Your Website and Your Audience
Art Marketing Circle VI
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OK, on to the article…..
We’re continuing our members-only series outlining our Circles of Art Marketing framework. Since marketing will not work unless all elements are understood and practiced you need to think about all six circles as a holistic system. One circle alone won’t accomplish anything for you. Therefore, if you’re a new member, or missed what we covered previously, I recommend you catch up on the series at the following links:
Art Marketing Circle VI - Audience
If you missed the previous articles about this circle, you may catch up here:
OK, let’s look at your website and how it works with your audience…
Your website cannot create demand. As you can see, your website is not how people discover you, your website is there to serve the audience that you’ve already built - and to give them a “home” in their interactions with you. And, from a practical business point of view, to give them a place to purchase your art. Sometimes artists try to save money but not having a website, and perhaps just using a social media profile instead. This is a terrible idea for a number of reasons. First of all, you don’t own your social media profile. You can be banned at any time, and it happens to someone every single day. Second of all, if someone sees your work somewhere online or offline, what do you think the first thing they’re going to do is? They’re going to Google you! And, if you have a website, they will come right to you. If you don’t have a website. Good luck.
You are building a “club” around you and your art and your website is the clubhouse. If your audience gets big enough, you might consider taking it to the next level by having an online community or fan club where your “club members” can interact with you and with one another.
You might think this point is strange, coming from someone who runs one of the leading artist website services. But not really. The point is that you do need a website and, in fact, your website serves your most important audience members! Your customers. Your website is the place, at least online, where the sales are finalized.
Another thing to consider - our first product was FASO Artist Websites. Our fast-follow second product was FASO ArtfulMail. There’s a reason we built an entire art newsletter software platform and, honestly, spend a huge portion of our time improving and maintaining the complex email infrastructure necessary to power it. We built ArtfulMail because your newsletter is the most important piece and when you trust us with it, we want to be sure we are putting those newsletters into inboxes and not spam folders. By limiting our service to paying members who are artists, we have a huge leg up in that department on generic newsletter services who must contend with spammers and questionable free users of their services.
Every great club has a newsletter to keep members informed, and yours is no different. As we’ve stressed throughout this book, your mailing list is your number one marketing asset. It’s the only online owned media channel you have that allows you to push messages out to your audience. If you don’t have an email newsletter, and you implement only one idea from this book, please be sure that it’s to start an email newsletter. We have an entire guide about email newsletters later in the book.
An important point: not everyone in your audience will become a collector of your art. That’s OK!
Selling is not the only reason to build an audience. Audience members can and will support you in a number of different ways. They can provide fellowship, to you and to other audience members, feedback, patronage, and, some of them, may simply become “superfans” that promote you and your art to other people. Those “superfans”, when they appear, are the best marketing you could ever ask for - even if they never become a collector themselves.
Therefore, you need to treat everyone who joins your audience with respect and dignity. If someone joins your audience, they are special. As pointed out above, they may help your career in ways you can’t anticipate - even if they don’t purchase - as the following story will illustrate.
Next week we’ll take a deeper look into an artist website and how it is best utilized. See you then!
Apostle of Creativity
PS - May your life be filled with peace, love, and joy!
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