If you are a photographer/creator who is making a go at starting or managing a business, you probably have a website. Sure, we can be found and contacted by various other means such as Instagram or Facebook but an online presence through a website is still an important entity if you want to be found and convey to a potential client your brand or gallery of work in its entirety.
I started out using SmugMug but last year switched to using Squarespace which I highly recommend. With both sites, I managed and kept the content up-to-date as little as I needed to. To be honest, for a long while it just felt like another site that took time to manage and since my engagement with other creators and clients were happening outside my site well... why bother? Then I read a blog post by Eric Kim months ago that planted a seed. His point was he spends more time on his website management than any other social platforms.
To be honest, my first initial response was that doesn't make any sense. Why would you spend more time where most people aren't hanging out and engaging with one another? However, lately I have made a bit of a shift. Maybe, it is because I am trying to explore more than one avenue of creativity and there is no one social media platform that effectively offers that an all-in-one presentation of who I am as an artist. Most websites offer the ability to add a blog, share a podcast, and upload video in addition to photos if you are a photographer like me.
For around $300 per year, a site should be a serious consideration whether you are looking to start your business or a serious hobbyist and below are a couple other points to that could aid in your decision.
1. You Can Push Content
I can only speak as a Squarespace user but I am certain most other website providers provide the ability to push content to your social media accounts when updating your site. I can push a post, image, or product in my store to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr to name a few. However, Instagram is not an option and I assume because the platform is more image-based than any other content.
Now, you can put time into managing your site and not worry that you have to post your update to multiple platforms. This is a big plus!
2. Not All People Are on Facebook or Instagram
I know, I know, who is not on Facebook or Instagram but I have people often ask me where they can go to see my content and often I get the response. "Oh, I am not on..." This may not be a strong enough case for you to go out and start a website but one thing we probably know for sure is... those not on those platforms probably know how to Google search.
So, why not make yourself more available to find?
3. Present Your Best Work for Potential Clients
Facebook or Instagram are great tools to share our creations but our feeds can often get cluttered with things we wanted to share at the time but may not reflect a collection of your best work. Something you would want a client to see as the first impression of who you are as an artist.
So, build your art gallery and show off your best!
In conclusion, I am in no way advocating that we move away from engaging in the platforms where we have engagement or we enjoy. Those are a part of who we are as an artist and we don't want to plug a conduit to connecting with others.
Just consider what a website could do for you and what doors it could open. It could be the one-stop-shop to see all of you as a creator.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how effective you feel your website has been for you so please comment below.
Imagine. Capture. Create.
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