How to Prioritize Your Online Marketing

Understanding the mission for various online marketing platforms might just save your sanity. Once you know how you’re going to use something – or how you should be using it – it’s easier to prioritize your efforts.

Carolin Peters coordinates her website, blog, and Facebook account.

Carolin Peters coordinates her website, blog, and Facebook account.

Website

Your website is your calling card, your online portfolio. This is where you send people to show them what you do best.

Your website is your baby! It’s designed to show off your work to the world, so it better reveal your professionalism.

Make sure it’s up to date and easy to navigate. Add new work and your bio info regularly, depending on how active you are in the studio and exhibiting. Get the website right, and you can spend more of your time on traffic generators.

See the Art Biz Coach Website Makeover audio program with Web designer Patricia J. Velte.

Blog

Your blog is where you should be spending most of your online time. In contrast to social media platforms, blogging brings people to your site. It gives you the traffic rather than turning it over to a third party.

A blog allows you to show off your brilliance, humor, and personal side. It provides a place for people to interact with you, which they can’t do on a static website.

Most importantly, a blog offers space for you to build content and articulate your ideas, which can be repurposed in all areas of your art career.

If you’ve been neglecting your blog, Cynthia Morris and I can help revive it in our Blog Triage class that begins in April and is just open to 30 people.

Facebook, Twitter, Google+

With status updates on these social media platforms, you can drive traffic to your website or blog.

Many of your friends and fellow artists hang out on these sites, so they are great places to maintain friendships. They’re also valuable for making new connections and learning about opportunities.

Don’t forget that galleries, museums, and other venues also use these sites. It’s easy to connect with these venues through social media by engaging in their conversations.

But don’t waste time here. Do what you need to do, and then get back to work on the stuff that brings you money.

Pinterest

If you’ve been in a cave, Pinterest is the fastest-growing social media site in history. Its bulletin-board layout is made to show off works of art – your art.

You’ll have to spend some time here, but first check the Art Biz Blog next Monday for a post about using Pinterest for your art.

Email

Email should be used to maintain relationships by sending individual personal messages to the people that you care most about.

Email can also generate traffic if you write a newsletter or short updates and give people a good reason to click through to one of your pages.

I read recently that the average person spends 2.5 hours on email every day. You might as well be making the most of that time!

How do you prioritize your online time?

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25 comments to How to Prioritize Your Online Marketing

  • This is such an important message that speaks.. no YELLS directly to me. I have in the past been so bogged down with FB and Twitter, because I do enjoy the friendships made through them, yet I have totally ignored my websites and my blogs. When I got the email about this blog of yours I thought to myself, no need to look she is probably just going to say don’t get bogged down with social media. I did look at it though (daaa~ lol) and as I read it I was hit between the eyes with “blog” and bring them to my “website”.

    I need to combine both my websites because one is outdated and I have no control of it; one is new but does not have all the keywords, traffic and thought that went into my first website, making my second website domain name one that I should probably just let go. Sorry I am thinking out-loud here ~I was sparked by your advice.

    One of my goals this year was in fact to combine and update my websites and plug in. I didn’t though, I got preoccupied with Squidoo, something I have been doing since 2006. I have 105 lenses that I have made and lately have been feeling ‘obligated’ to them in a way… and I am realizing that word and emotion just now. WHAT am I doing? I spend more time on them than I do making art! I know in part why …A fellow Squidoo-er (sweet friend) emailed me telling me that she appreciated my lenses but could see that I did not quite get how to make money on there, and that she would help me. Yay I thought. I do promote my art on my lenses but they are not my websites nor my blog.. WHAT AM I DOING? Reality check, the more I learn about how to make money with my lenses the more I realize the extreme effort and learning process it would take to be one of their top people and make serious $$. I have to ask myself after considering your message….

    “Is this what I want?, I thought you were an artist. I thought you had a dream and a passion. What are you doing?”

    As I write this tears roll down my face.. what am I doing? It is like leaving a baby beside the river, my passion for my art has been left to the side as if it were nothing.

    I have been going through extreme depression for the last 4-5 years and so that is part of it. I have sat at my computer and neglected my spirit as I have just been so sad. Too much information I know.. ohhh. I do that, tend to say…Here, this is the honest and raw part of me. No doubt I will regret my openness as I always do. I am who I am though, and in that maybe someone else will find their own self as well. We are not all that different from one another.

    I bought your book and one morning took it out and said to myself.. “START.” I felt stunned in a way as it actually spoke to me. I never expected that. I’d like to say that I continued and followed through with the book but I didn’t. I just could not pull myself out of this hole. I have made some art though, fell back on something that feels more comforting to me, which is sculpture, instead of painting so much, but I have not plugged in with passion to feel art in my soul as if it were my breath. I know that journey but have lost my way.

    I used to think that passion for art was something I would ‘always’ have and that it would never leave me. I have felt it since I was a little girl. It did leave me though which made me all the more depressed of course. That led me to going back to Squidoo. Ohh, what am I doing?

    Back to your book I think as it DID speak loudly.

    Thank you for this message today that YELLED directly to me,

    Kathy

    • Kathy: Thank you for sharing so much of yourself here. I don’t think your struggle is that different from many artists. Your art needs you. You need your art to give your gift to the world. You will be incomplete without it.

      Please stay in touch and let me know how it works out for you.

      Your art beckons. Listen. Make.

  • Funny isn’t it? Exposing oneself only because I am in my office, alone, and who would know? Well still, in writing what I did, it confirms to me that I can find my way again, I just need to begin.

  • Hey Kathy, I read your comment and thought, yes, I’ve been there and got the tshirt on that one! Sometimes making the art we want and need to make feels so much harder than anything else we do and yet we prolifically create in some other area that somehow feels ‘easier’. I could write an essay in reply to your comment but I’ll not hog Alyson’s space too much (!) and just confine myself to a couple of things that leap out at me: Firstly all that time, work and creativity you have out into Squidoo is not wasted. Your lenses are fantastic! All that work is yours and can be recycled into an endless amount of blogposts, ebooks (free or to sell) and who know’s what other products! Don’t worry about coming up with new content for your blog, you’ve got a goldmine there :)
    Secondly, in the same vein, those same lenses may hold wonderful insights into who you are as a visual artist. The kind of work that speaks to you, may also hold vital clues about the kind of work you want to make yourself but – perhaps? – for some reason you don’t feel able to make…Or conversely it may be that as much as you admire artists such as the ones you feature in your lenses, you are meant to make a very different kind of work but somehow YOUR work somehow doesn’t feel like it measures up to all those greats and so you over-face yourself and get blocked. Either way, I feel you could find a lot of insight by taking an overview of how you have focussed your lenses…
    I think it’s great that you spoke out :) So many artists experience these feelings at one time or another.

    • Ya know? As soon as I wrote what I did I started in my WORRY mode. oh I hate it. Thank you for what you wrote because “you made me feel safe”. So funny because as soon as I was done writing my comments here I saw that I had tons of people to thank on Squidoo. I wound up tweeking one of my lenses, a new one where I talk about “loving yourself”. Isn’t that so funny? Well as I added to it I knew why I create them, it is because with all of them I am actually talking to myself. I am telling ME to love ME. I am telling ME that these things listed will inspire ME. Onward right? Yes. Happy today, Kathy

      • Kathy…Methinks the universe is speaking…I’ve been feeling much of what you have been feeling…I’m guessing there are more…two big things for me 1)I take a year off every 7 years…It helps to drive off burnout & depression & block… 2)It’s weird, but I’ve been feeling “I’m done” with art…I have sort of mastered it…At this point, anything I make or do is good enough to sell, will sell, & will be done well…That bores the heck out of me…I remember when my Dad, a doctor/surgeon told me he was bored with medicine…he had “done” it well, & after that point it was just earning money…So two questions…Have you taken a sabbatical? & have you mastered art to the extent that at this point it has become just a product to you?… I don’t have the answers, as I am going through this myself…Your rawness is great as per usual…

        • Sari.. ohh I missed seeing your comment somehow. Here you took the time to write and it went unnoticed by me. I’m sorry. Good advice about the sabbatical, it’s always good to pause and reflect.

          I think that being an artist is actually all that I am, so I can’t ever say that I’ve mastered it. It would be like saying I have mastered living. Don’t you think that maybe the quest for great art is synonymous with curiosity and that maybe it can’t ever be mastered?

          I keep 2 Leonardo da Vinci books on my coffee table to remind me to stretch my mind, to “nag” at me, that art is a tool to breathe by.

          I guess I have never really been “motivated” by sales. When I started selling for more and more money I think it scared me. I think I tend to sabotage success a bit. Part of it might be that I had a production pottery studio for 20 years.. 20 years of sitting there like a machine and of course that was never “art”; it was craft; it was “product”. 8 employees and reps in every state making demands. It was a dead zone but it paid the bills and had its own success. I would paint on the weekends when I was not doing more mindless clay efforts. It has only been within the last couple years that I’ve decided to work with clay again doing sculpture. Ohh I’m rambling, but I think that the issue of money and success is a footnote to art/passion.

          Because of my production background I have created a lot of art as I’ve felt bad about myself unless I saw a lot of it at the end of each day. Unlike you, not all of it sells…. wow that is so impressive. I have always admired people who seem to be in touch with what is in demand and innately know what is required; the right colors; messages and so on. I’ve been in and out of galleries and all that, been burned many times, sold, not sold, but I have always felt that the struggle was worth it because I was not motivated by sales specifically. I just wanted to get my heart out there. I wanted someone to hear me and come to a meeting place of the soul. It is that need to get that last highlight in the eye of any woman I have painted, making sure she conveys an inner feeling that was unspoken before. Or with sculpture, whether I can hear them or not. I have to hear them because they have something to tell me that is inside of me as well. Those last touches can take days, sometimes weeks and it can feel so painful. Maybe that is it too, my feeling isolated from art. No, that isn’t it.. ohh I don’t know.

          My husband’s aunt, seeing my stacks of art, asked if I was going to keep painting and sculpting, that after all didn’t I have enough? I thought to myself at the time, “What a ridiculous thing to say and what silly woman, of course I would continue.” It is not option to discard it, it isn’t like that. It is my breath and that is why it hurts so much to find it missing in me. I can’t breathe. Humm maybe I just can’t let go of some of my work either when I think about it more. I don’t know.

          I think that you have taken on the mode of da Vinci and maybe that is where the cure is found. I looked at your website and saw your offshoots into medical thoughts and swans, their nests. Leonardo was curious about everything as you know of course, and art was/is a way to translate that. Curiosity might just be the quest to be on. Again carrying a sketchbook as if it were an appendage.

          Considering your website Suri Grove, yes such a great name, I embrace the message you conveyed here so generously and understand it more fully. You are an artist after my own heart. You seek out what is new to you and translate that into something you can share. I try to do the same and love, love what your wrote to me. Onward right?

          I don’t want to ignore the fact that this Alyson Standfield’s blog and her efforts here are about selling and being successful as an artist. “I’d Rather Be in the Studio” is more than that though, as I do have it and it is the best book I have come across for that. It is also not unlike “The Artist’s Way”, but speaks directly to me even more than Julia Cameron. It is more direct to my issues as a visual artist, telling me it is OK to successful; to stop sabotaging and making excuses; suggesting unique tools to meet that path with.

          Ooof, sorry for the NOVEL!

          Onward~ LIFE TAKE ONE

    • WildC: I thought I responded to this earlier, but apparently not. Thank you for your empathy. It’s always nice to know that we’re not alone.

  • Kathy, I have been there done that, too, so you are far from alone.

    Thanks for this post, Alyson. I spend far too much time on Facebook and now there is Pinterest. I haven’t done anything with Twitter or LInkedIn, though. I’m wondering if with the proliferation of all these social network sites we shouldn’t feel that we have to participate in all of them but choose a few to keep up with and not worry about the rest. I know it would be impossible for me, personally, to spend time each day on a long list of social networking sites just for the chance of gaining a visitor or two now and then.

    Wouldn’t it be better to concentrate on a few and not bother with the rest?

    • Karen: I spend about 10 minutes a day on Facebook (unless I’m doing an article about it), 2 minutes on Google+, and am on and off Twitter (I post-date a lot of stuff). It requires discipline, but it’s doable.

      I’m thinking that Google+ is going to be more important in the future.

      • Maybe I’m not “getting” the social network thing. If you spend a very limited amount of time on, say, Facebook, doesn’t it limit the amount you can respond to others which is how you build relationships and networks?

        • When I spend 15 minutes a day on Facebook, I actually feel more connected than when I neglect it for a couple weeks and then spend too much time trying to catch up. The consistency of doing it everyday helps me keep up with what’s going on with people I know and want to know better.

      • I guess the trick is to not worry about catching up on all the posts since yesterday but to just go through a bunch and post here and there??

  • It’s funny how you wrote that post, when I decide that I should spend less time with the social media platform, and dedicated a more time to my blogs and websites, and create much more.
    Thank you, no doubt I took the right decision.

  • Excellent article Alyson. Social media is definitely at the bottom of the pile of place to spend time.

    I would add one more plank to this platform – a studio newsletter. Email to lots of people at once. I’d rank it as important as blogging in terms of time spent online.

  • Facebook proved to be a very important marketing tool during my 365 show and it seems to be the only place where my virtual life, my local life and my extended network all coincide so I spend most time there. It’s like dropping in to a cafe and catching up with loads of people I know. It feels more interactive to me than Twitter which feels like a list of sales messages these days. I also love Instagram for its very friendly feel which is iPhone only at the mo but rumoured to be coming to Android etc soon.

    Time is always short so I try to put in my time where I feel happiest. I love networking but only when it feels like genuine interaction and not just filling the form.

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  • Clara Maass

    Thanks for sharing the information. I am doing research on Erin Azar . Do you have any information? Pls let me know.

  • [...] Keep it professional on Facebook, Twitter and blogs…no one cares how mad someone made you because they didn’t like your art or some political comment over the court decision on health care.  No one.  Don’t complain about show directors.  They have very long memories.  Verbalizing the complaints or gossiping with others about complaints only makes it grow in your mind. Lose the negative. [...]

  • Lynn

    Sorry I may have posted a message at the wrong spot earlier. I was at different site & just had too many pages opened. My comment/question is: How can I/we help young artists? Actually, how can the young or seasoned artist search for backers, benefactors, supporters? Especially if he/she is not media savy? The artist has a kickstarter page. How to set it up to be effective? Is it appealing, enough info. or too much info?
    I’m attaching the the link for review if that is allowed.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1399997207/the-boys-book-to-learning-what-love-is

  • Sari

    Lynn, it’s a children’s book…needs to be shown to children…Schools…The children wrangle the parent’s money here…Go to a nearby school & make a speech to the right age group or get the teacher to or get the principal to sponsor the book…Think of where children are then go there & pitch- then they pitch their parents…walk around in neighborhood & knock on doors trick or treat style & get sponsors on piece of paper…Like the will you sponsor my charity run or buy cookies girl guide thing…

  • Thank you so much Alyson….so much to learn and do and only 24 hours in a day. One thing at a time, live in the moment and trust!