By Kathy Beekman, Art Career Coach and Professional Artist
Are you an artist that thinks you do not need a website because your artwork has a presence on a social networking platform or an online marketplace like Etsy? Think again. I certainly believe that social networking has its place especially when marketing your art. However, you need to realize that you have no control over these social networking platforms or online marketplaces. These sites are in charge, not you. For example, you can place your image on their site and they can take it down. They get to change the rules when they like, sell out to another company or disappear overnight. As a professional, you need to have a place where your brand is controlled by you. Your website is this place. Here you decide where your information will be placed, when it will be updated and how long it will stay there.
Where do you start if you would like a website? You can build one yourself (stay away from the free website builders because they look free) or you can hire someone to build one for you. In the past, I have built my own site. Now I use a professional web designer. Why? Because I know I’ll get a website that reflects my brand and will not be limited to features on a web builder. When do you know it’s time for you to use the services of a professional web designer? When you want to grow your business and a web builder does not allow you to feature your brand as you would like (ie limited features offered and design redundancy). Other reasons may be: you need to transfer your website to a different host, you would like to open an online store, a news website, membership site, or any heavy-featured website.
The first step to finding a designer you like is finding designs you like. Start by looking at the sites of your competitors and similar art businesses. Track down who designed the site and look them up. Take a close look at their portfolio. The web designer’s portfolio is the number one way that you can judge what you will get.
Would you like help getting started? Feel free to contact me. I'm happy to help.