Do artists really need a website | Designed by LauraDo your 2017 goals include growing the audience for your artwork? Whether you just want to get more eyes on your work, start selling your work, or increase your sales figures, you need an artist website.

Being an artist and doing something as business-y as having a website don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. Creatives, even creative entrepreneurs, have a hard time thinking about their passion as being a business. Creativity might be your passion, but in order to make sure your passion doesn’t suffer so you can make a living, you have to explore a business frame of mind.

Gone are the days when collectors or purchasers discovered new artists in brick-and-mortar galleries. Just like musicians and authors, artists are discovered on the internet. It might be through Google, or Facebook, or any number of platforms, but if you don’t have an artist website to back it up, you’re going to miss out. Here are four deceptively simple reasons you need an artist website.

Tell your story

If you’re an artist, you likely have an incredible story about your journey of creativity. Increasingly, shoppers want a deeper connection with the person from whom they’re purchasing. They want to know your history, your inspiration, your motivation. Traditional outlets don’t allow for the interaction necessary to build that kind of rapport. Social media networks limit how much background you can provide, and control who in your audience sees what you post.

To fully express your backstory, you need time and a level of interaction that can’t be achieved in short social media posts, or in a few minutes of face-to-face time. An artist website, with a dedicated “about” page lets consumers find and learn about you in their own time, with very little effort on your part.

Grow your audience

If your work is in a local gallery or coffeeshop, how many people see it? On the very best day, maybe a few hundred. If your work is displayed on your website, you could easily have thousands of people putting their eyes on your work on a daily basis. Thousands of new people being introduced to your work every day? It sounds too good to be true, but with the right website and the right work, it can absolutely be true.

The bottom line is this: The more people who see your work on a daily basis, the more likely you are to make sales on a daily basis.

Limit your fees

Do you sell on Etsy? Shopify? ShopEnvy? You’re probably paying fees to list items, commissions on sales, or monthly fees just to keep your store running. And while all of these options are great (even I have an Etsy store!), if you’re not making enough money to offset these fees — or don’t have your prices set to exorbitant heights — these sites are more hindrance than help. Also keep in mind, if you’re making LOTS of sales, you’re also paying LOTS in fees.

An artist website will only cost what you want to put into it. Of course, you’ll pay for a domain name and hosting service. But, you won’t have any listing fees, no commissions (unless you count what it costs you to produce your work), no extraneous fees associated with selling your pieces. Any cost will be under your control.

Look legit

If a business doesn’t have a website, doesn’t it give you pause? Remember, if you want your passion to be more than just a hobby you get to “whenever,” you have to think about it like a business. And a website makes your business look legit. A legitimate website gives customers confidence when buying from you. It also gives you a professional space to interact with customers, without interrupting your creative time, or forcing you into uncomfortable situations. It elevates your standing as an artist and a business.

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