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Old 05-08-2002, 12:04 PM   #1
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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ribbon How I get the most out of my website!




First of all, I am lucky enough to be part of the "Stroke of Genius" website. Cynthia has aprox. 80,000 people walk through the front door of this website EACH MONTH.

Because SOG is so well placed in the big search engines, it usually pops up in the top 10 when a search is done on "portrait artist."

Each month, I get aprox. 4,000 people to visit my online portfolio. These 4,000 people click on aprox. 28,000 pictures (hits). Not bad. If I had my own gallery in NYC, I wouldn't get this much traffic.

When I first wanted a website, I put up my own. I probably got around 20 "hits" each month and I knew exactly who they were.....my family....but hardly anyone else. The search engines didn't know me.

I get almost all of my new business from my website and make a comfortable living. I do not pay any % of the work I get....only a relatively small yearly fee.

So.....with all of the above in place, I have self promoted my website and think that this has greatly contributed to my marketing success.

For a small fee, Cynthia Daniel, will run her software that enters my URL into thousands of search engines and links. Probably doing this twice a year is plenty.

I pass out business cards with my URL at all my shows.

I ordered a bunch of "Web Cards" and pass them out. SOG has this listed under "resources for artists."

I automatically add my URL as a signature to the bottom of all my email.

When I have some extra time (I don't watch TV) I will sit down and enter my URL into the major search engines.

I visit websites and leave my URL in guestbooks.

When I have an article in my local newspaper, I always add my URL.

There are more things I have done and still do, and will post them as I think of them.....
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Old 05-11-2002, 03:30 PM   #2
Rochelle Brown Rochelle Brown is offline
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I for one hope to have a website on SOG. It's kind of a dream for me; It is up to Cynthia and the committee to determine whether I am ready or if my work is right for this venue. I think very highly of SOG. It is very difficult to find a lot of the individual sites. I may try again soon. The images have to be clear and scannable. It would be nice to be able to devote the time needed for a quality portrait.
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Old 06-12-2002, 09:51 AM   #3
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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Hi Karin,

One thing you mentioned in your list here was this:

"I pass out business cards with my URL at all my shows."

What shows are you referring to?

Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2002, 12:07 PM   #4
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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"Shows" are galleries where my work is being shown.
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Old 06-12-2002, 01:45 PM   #5
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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Karin, I didn't know you showed in galleries too. Are these New Hampshire galleries or in other areas? Do the galleries show and/or rep your portraiture or just your still lifes? Have you received portrait commissions through the galleries? How many shows do you do?

Sorry for the "Twenty Questions" barrage, but I'd like to approach some local realist galleries about my portraiture and I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2002, 02:57 PM   #6
John Bruso John Bruso is offline
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Karin,

We're interested in Michele's questions too Great questions, Michele. We just joined a local Artist's association, the NCAA (Northern Colorado Artists Association). It was only $25 for an annual membership. One of the cool things is that 35 or so of the artists have a coop art gallery in downtown Fort Collins. Once Mara's work is juried, she can display in the gallery. I think the gallery takes 20%... and it just goes towards the operations of the gallery (all nonprofit). The only other thing is that Mara would have to serve in the Gallery twice a month. It's a pretty good deal.

The only problem I see is that Mara, as a portrait artist, needs to display her work differently. We can't just plop one of her paintings on the wall and say we've represented her work accurately. We need to seperate Mara from the other artists who sell their work after they've completed it. Since portraiture is commissioned work, we need some kind of seperate display with a place for a brochure, or explanation of what Mara's Narrative Portrait services are. Key message here is that it's a SERVICE, and NOT a product.

We haven't talked with the decision makers yet about this, but I know it's going to be hard to get them to agree to treat mara special. Hopefully, we'll be successful. I'll keep you guys posted.

John
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Old 06-12-2002, 05:54 PM   #7
Stanka Kordic Stanka Kordic is offline
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John,

It might be helpful if you presented a few more portrait people to that Fort Collins Gallery. That way, they would feel better about having a separate "commissioned art" section. Wish I could join you, I have family in the Denver area...nice business trip
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Old 06-12-2002, 06:19 PM   #8
John Bruso John Bruso is offline
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Actually Stanka,

You would have to live in Fort Colins because they require you to be a local artist and serve in the gallery twice a month. That would probably be hard for you to do from Ohio.

John
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Old 06-12-2002, 11:55 PM   #9
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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I don't go out of my way to show in galleries, but sometimes I get asked and it is fun to be a part of a (mostly local) show.

So far I have not gone any farther than Boston (The Copley Society on Newbury Street) to show my work. I am in the Portrait Registry at the Copley and I have done portraits through them. They are the only representation I have....and they are not that active.

Once a year there is an "Open Studio Tour" in my area and sometimes I join that. Because commission work is basically unseen, after I've worked on a piece, I like to show it to somebody (besides the client). Local shows are a good way to do this.

I do not expect and I have never recieved any "special treatment." The little sticker next to my work usually says "NFS" (Not For Sale) and "Commissions Only" (in teeny-weeny type). I would not ever want to separate myself from other artists...they work just as hard as I do and I can only imagine their anger and resentment if I asked for special treatment. Ouch.

There is usually a table top somewhere in a gallery with resumes, cards etc. of the artists...and I add mine to the lot. The Gallery owner, docent or whoever is guarding the show, usually answers questions about the artist or the paintings.

The clients I get usually walk through the door already looking for a portrait painter. If they spot my work and like it, they can easily track me down. I don't think that portraiture is a "hard sell item."

As to still life....I sure wish I had time to paint more of them. I also would like to take the time to try my hand at landscapes. If/when I ever get some of these, I'll definitely look for a gallery to sell them or sell them from my studio during an "Open Studio Tour."

How many shows do I do? Before this year is over, I'll probably have been in five shows. Last year I was in two. But my Online Portfolio "Show" is what makes the real difference...
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Old 06-13-2002, 12:59 AM   #10
John Bruso John Bruso is offline
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Thanks for your feedback Karen. I certainly understand how other artists might get mad if a portrait artist was treated differently. But, my thinking has two parts and I'd love to get your feedback on it.

First, there is a huge price difference between the artists at the Gallery we are thinking of displaying Mara's work. Most of the work there are prints, prices ranging from $250-$700. There is 1 or two pieces at 1k and 1.5k. Mara's work starts at 1k - 4.5k. ideally, I wouldn't even want Mara to show in this gallery because of the price difference... but, I haven't found another one around here in that has pricing in her range.

Second, since Mara is a portrait artist and does not sell finished pieces, I was thinking that we could trade in 2 of the available wall spots she would be alotted in orde to get a floor display similar to what the potters are using. The artists are allowed 2-3 paintings on the wall per month. So, Mara would get floor space, but only one painting would be displayed.

What do you think? I agree though, it is very important to pay attention to the feelings of other artists. Its important to play fair and treat everyone's concerns with respect.

John
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