to build and maintain a professional artist website. If you'd like to take your website to the next level, we encourage you to give FASO a try.
Today's post is an updated version from a few years ago, but we're republishing it again today because it's still a timely and relevant message. Enjoy!
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