When artists join EBSQ (or other online artist communities), it’s usually because they’re interested in marketing their work. For many, our site is their first foray into presenting their art online. They eagerly add their work to their new portfolios and wait for something to happen. But success as a self-representing artist requires the artist to be much more active, and dare I say, aggressive in their approach than “post and pray.”
I’d personally like to share a few best practices for our site to help you get the both out of your membership. And even if you’re not a member, you may find some of the below is still applicable:
- Introduce yourself. EBSQ is more than a place to park your art; we have a very active community that’s great for networking and sharing experiences, discussing media, materials, and techniques, and in general sharing the daily grind of life as a self-representing artist with all of its unique challenges. If you’re registered for this site, you’re already registered for our forums, and with a the exception of a few goodies that are for paid-members only, the bulk of our forum content is free and open to the public.
- Enter an exhibit. Our monthly exhibits give members a great opportunity to challenge themselves as well as get their work in front of a whole new set of eyeballs. I remember rather famously a few years ago, a member wrote to me, wanting to remove her show entry because she didn’t want her patrons to see that she didn’t win. But entering shows is actually one of THE best ways to be seen on our site. Take a risk and put yourself out there!
- Talk about your art. So many artists on our site list a title, maybe a date or media, and that’s it. And then wonder why they aren’t being noticed for Art of the Day or getting a lot of hits to their portfolios. Simply put, you need to feed Google. Talk about your pieces with the same passion with which you created them. Give the search engines something relavent to find so that patron of a lifetime can actually find you.
- Link link link. Have you used your EBSQ marketing tools? Add a link to your website or your blog! If you offer commissions, give people a way to contact you by making your public email address available. Yes, spam can happen this way, too. One option is to use a separate email address, whether it be another alias at your personal domain, or a free account like hotmail, yahoo, or gmail. Just make sure you actually watch this accounts for legitimate contacts! (We have a section in our forums to report suspicious contacts, yet another reason to stop in to say hello!) Also, you have the option to add a marketing blurb that personalizes the title of your page in the search engines. If you’re the world’s greatest tromphe l’oeil pickle artist, say so!
We’d love to know what’s missing on this list: how do YOU get the most from EBSQ?