We’ve been talking about getting your art in the media lately and one thing that’s important before that media appearance happens is getting your website in order.
Otherwise you run the risk of sending a lot of new people to your site who promptly leave because they thought it looked unprofessional, they couldn’t find what they needed, or they just didn’t have a reason to stay.
But you can address all these things in a weekend (this weekend perhaps!) and be on your merry way, confident that your website traffic will love you.
HERE ARE THE 5 KEY AREAS TO TOUCH UP BEFORE YOUR NEXT PRESS MENTION.
1 SPECIAL LANDING PAGE
In the business world, we use the word “landing page” a lot. It refers to the first page on your site that people visit when they’re coming from somewhere else on the internet. So if your Instagram bio link sends them to a special page with links that are relevant to your latest Instagram posts, that page is called a landing page.
I recommend with any online media attention, you encourage the publication to link to a special landing page that’s either just for that publication (if it’s a more involved article) or is at least designed to prompt email signups.
NATURALLY, YOURS WOULD HAVE LESS TEXT AND MORE BEAUTIFUL PICTURES OF YOUR ART.
But just like mine and no matter which model you choose (generic or specific to the publication) you are looking to nudge those people to sign up for your email list.
[Don’t have an email marketing provider? My favorite free one for artists starting out is Mad Mimi because their customer service is A+ fantastic.]
Once you’ve got a special landing page, you should be able to reuse it or to copy it for future press attention with minimal edits. Easy peasy!
2 EASY NAVIGATION
When you send people to that special landing page, a lot of them will give you their email. But some people would rather poke around first.
AND IF IT’S DIFFICULT OR CONFUSING FOR PEOPLE TO GET AROUND YOUR SITE, THEY’LL LEAVE.
Make sure you an easy to locate menu bar with clearly labeled pages like Home, About, Contact, and Shop or Art or Portfolio.
Avoid clever names. If your website visitor isn’t used to seeing “Creations” or “My Inspiration”, they might not think to click on them when they’re looking for pictures of your art or info about you, respectively.
Also be sure that any subpages are linked from their relevant main pages. So if you sell both paintings and illustrations, your Art page would clearly link to both the page for paintings and the page for illustrations.
It seems simple, but it’s these sorts of things that we tend to forget when we’re knee-deep in building our website and finally proud to put the finishing touch on a page.
Make sure all the connections between the pages work naturally.
Did you know that branding is more than a logo?
Your brand should incorporate a small set of colors and legible fonts in addition to a few guiding words that remind you of the personality to use in both visual and textual communication (like ‘bright and airy’ vs ‘moody and sensual’).
YOUR ENTIRE WEBSITE – AND ACTUALLY YOUR ENTIRE ONLINE PRESENCE FROM SOCIAL MEDIA TO EMAILS – SHOULD BE DONE WITH THIS SAME BRANDING.
This will make a professional impression on your new website visitors because it’s consistent.
Consistency reads as professional.
4 CONNECTING IN YOUR TEXT
When you receive a formal letter from your bank, as you read your eyes might glaze over. You scan for the key phrases that let you know what the letter is about. And you certainly don’t feel like someone is personally reaching out to you to help you get a loan or open a new credit card, right?
YOU WANT THE OPPOSITE REACTION ON YOUR WEBSITE.
People respond well to other people. If your text is cold and business-like, people aren’t going to stick around or buy your art because they don’t feel close to you and they’re not having an enjoyable experience. It’s much more fun to connect with another human. We want to know there’s a person behind the brand.
On a side note, pictures can help with this too. You should have a picture of yourself on your about page. It increases the connection between you and the website visitor, making it more likely they’ll sign up for your email list, follow you on social media, and/or buy your art.
Surprise! This one is pretty unexpected and I don’t hear a lot of people talking about it. But it’s one of the first things that makes people click the X to leave your website.
Have you ever seen a website where you immediately feel overwhelmed? It’s cluttered and there’s so much going on. It’s like your eyes can’t breathe. That business is losing customers every day because their visitors don’t feel at ease on their website.
YOU WANT PEOPLE TO IMMEDIATELY FEEL A PLEASANT EMOTION OF SOME SORT WHEN THEY OPEN YOUR WEBSITE.
So cut down the text on your homepage, make your photos bigger, and leave lots and lots of space in between every element on every page. Use your artist’s eye to space out boxes, pictures, and text.
If their eyes can breathe, then your website layout won’t be getting in the way of a potential connection with a new fan of your art.
These 5 fixes will give you the best chance at retaining the attention you get from your media appearance and seeing it pay off later.
HOW DO YOU GET THAT MEDIA APPEARANCE IN THE FIRST PLACE?
I’m so excited to share that I’m currently running Press Bootcamp, the class with personalized attention from me, to teach artists how to get the press talking about their art. There are only 25 spots left, so hurry up and grab yours! We start on Monday August 27th! It’s my favorite class to run and it gets rave reviews every time. You will love how supported you feel and how much you get accomplished!