Hi, I'm Jessica!
As a former website designer, I excel at showing you how to make your website effective, organized and easy to use for your visitors.
In the following four lessons on Artist Websites, I give you tons of easy-to-use tips that will help you have a professional site in no time.
You can do it! XO Jessica
Your website is an employee that never sleeps. It works 24/7 to help people find you and learn what you do without ever having to contact you.
But what if they need some information that your website hasn't provided or they're ready to hire you once they've gone through your site? Their next step is your contact page. This is the gateway to you - their first impression of what it will be like to work with you.
Make the contact page on your artist website stand out from the crowd. Think through it carefully and make it work hard for you.
In your ideal world, what is the #1 reason someone would be contacting you? Guide them with some outright hinting. If they really want to contact you for another reason, they will, but telling them why you want to connect you will increase the kind of asks you want.
Following your headline, include a sentence or two that further explain your headline. Be genuine and personable so they feel comfortable contacting you.
What are the top two to three questions you have been asked (or might be asked if you don't know yet) related to your headline? You can list them out and answer them, conversationally include them in paragraph form, link to a separate page that has all of these answers, or add blocks of bold text around the page.
For our first example, custom commissions, you could tell when you are available to take on your next project, how much you charge for a deposit and how long the turn around time averages.
For interviews, you could post a link to your last interview(s) and name a few topics you would love to talk about.
If you want to simply start conversations, you could list a few random facts about yourself that might attract someone you would want to be friends with.
Your artist contact page is a great place to include icons that link to your social media accounts. They shouldn't be the focus of the page, but instead tell people where to find you if they aren't quite ready to buy or want to learn more about your business.
Include a photo of you smiling or laughing. If you are hunched over your art on this page, people will be less likely to reach out. Think about in-person body language. It comes across even through photography. If the images on your website don't look friendly and welcoming, your visitors aren't likely to get that impression and might not feel comfortable contacting you.
The fields you choose to include in your form should align with your headline. Always ask for their name and contact info, but in order to save yourself a few back-and-forth emails you might want to get some additional information up front.
For our custom commissions example, you might want to ask for the dimensions they are wanting, their timeline and their vision for the piece.
For interviews, you might ask where the interview would be published and if they have any examples of their work you could review.
If you want to get to know your website visitor, you should probably ask a few questions about themselves like where they live and what they do in their spare time.
If you are using Squarespace, they have a form builder that is easy to customize.
After a form has been submitted, they should be redirected to a new web page that says when you will be in contact, how they should expect to hear from you and a sincere thank you for reaching out to you.
If you like, include some links at the bottom to redirect them back to your site - like your latest art for sale or more information they might be interested in.
If you are a Squarespace user, you can do this two ways:
First, you can add text to the "post-submit message" area under the "advanced" tab. The text will show where your contact form was after it is submitted.
If you want to get a little fancier, you can build a separate thank you page under "not linked."
When you are finished, copy the code below into your contact form's "post-submit html" box (under the advanced tab) and replace http://www.google.com with the address of your thank you page (be sure to leave the quotation marks around the web address).
*Code from Devonstank.com
I'm not big on phone communication. In fact, if I don't know a number, I don't answer it. It makes sense then not to include my phone number on my website. However, phone numbers can go a long way to make someone feel comfortable about making a big purchase, so the choice is yours.
If you want your contact form to be filled out every time so you have specific information, you might not want to include your email address on the site either.
Are you unavailable during certain hours? It would be a good idea to include business hours on your contact page so people don't expect an immediate response on Friday night.
If your goal is to sell locally, you might want to include your address on your contact page. Then again, you can always give it out after a sale is made if you are a private person.
Jessica's college experience was spent falling in love with getting her hands dirty. She showed her paintings at art galleries all over the city, but kept waiting to "make it". After the galleries took 30-50%, she would never be able to pay the bills. Determined to learn where she was going wrong, she took a job at a marketing firm where she managed over 50 projects at a time for three years, then ran her own web design company for the next three. Combining all of her unique skills, she opened The Artist Market Co. to teach artists techniques to create a thriving online business from their craft.
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