She was right, her website was just a bunch of photos with no story behind them. I started out by asking what her objective was. She wants to sell her art.
Okay! Now that I know the objective, I can ask some questions.
- Do you have an email list? Sort of.
- Do you send emails out a on regular basis? No.
- Do you have stories written about each of your art pieces that gives the viewer an emotional connection to the art? No.
- Do you want to only sell your originals or do you want to also include print-on-demand items? Ummm, what?
- Do you have a hook to get people to want to continue to visit your website? No.
Turns out she needs a lot more than just her website fixed. In this case, this artist is in need of an extreme makeover. All of the above mentioned stuff needs to be done all at once. Each of those puzzle pieces fits with all of the others.
Let's break them down...
Your mailing list is a list of pre-qualified leads. These are people who saw your work at a show or who have visited your website and liked what they saw. These people are gold.
That mailing list needs to be nurtured. Sending out a newsletter or other communications on a periodic basis will keep you at the top of their mind. And maybe give them a nudge to visit your website again.
When they do get to your website, if you have a story to tell, they will have a reason to make more of a connection to your work rather than just looking at a pretty pictures. The more emotional the connection, the more likely that they will buy.
Not all artists can or want to have print-on-demand products available for sale, but for those who do, you are giving your customers an easy way to purchase your work. And you're giving yourself an easy way to sell your work. If you're not familiar with print-on-demand sites have a look at FineArtAmerica.com, CafePress,com. or Zazzle.com. There are many other sites of this type, but this should give you a good idea of how they work.
And, if your customers don't buy from you right away, you need to have something to entice them to continue to visit your website. There are many ways to do this. You could have a blog on your site that answers some of the common questions that you get. You could offer them a freebie like a free calendar that they can download and print themselves (click here to see mine). Or you could send them to a page on your website that has an easy tutorial.
All of these pieces feed on each other and should be done concurrently. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. And there is no right answer to which one to do first. My answer is pick one and do it!