People will tell you a million things that are incredibly important and have to go on your website straightaway. Hell – I tell you a million things that are incredibly important and have to go on your website straightaway! But when it comes down to it, all of those things are little extras that improve your site, but just aren’t as fundamentally important as these 3 elements. Here they are, in order of importance:
- An optin. For those of you who have know clue what I just said – an optin is a form (usually a little box with one or two text fields) that people fill out to sign up for your newsletter. The most basic optin has a blank field for the person’s email and a button that says “subscribe”. I recommend complicating things just a little because it makes it easier and more effective in the long run. Make the box pretty and write a little something next to it or above it that entices your potential new subscriber. “Subscribers get exclusive discount codes and first dibs on new pieces!” would be a good one. Add a blank field for the person’s name so you know who you’re talking to and can actually call them by name in an email if you want to. And then change up the text on the button to be more urgent and exciting. “Subscribe now!” would match the aforementioned text. Also good would be something like “I want in!” or “Snag it!” if you’ve got a freebie you’re offering to subscribers only. Make sure it makes sense, of course.
- Product photos. Obvious, I know, but some people still mess this up! Don’t put something up for sale without a photo. You’re selling art. People need to see it. This isn’t like you’re selling a brand new DVD of Titanic. This is something where the customer needs to know what they’re getting and can’t know that without a photo – or two or three or more! The more photos the better, as long as they’re all in focus and present your product well. If you haven’t photographed the piece yet, tough. You don’t get to post it online. Make the priority the photography, not setting up the product listing.
- An about page. As a maker, you bring little bits of your soul and personality into your work. Customers usually want to know who you are, what your background is, what you like to do when you aren’t creating, why you picked your medium, etc etc. Don’t leave them clueless when you have such a great opportunity to grab their attention and make them feel like they know you a little.
If you have those three things, and you’ve done them well, in you’re in better shape than most of your peers. Make these elements your top priorities in your business before going on to the next “incredibly important thing to do straightaway”.