When someone lands on your homepage they learn a lot about you — the same way a first-time visitor to your home learns about you from the moment you open the door. How you present yourself and your art is crucial: From how you “dress up” your banner that defines you to the manner in which you guide them through the process from being a guest to a buyer.
You may be able to dazzle them with a flashy entrance; however the success of the sale is in the details.
Carolyn Edlund is founder of Artsy Shark. As an art and business writer and consultant, she helps artists build sound, sustainable businesses. Here are a few of her many useful tips for improving your website:
Pay attention to your images
The quality of your JPEGs on your website is critical. Are your images properly photographed, or out of focus and unevenly lighted? Do they take too long to load? Do you provide ample size enlargement images?
There should be no excuse for not having the best quality images on your website in the correct size and resolution. Edlund suggests: “Use professional photography. Your artwork deserves the best possible presentation, and making sure your images are top-notch is a good investment. On your site, low-res images (72 – 100 dpi) will load faster on the page.”
If you need to resize your JPEGs in a jiffy but do not have access to the best imaging software, Edlund recommends using the photo resizer tool available at Picresize. This is a website that offers an easy and free way to crop, resize and edit your images quickly online.
Share your contact information throughout your website
As soon as a visitor becomes interested in your art it should be easy for them to know where you live and how to contact you. Edlund offers this advice: “Put your phone number and email address on every page of your site. This information can be easily placed in the header or footer of your website as well as on a contact form.”
Provide details about the selling process
If a visitor becomes a potential buyer, how easy is it for them to know how to do business with you? Provide detailed services and instructions about the purchase process. Edlund emphasizes: “Clarify your terms. How do you ship your work? What are your payment policies? Share all the information that readers need to know to become a collector of your work. The more information you give them, the higher their comfort level with making a transaction.”
I recommend that you consider visitors to your website and/or blog as your respected and cherished guests. Every decision you make should be to ensure the utmost convenience, appearance, navigation and comfort before you ask them to consider making a purchase, signing up for a workshop or becoming a client.
If you want more advice please read my article: “Is Your Website Helping or Hurting You?” In it, I offer 30 of the most common mistakes I discover on artists’ websites and lots of advice.
If you need professional help, I highly recommend Carolyn Edlund’s Website Review for artists, which costs only $49 — a small price to pay for expert advice that may help you change casual visitors into collectors.
Renée Phillips promotes artists and provides career guidance in private consultations and on her websites: www.renee-phillips.com and www.manhattanartsblog.com. She is founder of Manhattan Arts International. She invites you to follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.