Once you’ve established ways to connect with your potential customers, fans, and current customers, you really need somewhere you can send them to. A website where people can check out your art of learn about you.
YOUR WEBSITE IS YOUR HUB – YOUR HEADQUARTERS.
When you want to tell people a site to go to look at your work, you don’t send them to your social media profiles, your Society6 shop, or your Tumblr blog. Or anywhere else except your own website. Because if it’s your own URL, you have almost complete control over their experience.
On your own site, you can make layout, image, and text decisions that help them get to know you. And you can design that experience so most people go through a thought-out process that will lead them to eventually buying your work. You can control the way your site is branded so they know it’s you, your art, and your site – a strangely powerful tool in getting someone to keep coming back.
And I think the most helpful part of it being your own url though… is that there’s nothing taking the website visitors to other places. Think about it.
On Etsy, when a potential customer is looking at your shop, how easy is it for them to go to someone else’s shop?
They’ve got all the search functionality at the top (the search bar, and all those categories to click on) and they’ve got a button to visit their favorites or head to the homepage where they know there are customized recommendations for them. At the very bottom, there’s a footer stuffed with random links they could click on. And on the item listings, there are tags to click on to find related items.
Or what about Instagram?
It’s an awesome social network that I personally love. But it’s designed for the users to browse lots of images from lots of people. It’s not designed for them to stick around looking at your art. And it’s definitely not designed to make it easy for them to buy your art on Instagram, though there are ways to make a transaction happen. So the likelihood someone does stick around looking at your art or buy from you is so slim. Why would you send them there instead of to your own website where the likelihood is much higher?
SO INSTEAD, YOUR ETSY AND INSTAGRAM AND ALL THOSE OTHER SITES SHOULD ALL DIRECT PEOPLE TO YOUR WEBSITE.
And then the website experience should be designed to help them get to know you, feel like they can trust you, bond with your personality, and ultimately be presented with an easy way to buy from you when they see a piece that’s the perfect match.
This is part of the series Selling Your Art in the Modern Economy. To get the full picture, make sure you read the introduction, part 1 get personal, and sign up below so you don’t miss any of the articles!