My name is Tina and I am an artist, really!
One thing I noticed while putting this next issue (May/June 2020) of Shadow & Light Magazine together and checking links of photographers is that there is still a significant number of photographers/artists who do not have websites. Many don’t have much of an idea about how simple it is to present yourself, photographically. I am not sure if this is simply a continuing trend or many people feel they don’t need one. Here are some thoughts about presenting yourself to the world.
I understand that there are a lot of possibilities out there: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, tumblr, squarespace, etc., where you can highlight your work. But is that enough? Is that the efficient way to do it? Maybe we could start a discussion here.
It has long been my belief that in order to let people know about your work you need to show it to them. In my opinion there is no better way to show it to them than to have a clean, uncluttered, easily navigable site. One where your images are displayed without a lot of banners, ads, and images from a variety of other resources.
I checked in with several of my peers and they agreed that if someone submitted work to them that had links to a variety of social media sites, without a link to their own site they may not go any further.
Top reasons to build your own site…
- You can sell art easier
- It shows you are serious about your art career
- It implies that you care about how your art is presented.
- You can gain more confidence by having a professional artist website.
- Easier to build an email list. The email list is the most valuable business tool for marketers of all types. Include a form on your website to attract email subscribers, and gradually build that list of targeted art buyers you can promote to and sell artworks to over and over again.
- More professional looking. An artist website implies a much larger degree of professionalism than any social profile or free website.
- Help you gain more followers. Visitors arriving from social networks are more likely to follow if they see you have a well-structured and attractive web presence.
- Establish credibility in your field or genre
- A site is a central location to access your information
It’s not as expensive as one might think…
Many artists seem to believe that in order to put together a site you will need to spend a lot of money. For the most part, that is simply untrue. While it is true that a basic site may run you $1,000 or more. Just about anyone can get a template site up and running on their own with about five pages for under $600, plus host costs. If you have some skills at handling this, your costs will be reduced exponentially.
Template sites are simply sites that are built with an underlying template or form. WordPress is the leading one, but Wix, HostGator, Square, are other options.
I have built WordPress sites for a variety of artists. I hold their hands for as long as it takes in an effort to enable them to take it over. For the most part that is a short assignment. Of course, however, there are a few who like to “hold hands” for a very long time!
The point is it doesn’t have to cost more than your car to establish yourself, graphically, on the Web. On your own site you can have a couple of dozen images, a place to let people know what drives you, a contact method, links you like or recommend, and a few other pages.
For me, it is way too time consuming to have to go through several different “hot” sites in an effort to find a photographer to feature in my photography publication, Shadow & Light Magazine. On more than one occasion I have decided not to pursue someone who doesn’t have a site, just because I know that I will have to click through one, two, or three different locations just to get some relevant information.