Artists … Exit Your Comfort Zone

by guest blogger Kelly Heck

4 Marketing Techniques YOU Can Use to Boost Your Web Presence

 

Exit Your Comfort Zone

 

1. Your work is pretty… now what?

You have an amazing portfolio to share with the world. You set up a website with your artistry, your bio, and an online form. Why isn’t the world reacting to it?

Artists dance around (or forget) MONEY. Are you really going to spend your valuable time and money on a website that puts your work out there, and nothing more? NO WAY! Instead, describe the services you offer, push website visitors to THE NEXT STEP in your marketing path, and let your portfolio prove the high quality product you will deliver.

Do you sell your originals or prints? Do you take on commissions or custom projects? What is the cost? How can they get in touch with you? Make it simply obvious.

2. Your last website update was like, 2008.

The wonderful world of websites has changed a lot over the years. There are so many platforms to choose from and most have an easy-to-wrangle content management back-end. No, it may not be easy at first, but practice makes perfect.

As artists, it’s important to keep your portfolio up to date, to advertise your whereabouts (shows/galleries/events), and to keep your sellable inventory at the forefront. If you can’t edit your website yourself, your site will become stale really fast. So once again, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and learn to tackle those website updates yourself. Get online and find some how-to’s!

3. You’ve let your SEO fall by the wayside.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key to a website that WORKS for you. Not sure what SEO is? Write content for humans (not for robots) that is rich in content. Your content should include both jargon and non-jargon (simplify it for readers that don’t know the technicalities), and details about your target audience.

What’s your target audience? The main one, if you have a local audience because you take part in shows, fairs, and open studios is the geographic region you service (Cities, Counties, States, Regions, Countries). The others may be if you provide for consumers/commercial, men/women, adults/children, etc. For many artists though, your clientele is spread throughout the country, so  you could focus your SEO on the industries you service and the type of work you produce.

Once you have these details all identified, create phrases that combine any or all of the above into your copy… your Headings, your Paragraphs, your Title Tags, your Meta Tags, your Alt Tags… anything that will help to pinpoint what you do, who you are, and who you work with.

Think about SERPs (Search Engine Return Pages), which are the results you see after you submit a search query. If I search “artist in Maryland,” Google will pop up the top ten ranking websites for that phrase.

To rank for your phrases, think about what your target audience will type into a search engine to find you. You need to be detailed, but not so niche that no one will ever search the phrase… but not so broad that you can’t possibly rank among the vast competition. “Artist”, for example, is way too broad a keyword to compete with. You would be competing with every other mention of “artist” across the entire internet. So find a balance that will help the right people find you, and use the identifying terms outlined earlier!

4. You think your website is the solution.

Sorry my dear friend, your website is simply a piece of the puzzle. Outside of your website, there are tasks you must complete to keep up with and advance your rankings. This all boils down to link building/online marketing… something I like to call “the advancement of your digital footprint.” It’s what web people call external SEO… SEO performed outside of your website.

Claim free local listings, business listings, and industry listings. Set up your social media pages, submit articles, write blog posts, send out press releases, and whatever else you can find that you can deem a valuable resource. Search engines like Google like to see websites that they trust that look like they will be around for a long time. They like to see organic growth over time. Therefore, apply your external SEO one step at a time. Do a few things this week, and a few next week. Claim a profile and fill it out completely, adding your logo, pictures, contact info, web address, descriptions, and more. Show that you are a trusted resource that is valuable and that intends to be around for a long time!

Do not be shy – expand your comfort zone. There’s no reason to dance around the uncomfortable. Do what you can to fund both your passions and your life. And if you are still uncomfortable, reach out to a professional that is willing to work one-on-one with you to both accomplish your goals and empower you with the tools and know-how to tackle these tasks yourself.

 

Kelly-Heck-Website-GURLKelly Heck is the owner of Website GURL, a company that helps organizations with their websites, web presence, and professional photography. From advancing your URL together and enhancing your visual appeal to empowering you with the tools to DO-IT-YOURSELF, Kelly has you covered!

 

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Comments

  1. One thing that’s also extremely important in terms of websites is that Google announced that it will no longer index and will actually penalize sites that are not mobile friendly. This means that sites that are not responsive will no longer show up on searches. A responsive site rearranges itself to fit whatever screen is being used. You can test your site by slowly shrinking your screen (if you are on something bigger than a cell phone) and if it’s responsive, the content will change in blocks, stacking themselves one on top of the other. Non-responsive sites will simply get smaller, but keep the same format.

    This is a huge deal as so many artist sites are not updated, not only in content, but also in technology…

    • Fantastic point Rachel! I agree completely. Artists with mobile friendly sites will, in most cases, rank above those artists without mobile friendly sites when searches are executed on a mobile device – that change was put into effect on April 21st, 2015, by Google.

      Anyone unsure of whether their site is mobile friendly can also submit their site for a free test here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

      I’ve found a small selection of sites that don’t act mobile friendly on the desktop when reducing the browser width, but the test on the website above, as well as pulling the site up on my phone, proved they were!

      Thanks again Rachel for your insightful addition to the list!!

  2. Oh, great tool! Thank you! I will share it with my peeps. 🙂

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