Build a Strong Online Presence for Artists in Four Phases
PHASE 1 – Branding
Step 1: Define your goals for being online. Keep asking, why?
- To find buyers for your work?
- To find an audience for your events?
- To provide information to the public?
- To sell stuff from your website?
- To develop a following? To what end?
Step 2: Discover YOU– start with the who, what, where, how, why questions.
- Who are you? What is your personality?
- What is your art’s personality?
- What do you want to communicate online?
- Why do you do what you do?
- How do you do your work?
- Where do you do your work?
Step 3: Discover your audience - (target market) – who what where when how why?
- Who are the people interested in your work now?
- Who do you think they COULD be?
- What do they do?
- Why would your work appeal to them?
- How do they feel? How old are they?
- Where do they hang out online?
Step 4: Define your brand with identity graphics.
- RESEARCH. Find what kind of graphics you like and don’t like.
- Hire a professional. This is where you should invest money if necessary.
- Your branding connects you to your audience – it represents who you are and what you do.
Consider these elements:
- Identity Graphics – logo, symbols, banner for website
- Statements – slogans, mission
- Imagery – photography, illustration
- Iconic Logos - see image 1
PHASE 2 - Use your website to build a strong online presence
Art or Creative Brands - see image 2 for creative brands and artist banners
- Your website is your brand’s home online.
- Your website will become your brand’s hub online.
- Shared sites only work for shared sites.
- It is no longer cost or technically prohibitive to have a feature rich, branded website.
- You cannot afford NOT to have one.
- You don’t need a graphic designer or web developer.
If you are taking the time to create a website, build the right website. see image 3
- Static websites don’t cut it.
- Your website’s platform must be fluid and easily editable by you/your team.
- You need complete control.
- Must be constructed specifically to support every kind of content you need hosted on your website.
- It should be the source for sharing and engaging online
Website MUSTs images 4 and 5:
- Well-designed navigation and page layouts.
- A Site Map.
- SEO Friendly – the software you use must be able to create SEO friendly urls and you must be able to optimize for SEO
- Blog – a must have on any website.
- Social Integration – a must for harnessing the power of social media
- Social Amplification – this gives your site’s visitors the ability to share your content easily to their social networks.
- Depending on what you do, the things you need integrated on your website:
- Store module – if you intend to sell products, downloads, services or seats in your audience.
- Portfolio module – if you are a visual artist needing a place to showcase your work.
- Calendar module – if you teach classes, show in galleries, exhibit at art fairs, play concerts or have scheduled performances
- Video/Audio embedding – if you are a performer or musician
PHASE 3: Get Social - see image 6
Step 1: Update or create profiles on the major social networks and community sites. - see image 7
Where does your audience hang out?
Step 2: Listen and learn
- Listen to the social conversation
- Learn the vernacular.
- What information are people looking for?
- What can I bring to the table?
- How am I different?
- What’s my perspective?
PHASE 4: Build a Strong Brand Online by Content Marketing - see image 7
Let’s back up.
- Why do people go online? see image 8
- What types of content do people consume? see image 9
So your job is to create content.
- Content marketing plays to the strength of creatives.
- Even playing field – the democratization of marketing.
- Artists are expressive – always generating content.
- It keeps you creating and in touch with your “muse.”
- You don’t have to post often, just consistently. Even once a week, once a month.
Content Marketing see image 10
- What content can artists’ create?
- Your work - Images, video or writing.
- Write about your work.
- Write about you – behind the scenes.
- Share resources and link to them
- Write about what you know.
About preparing your content:
- Write with your audience in mind.
- Don’t be perfect.
- Use only original content.
- Take the you out of your marketing.
- An editorial “calendar” helps.
Share and engage on social platforms
- Start conversations.
- Participate in the community.
- Share links not to just your stuff, but to other resources.
- Ask questions, answer questions.
- LEARN AS YOU GO.
1. CREATE YOUR BRAND
2. BUILD A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE
3. BECOME ACTIVE ON SOCIAL NETWORKS
4. PRACTICE CONTENT MARKETING