Way to go!
Send smoke signals! Even the caveman sent smoke signals telling about their accomplishments ('Hey look guys I just invented the wheel, fire drawing!').
In forty plus years as an artist and twenty five years as a graphic designer, I am very aware that artists are notorious for lack of self promotion. We are not good at selling ourselves or what we do. However in the past four years as a Business Partner at Apple, I became aware that this was not just a problem plaguing artistic types.
Well “GET OVER IT!” Even the caveman sent smoke signals telling about their accomplishments (“Hey look guys I just invented the wheel!”). Here are some ideas to get you started on your first smoke signal, a web presence.
How to build a site.
- Start with a URL (Web address). This is your “store front”. You want to Make it stand out. Don’t use common names, terms. The more unique the more visibility. (Examples: susanjonesart.com not so good. jonesartisticcreations.com better.) You don’t have to use your name but if this is what makes you stand out, use what you got baby! You can purchase a URL and hosting at places like GoDaddy.com, Register.com etc.
- Time to design your site. Not a designer, don’t panic.There are some great programs that come with templates you can start with. On the PC side check out: Homestead.com, Microsoft.com, webstudio.com. On the Mac side: iWeb, Freeway Express (softpress.com) or Rapid Weaver (realmacsoftware.com). Once you have your program of choice look for a template that has the feeling you want to project. Most of these templates will let you change colors, add images, and personalized items like logos.
- What needs to be on the site. You need to tell your story. An artist statement or a Mission statement, what makes you a subject expert, accomplishments, showings. These are your who, what , when: a resume of sorts. You need to make the site visually appealing. (Not an artist? Find photos that convey the mood you want. Sites like: istockphoto and 123rf.com have reasonably priced photographs.) Look at examples of sites in your field for more ideas.Have a way for your fans/clients to reach you. Support this with fonts and colors that tell your story.
- What you don’t need. Flash with no substance. I see folks get so involved in the flashiness that they lose sight of content. To much content. Make your information short, concise, just the facts man! To many different fonts! Keep it simple and clean. Complicated navigation. Make it easy for your visitors to get around in your site. If it is to hard to get around you won’t hold their attention.
- Double check everything and upload. Check all links to make sure they work. Check spelling. Send it up to your host. Then check it online to make sure everything looks the way you want it to.
- Advertise. Now that you have a site, advertise it. Put it on your profiles pages on Linked In, Biznik, MySpace, Twitter etc. Put it on your business card. (you will not believe how many people forget this). Send out notices, postcards, press releases. Your site is your store front. You wouldn’t open a store and not put a sign on the door, right?
In this day and economic times you have to have visibility. It doesn’t matter if you are an artist, a banker or an indian chief. If no one knows you are there they can’t hire you, buy your product, or use your services. We were told as kids not be self promoting, as adults we have to be. Start sending your smoke signals. Get noticed.
Learn more about the author, Susan Straub-Martin.
Comment on this article
Posted by Rolland Lawrenz, Phoenix, Arizona |
Feb 25, 2009
Posted by Andy Bromberg, Concord, Massachusetts |
Feb 25, 2009
Great article, Susan!
Everything you've said here is true, and it all helps so much. One suggestion for you - you mentioned istockphoto and 123rf, but a free one is sxc.hu. I use it all the time, and it's great.
Again, great article!
Posted by Sue Turcotte, Vancouver, Washington |
Feb 26, 2009
A fine article, Susan. I like your upbeat style!
One additional suggestion for URL/web hosting is MergeDomains.com [very competitive pricing & fabulous customer service].
To your continued success, ~Sue LocalAdLink
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