2.0: Using the Internet to promote your work Feed

KISS ("keep it simple stupid") Presentations to Promote Your Art and Craft

A great SlideShare about your art or craft starts with a great PowerPoint!

PLAN IN ADVANCE to make your PowerPoint presentation amazing!

WHY are you making a presentation!  (Who is the intended audience and what message do you wish to convey?)

THINK BIG!

ThinkBIG

Do you want to share your work?

Consumericon72.gr

ARE YOU SHARING INSIGHT?

Copy of greeneyeonly

Do you want INVITATIONS for workshops or lectures?

Cutcard Considering that people may be watching your presentation on a variety of monitors.... some the size of a playing card, keep your text and graphics simple.....hence KISS "keep it simple stupid".

 

Find PowerPoint or Keynote on your computer, open it!~

Start...

$$$MoneyGame72
 
The next post on ASK Harriete is about adding audio to your SlideShare.

Harriete

If you don't know how to use PowerPoint, a final tutorial is below. It's a little dry, but it offers a good beginning. One more hint: if you are planning to UPLOAD your presentation to SlideShare, do not add animations or fancy slide transitions....they don't work on SlideShare.  

  • K-I-S-S is an expression often used in engineering and science to remind practitioners to avoid excessive complexity.  It derives from a principle known as Occam's Razor

This post was updated on February 4, 2022.


Promoting YOUR art or craft with SlideShare - Take Your First Step

SlideShare is a great way to promote your art or craft.  The free online service provides easily accessible usage information such as the number of views on each of your SlideShare presentations.  You can allow viewers to download your presentation or opt-out.

I'd say you have nothing to lose, and much to gain! It is a great way to create a short lecture about your work, or insight into your special technique.

COST:
SlideShare is a FREE site for the basic service and this has worked quite well for me to experiment and build my skills with this new marketing tool. There is also a fee-based SlideShare if you want more information on traffic analytics.

Almost everyone’s computer comes with Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote. It is pretty easy to get started. All you need are great images for your digital presentation and you are on your way.

Do all your slide/image/text preparation in PhotoShop/PowerPoint/Keynote. You can not edit your SlideShare presentation once it is uploaded.  If you find any mistakes after uploading, you will need to fix the mistakes in your presentation and upload a new corrected presentation (replacing the old presentation). 


PowerpointBy browsing other peoples' presentations on SlideShare you will see that some create very effective presentations without audio! I did this for my first presentation. Create your presentation on your computer and upload it to SlideShare. Add text to your images or slides instead of audio. It is that simple!

Be patient with the uploading. Depending on the size it can take a while.

Audacity

UPDATE 2014:

ADDING AUDIO to SlideShare is no longer possible.

To add audio... create a Powerpoint presentation with audio, convert to video and upload it to YouTube as a video. 

This is pretty easy to do. You really don’t need a lot of technical skills, just the risk-taking guts to experiment and learn from mistakes along the way. Your only cost will be a microphone and headset (if you don’t own one already.)

Purchase a microphone/headset combination at your local electronics store which costs about $50. (I did not buy the most expensive microphone/headset, but selected a basic option which has worked out really well.)

SOFTWARE for adding Audio:
To get started with your audio software first visit a site called “How to Podcast”. This will give you a step-by-step guide on how to podcast without breaking the bank. This is the home of the free podcast tutorial that will take your podcast from concept to launch -- and for minimal cost (brought to you by, Jason Van Orden, author of “Promoting Your Podcast”).  UPDATE 2022: The "How to Podcast" site appears to no longer be available.  NPR has an article titled "How to Start a Podcast, According to the Pros at NPR" that provides useful information.



HowToPodcast

The focus of this site is how to create a podcast, but essentially a podcast is just an MP3 file. You need an MP3 file to upload to SlideShare and synchronize with your slides. This site has all the information you need, but if you ever get stuck (it is sometimes really frustrating to learn a new technology on your own), just type your question into Google. This is how I find answers to my questions.

Audio Editing Software (Audacity) and Lame MP3 Encoder are both available online for free. There are free tutorials online too so you don’t need to spend any money on editing software.  The one I use is called Audacity. There is no need to buy expensive audio editing software when you are first starting out.

There are multiple pages of information, and even video tutorials to watch. While I don’t know how to use most of the options in the Audacity editing software, I can still create very acceptable quality podcasts and audio MP3 files.

Go to Audacity to get started.

That's it for today.
Next week, I will help you get started with a few more tips.

LAMEMP3

You have your assignment.
Get ready for the next tutorial.

Harriete

This post was updated on February 5, 2022.


Promoting YOUR art or craft at ZERO COST with Professional Results

One of my favorite online tools for visibility was Slideshare. It was purchased by LinkedIn years ago, and then it disappeared.

SlideShare was a FREE site where you can upload PowerPoint Presentations.  You can add MP3 files to your presentation to have audio along with your visual presentation. SlideShare also works with Keynote. 

WebsiteCAdream My primary purpose was to create more visibility for my artwork and to provide additional content links for my website
An additional benefit was that many (and perhaps even most) of the people watching my SlideShare presentations were discovering my work for the first time.

Time marches on. Try something new every day, even if it scares you.


HANDOUTS from the Professional Development Seminar include tons of information

Short survey

Survey results from the Professional Development Seminar attendees indicate interest in topics that have been covered in past years. This reminded me of the information and HANDOUTS already available.

Pds_logoletterhead

Most of the handouts are no longer available, but below are still are on the SNAG website. 

SUBMITTING WORK to GALLERIES and RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS - A four-part series.
Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four



NICHE MARKETING AND PHOTOGRAPHY PDS 2011


DIGITALTIPSfinalRGBCMYK

Digital File Extension Tip Sheet PDS 2011 (above).

This post was updated on February 4, 2022. 


Monitor Madness - Going Nuts in a Nutshell

Recently I spent hours and hours trying to figure out if my computer monitor was giving me an accurate color image.  I am going nuts!!!.

Nutshell copy

This is the problem in a nutshell.  Every single computer and computer monitor shows images differently.  I am not kidding!!!!!!!! and it is driving me NUTS! 

Pencil installation about the impact of standardized testing on education by Harriete Estel BermanaI want the images of my art and craft to be presented accurately with the right colors, brightness, contrast, and saturation. Doesn't everybody?

 

Reality -- Your audience will be looking at your artwork through a different filter than yours.  Their particular combination of computer and monitor will likely show your images somewhat differently.

I've also found that most calibration websites focus on matching your monitor to the printed image coming from your printer. The tutorials assume you want to print your images.  I rarely print my images. Most of my audience will be viewing my images on their desktop monitors, laptops, tablets, or phone.

More problems .....
If it is so easy for anyone's computer and monitor to be set slightly "off" when color correcting images of art and craft, then the images posted to websites may be off as well.

Books and magazine covers
Books and Magazines
Photo Credit: Emiko Oye

What about when you submit images to a book, exhibition, show, or magazine? How do you know that you created the best quality images on your computer? How will your images look on the jurors' monitor? No wonder book publishers insist that artists DO NOT Photoshop their images!!!!!

MonitorsetupAt this point, the only absolute answer is to buy high-priced equipment beyond most of our budgets.  In the meantime, you should check to see if your monitor is giving you a full range of whites, blacks, and appropriately saturated colors.

I found a few websites that help to evaluate monitors.  You may be able to fine-tune some adjustments.  At a minimum, these evaluations will alert you that your monitor may not be showing all there is to see.  In addition, it seems that the computer graphics card and the type of monitor have a lot to do with how your images look.

Test your computer by looking at this sample PDF from monitorsetup.com. It has a very easy-to-evaluate grayscale from black to white.  Try to adjust your monitor to give you the best appearance.  [Don't use the picture here on ASK Harriete, go to the site.]

MonitorWhiteCalCheckReady for a slightly finer evaluation? Try going to Imaging-Resource.com. They have two charts, one in a white scale image and one in black (below.)

Here is another site with detailed instructions for adjusting your computer and monitor.

This whole issue started because I thought my monitor was getting dim....monitors do age you know. How could I create great images if my monitor isn't correct? If I create images that look great only on my monitor and don't look the same on other people's computers, what then?!!!!

MonitorBlackCalCheck Well, guess what!!!!!?  BAD NEWS, there is no normal. I have discovered that every monitor is different. I mean really different!!!!!!!

LCD-MonitorHB  

Here is the rest of the story.  To replace my old monitor, my husband bought a new LED wide monitor....we were so excited. He purchased the monitor with the most adjustment buttons so I could fine-tune the image. The LED's are brighter and save a lot of energy.  The wide monitor would allow me to have lots of windows open, and we could even download a movie to view on the larger screen.

BAD NEWS! The factory settings on the monitor are all artificially intense. The "scenic" mode and "theater" mode both supersaturate the colors. The other options were only slightly better. With hours invested in fine-tuning the adjustments, it got better but remained unsatisfactory. Something was very wrong with the colors. The white and black scales shown above were not showing the appropriate gradations.

 After hours of adjusting and experimenting we hook up my old monitor to his laptop. Well, his laptop and the old monitor together work quite well, even better than on my computer, but each presented a slightly different image. It became obvious that each combination of computer and monitor produced a different image. 

To end this story, we put the monitor back in the box and I returned it. For my next computer, I bought the best quality graphics card available.

This should not be the end of the story for you.   Using the evaluation websites above, adjust your monitor as well as you can and create the best images you can.  Then check your images or website on other computers, mobile phones, and tablet devices.  At least you will be aware of any undesirable shifts and perhaps go back and adjust accordingly.

Harriete

This post was updated on January 28, 2022.


Search Engines Have No Vision - Play TAG, Your IT - Create Tags for better SEO from 2.0 sites

TAGS can be confusing when it comes to 2.0 social networking sites. 

Tag-your-it Most 2.0 sites allow tags for images (such as Flickr, Crafthaus, and marketing sites like Etsy and Custommade.com).  Some are less accommodating (see The Facebook Exception below). 

 

 

Do your own test. Go to your favorite site, use the search box, and type in words that describe your work. If YOUR images don't come back as results, no one else can find your images either. 

Tag

Some 2.0 sites allow only a fixed number of possible tags. Custommade.com, for example, allows five tags per category.

Etsy allows 14 tags in total.

Flickr and Crafthaus seem to allow a huge number, but I recommend that you prioritize your tags by using the most important tags first. Then keep going with variations and options.

SEOtagsimages What should be your priority tags?  Begin by thinking about how people are likely to search for work like yours.  What are the most important words your friends would use to describe your work? This may likely be redundant to your title and description, but that is good!  In the logic of search engines, redundant words add to their credibility.

HEB1.72gr For example, both the title of the work and my name are in every text box available

 Yes,  in the title text box, again in any description text box, and yet again in any tags text box -- for each and every image.  For every image use your most important words. For your work, it may be a business name, medium, or subject that is your "signature."

Lind Flower Pin by Harriete Estel Berman uses post consumer recycled tin cans from chocolate.
Tags for this Flower pin look like this (box below):  Seo.tagkeywords copy

 Pretend you are a gallery owner looking for a particular kind of work.  Go to any of these 2.0 sites and pose some queries to look for YOUR work. What comes back in the results? Can you find your own work?

Try several variations or combinations of words.

Lind Flower Brooch by Harriete Estel Berman in peach, tan, and soft pastel chocolate motif. Strategy is everything for tags. Consider mixing up your tags, "tin" on some images, and "tins" on others, Harriete and Harriet, green, eco, recycled, ec0-friendly, post-consumer.  People don't know exactly what to look for, so give them as many paths to find your images as possible.

The Facebook Exception
Facebook, unfortunately, uses the phrase "tag this photo" but tagging images on Facebook is simply identifying your friends on Facebook photos. It is not about SEO for your images. Therefore, we are not talking about Facebook in this discussion of images.

Harriete

Next week?
Coverage of CraftFORWARD on ASK Harriete.

CraftforwardBANNER

P.S. The top image titled, "Tag Your It" was found at SodaHead

This post was updated on January 28, 2022.


Search Engines Have No Vision - SEO for 2.0 sites.

In the previous post, we discussed how search engines can not see your images. In this post, we move on to the titles and descriptions for 2.0 sites.

Googleimagesearch

Braille Search engines only read text.  To a search engine, images alone are just blank space.  But images can have text titles and descriptions that enable search engines to match your images with queries. If you want your images to be found, they need titles and descriptions.

Search_engines TEST THIS RIGHT NOW. OPEN A NEW WINDOW and do an image search for your art or craft. What do you see?

It is very difficult to get images posted on 2.0 social networking sites to show up in a search for images. If you don't add titles and/or descriptions for your images, they will NOT be found.  Don't miss every opportunity for search engines to "see" your images. Google Image Search for Harriete
 

Title your images with your name (or business name). 

After you upload the file, change the file name to the title of your work AND your name. (Etsy now adds the maker's name automatically.) Every title should be different, otherwise, search engines think every image is the same.

Kisses Flower Brooch by Harriete Estel Berman I have discovered that search engines find my work posted on 2.0 social networking sites only if I put my name in the title.  In other words, titles should include the name of the item/object/artwork/painting AND the name of the artist and maker.

Yes, title your images on 2.0 sites should include your name (like in the box below.)
SEOtitle

Including your name in every image title may seem repetitive, egotistical, or unnecessary, but search engines need to connect you (the artist or maker) with every image.  Images posted in your albums, sets, or collections are NOT automatically linked to your name.

(Facebook doesn't allow you to title your images, so include your name in the description. See below)

Harriete Estel Berman pin says my name. In the description, include your name (or business name).  Then add other information that describes the work, such as materials, techniques, style, color, or type of item (i.e. painting, bowl, purse).

The Internet is not the place to think that your work should "speak for itself."   Search engines can not see your images.

Kisses Flower Brooch by Harriete Estel Berman If you want people to find your images, you must add text descriptions.

Here is a sample description (below) for this Kisses Flower Pin.

  SEO Image descriptions
Testing, testing, testing...
do a GOOGLE Search for your images.
Study the results

On all 2.0 sites, add text for the titles and descriptions whenever and however possible.

Harriete

The next post topic is a discussion of TAGS for images on 2.0 sites.
Next week?
Coverage of CraftFORWARD on ASK Harriete.

CraftforwardBANNER

This post was updated on January 28, 2022.


What's in a Name? Is Your Artist Identity LOST or FOUND in a sea of names?

Harriete,

Should I have a business name?  I’m stumbling and struggling with how to come up with a name.

Signed,
A reader in search of a name!

PDSCraftReportcolor72 While this question is a condensed version of questions from readers, it represents a fairly frequent issue. It also highlights concerns that are relevant to the Niche Marketing theme for the upcoming Professional Development Seminar at the Seattle SNAG Conference.

PDS speakers include:

Hilary Pfeifer uses her own name for her serious work, but calls her wedding toppers business "Bunny with a Tool Belt".

emiko oye refers to her jewelry line as Reware (though I noticed that the website name is actually "reware style.")

Deb Stoner has always chosen to do her work under her own name as her artist identity.

ChocolateQuestion200 What I want to ask all our speakers and readers of ASK Harriete:

"Why did you choose to operate under a fictitious business name rather than your own name as an artist or maker?"

"How did you pick this particular business name?"

My primary concern with a business name is the difficulty that most people have developing even one artistic identity, let alone two. In most cases, I believe it splits awareness you have built and confuses potential customers or your online network.

Focus-on-goals-1 It would seem to be a lot more focused to keep one name for your website, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, all 2.0 social networking, and online marketing. One name, or a variant of your name, constantly reinforces one singular identity. Repeated consistently at every site helps the one identity to gain recognition.

Vera-wang There are many examples of companies in all industries who are well known under an individual name such as Jack Lenor Larsen, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Vera Wang (right), and Thomas Kinkade.

Mrclean_logo To add further emphasis to the idea of one name, it is considered a strong marketing advantage to have a singular identity to represent a brand. Examples include Aunt Jemima, Mr. Clean, Dear Abby to Papa John's, or personal testimonials that create intimacy with a brand such as Keira Knightley in advertising for Channel.

Keira-Knightley-for-Chanel-Coco-Mademoiselle-Perfume Artists already have a name to associate with a product. Why would we dilute this asset by creating a company name?

Here are some practical suggestions about names that may enhance the effectiveness of an identity.

  • Is the spelling of the name unique in some way?
  • Would your middle name or maiden name create a more unique name?

HEB2.72gr For example, my mother made up her own spelling for Harriete when I was born. At this point, it works really well to differentiate my Harriete from all more common spellings of Harriet, or Harriette. Look up Harriete on a Google search with an "e" at the end. Tell me what happens.

Bunny1 Think about your identity name carefully.  If you are making up your own business name, make it memorable. It seems to me that "Bunny With a Tool Belt" is wacky enough to be memorable. That is good marketing. On the other hand, on her postcard (above right) Hilary Pfeifer did not put her name anywhere on the card. "Bunny with a Tool Belt" is the business identity.

I admit to being confused by this approach. All the name recognition gained for either your business or your own name doesn't really benefit the other...unless you market them together.

Reware1 Reware_solar_tote Rewareeverest RewareEmikoshorts PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR BUSINESS NAME should avoid using a term in your business name that has many other associations. Ironically, "reware" (used by emiko oye for her website and business identity) has many other search results (shown to the left) from reware clothing, to a reware business for solar bags, solar backpacks, computer parts,  and software. Starting out with a business name with many other search associations just makes it harder to stand out as a singular identity in any niche market for your business. (Try typing in Reware in an image search to see what happens.) 

If there is a list of competitors with the same or similar business names, it is hard to get a top search engine ranking for your business.

HEB1.72gr

 

So in summary, I'd suggest working with your own name and making it distinctive and memorable.

What is your solution to this dilemma and why? I'd like to hear what the readers of ASK Harriete have to say to add insight to this issue. What are the search results for your name, business name, and website? Are you Lost or Found?

Harriete.

Future posts will be about tag lines and improving SEO for your images and website with easy suggestions.

This post was updated on January 27, 2022.


Discovering Your Niche Markets for Increasing Website Visibility.

The Professional Development Seminar is sponsoring an hour of discussion about Niche Marketing.  New FLUX SNAG Seattle Logo  Small_V112010_ Questions for our speakers include the following:

  • How to discover a Niche Market?
  • Should you use your name or a business name?
  • Should you have a tagline?

These three issues are interrelated and applicable to all artists and makers. The topic is enormous! Everyone has a niche audience (or even several niche markets), we just have to figure out who they are and how to tap into the potential.

In a series of posts, ASK Harriete will tackle these issues and how they impact website visibility for artists and makers. This series will include tips for Search Engine Optimization (simple and easy to understand) without technical talk offering ideas that you can readily implement to bring more visibility to your website.

This post is devoted to Discovering Your Niche Markets for increasing website visibility.

web site for Harriete Estel Berman on a telephone Driving traffic to our websites is not a passive activity.  It isn't effective to simply put up your website and wait for traffic.  "If I post it, they will come" is a Hollywood dream.

Driving traffic to your website takes some effort to find niche markets.  This is the creative part but, we need to raise our consciousness to see the opportunities. It all revolves around, What will interest other people?

Longtail Don't just look at the art and craft world for interested viewers. The identifiable art/craft world is small and rarefied.  However, if you think about all your activities and topics, I bet you will find multiple niche markets for your work.  Somewhere out there in the Long Tail of the Internet, there are people who don't know your work and how amazingly relevant it is to their interests.

Here is a recent example of discovering a niche market and then driving traffic to my website that actually prompted this post.

Pencil2_7_2011pullingwarp Pencil_stanineWEBsite

I am in the final phase of a four-year project constructing a gigantic bell curve entirely out of pencils -- quite literally, thousands of real pencils. The work is a commentary about the impact of standardized testing on education.

BLACKwingpencil A few weeks ago, a curious-looking pencil caught my eye and I happened to do a quick Internet search.  To my amazement, I learned that it is a "collectible" pencil.  What a surprise?  It never occurred to me that one pencil may be worth $30 to $45!

YikesThen I realized another of my pencils was printed with a pencil collector's name, address, and the American Pencil Collector SocietyNow looking further online, I learned that there are blogs about pencils and pencil collectors! Who would have thought that this pencil niche existed!!!!!!  This is the Long Tail in the shape of a long skinny pencil!

My first Internet search discovered pencils.com.  They normally feature a pencil artist every Monday. They said, "Although you're not drawing art with these pencils, you are creating art right out of pencils!" This resulted in a feature post on their website about my artwork titled, "Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin."

If you read their short post about my pencil sculpture, you will see more niche marketing.  Pencils.com used the blog post about the featured artist (me) to bring more visibility to two of their "niche markets" - collectible pencils and a link to selling pencils for taking standardized tests!  

PencilsHarrieteWORKING While the artist feature post on Pencils.com about Pick Up Your Pencils, Begin may or may not result in a purchase of my work or an exhibition opportunity, you never know. Maybe someone will invite me to exhibit my pencil bell curve at their pencil convention. Now that my awareness of pencil associations is raised, I looked online. There are pencil conventions all over. Imagine that? More untapped niche markets.

In addition, the blog post on pencils.com is driving a bit of extra traffic to my website. The more traffic to my website, the higher my ranking. The higher the ranking the more people will see my artwork about pencils...

The web has a Long Tail, and I am going to ride that long tail where ever it goes.

41h0cZRmWKL._SL160_ How can you make The Long Tail work for you?  Can you think of a material, color, design, subject, or any other aspect that is unique to your work? Try doing a search. The blossoming of so many blogs and websites about the most arcane of topics means that they are looking for entertaining ideas for their readers.  Your work may become the subject of an upcoming post! 

Seriously, time to put your thinking cap on. Have you considered the many possibilities to find your Niche? Are you ready to ride the Long Tail? You might find new customers, clients, collectors, or exhibitions for your work that you never expected.  

Stay tuned for more ideas and discussion for niche marketing, business names, and taglines. Pro and cons please get ready to weigh in with your opinion.

The Long Tail is an affiliate link and definitely recommended reading for learning how closely connected the internet and niche markets really are for your work.

This post was updated on January 27, 2022.


Your Facebook PROFILE Has New Options for Your Cover Photos

FacebookFbannerstrip

There used to be several options for your Facebook profile that created a series of photos at the top of your profile page. The websites that did this multi-image banner for you don't exist anymore, but the idea is still good.

Just last week I made a multiple image banner for Facebook.  
Studio-collage-Harriete-cutting-plastic04

Great idea, but it works much better if you think about the format and how it will look in advance. 

It took several tries to get the size and format to work. It is O.K. to make mistakes as long as you learn from your errors. The photo below was too square so it didn't fit and cropped the image awkwardly. 

Studio-collage-Harriete-cutting-plastic


Do you want one single photo for Facebook banner? 
The current dimensions that work best in 2022 are 820 px x 312 px.   This keeps changing as Facebook wants to look good on all devices including phones, tablets, and computers.


Give this a try.

Take pictures with this multi-image format in mind and experiment.  I used four different images from a recent photo shoot in the studio as my "tests", but after becoming more practiced, I got better at making each photo work in this format.

Give your artwork and personality more visibility on your Facebook profile.

Find me on Facebook and be my friend to see my profile!

This post was updated on February 5, 2022.


Web Manners: Harriete Dressed Up Like Emily Post

Harriete Estel Berman dressed up like Emily Post
Each sphere in our lives has manners or customs that have developed over time.  But with the Internet, a whole new social forum, this busy, bright new world hasn't had time to develop clear etiquette.

In this post, I am going to mention a couple of issues that cross the line to bad manners, and maybe even, outright RUDE.

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Never tag your photos with another person's name so that they will go look at your art or craft. As an example, I woke up this morning to find over 20 Facebook notices that a person tagged photos of their work with my name.  Not only did I have to remove my name from all her photos, but her photos were showing up on my Facebook photo page.

How rude! I didn't even know this person. Never met her! She didn't even send a polite introduction or any personal correspondence of any kind. This is not how you make friends and influence people. If you want someone to look at your work, write them a polite note and send them one or two links.

"Social Media shouldn't be seen as advertising. It should be seen as public relations." Brian of Alpine Media.com  is so right!  Nothing bothers me more than getting multiple email blasts a week from an unrequested source. I don't care if it is their idea of an opportunity, give away, free advice, or participation in their inspiration of the day. Any blog, organization, or website that bombard me with excessive emails gets relegated to my spam list.

EtiquettebookAll public comments on blog posts, other people's photos,  or social media pages should be constructive. No name-calling allowed.  Just like Thumper in Bambi, if you can't think of a way to make a constructive comment or question, leave no comment at all. 

 

In your blog posts or newsletter:
Always attribute information to the original source with the name.

Always link to all sources mentioned.

Always attribute images of work to the artist and include photo credit if appropriate. (If the artist is the photographer, photo credit is not necessary.)

You are responsible for controlling, deleting, or maintaining the comments on your posts, social networking pages, or groups. In other words, if you find spam on your blog or inappropriate comments on your Facebook page, it is your responsibility to delete it. Don't leave this pollution/spam up for your readers, it affects your credibility.

Disclose your affiliate links. (it is the law.)

Disclose your relationships with your sources or guest authors.

Emails
Do not send images or files as attachments to your emails without a personal message.
This is not effective communication, it just looks like you can't be bothered to be polite. No one will open your attachment anyway because they will be afraid of catching some kind of internet "bug".

Good manners are always based on respect and consideration.

 Do you have some advice for online manners?  Or any comments about this post? What do you think about Internet etiquette? Let's hear it! Please consider leaving a comment. Maybe, my Emily Post high heels have made me trip.

Etiquette does change over time and with evolving social norms.  For fun, I have included the 1915 Rules for Teachers I saw this summer at the Long Beach Island Historical Museum. It reminds us clearly that Etiquette is constantly in flux, but primarily based on courtesy for others and social custom.

Harriete

  Etiquette1915 rules for teachers
(Sorry about the condition of the image. It was taken under less than ideal circumstances and the paper was very old.)

This post was updated on January 22, 2022, to provide current links.


Where Do I Find Opportunities to Exhibit My Work?

"Where Do I Find Opportunities to Exhibit My Work?" is one of the most frequent questions that artists and craftspeople ask.  CAFElogo copy It's hard enough to make the work, and then spend more time looking for opportunities to exhibit. ASK Harriete has answered variations of this question, such as a previous post titled How Do You Find Venues for Your Work, but here is another idea, REGISTER with online jury sites like Cafe'.

 

HAND PICK & Win Flower Brooch by Harriete Estel Berman
  Pace HAND-PICK & WIN Flower Pin
  Post Consumer recycled tin cans
  © 2010  Harriete Estel Berman
View the entire collection on Flickr.

The recent newsletter emailed from Cafe' prompted me to write this post.  I found several opportunities for myself and friends not otherwise on my radar screen. Here is what Cafe' says on their registration page.

"CaFÉ provides artists with an easy-to-use system to create a profile with contact information, upload digital images of their artwork, and apply to a number of open calls for entry at one time. There is no cost to register your profile and you can update it at any time by going to "My Info".

 

HAND PICK & Win Flower Brooch(back view) by Harriete Estel Berman is jewelry constructed from post consumer reycled tin cans.
    Pace HAND-PICK & WIN Flower Pin  
   (back view of pin with hallmark)  
   Post-consumer recycled tin cans
   Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
View the entire collection on Flickr.

Registration is FREE, do it now!!!! It only takes a few minutes. After you register, you can receive their newsletter listing new opportunities. 

In the future, as you respond to juried opportunities, the photos that you upload can be saved on the Cafe' site for you. This way you can access them again for the next opportunity. The downside is that CAFE' requires your photos to be uploaded in a specific size (eliminating any advantage that horizontal shots have over vertical) and resizing your images for Cafe' takes extra time.

 

Meteor Fruit Crate and three bracelets by Harriete Estel Berman is constructed from recycled tin cans
  Meteor Fruit Crate -California Collection
  © 2009 Harriete Estel Berman
  Three-dimensional fruit crate label
  constructed from post-consumer recycled
  tin cans, custom made wood crate,
  handmade paper, three bracelets.
  Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Do you know of any online Jury sites that you would like to recommend to other artists?

Why not list them below in the comments?

Help yourself and other artists:

  • JOIN (yes, pay membership dollars) to a select number of artist organizations that fit your work. Most likely they will regularly send out emails and newsletters to their members. Support the organizations that support artists like you.
  • REGISTER with online jury sites like Cafe
  • SHARE opportunities with friends and they will share with you

Harriete

This post was updated on January 21, 2022.
Meteor bracelets by Harriete Estel Berman fit in the Meteor Fruit Crate display as a commentary about the California economy. 

Three Meteor  Bracelets from the Meteor Fruit Crate
California Collection
  © 2009 Harriete Estel Berman
Bracelets are displayed and sold with the three-dimensional fruit crate label,
and wood crate display.
MATERIALS: Post-consumer recycled tin cans, handmade paper, recycled cardboard, s/s rivets, brass tubing, wood. 
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen



Business Advice on the Internet

These days there is so much advice on the Internet, I mean tons....some good, and some that seems a little, well....shallow, self-serving, or half-baked.  Penetrating through this fog, there is one person who I recommend, Alyson Stanfield. I have followed her for years. Her professional experience at the museum level is well-grounded, yet her very down-to-earth approach helps artists get their work out of the studio to develop promotional visibility and a market for their work.

STUDIObook

I read her book, "I'd Rather Be in the Studio" which reveals practical ways to market your art or craft more effectively.  It is definitely worth reading. 

Why not subscribe to Alyson Stanfield's free newsletter to receive tips for your art career development.  I read it regularly to perk up my outlook.  

Harriete
This post was updated on January 21, 2022.

Affiliate links on this blog may provide me with a few pennies to help defray expenses and keep on going. Thanks for your support.
VanHouten72
Van Houten Cocao Flower Brooch by Harriete Estel Berman was constructed from post-consumer recycled tin cans.  See a preview of the Flower Brooch collection on Flickr.
  


How do you find venues for your work? Asking ASK Harriete, the artist, a few questions

"Hi Harriete!
I've recently been listening to all the past Whaley studios blog radio programs and have gotten up to your interview a few weeks ago. What a great interview! It gave me a chance to know a little more about you and your work...from your own mouth!

After listening I had a few questions about your installation/museum work: How does it work? Do you come up with an idea, make the work, then try and shop it around to different venues? Or do you try and fill an already perceived need a venue may have? Or something else?

What sort of monetary arrangements are there (if any) for just showing the work (instead of the piece being acquired by a museum)?

Stevie B.

Blades
Grass/gras' sculpture close-up © 2001
Recycled tin cans, steel base
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

That's a lot of questions. I will do my best to give you some quick answers.

Grass/gras sculpture about our consumer society by Harriete Estel Berman
Grass/gras' sculpture close-up © 2001
Recycled tin cans, steel base
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Mostly, I come up with an idea, make the work, and then "shop it around", as you call it.  This takes a  considerable amount of time from start to finish. For example, the Grass/gras' installation took a year to make plus another year to finish the Grass/gras' video. The series of 200 cups titled, Consuming Conversation (see images below), took four years plus another year for the two videos. In both cases, I photographed earlier examples and started promoting the work before it was finished. Considering the entire effort, both projects took several years from inception to the finished work because I need to keep up on other work that makes money during the same period.

It often takes years until a piece becomes known, shown in exhibitions, or published in books or magazines with images widely distributed. The Internet really helps with that aspect of promoting your work, but it is important to maintain your focus and keep on working no matter what.
 

SLIMfast
Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture
Recycled tin cans, battery motor, alum.
rivets, dial, screws.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 1994
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Sixteen years after completion, Hourglass Figure: the Scale of Torture is included in the book Makers: A History of Studio Craft.  I haven't seen the book yet, but this is really big news! You have to plant your seeds and nurture them. You can not wait for opportunities and invitations to show up, you need to create momentum by working all the time.

Pencils Sharpening System in the studio of Harriete Estel BermanI have been writing about a current artwork in progress involving a bell curve made from #2 pencils on my website and Facebook. This is the fourth year of working on this project, but I am really trying to finish it this year. When I have some preliminary photos, I will start looking for exhibition spaces.

There is no money that I know of for these big projects. Once in a great while, I get a little money to make a video or to speak about a piece. Big projects like this are time-consuming, drain my financial resources, drive me insane, fill me with self-doubt and torture -- it is not a picnic.  Yet this is what I see and must do.  It is my expression of art.

The next post answers the question: "How do you transport the larger work?"  Another real-world question from several readers of ASK Harriete.

Harriete

This post was updated on January 19, 2022.


Consuming Conversation a series of 200 teacups construced from recycled tin cans.

Consuming Conversation © 2004
Teacup sculpture from recycled tin cans.
Handles are sterling silver or bronze.
This was the first photo I had for the
series and started promoting the series
through this image with note cards
and images. 
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen


LinkedIN as a networking tool. Boost your network and networking skills at the speed of light.

I have been on LinkedIn for quite a while, but haven't used it as effectively as possible.  Then I found these great YouTUBE videos which really explain all the "bells and whistles" and buttons to use LinkedIn much more effectively.

I really love video tutorials.  Video is a great way for visual people to learn information quickly.  very close view of wall piece by Harriete Estel Berman titled Fulsome Game

Do you know what LinkedIn is? Listen to this introductory video.

Your next step is creating a LinkedIn profile. Find  people who know with this tutorial.

Wall piece by Harriete Estel Berman titled Fulsome Game

I find LinkedIn useful if I want to look up information about a person or look for contact information. Sometimes it can be very useful, unfortunately, people don't seem to keep their information up to date.

LinkedIn does not generate visibility for your art or craft. There is no image sharing or gaining visibility by accident. It is only one tool in an internet toolbox.  

That's all for now, but I hope you look for me on LinkedIn and connect with me.
Harriete

Fulsome-game-Bermaid
This post was updated on February 5, 2022.


SUPER SIZE Your VISIBILITY with TAGS

A lot of people are not tagging photos of their artwork and craft on social networks very effectively. Sometimes a couple of tags, perhaps three or four, maybe none at all.  Are you kidding? Tags drive Search Engines more than ever.  If you don't have tags on the images of your art and craft, how is someone going to find you or your work? If there are only three or four tags and they don't include your name you are completely missing the idea. SUPERSIZE YOUR VISIBILITY with appropriate tags.

I have a suggestion for speed, efficiency, and getting the job done effectively.  I have a word document on my computer that holds all my 2.0 social networking tags for my photos. I constantly add or improve these tags, of course, but any time I post images, I can quickly open the document, copy my tags for that category and paste the tags for my photos. Then, if appropriate, I can add a few more relevant tags, such as color or theme, specific for that piece or item.

Here is an example Flower pin and the tags:
HBerman_orangeBlue50Year_flowerW HBerman_orangeBlue50YearBACK_flowerW 

recycled tin cans, jewelry from recycled materials, harriete estel berman, harriete, estel, eco, harriet, harriette, earth day, april flowers,  flower, green, recycle, upcycle, eco, trashinista, earth day, brooch, pin, san mateo, san Francisco bay area, jewelry from tin cans, colorful, advertising, packaging, consumer society,  Blue, Orange, anti aging, watch, fifty,

Look at the tags closely. There are lots of perspectives to enable someone to find this image of a flower pin by Harriete Estel Berman.

First, since my name is commonly misspelled, I include misspellings in my tags. People often seem to remember my name as Estel. So I put Estel in my tags.

SanMateo I put the same words in my tags that I (or other people) use to describe my work, such as recycle, upcycle, trashinista.

Note that I include both San Mateo and San Francisco, two ways to describe where I live.

For this flower pin I would add the following tags specific to this flower pin: blue, orange, anti-aging, watch,

In situations where the number of tags is limited, mix up the combination of words. For example, on Etsy tags are limited to 14, so I put my name in the tags in different ways on different pieces.  All I need to do is get people to my shop. Flickr allows up to about 75 tags. I don't know if there are limits to the number of tags on Crafthaus. Just prioritize the order and go for it as fast as you can.

I know that there are lots of online discussions about the best keywords, but I don't think that is as important as putting up a variety of tags. Use your own common sense. How do you describe your work? How do other people describe your work? OK. You got it. Those are your tags!

Now open your photo albums on each social network site and tag away as fast as you can. Make your images into superheroes traveling at the speed of light around the world, and working 24 hours a day.

Harriete

This post was updated on January 19, 2022.


Names, Names, What's in a name?

Bobby-name-pin copy

Can I make a recommendation? Pick one name and stick with it! Recently, a reader asked me if she should change her name....it was rather long with first, middle, and then two last names....first husband, second husband.  Maybe it was serendipity, but a couple of other readers contacted me with similar questions at about the same time.  The concerns run the gamut from worries about whether their names were too long or too short, easy to remember or confusing, easy to spell, too common or absolutely unique. What's in a Name?


Doug-Name-pin-no-backgroundIf by chance you have a common name.
...such as Adam Evans, or Don Low, then try using your middle name permanently for all correspondence.  I decided thirty years ago that Harriete Berman wasn't unique enough, so I started using "Harriete Estel Berman". The fact that my name "Harriete" is spelled a little differently also created some spelling error problems -  and a unique identity - the yin and yang of every name.

 

Irene-Red-Door-Consignment-Gallery-800The primary importance is that your professional identity gets established.  This takes time and consistency.  Every single account for all your social networks, correspondence and email, websites, and your signature should be the same (or at least as similar as possible). It doesn't matter if your name is complicated or uncomplicated, stick with one name.

 

 

 

BrigitteAs another example, I met Mary Anne Enriquez through her photo-sharing group online as "urbanwoodswalker", but there was another email "Waterswirl56", plus her name.  Through months of correspondence, I was confused ...until I realized that this one person had several online identities, five email names, and at least three different names on social networking sites. No wonder I was so confused. If you want to use a more poetic moniker such as Mary Anne, why not go with "Mary Anne Enriquez - the Urban Woods Walker." This develops a much clearer identity, sounds almost like a book already.


TerryMost social networking sites will now allow you to even use your name
instead of a number. Try your best to use one name or a variation of that one name for everything.  Stop switching it around for different sites and social groups. I know sometimes they have a limit on the number of letters, require different formats, or that your name may be taken.  Just do the best you can to create one professional identity.


If I were starting over, I would work for even more consistency in the way I formatted my name. This is why I am writing this post. I am giving you my words of wisdom gained from experience. Learn from my mistakes.

SARA-72For people just starting out and looking to establish their professional identity as an artist or maker, pick one name (possibly including your middle name) and then repeatedly use the same name for your website, email, social networking, and Etsy site. Professionally, I do not recommend selecting cute or fancy names for your "shop" or website.

 

KarenThink about how effective one name is for Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Eileen Fisher, and Vera Wang. Each one of these designers started somewhere small and unknown to develop their identity. You can too.   

 


GlennIf the fashion world doesn't relate to your work,
think Picasso, Modigliani, or Voulkos. One name can carry you through the various phases and development of your work.

Pick one name and try one format as close as you can for all sites, tags, keywords, photo descriptions, exhibitions, and shows. Skip the cutesy shop names and online identities.


Creating an identity for your work and your name is part of your "recipe for success".

Harriete-Estel-Berman-nameHarriete (with an "e" at the end) Estel Berman.
Examples of my professional contacts are below:

Find me on your favorite social network.

Harriete

This post was updated on January 14, 2022.




Learning Digital Skills - What's the best way?

 HBerman_fossilPurpleTan_flowerW
 Fossil Purple April Flower Brooch  with peach, purple, and ocher   © 2010
 Post-consumer recycled tin cans.  Posted in honor of Earth Day.
 Artist: Harriete Estel Berman                   Photo Credit: Emiko Oye 


Lots of people ask me how I learned to work on my own website.  My answer: I (like most everyone) have to learn by doing.  And, yes, it was frustrating at first (for several weeks). But each frustration was overcome and the bits of knowledge began to coalesce into skills and gratification. 

Bnr_120x60-lynda-border To get started, a friend or mentor may be best for some people to learn the basics.  I prefer to just jump into the frying pan and start by learning how to use Dreamweaver using Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning) as my virtual tutor. All of the lynda.com lessons are video tutorials divided into manageable bits mostly two to five minutes in length. Lynda.com let me learn at my own pace at any time of day or night which was very practical in my chaotic schedule. The online instructions could be repeated over and over with no frustration on the instructor's part or I could jump ahead to a new topic or search for solutions to a particular issue.   

It has worked so well for me that I have also learned Photoshop, Illustrator, even Flickr, and Twitter with Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning). 

It is the best method I know of to show you how to increase your software skills. If you are like me, reading instructions from a book to learn how to use software is really difficult (for me almost impossible).

ThreepinBERMAID72GRAdded Benefits   Learning these software skills adds benefits beyond just your website. My newly learned Illustrator skills enabled me to learn how to format documents for a laser cutter when I was experimenting at the TECH Shop. I also jumped over to the Corel Draw tutorials because this software was used to run the laser cutter. On the right, you can see several pins made on the laser cutter from recycled game boards for the Pin Swap at the SNAG Conference. 

Photoshop or Photoshop Elements is essential for editing your photos. The online photo editing applications may be good enough for your family photos, but they don't offer enough tools for professional quality images of your art or craft. You need the flexibility and tools that Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements) offer to fix your photos.

Get the skills you need as a professional artist with Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning) on your home computer. No commute. No driving, no parking, no appointment necessary.

Harriete

This post was updated on January 14, 2022, to provide current links.

HBerman_fossilPurpleTanBACK_flowerW
 (Back View) Fossil Purple April Flower Brooch  with peach, purple,
 © 2010      Post-consumer recycled tin cans in honor of Earth Day.
  Artist: Harriete Estel Berman                   Photo Credit: Emiko Oye 


To be or not to be a FAN on Facebook? That is the question.

Let's talk.  I am one of those people who is outspoken and honest...sometimes too honest, so here it goes.  After I spill my guts...will you tell me your opinion?

I was NOT a "fan" of the Facebook individual "Fan" pages. After I wrote this post they changed it to "Like". 

Have you been "told" this is a great way to promote your work? Why do you have a professional page? Do you ask people to "Fan" or "Like" your page?

Pure, Delicious and Refreshing by Harriete Estel Berman
 Pure, Delicious and Refreshing © 1995
 Recycled tin cans, vintage steel doll
  houses,
 Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
 Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

 

My artwork is so much about my existence that showcasing images of my work on Facebook is sharing part of myself. I am not bragging but sharing my soul. For anyone who knows me, there is no separation between personal and professional.

 

 

Trapped by the Seduction to Domestic Perfection by Harriete Estel Berman
 Trapped by the Seduction to Domestic
 Perfection© 1996
 Recycled tin cans, vintage steel doll
 houses,
 Artist: Harriete Estel Berman 
 Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Nevertheless, asking people to "Like" my work seems to be asking too much. People may like my work or dislike it, but that is their personal opinion. It doesn't seem right or necessary to ask them to publicly announce their allegiance.

Guess this reflects how I feel about viewing anyone's work. Certainly, it is refreshing to meet new people and be introduced to their work, but my reactions are usually multifaceted with mixed impressions on a wide range of thoughts that stream through my head. An assessment is almost always much more complex than a simplistic "like" or "dislike" or, to be or not to be a "Fan." 

 

Ripe and Luscious, Peak of Perfection wall peice by Harriete Estel Berman
Ripe and Luscious, Peak of Perfection
© 1996
Recycled tin cans, vintage steel doll
houses,

Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen
more info

Consequently, I find it unsettling when asked to be a "Fan" of anyone. Both "Fan" or "Like" presume too much. It seems like a thinly veiled request for an endorsement that has not been earned (at least not so quickly).  I'd much prefer more variations on a business page such as interested, entertained, delighted, or learning.

I respect the efforts of people to give visibility for their work to a wider audience.  Exposure is a great idea. Inviting friends and acquaintances to your passion for creativity is quite reasonable. Absolutely, your work is indeed part of who you are.  Share your work on Facebook.

In fact, when I look at an artist's or maker's profile page and if they don't have photo images of their artwork, I wonder who they really are?  I can't imagine people who call themselves artists, makers, or craftspeople not including their artwork as part of their profiles.

 

Reality Studded with Thorns Hides the Front door from the Street by Harriete Estel Berman is constructed from recycled tin cans, and vintage steel dollhouses.
 Reality Studded with Thorns Hides the
 Front Door from the Street ©  1997-98
 Recycled tin cans, vintage steel doll
  houses,

 Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
 Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Nevertheless, asking people to "Like" your work is a social pressure that feels overly simplistic, superficial, and improper etiquette.

To be or not to be...a "Fan"? Like or dislike, is that really the question?

Any alternative responses? What is your opinion?

This post was updated on January 13, 2022.


APRIL FLOWER BROOCH by harriete Estel Berman is made from recycled tin cans. 

APRIL FLOWER BROOCH by harriete Estel Berman is made from recycled tin cans.
APRIL FLOWER BROOCH by harriete Estel Berman is made from recycled tin cans.


Insurance for a trunk show at my house?

Hello Harriete,
A friend has hosted a sale in her apartment for myself and another friend so that the three of us could invite family and acquaintances to share new work and possibly sell some as well.  Our last sale was put together before the holiday season and was surprisingly well attended.  We judged it a success.  We decided to plan for a Valentine's Day sale when we ran into a potential problem.


Jillian_Moore_Par_Lobbe
"Par Lobbe" (brooches) © 2009
composite and epoxy resin, fabricated
copper, paint, dyed cotton cord,
Artist: Jullian Moore
8" x 4" x 2.75" (largest brooch)

Her insurance company wants her to buy an expanded policy, but she believes they are eager to get more money from her. Her rental insurance has all the basic liability coverage--if a stranger or guest were injured in her home or slipped on ice outside, that would be covered.  Also, the landlord has a policy on the home.

We thought of this in the same vein as floating markets, private restaurant clubs, and home galleries that are a current trend because of the poor economy.  Are all of these establishments buying separate policies for private, low-key events?  I had really thought we'd stumbled into something great, and I'd hate for this to be ruined by bureaucratic b.s. but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised if that's the case.

Thank you for all of the hard work you do for all of us!
Jillian Moore

CERF stickerThis is a financially loaded question so I went directly to the expert on insurance, Craig Nutt, the Director of Programs at CERF (Craft Emergency Relief Fund).  He was also a past speaker for SNAG's  Professional Development Seminar with his Insurance Show. (I was the applause lady for his program as you can see in the photo below.) I knew Craig would have the answer to Jullian's questions.

Here is Craig's reply:ApplauseLADY                "CERF is about to release a report on the business survey we conducted with 6 national craft organizations including SNAG.  One of the things that came through like a freight train was the fact that a great many artists mistakenly believe that their homeowner's insurance provides some coverage for their business activity.  We estimate that about 57% of all respondents to the survey are in this category.

CERF A very small number of those surveyed had actually obtained coverage for their home-based businesses through a special endorsement ("rider") on their homeowner's insurance policy. (Many homeowner policies have an allowance for a home office of about $2500, intended to cover a computer, desk, file cabinets … stuff associated with a home office.) 

Dollars in hand Some artists think that they can fly under the radar and avoid insurance issues.  But insurance companies do not care if you have a business license, pay your sales tax, or comply with any of the laws businesses are supposed to obey.  They have a simple test: do you receive money for goods or services, or are you offering goods or services for sale.  If so, you are not covered.  That means no insurance on your tools, supplies, inventory, and in fact, on the building in which your business is conducted.  Also, very important to the person holding the trunk show or hosting a studio tour, no liability insuranceThis means if someone slips on the steps coming to your trunk show, the liability insurance that would cover a casual visitor under normal circumstances is no good.  That is because you are offering goods for sale.

To get a quote on business insurance, artists need to go to companies that specialize in that type of insurance.  Forget about the Allstates, Geikos, etc.  Sure, some agents may not find time for you, because the commissions are not big, but most agents I have met take their calling seriously and are willing to talk to people, regardless of how much money they stand to make.  Ask other artists who have well-run businesses who their agents are.

CERF has information on business insurance at this location on the CERF website. This includes names of companies and organizations that have business insurance plans for artists. Fractured Atlas, an artist service organization, offers a number of targeted plans and is working on a plan for craft artists.

CERF also offers a guidebook on business insurance for artists by clicking here.

CERFstudioPROTECTOR

 

 

 

Also, CERF will soon be consolidating its preparedness and recovery information at:  http://studioprotector.org.   To the left,  you can see the Studio Protector wall guide which every artist should have on the studio wall (and begin putting it into practice). The site has more in-depth information on topics covered in the wall guide.  They are both useful alone but are meant to function together.

Thanks for your support of CERF, and for all you do to promote good business practices to artists!  All my best,

Craig Nutt, Director of Programs
Craft Emergency Relief Fund


Craig's key point is that none of the typical homeowner or renter's insurance policies cover any liabilities during entrepreneurial events such as trunk shows or home sales. Of course, you can choose to not have insurance and take the risk yourself.  That's up to you, but it would be better to investigate the alternatives for business insurance that are available.   

An alternative might be to have a purely social gathering and display your work with no sales.  Then if anyone wants to purchase an item, tell them that any sale would have to be arranged at a later time and different location.    

I hope this answers your question about insurance. Check out the CERF website for more information. 

Harriete

This post was updated on January 8, 2022, to provide current links.


Add your Etsy "mini" to your Facebook?

Would you like to add your Etsy mini to your Facebook?

This was an old option....and I  always am willing to experiment with every opportunity in its time. 

Like many features, it has become dated so I deleted the mini, and the directions in this post, however, I wonder about looking around for some unique opportunities.

Harriete

HotsFRONT72

This post was updated on January 8, 2022.


Web site updates for the New Year

With the New Year, it's time to check a few updates regarding your website.

First, update the copyright date on your website. Usually, this is at the bottom of your main pages. The purpose is to protect your content. In addition, search engines read a current date as an indication of a well-maintained site which improves your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings. Just update the date on every main page with a copyright date. This is easy to do.

The next task for the new year is to start a new email habit. Start using the email address that refers to your website instead of your generic "Gmail", "yahoo" or "mac" account. For example, my address is harriete[at]harrieteestelberman [dot]com. I also have a few other email accounts, but this is the email address that has a clear professional identity for me as an artist. Start now to gradually wean all your email contacts and professional information to your website email. Next time you print business cards and postcards use the email address for your website. Start now to make the transition as inexpensive and painless as possible.

Finally, I had a question from a reader about ALT image tags discussed in a previous post.

Most of us are now using a template site like Squarespace. These sites all provide tutorials for their subscribers. Use them. One of my goals this year is to take a few minutes to update myself with these tutorials.

An important option is the ALT Image tag. It is easy to skip over but the reason for your ALT image description (outside of helping the disabled "read" your site) is that the ALT tags also help with SEO. Search engines can't read or interpret images -- they can only read the image descriptions. Every image on your website offers search engines nothing, nada, zip information unless you add ALT image tags.  With ALT image tags any Internet surfer looking for images can find your work with Google Images.

I love watching video tutorials to help me learn about these Internet nuts and bolts issues in a non-technical way. This video from Google discusses using ALT attributes smartly.  While the video is a few years old the information is still relevant.

Fading Identity a Vanity Seat by Harriete Estel Berman from recycled tin cans.
Fading Identity © 2002
Recycled Tin Cans
Artist:Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Here is an example from my website. Look for the image of this chair on the Identity Chair page by CLICKING HERE. Find the image of the Vanity Seat at the top of the right column, in the first row of four images.

Every page on my website is always ready for review and improvement. When I set up my new website (a couple of years ago) ....I didn't have time to make new pages for every artwork...but as time goes by....each page has been developed more extensively.  This page is ready for a redo with a separate page for each artwork and more descriptive text. for both SEO and viewer information. 

On my website, the ALT tags are essential because my website is mostly images and I decided not to clutter up my main pages with tons of text. Bad news for SEO, but at least so far, I have decided to place aesthetics before SEO. Other websites may make different decisions.

Harriete

  This post was updated on February 5 , 2022.
Fadingid_full
Fadingid_under_600


A New Reality for the New Year

Experiencing a New Reality...on Sunday I listened to an avant-garde cello player that has been successful enough to quit her day job! She isn't playing top forty or mainstream popular music, and yet she pays her mortgage.
ZoeKEATINGmusicThat sounds amazing to me! Her name is Zoe Keating.  Her reality is:

She has no record label, no middleman.

She has 1 million Twitter followers.

Most of her income comes from iTunes.

Her key to success is being herself.

She spends half her time on her marketing.

I will say that last one again. She spends half her time on her marketing. This should be your reality check for the New Year.

I believe the art and craft world is going through a huge transition largely influenced by the Internet. We can see illustrative examples of similar transitions in the music and video world.

The music world used to be primarily influenced by the Top 40 mentality, and the fortress of the record labels.  Record companies enjoyed selling entire albums (with one "hit" song plus filler songs) and dictated what radio stations played over the air.  This structure has diminished substantially with the onset of open-ended possibilities through the Internet and the Long Tail. Musicians are now able to develop a following directly with fans. Music is now sold one song at a time via the Internet, and music stores (unless they are very specialized) are going out of business. Online streaming sites have changed how we listen to music.

The movie business has gone through a similar metamorphosis with most of their revenue based on selling and renting DVDs. The blockbuster film still exists, but the possibility of financial success for smaller relatively obscure films is now a reality largely because of the Internet.

Artists and Makers are just like musicians and small filmmakers. The paternalistic idea of a gallery taking care of you (like a record company or movie studio) is gone (except for the most elite level). The concept of "exclusivity" is difficult, if not impossible, to enforce with the Internet. The big question is how you can use the Internet to your benefit?  I firmly believe that the keys to success are being yourself and spending the time to market yourself through the Internet.

Halfway measures will only get you halfway there.

Authenticity and commitment are paramount.

Hard work and spending half your time on marketing yourself.*

The new year is symbolic of new beginnings. Renew your commitment to your work. Start today by posting your work online with complete titles, descriptions, dimensions, and tags. Make it possible for your audience to find you and your work.

Focus this year on improving your #1 tool on the Internet - your photos!

Harriete

P.S. Sorry if it seems that I am repeating myself and that this has been said before in other posts. Unfortunately, I still see far too many people with incomplete descriptions of their work online and poor quality or even downright bad photos.  AND.......no website.
It drives me nuts! 

You must have a website.  

Instagram is not a website. 
Twitter is not a website.
Pinterest is not a website.
Tic-Tok is not a website.
Facebook is not a website.

Your website is organized and orchestrated to represent your work. Everything..... every other web presence, or social networking is a tool in your toolbox.

Harriete 

*When I say half your time marketing, I am not talking about only being on line.  I am including creating images, working on your web site,  managing your inventory,  and all the other tasks required to create a quality web presence. 

This post was updated on February 5, 2022.


Adventures in Podcasting and Video

One of my goals in 2010 was to teach myself how to create lecture with audio and post them  on YouTube. At this time, it was a far flung technological adventure for an artist to use YouTube for content.  Since then YouTube is a regular content resource for all ages and professions.  Are you using YouTube to create visibility for your art or craft?

Obvob_kiss-copy72
Chocolate Obsession© 2005
Recycled tin cans, sterling silver,
plastic, aluminum foil, brass.
Artist:Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

In the past, I converted some of my past presentations and uploaded the Powerpoints with audio to Youtube. 

To record audio,  I used free software called Audacity.  It has more features than I have even used so far. The only issue is that it is time-consuming to get the voice perfected. Practice and practice, and practice. I am starting to catch on to this recording thing and be comfortable listening to my voice.  

Synchronizing your recorded audio with the images is time-consuming to get it perfect.

A Covid pandemic update is that even Zoom lectures and panel discussions are uploaded to Youtube.   

Video is an effective way to share your art and craft with a larger audience.
If you don't have the opportunity to be part of Craft In America or PBS, there is nothing stopping you from creating your own content using your computer or phone.  

I am living with my flawed efforts to share the information, but don't let your perfectionist tendencies stop you from experimenting. Making mistakes is how you get to practice and improve.  Let me know what you think and how to improve for the next time. 

To update this post, I have added lectures and panel discussions that I have participated in the past few years. 

Craft In American: Jewelry episode



BermanObverse_front
Obverse Obsession © 2005
Chocolate Pot constructed from post
consumer recycled tin cans, sterling
silver, plastic, aluminum foil, brass.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen
 

Obverse Obsession Chocolate Pot by Harriete Estel Berman



California Dream Teapot

Professional Guidelines Introduction

Professional Guidelines; Inventory Records: Documentation and Provenance


Ornament Magazine and Craft Optimism Artist Webinar



Image File Names for Better Search Engine Optimization

The Fabrication Process for Consuming Conversation teacups



Unpacking & Display Checking the Cost of Gun Violence

 

 

The Pencil Symposium - a discussion about the impact of standardized testing on education.




Thanks for listening.

Harriete

 

This post was updated on February 5, 2022, to provide current links.


Mail without an address? Titles, tags and descriptions for Search Engine Optimization.

 

Tzedakah9_2
Tzedakah   © 1999              Collection of The Jewish Museum, New York
Would you mail an envelope without an address? Would you invite a customer over to your studio and not even tell them the city? How about "Come over for lunch," but not give them an address!

Artists and craftspeople are doing this over and over!  I see it all the time. They put their images on Facebook, Crafthaus, or Flickr and don't have a title, description, or keywords with their images.  I have even found images for sale in online marketplace sites such as Etsy with grossly incomplete information. This is like mailing an envelope without a stamp.

TzedakahV1
Tzedakah   © 1999
Recycled Tin Cans
Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen
Collection of The Jewish Museum, New York

The titles (for your art or craft,) full descriptions, and relevant tags for your images are how people find your work on the Internet. Inadequate information is like mailing an envelope without an address.  No one will receive the letter because no one can figure out where it should go. Your images are not working as hard as they could without this information.

 

 

Tzedakah9
 

Every image should have a title, copyright symbol, and date, detailed description including materials,  dimensions, and perhaps a little insight into the inspiration.


Tags are important too.
Your tags should reiterate the information in your title and description. The redundancy between your title, description, and tags are reinforcements for search engines to indicate credible information.  This information is like the address on an envelope.

 

Password Flower Pin by Harriete Estel Bermaneite
  Password Flower Pin © 2012
   Recycled tin cans
  Harriete Estel Berman

Here is an example Flower Pin that I posted on Flickr, Facebook, and Etsy for different audiences. All sites allow a title for the image and a description.  You can reuse this information over and over. You don't have to reinvent the information every time.  Copy and paste, then make changes as necessary for each forum. 

INFORMATION YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TITLES, DESCRIPTIONS, AND TAGS

TITLES are important to keep your inventory straight and for search engine optimization. Watch this 5-minute video for tips on Image File Names for Better Search Engine Optimization.

DESCRIPTIONS vary from site to site.  Flickr will not allow overt selling statements.  Etsy and Facebook will.  I always include materials and dimensions (and frequently include a story about my inspiration) just for interest. Pinterest images will benefit tremendously from an interesting, and complete description of your work.  

TAGS or KEYWORDS repeat the information in the title and description usually in one-word snippets separated by commas. Use as many tags as needed or allowed on the site. Use every tag you can think of for a particular situation. Think about any variation of words that a person might use to find your work in a search.  Try all different possibilities. 

 

CandyLand Flower Pin from recycled tin cans by Harriete Estel BErman
  Candyland Flower Brooch © 2012
  Recycled tin cans,
  Harriete Estel Berman

Here are a few tags on Etsy for this flower pin: jewelry, tin, tin cans, candy, candyland, peach, peppermint, candy canes, Harriete, Harriet, Berman, recycled, steel, eco, green.

PAY ATTENTION to how to add tags effectively.
Some sites need quote marks around multiple word tags to keep the words together as one tag (e.g. "Harriete Estel Berman".)

 

Tz_address_envelope72

Sometimes testing and experimenting are the only way to find out what works, but to habitually not include titles, descriptions, and tags is like making your work invisible on the Internet.  Like an envelope without an address, no one can find your images in search without titles, descriptions, & tags.

Go back to every one of your photos posted on social networking sites and edit your photos as time allows.

Photos of your art or craft should be part of your online profile on every site. Don't just segregate this information to a "Fan page" or online marketing site. Your friends might be your first customers. They love seeing what you do!

P.S. Tags and descriptions on your website are handled a little bit differently than social networking and online marketing sites. Learn more about this in other posts.

In the meantime, send me your questions. I'd like to hear your perspectives and areas of interest.

This post was updated on January 5, 2022, to provide current links.


Effective Pricing for Multiple Marketplaces

Hello Harriete,
I just read your post "Should I link to my Etsy shop on my website?" and I have a follow-up question about one specific point you made. You stressed the importance of keeping the online prices consistent with prices in the galleries. I am always concerned about consistency in pricing from one retail venue to the next but am having trouble because different places that sell my work have different markups. The highest mark-up of my work is 250% (which seems excessively high). The buyer who marks up that much claims that this is a "standard jewelry mark up." This buyer recently saw on my Etsy shop that an item she carries is priced less on my shop because my mark up was a simple 200% mark up. I don't want to ruin the relationship with the buyer by undercutting her prices, but I am concerned that the average shopper through my online shop will be turned off by such an increase in price. Do you have any suggestions? I would very much appreciate hearing your advice.

Your website is a wealth of information. I have enjoyed looking through it and will consult it often.

Thank you in advance for your time and thoughts. Signed, Mark-up Challenged

Commission_structuresGreat Question! I think prices should be the same everywhere if possible… but I realize this is a really thorny issue.

Many stores and galleries do mark up more than 200%.  Some want a 60 /40 ratio (or 60% for the store and 40% for the maker).  Others usually work on a 50/50 ratio.  It all presents a problem.  How to keep your prices consistent?

Dollar-bills-imageWhat is true is that galleries/stores are run as businesses to make profits. They expect to make money! They have planned on their commission ratio and will also try to maintain consistency in their commissions to their artists and makers; but, everything is negotiable. 

Business Relationship  You have a business relationship and it is perfectly acceptable to tell your retail locations your "suggested retail price."  This is the price that you should try to maintain consistently from venue to venue.  The plan is that you are trying to keep your prices the same all over the U.S. to avoid pricing competition or pricing inconsistencies. Explain this to the galleries or stores that sell your work.  However, it is up to the store/gallery to mark it up as they see fit.  If they charge more, it is their responsibility.  Price_tagWith the Internet, it is very easy for the consumer to compare prices.  In addition, people travel quite a bit. The client/collector is likely to notice when one store or gallery charges more than other locations for the same items. 

Other options  As a compromise, you might consider raising your retail prices a speck on Etsy to about 225%.  Another option is to make a somewhat different version or line of work for the brick and mortar locations so that they feel they have a unique body of work to sell.

Pricered-tags Personally, I looked at your work on Etsy and I think is it very well priced.  What you and the galleries are experiencing is the power and impact of the Internet. Galleries and stores used to be the only way to market art and craft.  Now that artists and makers have alternatives for showing work to consumers, i.e. the web, price shopping is as easy as a push of a mouse button. 

One more point.  You should not feel guilty or feel like it is your fault if a store rejects your "suggested retail price."  This could be the gallery's problem, not yours…but too often artists are asked to make the concessions.  This is why I started the Professional Guidelines to establish professional standards so that everyone knows what is reasonable and professional.

Establish what you think is a fair retail price. You can even discuss this with your galleries and stores that carry your work. They know their consumers, but ultimately this is your decision!  If the readers of ASK Harriete have another solution, please let me know or leave your suggestion as a comment.

 

Harriete Estel Berman

This post was updated on January 5, 2022.

 


Should I link to my Etsy shop on my web site?

EricaMILLERearrings
Earrings from Mio Studio
Sterling Silver, Ebony
Artist: Erica Miller

Dear Harriete, I have been reading your blog and your posts and I was wondering if it is a good idea to have a link to my Etsy site on my website.  My website has a shopping cart but I have sold only seven items off the website in two years and over 100 on Etsy in a year.  My galleries also look at my website so Etsy and the website and the gallery prices are all the same.  What do you think? Thank you, Erica

EricaMillerNEVELSONpin
Nevelson Pin from Mio Studio
Wood, Paint
Artist: Erica Miller

Erica,
The answer is a definite "YES."  Links are one of the most powerful aspects of the Internet.  You want to give potential buyers every opportunity to find you.  Etsy is an easily convenient online marketing site that almost anyone can use.  So use it to your maximum advantage. In addition, links between your site and Etsy, back and forth increase SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The more traffic the better. Search engines use traffic as one method to rank your site.

I took a look at your Etsy shop and website and have a few other comments.

On your website, I would recommend a simple sentence like Shop Online Now instead of an Etsy icon or widget EtsyE. These motifs (like an Etsy E) may not be recognizable to all viewers of your site or match the aesthetic design of your web site. 

 



There was another problem with using the Etsy EtsyE on your website. When the page opens, the Etsy "E" was below the edge of my screen, below the "fold" to use a newspaper nomenclature. I didn't even see the Etsy "E" the first time I looked on your site.

When I went to your Etsy site I also noticed that you are not using your full tags or writing complete descriptions on every image. This is very important for SEO. In fact, it is an absolute necessity. Tags and descriptions are how search engines find your work. If search engines can't find you, neither can your customers. You can find helpful information by searching for "SEO" on Etsy's Help Center. Here is a topic to get you started: Shop Improvement and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

 

EricaMilleroriginal photoeTSY Erica Miller necklaceeTSY I also noticed a fabulous necklace in your Etsy shop (left image). I made some adjustments using PhotoShop (right image) by brightening the image and increasing the contrast. When selling your work online, your photos are the primary vehicle you have to sell your work and they are not doing their job unless they are fabulous photos. Learn to use PhotoShop or some other photo editing software.  It is an essential skill in this digital age and necessary for successful marketing.

EricaMILLERwindPENDANTEricaMILLERwindPENDANTimproved
Necklace
Ebony, stainless steel,
Artist: Erica Miller

I also worked on the two photos below, the left image is from your Etsy site. The right image is brightened and I added a speck of contrast. Don't you think it looks better?

 
I learned Photoshop using Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning). It is so easy with their online video tutorials. In the past three years, I learned how to work on my website with Dreamweaver and Illustrator. The money I spent on my subscription has saved me tons of money and time. You can find tutorials online to help learn social networking like Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. 

Hope this information is helpful. There will be no post on Thanksgiving...but wishing everyone a thankful holiday. 

Harriete
CLICK HERE to become my friend on Facebook

This post was updated on January 5, 2022.


Pricing and the Dilemma of discounts, coupons, or reduced prices?

 

TimothyAdamChair
Chairity © 2006
steel
Artist: Timothy Adam

Recently I listened to a program by Timothy Adam of Handmadeology about using the Internet and social networking to give more visibility to your art and craft. He has lots of great ideas and really knows about working the system of online social networking sites. On the other hand, a recent post at Timothy Adam Designs about "Search trends during the holiday shopping season" is very disconcerting as he focuses on discounts, coupons, and free shipping as promotional strategies.

 

TimothyAdam
Living Steel Jewelry Display
steel
Artist: Timothy Adam

I think discounts, sale coupons, holiday sales, etc. have little effect in stimulating a sale of art or craft and instead have a negative impact that adversely erodes your retail prices permanently.  I believe it is a fallacy to think that a buyer who is already considering a purchase of your work will change their mind just because of a small discount or not.  And anyone who wasn't interested in the first place won't care about discount offers whatsoever.  Furthermore, lowering your effective price with discounts or coupons sends a signal that all your work can be discounted and that this lower price is the true market value of your work.  In effect, you are saying that the original retail price was inflated to begin with.[For more information about Discounts read the Professional Guidelines document.]  

It is vitally important that we should not fall into the trap of appearing to be just another mass-produced commodity. The arts and crafts market can not afford and should not adopt discounting and similar pricing strategies that are frequently used in the general consumer market like K-Mart and Macy's.  First of all, don't kid yourself, all of these giant chains double or triple the wholesale price to absorb these discounts.  They have designed their products to be easily mass-produced and cheap.  It may be a great value for the consumer, but it lacks any differentiation from what thousands or millions of other people buy.   

 

PinkDotOrbit_Red72GREEN
Pink Dot Pin
Recycled tin cans
Harriete Estel Berman

Instead, the handmade object should be promoted for its unique attributes or value.  By its very nature, a handmade object is a limited edition or one-of-a-kind object. Ideally, art and craft exhibit skilled craftsmanship, personal attention to detail, and distinctive creativity.  A buyer is attracted to the work because it reflects and reinforces the buyer's desires, self-identity, and expression of character that they wish to show to the world.  It is unlikely that a small shift in price will alter these perceptions.

 

Stimulus-Plan72GREEN
Stimulus Plan Pins © 2009
Recycled tin Cans
Harriete Estel Berman

People who buy from the local artist (whether on Etsy or The Artful Home or at the local crafts festival) are making a decision by their very action. Their purchase creates an identity for themselves.  They may want to know the artist or know the inspiration behind the work.  They may admire this alternative lifestyle and want to participate, even vicariously, just for the afternoon. Every time they wear or use their handmade item, they feel richer for the experience.

 

2Rosesbrac20
Forest Spirit Bracelet © 2009
polymer clay
2 Roses

John Rose from 2 Roses offered this observation:
"We did indeed see a lot of discounting this year. Much of it panic motivated. Anecdotal surveys reinforced that buying volume was equal or above last year for most artists we spoke to. However arbitrary discounting reduced profits. 

This really points to a fundamental lack of product offering flexibility by the artists we spoke to. Instead of adjusting their product offering to offer lower-priced lines and protecting their margins, most simply discounted their regular lines. This is one of those textbook "business 101" mistakes. 

Our reaction to the shift in the economy was to analyze buyer behavior relating to luxury goods and discretionary purchasing. What we found was that there was plenty of buying going on, but shoppers were placing a much higher emphasis on "value". By augmenting our regular priced lines with items manufactured to specifically offer a high value at a lower price point AND maintain normal margins, our sales exceeded last year's in both volume and profit. The introduction of lower-priced lines allowed us to pick up market share and maintain the value perception of our regular-priced lines.
BTW this is a classic Fabrege tactic.

A lot of artists just don't understand how badly they hurt themselves and the entire industry when they resort to arbitrary discounting." END QUOTE

 

Leaves72GREEN
Green Leaves © 2004
Recycled vintage dollhouse
Harriete Estel Berman

Sell the appeal of your work at its full value.  The mass-market chains really can't compete at this level.  

Harriete Estel Berman
Riding the Long Tail on a grand adventure (without discounts.)

Twitter
crafthaus
Flickr
Facebook

LinkedIn

This post was updated on January 5, 2022, to provide current links.


Make a Living Riding the Long Tail - Part 2

AskHarriete72green
There are 
three major insights following the ACC Conference that seemed to be most relevant to making a viable livelihood from your art and craft.  They are:

1) The impact of the Internet and shifting marketing channels,

2) The evolution of "filters" from gallery/curatorial selection to peer review and online search.

3) The need to bring value and commitment to a community.

Now for more depth on Part 2.  The evolution of "filters" from gallery/curatorial selection to peer review and online search continues to accelerate.  But the role of filters has always existed.  Human brains are wired to categorize stuff.  Whether consciously or not, we naturally place things into groups like blue or red, big or little, jewelry or sculpture, even superior craft or mundane. 

Accordingly, gallery owners, curators, editors, etc. have exercised their judgment to bring together groups of selected (implying the best) art and craftwork.  Consumers and collectors have relied upon the time, effort, and expertise of the galleries and exhibitions to filter the most interesting work worthy of special attention.  Ultimately, the audience and buyers exercise their own personal filters to opine what is most interesting or perhaps even decide what to buy. 

The role of filters is not only helpful, filters are essential.  The physical limits of space, proximity to potential visitors, time, and convenience, all force galleries, curators, editors, casual viewers, and buyers to use filters to choose how to expend their limited resources. 

 

1.26.5.AOL72gr
AOL Bracelet © 2007
Recycled tin cans
Harriete Estel Berman
See more bracelets

As mentioned in part 1, the Internet has impacted everything.  Traditionally, the most important value that galleries offered as a "filter" has been as a voice of taste, knowledge, and expertise.  They selected the best merchandise to display in limited show space, shelves, and pedestals.  Retail locations will continue to provide this value, but the Internet extends the virtual display space to near infinity on the Long Tail. 

The online show space has no limits - but buyers still need filters to zero in on the small subset of merchandise that is of interest to them.  The algorithms and parameters of search engines are the new filters.

 

XfactorSimpleLoriPetty-b2
Lori Petty
Illustration by Jose Cruz
X-Factor e blog
Little Known Actors series

In addition, the Internet has spawned online tastemakers like Great Green Goods, Stylehive, Daily Art Muse, and X-Factor E Blog. DailyCandy.com (with 12 city editions) can zoom the popularity of a featured item or business into a supernova in a day. These are the new filters of the Internet world.  Yet, I can't think of even one conventional gallery or art/craft-related site that has extended its online presence to act in this "virtual tastemaker" role.  I don't know why.  Perhaps, like Blockbuster versus Netflix, the people in the traditional "brick and mortar" model are concerned about cannibalizing their gallery marketplace.

Paper_Filters Online filters are adapting with new fluidity and the egalitarian momentum of the Internet. The ease of sharing a link with your friend can launch a funky YouTube video to stardom.  Where will this take art and craft?  Don't really know yet, we're still in the early stages of a huge transition.  Will it be peer reviews, virtual curators, sheer popularity?  Somehow I don't believe it will depend on "friending" or "hearting" your fellow makers.  I do believe that quality, innovation, or provocative content will be recognized on its own merits. 

With the Long Tail, filters are still necessary and will definitely further evolve in the future marketplace.  We will soon take for granted emerging filters that don't yet exist. More effective search technology and improved consumer characterization will help search engines "know what the consumer likes."  Online filters will further enhance the opportunities for artists and makers to connect with potential online customers without traditional intermediaries such as galleries, magazines, and exhibitions.

Search_engines What can you do now?  Help the search engines find you and your work.  Use tags, titles, and descriptions effectively and as much as possible on every site that includes your work. These text elements are the critical hooks for you to communicate with potential buyers in the online world.  Under-utilized tags and descriptions are like having a storefront window in a fantastic high-traffic locale with nothing displayed in the window.  If the shoppers can't "see" what you have, they won't walk in.

Storefront_ copy I consider every one of my online sites a potential storefront.  Does your storefront invite folks in or leave them guessing (or worse, never connecting)?  Learn to work effectively with current and new filters as they emerge. I'd love to hear your ideas and comments either as a comment or privately through the email link below my photo.
Harriete Estel Berman
FIND ME ONLINE riding the long tail like a wild bronco at:
Twitter
crafthaus
Flickr
Facebook

This post was updated on January 5, 2022, to provide current links.


Make a Living Riding the Long Tail - Part 1

AskHarriete72green
There were many insightful and provocative presentations at the 2009 ACC Conference.
  After thinking about all that went on, I want to focus on three major insights that seemed to be most relevant to making a viable livelihood from your art and craft.

1) The impact of the Internet and shifting marketing channels.

2) The evolution of "filters" from gallery/curatorial selection to peer review and online search.

3) The need to bring value and commitment to a community.

This post will focus on the first item.

 

Crash72
Crash Brooch © 2009
Recycled tin cans
Harriete Estel Berman

The Impact of the Internet and shifting marketing channels.
The Internet has demolished the monopoly of the gallery as an exclusive representation system. Anyone (any artist or maker) with a keyboard and a mouse can show their work online to anyone interested in looking. And any collector or buyer can look at art and craft from around the world while simply sitting at a desktop or notebook computer. The Long Tail is indeed very long.

This straightforward fact has dramatically opened opportunities for artists and makers to make a living if they use this channel effectively. The Internet enables a wide variety of opportunities, but no guarantees. New sites come and go. Old sites evolve, some improve and some get stale. My key message here is that artists and makers should utilize these opportunities to enhance their marketing and to increase their potential to sell their work.  If you sit on the sidelines, the opportunities will pass you by. 

 

OnceUponA_Time72
Once Upon a Time  © 2009
Recycled Tin Cans
Harriete Estel Berman

You are in control.  You don't have to hope for a gallery or exhibition to select your work.  You can show any part or all your work on your own website or any number of other sites like Facebook, Etsy, or Flickr.  Or submit your work for a degree of peer review with Crafthaus or The Artful Home, as just two examples.  

But you must be diligent.  The Internet keeps changing in the blink of an eye.  Adjust your mindset to be ready to further adapt and keep an eye out for newer web business models.  Be ready to enjoy something different when it comes along.

More than any time in history, the individual artist and maker can directly reach the consumer market. 

In 2003, I put up the first pages of my website...at the time I thought I was late. How ironic since so many people are still working on getting their websites going, or others with no website at all. In March 2008, after the Professional Development Seminar regarding New Marketing Trends and Web 2.0, I jumped into Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Crafthaus, Etsy, and ObjectFetish/Jewelry.  Quite a few craftspeople questioned me the whole way.

Who knows where it will go, but I know for a fact that each one of these platforms builds on one another.  The HTML that I've learned (teaching myself how to work on my website) now helps me on my blog or social networking sites every day. Every one of these sites links to the others, literally. Tomorrow I am listening to another online class on marketing. There are tons of information out there and lots of it is FREE!  

My lifestyle and livelihood are now linked forever to the 21st-century tools of the Internet. Let's grab the Long Tail and go for the ride. 

Stay tuned for the next two segments in the next few days:

2) the evolution of "filters" from gallery/curatorial selection to peer review/online search; 

3) the need to bring value and commitment to a community.

Then we will get into some practical tips for online marketing.

Harriete Estel Berman

This post was updated on January 5, 2022.


Long Tail - Blockbuster versus Netflix, and the art/craft world.

On October 24, 2009,  I posted a review of the panel discussion at the ACC Conference titled, "Riding the Long Tail: Marketing Craft on the Internet."

That post offered this definition:
Long TailThe "long tail" is a catchphrase about how the Internet enables consumers to easily find and connect with relatively obscure and widely dispersed suppliers. It allows anyone, anywhere, with unusual interests or tastes to find items from the smallest niche suppliers, makers, or manufacturers.  This is in stark contrast to the limitations of a "brick and mortar" store that must restrict its inventory to only relatively popular items and the physical limits of its shelf space. Long_tail_graph

Both Amazon and Netflix are examples of the near limitless inventory available through the Internet.  They can offer an enormous number of products from the most popular down to extremely unusual items.  

Compare Blockbuster to Netflix. They are both in the movie rental business, but Blockbuster built its business model on neighborhood stores renting the most popular ('blockbuster') movies. For years Blockbuster filled its shelves with hundreds of titles.  In contrast, Netflix has no stores and offers tens of thousands of movies and videos (virtually unlimited).  Netflix offers many more choices and has less operating expenses.  Years ago, even Blockbuster recognized that Netflix had a better business model for the long run, but was reluctant to change for fear that they would cannibalize their existing revenue model.  Are they changing too late? Is Blockbuster doomed because it stuck its head in the sand for too long?

 

Fabrication_redsideB
Fabrication                         © 1987-88
Recycled tin cans, brass,
Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

The craft world is experiencing this same issue.  Like Blockbuster, traditional galleries and stores selling craft have the physical limitations of space and real "brick and mortar" expenses.  In contrast, online art and craft websites offer access to an enormous variety of work (i.e. the Long Tail). 

This issue even arises when websites like The Artful Home feature a self-limiting inventory by being more selective.  By acting as a filter for the consumer (i.e. limiting the selection of merchandise available on their site) they run counter to the Long Tail.  Rather than limit the potential inventory, a more effective search engine would enable  customers to zero in on their "likes" and pass over (or rank lower) the consumer's "dislikes."  

The Internet offers an unlimited (or nearly unlimited) selection of merchandise.  In the past, galleries provided the most efficient path for collectors and buyers to find and select work.  It is infeasible for collectors to personally visit studios in search of work.   Galleries provide a centralized concentration of pre-qualified "good" art for collectors to quickly and easily see a range of work.  But it is a limited inventory. The Internet and the ease of search engines have radically changed this situation.

 

Matrlid_full72
Material Identity                      © 2001
Recycled Tin Cans
Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

This unlimited inventory of merchandise will not overwhelm the consumer of the future.  In fact, the consumer of the future will expect the search engine to "know" the consumer's likes and dislikes. With proper search filters and algorithms, the search engine will make "suggestions" based on earlier interactions with the consumer (e.g. the right color, style, theme, and price range).

Think about what YouTube, Amazon, and Pandora all offer the consumer. An almost unlimited selection, but we aren't overwhelmed. We find new ways to use these resources and enjoy the potential. The Internet search engines are offering much of the benefits of filters that the gallery and store once provided to the consumer.

In the next few posts, we can talk about the impact of the internet on the future of galleries and opportunities for selling your work.

Harriete
FIND ME ONLINE riding the long tail at:
Twitter
crafthaus
Flickr
Facebook

This post was updated on January 5, 2022.


ACC Conference: Riding the ‘Long Tail’: Marketing Craft on the Internet

1Namita-Wiggers 2Lisa-Bayne 3Amy-Shaw 4Maria-Thomas

Do you know what the "long tail" is?  The "long tail" is a catchphrase about how the Internet enables consumers to easily find and connect with relatively obscure and widely dispersed suppliers. It allows anyone, anywhere, with unusual interests or tastes to find items from the smallest niche suppliers, makers, or manufacturers.  This is in stark contrast to the limitations of a "brick and mortar" store that must restrict its inventory to only relatively popular items and the physical limits of its shelf space. Long_tail_graph

Both Amazon and Netflix are good examples of the near limitless inventory available through the Internet.  They can offer an enormous number of products from the most popular down to extremely unusual items.  Similarly, art and craft fit perfectly into the "long tail" phenomenon and can leverage the Internet as a highly effective marketing strategy.

This round table discussion, moderated by Namita Wiggers, brought out the range of perspectives regarding marketing on the Internet from professionals in the field. 

1Namita-WiggersBACKGROUND: Namita Wiggers was curator at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon.  

2Lisa-BayneLisa Baye is CEO of the "Artful Home.  The Artful Home website offers a wide spectrum of objects, clothing, jewelry, designer objects all selected by the Artful Home staff.  The Artful Home is one of the rare website marketplaces that use the same commission structure as "brick and mortar" galleries.  Artists who want to be included in one of the seven mail-order catalogs distributed during the year must also be showing work on the website. Revenue is generated by the commission structure, listing fees, and paid advertising.

4Maria-ThomasEtsy is represented by CEO Maria Thomas whose background was primarily in online marketing. In recent years, Etsy has exploded in popularity with participants from D.I.Y. to more seasoned professionals. Etsy presents no barriers to participation.  There is NO registration fee or participation fee for sellers. Sellers agree to pay 20¢ per item for a four-month listing, plus a 3.5% commission on each purchase. There is also a social networking aspect that some makers consider important, but participation at this level is optional.   Additional revenue is generated through paid "showcases" and a limited amount of print advertising. Until very recently Etsy was only about the Internet. 

3Amy-ShawAmy Shaw was the third panelist.  She is a writer, blogger, and independent curator in Brooklyn, New York. "Amy and her husband started Greenjeans as the place where they could put their values and ideas about craftsmanship, sustainability, and conscientious living into action."  This site and the "brick and mortar" location were a "business concept rather than a business plan" so they are no longer in operation. The blog is closed.

2.0panel
Panelists for the "Long Tail" Round Table discussion       ACC Conference
Photo Credit: Harriete Estel Berman

Namita Wiggers asked questions of the panelists, but most of the panel discussion was focused on the difference between Artful Home and Etsy.  Artful Home represents a combination of old and new business models but its fees and marketing is definitely based more traditionally requiring payment upfront for review and participation, selection of work by a jury review, 50/50 commission structure, and a printed catalog.  Etsy allows everyone to participate for free, there is no review, and the low commission is offset by millions of items listed 20¢ at a time.

Both Artful Home and Etsy are successful online marketing sites.  Both promote the story of the handmade object and the lifestyle/livelihood of the artist to sell their items. (This reinforced the message from the previous conference speaker, Rob Walker.) 

Contrast the business models by reviewing the chart below to understand the major differences.

                Artful Home                  Etsy

selection     juried by staff           open to anyone

review fee   one time $35           free

items           portfolio page          artist's shop
                        one of kind               one of kind
                       production           production

listing fee            $300/yr.          20¢ per listing 4 mo.
                       or $25/mo.   

commission              50%           3.5%

price             $100 and up           $6 and up
range

posting                  artist             artist

photos                   artist             artist

payment             30 days             prior to shipping 

catalog       7 times a year           none

Artful Home clearly established that it is a "quality filter" for the consumer which it says is a benefit to both the consumer and the seller. There was no discussion about how they justified such high commission fees (a fee structure that is highly unusual among Internet sites).

 

AOLyelor.72
AOL Earrings
Recycled tin cans
Harriete Estel Berman

Etsy CEO Maria Thomas suggested that the Treasury and Favorites categories on Etsy play a role as "filters" but I think that is an overstatement or a very low hurdle. Both the Treasury and Favorites have social networking aspects on Etsy along with "heart-ing" your friends.  The contribution to Etsy from the various revenue streams was not clearly discussed either.  I've heard that commission revenue is not significant and is far outweighed by the millions of listings at 20¢ each - that is a lot of money.

Amy Shaw was relatively unknown to this audience and her credibility was never clearly established. We did not hear why she was considered so influential. Her comments were knowledgeable but did not add much content to the conversation.

SUMMARY: There were several key issues raised which all merit further discussion. These include the roles of "filters" either with online search technology, peer review, jury or curatorial selection, or the role of galleries. Additional issues involved the idea of multiple craft communities, participation without judgment, the importance of social networking, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook to generate visibility. 

I wish that there was more time to discuss these topics in depth. After these blog posts about the Conference are complete, I will discuss these important business issues in future posts.

 

BraceletHB
JAPANESE MEDALLION COMPLEX
Bracelet, in gold and orange
Recycled tin cans
Harriete Estel Berman

WHAT QUESTIONS WERE ASKED AND ANSWERED?
The Q & A session was postponed.  They just ran out of time.

WHAT DID I LEARN? I learned more about Artful Home because I researched it before the Conference and sat with Lisa Baynes, CEO of Artful Home at lunch.  I would like to see some evidence that Etsy could effectively serve segments other than the low-priced end of the craft market.

LIFESTYLE OR LIVELIHOOD? It still seems that most artists can not make a living from selling their work either online or in the established craft world. Our lifestyle is romanticized, making a livelihood is more like an aspirational goal.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Emiko
Emiko Oye
terra black 1 x 4 bracelet
legos, peridot set in 14k gold,
rubber stretch cord. 1.25" tall

Read the book
Long Tail, The, Revised and Updated Edition: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More. It is absolutely essential reading if you want to understand the potential for Internet marketing.

 

This post was updated on January 3, 2022.


ACC Conference - Day Two, A Race with Time

Saturday, Day Two to the ACC Conference.

The content of the Conference has been rather intense -- for a blogger, totally overwhelming. Last night I managed to do the first three lectures, the rest will have to wait. This has truly been a race with time.

RaceWithTime
A Race with Time
Recycled tin cans
Harriete Estel Berman

Today is the big day, the lecture that I have been waiting for... Rob Walker is about to begin!

Stay tuned for more insights and more information about 2.0 marketing.

 

 

This post was updated on January 3, 2022.


Online Marketing Tips: Gallery + Artist Collaboration and Affiliate Commissions

Matrlid_backcu72

When starting my website in 2003, I was concerned, "What will my galleries think?"  I was a bit afraid of stepping on their bailiwick.  But I was also thinking, "Why am I working so hard to develop my website to market my work online?  Isn't that the gallery's job?  Isn't that a major part of why they earn their 50% commission?  Now I'm taking responsibility for a significant portion of the marketing and promotion of my work in addition to the concept development, creation, and fabrication."

PenguinScallop72
Black and White Identity Earrings
Recycled tin cans, sterling silver wires
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman

The Internet enables any artist or maker to accomplish a key marketing task, i.e. publish and distribute a "virtual portfolio." And almost anyone, especially buyers, can find and peruse an artist's website with relatively little effort. Like it or not, the time is past when galleries were the only practical way for clients to find artists and makers. 

 

The Internet has dramatically changed the dynamics of the relationships between the artist, gallery, and buyer.   In previous posts, I have discussed how galleries will continue to provide unique capabilities and play a vital role in the art business community.  But it is time to recognize that the economic relationships between galleries and artists must adapt as well

 

ChinLetter72
Chinese Lettering Earrings
Recycled tin cans, sterling silver wires
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman

 

 

Why change?  Because everyone benefits.   A web of links is more effective in marketing, promoting, and ultimately attracting buyers.  If buyers find what they are looking for by clicking through from one website to another, then each contributing website should be rewarded.  The monetary incentives should encourage such links. 

 

PepsiColaWomen72
Pepsi Women Earrings
Recycled tin cans, sterling silver wires
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman

Artists and galleries mutually benefit from a synergistic relationship. The gallery and the artist need to link together in every possible way.  The mutual benefit is that buyers are more likely to find the work that they will purchase. But realistically, if both parties are working to attract buyers through their respective Internet marketing and promotional efforts, how should the commissions be divided?  The incentives for greater collaboration need to adapt to this new reality.  

Next Tuesday this discussion will continue with Part 2. Online Marketing: Gallery and Artist Collaboration- Considering Affiliate Links with four possible scenarios for compensation when establishing affiliate links. 

NutritionFactsGreenChk72

Nutrition  Earrings (green edge w/check)

Recycled tin cans, sterling silver wires
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman

 

 

What do you think? I'd like to hear your opinion about this discussion. Either leave a comment or email me directly by CLICKING HERE.

Harriete


This post was updated on December 28, 2021.


The artist / gallery relationship - Does one size fit all?

 

Gallery

Traditionally the artist/gallery relationship has been clearly delineated.   The artist made the artwork or craft. The gallery took responsibility for all marketing and sales.  This model is simple and the two domains are served by different skills and expertise.  In effect, however, it is a one-size-fits-all scenario. 

The reality is that business models can be much more complex and apply a range of skills and expertise to varying degrees.   Some artists are in fact quite adept at marketing and sales.  Some galleries are better than others in taking advantage of new technologies and resources and addressing shifting consumer sentiments.  

 

This is not a new discussion.  Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, manufacturers have chosen whether to sell direct or to sell through distributors and retail channels.  Kelloggs

In many examples, manufacturers focused on making products; and let their retailers focus on marketing and sales.  Kellogg's sells cereal through grocery stores.  Tylenol sells pills through drug stores and convenience stores.  Neither sells directly from the factory.

 

Dell


At the opposite extreme, Dell and Apple decided to cut out the middle man because they thought they could do it better.  And both are extremely successful. The irony is that Apple created its own retail outlets through Apple stores and Dell has no retail outlets at all.

Apple

And there are many variations. 

Here is a hybrid model.  Cell phones are sold through service provider outlets like Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T.  In addition to their stores, they also sell through other retail channels like Best Buy and Radio Shack, and many retail websites.

Some clothing manufactures are selling directly from their websites, some aren't.  Some, like Lands End, do both.

Kohler (a well-known plumbing fixtures manufacturer) doesn't sell from their factory, but they sell one line of lower-priced products through Home Depot and a premium line to their more exclusive retail outlets.  Most people don't realize the distinction between the two product lines until they study the products carefully or talk to a plumber.

Many different business models are quite effective in the marketplace.  Who is right?  The real point is that a variety of business models can be effective, i.e. the business model is not sacrosanct.  There is a spectrum of possible models and they all can succeed or fail for reasons beyond the business model.

One model does not fit all situations.  The 50% commission (or 50/50 artist/gallery) model has been around a long time.  I think it is time to reconsider and create some new business models.   I am not saying that the 50/50 model is bad, but it is not ideal for all scenarios.

How and when would some variation of other business models work?  In what situations would another business model be more effective?

What do you think?  Are you marketing your work online independently?  How do you or would you coordinate your marketing with a gallery?  Share your ideas about the changing artist/gallery relationship.  I'm going to continue this discussion in a series of upcoming posts.

Harriete

This post was updated on December 28, 2021.


Online Marketing Tips - Galleries and Virtual Galleries

Online marketing is here to stay and will only expand its impact in the future.  Increasingly, potential buyers will explore online "virtual galleries" before going to a show or visiting a town to decide how and what to see with their time and energy.  Gallery and artist websites need to adapt to this trend and to the growing role of virtual galleries.

 

HarrieteBerman1
"Your Not Just for" Lifesaver Bracelet
Recycled tin cans, 10k gold rivets
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen
Previously shown at Mobilia Gallery

Virtual galleries and physical galleries each have distinct advantages and disadvantages.  They should be synergistic.  They are both under the control of the gallery owner.  However, it seems that most galleries currently limit the number of images on their "virtual gallery" websites.  The reasons may vary but often are along the lines of trying to encourage online visitors to walk into the gallery to see and experience more work at the gallery in person.  I fully agree that most buyers indeed want to see the work personally before purchasing.  This is only one reason why physical galleries will continue to fulfill a unique role in the art and craft community.  Galleries offer the thrill of shopping, viewing, and maybe even touching the work, in person. 

Opportunities lost.  My personal opinion is that the Internet offers an amazingly effective outreach to the widest possible audience.   Any buyer who is mildly interested in a piece may be stimulated into visiting the gallery by finding and seeing an image online first.  But if they can't find it online, why visit at all?  An Internet-surfing shopper is LESS likely to visit a gallery if the website does not show an image that interests them.  Instead, the virtual gallery should give the surfing shopper every opportunity to find an image that will cause them to visit the physical gallery. 

 

BR3-3-07_cu
"Your Not Just" Lifesaver Bracelet (close-up)
Recycled tin cans, 10k gold rivets
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen
Previously shown at Mobilia Gallery

ALL work should be exhibited online.  This should become the new standard for every gallery, show, and exhibition.  With this approach, the gallery's website can also function as a catalog without the expense and environmental impact of printing.  This web page can remain indefinitely as an archive for future reference.

Within a gallery's website, each artist represented by the gallery should have a whole page (or preferably pages) dedicated to the artist's portfolio and profile. Every exhibition at the gallery should have internal links from the artist's name and work in that particular show to the artist's portfolio page. 

The gallery should also link to the artist's website.  While linking to the artist's website may seem counter-intuitive to the gallery, they can not prevent people from taking five more seconds on their own for a search on the artist and finding the artist's website.  The link to the artist's website is another way that the gallery provides a service to the client. 

 

BR3-3-07b_cu
"Your Not Just" Lifesaver Bracelet (close-up)
Recycled tin cans, 10k gold rivets
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen
Previously shown at Mobilia Gallery

It's a two-way street.  Artists should link to galleries and any shows or exhibitions that include their work. The Internet is a web of information and the best way to attract buyers is to give them every opportunity and every possible path to find you. 

The artist/gallery relationship is evolving into a new paradigm.  Buyers are using the Internet to choose how they will spend their time and money.  Consequently, both the gallery and the artist need to adapt to take advantage of this new reality.   

What do you think? I'd like to hear your opinion about this new idea.  Either leave a comment or email me directly by CLICKING HERE.

Harriete

This post was updated on December 27, 2021.


Online Marketing - Gallery and Artist Collaboration

 

 

 

Galleries have traditionally been the primary conduit for buyers to find quality art and craft. The galleries were responsible for marketing and promotion as well as supporting a physical retail space to show art and craft. Artists and makers typically felt ill at ease in such marketing efforts (with the exception of wholesale/retail shows) and preferred to devote their time to the studio.

The Internet has changed the equation - permanently. 

MIRRORculadies72
Identity Complex Mirror          2002-2004
Recycled tin cans.
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

One of the new realities is that artists and makers CAN market and promote their work via the Internet without gallery representation.  Potential buyers CAN find artists and makers without gallery vetting. The days are past when clients can only find an artist exclusively through a gallery. 

However, in an age of information overload, galleries still offer authoritative credibility regarding the merit of represented work.  For the client, galleries also offer expert guidance, appraisals, and insight well beyond the mere display space for viewing.  For the artist and maker, galleries offer skilled promotion and reliable sales support.

 

MIRRORfull72
Identity Complex Mirror          2002-2004
Recycled tin cans.
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

But the Internet is a multi-lane highway connecting many destinations. So here is a radical idea . . .  Artists and galleries need to work together in their marketing efforts.

Huge opportunities are lost when galleries and artists don't act as a team to fully benefit from their respective resources.

Artists need to have their own websites for credibility and visibility. Galleries need to use the Internet more effectively to showcase all the work for which they are responsible. An exhibition should no longer be presented to the public as one image on a postcard or one page on a website. With minimal expense, the entire exhibition can be posted as an online catalog of the show.

Galleries and artists can both be more effective with online marketing.  Improved SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one goal, i.e. a bigger "web" of links (more links earn a higher rating).  SEO can drive more traffic to the websites of both the gallery and the artist. 

 

Galleries can benefit by linking to all artists' inventory and exhibition pages.   Artists should email and post on their websites any relevant gallery link such as upcoming events, openings, exhibitions, juried shows, etc.  

Likewise, artists can benefit by helping galleries link to any new resources such as newspaper reviews, magazine articles, open studios, or selection into books.

Idmirrch  
Identity Complex Mirror          2002-2004
Recycled tin cans.
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

 

 

Both parties need to trust that purchases generated as a result of either website will be positive and boost credibility, visibility, and revenue.

 

If a customer arrives at my site via the gallery's website and purchases work from my site, hopefully, we can work out the appropriate commission for the gallery. 

 

Commission strategies need to be reconsidered.  This is an area that needs a lot more discussion.  For example, the websites for both the gallery and the artist could set up affiliate links that pay commissions in both directions.  There are many other mutually rewarding scenarios that encourage ongoing collaboration.  We need to adapt to a new future. 

Yes, there are areas of overlap that will need negotiation. But realistically, was there ever a time without issues to discuss?  I expect to revisit this topic in the near future.

Like it or not, the multi-lane highway of the Internet is going to get bigger and better.  A collaborative effort can be mutually beneficial.

Do you have any ideas or comments?

Harriete

This post was updated on December 27, 2021.


Online Marketing Tips: Gallery Websites and Internal Links

3Mmback-72
3M & m Candy Dispenser    (back view)
Recycled tin cans, candy
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

The Internet provides a powerful new way for galleries to engage potential buyers.  And most galleries nowadays do have beautiful graphics and images on their websites.  However, some sites are not yet taking full advantage of the interactive capabilities to enhance the client's experience

3Mm.72jpg
3M & m Candy Dispenser    (front view)
Recycled tin cans, candy
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

A website enables a gallery to be showing and promoting their entire inventory 24 hours a day around the world in beautiful full color.  The website (like a full-time digital assistant) should help the visitor enjoy themselves nearly as well as a walk-in visitor to the gallery itself.  The website is not just a place to publish static text announcements and pictures.  It is a dynamic medium that can and should be able to help visitors easily cross-reference the artists' profiles, statements, and artwork along with the variety of events and other content that is unique to each gallery. 

Here are a couple of easy recommendations from my personal experience.

 

Internal Links   On a number of different gallery websites, I've noticed the same problem. For upcoming gallery shows, the website announces the show and lists the exhibiting artists' names, but does not enable internal links to the participating artists' pages and images within the gallery's own website.  Each artist's name on the website could have been a hyperlink taking the visitor directly to images of the artist's work already at the gallery.  The lack of internal links forces the visitor to stop, look around, and attempt to figure out how to navigate around the website for additional information.  If visitors get frustrated, they leave.  Consequently, both the gallery and the artist may have lost potential buyers.  Internal links also enhance SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which is very beneficial to any website.

 

3MmBACKCUTedge100
3M & m Candy Dispenser (close-up view)
Recycled tin cans, candy
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

 


 

Hyperlink Anchors   A long page of content on a single web page is a common occurrence on many websites.   If a visitor must scroll down an extensive page to find multiple artists or exhibitions further down a web page, then I recommend that some hyperlink anchors should be inserted at important subsections . . . and a small navigation list of these subsections (similar to a table of contents) should be shown at the top of the page.  This helps a visitor who is unfamiliar with the website to see what is further down and "jump" directly to an item of content.  The purpose is to empower visitors to follow their interests as easily as possible. 

These are two very useful and easy features to implement that can make a gallery website more enjoyable for visitors - and more profitable for both the gallery and the artist.  Artists can be advocates by providing amazing images and giving constructive feedback to galleries regarding ease of navigating around the gallery website.

Galleries continue to offer real benefits for clients by selecting and displaying work of merit from represented artists and makers.  Additional guidance, appraisals, and insights can be achieved through direct contact.   The overall value still revolves around the client relationship, even if a part of that relationship is now an online reality. 

             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Harriete

This post was updated on December 27, 2021.


Online Marketing Tips: Easy Links Directly to Your Content

TenenbaumJWhose Woods These Are 200905281_0
"Whose Woods These Are"
Joan Tenenbaum
Photo: Doug Yaple

Recently Joan Tenenbaum emailed a link to me regarding her upcoming exhibition at Stonington Gallery in Seattle, WA.  Using email and links to specific online content is a very effective way to promote your work to a large audience.  This is also a good example of cooperative marketing between the artist and gallery – and both benefit.  So far, so good, but after following the links and instructions in the email, I would like to offer some constructive suggestions to both the artist and to the gallery.  The rest of this post will focus on suggestions for every artist.  Suggestions for effective links on the gallery website will be the focus of a subsequent post.

The Plan   In her email, the artist, Joan Tenenbaum only included the link to the gallery's Home page along with instructions to look around the site for the Calendar of Events page to find her work.  Seems innocent enough.

The Reality   As the recipient of these instructions, I reread the instructions, clicked on the link, and had to look around the Home page to find and click on the Calendar of Events link, and look around the new page (and not see Joan's work anywhere, take a deep breath to quell my mild frustration and uncertainty, only to eventually realize I had to scroll down for more content, still not see Joan's jewelry, scroll some more, and some more), and finally find Joan's segment announcing her exhibition.  I briefly enjoyed a small sense of victory from my excursion into cyberspace and discovery of Joan's content in this labyrinth.  

Admittedly, all this took less than 60 seconds.  Not really so bad, but on a typically hectic day, I and perhaps most other people would easily have given up and moved on to the next email.   This was asking too much for the casual reader and brought this post's topic to mind. 

An online link should take the viewer directly to the target content....not nearby, not the general area, nor with additional instructions to follow. In a successful online marketing campaign, you want to avoid any possible misinterpretation, mistakes, or inattention.  Help people get to the exact location immediately with ONE CLICK.

It is not a difficult task and here is HOW TO LINK DIRECTLY.

The exact URL link to Joan Tenenbaum's inventory photos looked something like this:
http://www.stoningtongallery.com/exhibit_view.php?exhibit_number=65&exhibit_title=JOAN%20TENENBAUM:%20FIFTY%20YEARS%20OF%20JEWELRY%20MAKING,%20THE%20DEPTH%20AND%20BREADTH%20OF%20A%20FIFTY%20YEAR%20PASSION

Wow!  That looks really long and scary, but there are some easy options for including the appropriate link in your web correspondence. 

The first option    I noticed that Joan's email was an HTML email (such as Outlook or Outlook Express.) which allows a user to create a link in the email as a hyperlink text LIKE THIS . To do this, use the "hyperlink" button on your HTML email toolbar (it looks like a small chain with an image of the world behind it).  Click on the button, put in the text you want to use, or highlight as the link. In this example, I typed in "LIKE THIS".  Then in the next box add the hyperlink URL (the long, scary character string) which will be hidden in the actual email.  If you do this one time you will know how to do it forever, and it is super easy to do.

The second option    Go to Tinyurl.com and make your own hyperlink to the target content.  I created this one  https://tinyurl.com/m8oa8r8 for Joan quick and easy.  Anyone can do this for free.  When you are on the Tinyurl.com site, paste in the long hyperlink text. Then CLICK the button that says "Make a TinyURL",  and voila, a short and tiny URL is ready in an instant.  Yes, really that quick!

Many people are sending emails without direct link addresses. It is really frustrating, looking all over a site, trying to find the appropriate path to some specific image or content, move to another page, go back, try another path . . . sometimes I get interrupted or just don't have time and then I forget to go back and look around. 

Hopefully, everyone can now help their audience click directly to target images or content.  This can surely improve your marketing effectiveness.

If you have any ideas or questions for ASK Harriete,  just write to me any time! Just CLICK on the Email link here or at the top of this post under my photo.

Harriete

This post was updated on December 27, 2021, to provide current links.


Listen to Harriete on Blog Talk Radio

Harriete self portrait slight smile copy.72
Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Aryn Shelander

I recently jumped in with both feet into a new technology on the internet - Blog Talk Radio.

The program with Jay Whaley is regularly scheduled for Thursday afternoons.  I was interviewed "live" on Thursday, August 6, 2009.  You can listen to past interviews at any time via streaming audio or download the program to listen while you walk or exercise.

If you'd like to hear a fast-moving interview about my work, the Professional Guidelines, and more, go to Blog Talk Radio with Jay Whaley.

 

This post was updated on December 23, 2021.


Email annoucements - Are yours effective and professional?

 

SAMPLE-ANNOUCEMENT-COMBINED
Sample postcard announcement
Front and Back are combined

In this day of modern technology, it is acceptable to send an announcement by email. This can save money on printing and postage, and save trees. It is common for many people to have a larger list of email contacts than traditional mailing addresses. So sending out an announcement via email is definitely the way to go.  But far too many artists are making errors, I mean HUGE ERRORS, in the way they approach sending out email announcements.

DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING:

DO NOT send an email with no text and only an attachment. Create an abridged version of the information and personal note in the body of the email. If you don't introduce yourself with a friendly note about who you are and the basic information included in the attachment, many people are not going to open an unknown attachment due to fear of viruses or spam.

Do not simply send two images of a scanned postcard (one of the front, one of the back).  Instead, take full advantage of Photoshop (or another image editing program) and create a special internet version of your announcement with images and the information. This one item can be sent as an attachment. 

Try to make your email attachment as small as possible. Try not to send larger than 1 MB or 2 MB images. The best option and most professional is to send your attachment as a PDF.  PDF automatically compresses the file size of the attachment.  Most important, PDFs do not carry viruses and are safe to open. Your intended recipient will feel much more comfortable opening a PDF attachment.

I couldn't add the PDF to this blog, but a high-quality PDF with images was slightly over 1 MB which is acceptable.

If you can't create a PDF, pay attention to the attachment file size.  As an example, I took an old announcement postcard, scanned both sides, and combined them as one image (see example image above).   As a TIF at 300 dpi, it was 23MB (which is too big).  When reduced to 72dpi and 8" x 10" it was 1.16 MB.  As a JPG at 72dpi using the SAVE FOR WEB option and compressed to 80%, it was 171KB.  A small file is a very courteous option to send as an email.

TEST YOUR EMAIL FIRST before sending it out to your entire mailing list. Do a few tests to yourself first, then to close friends or relatives. Ask them in advance how the email looks when it arrives in their mailbox with their specific computer or email program. Make sure it is working, especially if you are new at using a newsletter template or HTML EMAIL.

Harriete

This post was updated on December 23, 2021.
 


Always include the CITY & STATE in an invitation to an event.

OnceUponA_Time72
For twenty years,  I've noticed a chronic problem as people market their work on the Internet. They seem to forget that the Internet is a worldwide audience.  Here is one issue that is almost too obvious.

Invitations to an event should always include the CITY and STATE!

You would not believe how many email invitations never mention a city.  I am sure this must be happening everywhere. If your announcement is an invitation to an event, be sure to include this strategic information. 

As an example, in 2009 I was corresponding with a museum in Delaware County.  I had visions of the Chesapeake Bay and a short drive for people from Baltimore or Philadelphia.  Eventually, I realized that they were in Indiana!  Mental reset! 

In all Internet announcements for exhibitions, shows, lectures, Zoom, and more, don't forget to show the city, state or province, where the event is located.  Location and/or time zone is important.

Depending on how wide your email list extends, you might even ADD THE COUNTRY (e.g. Paris FRANCE versus Paris, Texas).  

Marketing on the Internet connects you to a global audience.  Be sure to provide all the relevant information to communicate with this audience effectively.

Harriete
RaceWithTimeFV72

This post was updated on January 6, 2022. 


Get your own name on Facebook now!

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Did you know that you can get your own name on Facebook?  Do it now! This is a fast and easy step for creating an identity and visibility for your artwork and your name.

For my original Facebook account, I was assigned some random number as my identity.  Now, my Facebook address is   http://www.facebook.com/harriete.estel.berman/   No longer am I an anonymous number.  Facebook is one of the LARGEST photo-sharing sites on the Internet. And it is free. It is also easy to keep your Facebook page completely professional. There are many choices regarding how you share your personal or professional information.  This is a very convenient way to introduce your art or craft to a wide audience.

C Harriete-Estel-Berman-Yellow-transhoose your "NAME" carefully.  If you have a common first or last name, use your middle initial or your middle name (like I did).  A second option would be to add a number, but I recommend that you try to make your name more unique with a middle name or middle family name rather than a number.  It just doesn't seem all that unique or memorable to be Adam.Evan523. Although, you can change the URL later, keep in mind that once it is changed the old link will no longer work. Pick a URL that will be happy with for a long time.

To find out how to get your own name on Facebook CLICK here. 

You never know who might be looking for you online; a customer, a curator, or an author doing research for an article.  Get online and increase the visibility of your art in every way you can.

Harriete

This post was updated on January 9, 2022 to provide current links and updated images.


Uploading Images to Social Networking Sites: What size is recommended?

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When it comes to uploading images to Social Networking sites for online viewing, you want to keep a couple of important factors in mind.

  • Image size for optimal online viewing.
  • Some sites impose a size limit.  
  • Check to make sure your digital images show up properly.
  • Horizontal, profile, or landscape? 
  • Take full advantage of tags and descriptions for each image.

Consuming Identity Chair with UPC Code tins and fabric about creating identity.I've found that file size in the range of one megabyte (1Mb) or less is a practical size for nearly all social networking sites. When you upload an image,  most online sites will automatically downsize the digital image file to fit their template for thumbnail images.  

Not too small!  Most sites these days have a minimum size. If you image is too small it will be rejected. 

I've also heard of people intentionally uploading small images out of fear that their work may be copied.  Frankly, my advice is to "get over it."  Move on.  Keep developing your portfolio with skill and artistic vision amplified by hard work.  A copycat, if one ever occurs, will be found out soon enough.  The recurring benefits of larger images far outweigh the small chance of abuse.   

Not too big!  Don't upload an image file that is too large either.  Many people have high-speed connections, even on their phones, but very large image files (e.g. 3MB and larger) may take such a long time to render on the viewer's monitor that they stop and go elsewhere. 

Consuming Identity Chair by Harriete Estel Berman from recycled tin cans.Always try a test viewing of your online images as if you were a potential curator or buyer visiting the site.  If it doesn't show up the way you expected, figure out why, delete the image and re-upload a corrected image file.

Horizontal, profile, or landscape  Each site seems to have a preference for horizontal, profile(vertical), or landscape (horizontal).  It reflects poorly on your artistic eye if your image is cut off. Crop or size your images for each site. You have no choice if you want your images to look great. I often create square, vertical and landscape-shaped images for every artwork.

Look on ASK Harriete for blog tips on tags and descriptions to get the most out of uploaded images. Read the previous blog about image labels.

Consuming Identity Chair by Harriete Estel Berman from recycled tin cans.  neit

Harriete

This post was updated on December 23, 2021.


Image labels generate Internet visibility.

 

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Stimulus Plan Pins
Recycled tin cans, ss rivets
Previously shown at Sienna Gallery

Your photographic images can be working for you across the Internet at the speed of light, 24 hours a day.  So as you "sign up" and upload your images with various social networking and portfolio sites, take the time to label your images for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to maximize potential traffic.  Proper titles, labels, and descriptions help search engines find your work. 

BASIC INFORMATION:  Every image that you post on the Internet, whether on Facebook, Crafthaus, Flickr, or other social networking/portfolio sites, needs to be labeled with the following information:

  • Artist's name
  • Title of the work
  • Copyright symbol
  • Date of work
  • Media or materials
  • Dimensions (height, width, depth)
  • Helpful other tags (if possible)

Some sites make it easier than others to incorporate this information.  Each site might need to be labeled in a slightly different way, but a little effort can attract a lot more traffic.

WarmSunshine72
Sunshine Pin
Recycled tin cans, ss rivets
Previously shown at Sienna Gallery

Help people find your work.  Although most people are familiar with searching, there may be enormous variations in how they initiate a search; whether by artist name, the title, a rough description, the materials, date, etc.  Let this influence your approach to labeling when uploading images. 

Create a variety of ways for search engines to "hit" your work.   For example, in the "Title" box for labeling photos, I first type in the title of the work and then add my name and date of work within the "title" box.  That way if people are searching the "titles" category for my name, they will find my work.

The same goes for the "Description" box.  Type in all the relevant information about your work in the "description" including your name (again) and other relevant search terms for your work.   

One more suggestion is to spell your name in the tags in a variety of ways if your name is often misspelled.  For example, my first name is "Harriete."  There are several common variations such as "Harriet" (no E at the end) and "Harriette" (with 2 t's.)  My middle name is "Estel," but it is often written as "Estelle."  Don't think I'm crazy. Even if someone misspells my name, I want them to find my work.  Isn't that your goal?  Think about how people regularly misspell your name and use it in your tags.

Time for visibility.  I know that labeling is a bit tedious, especially if you are uploading multiple images.  One time-saver is to compose much of the information in a Word document and then "copy" and "paste" to alleviate some repetition. I use my image descriptions document for just this purpose and a special Word document of "tags" to speed up the process.

Keep in mind that search engines can't "see" an image and can only search on the words that you type into these tags and boxes.  The payoff, thereafter, is that the labels will be working for you tirelessly across the Internet for a very long time.     

Harriete Estel Berman

 
P.S.   All of these recommendations depend on having great photographic images and understanding digital images. The Professional Guidelines has a new document titled Working with Digital Images Effectively. Use this document as a checklist or guide. If you don't know how to work with digital images, take a class at your local high school or college offering adult education classes. Also, LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com)  offers a really amazing website with tutorials as a subscription. Knowing how to work with digital images effectively is a skill that every artist and craftsperson needs to learn and master. It is as important a tool as your paintbrush, potter's wheel, glaze, or drill press.

This post was updated on December 22, 2021, to provide current links.


Do not add text to your photos!

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Your photos are your best marketing tool.
  Unfortunately, some artists have stepped over the line and added their name or their business name into the photo. This distracts from the primary purpose of your photo which is to show your artwork or craft at its best.  Anything else is a distraction and lends a commercial appearance that is inappropriate for fine art or fine craft.  All other information can be added elsewhere, just not in the photo. (Information for your photos will be covered in the next post.)

HB61-9252Do not add data to your photos.  Do not add your signature, date, object's title, artist's name, company name, business name, watermark, or online shop name to your photos.  Keep your photos absolutely clean so that they can be submitted for all sorts of opportunities like books, magazines, local newspapers, gallery promotions, juried shows, exhibitions, and online social networking sites.

When you take photos of your work, create a set of photos that will be suitable for as many opportunities and applications as possible.  And make your work so memorable and unique that everyone recognizes your work even without looking for the artist's name. This is your signature!

Stay tuned for additional posts on photographic images and refer to the Professional Guidelines documents:

GUIDE TO PROFESSIONAL QUALITY IMAGES

And

WORKING WITH DIGITAL IMAGES EFFECTIVELY 

 

Harriete

This post was updated on January 2022

 

 

HB61-9467-W1


Start creating online visibility - with Social Networks to promote your art and craft

ASKHarrieteRedPinkNoBK
MAS0_PINSDear Harriete,

I haven't tried the Internet yet to promote my work. What do you suggest to start with first?

Signed,

Overwhelmed and Confused

Dear Overwhelmed,

The internet can certainly help your marketing efforts, even for a novice.   Start with the easiest web exposure by joining a couple of social networking sites. 

Think of this social networking as sharing, rather than self-promotion.
It will be a lot more successful.
Below is a list of several good social network options.

Instagram seems to be very popular right now. You can upload images to create an online presence. Even businesses are using this for an online identity and to drive traffic to a link in their profile. This can be changed anytime.  It is relatively easy to post images on Instagram. There are tons of tutorials out there.  If you don't have Photoshop (or other photo editing software) you can upload rather large images directly from your computer or phone.  Start with the free stuff.  You can upgrade any time to the fee-based premium options. Regular posting and 'following other people, commenting, and liking are all part of the social dynamic.  Just like everywhere else, great images are key. 

Facebook is a social networking site that is also free and very easy to use. You can make your profile public or be private. (On a personal note: I don't see how posting online can really and truly be "private."  That seems like a pretense that is not realistic. ) Make posting images of your art or craft work a primary focus for your pages.  You'll gain a lot of visibility with a wide new audience both inside and outside of the arts and crafts world. You'll meet lots of people on Facebook and it helps break the isolation of the studio. 

LinkedIn is a social networking site without images but it can be useful to connect with other individuals or possibly your collectors who might have a "professional" profile. It doesn't cost anything other than a bit of your time, and it provides another possibility to connect with colleagues from your past, present, and future. Keep this site completely professional. Skip any reference to your family, children, and pets, etc.

Every one of these sites generates visibility for you and your artwork or craft. As you become more proficient, make sure to add links on each of your profile pages for every site and your website to interconnect them.  This creates more traffic for your artwork or craft and more name recognition. The Internet is called the "web" and it is up to you to create a web of links and connections to catch the attention for your work.

Pinterest was hotter a couple of years ago (I am updating this information in 2022.) Still, I would not divorce myself from any site. Mix it up. Pinterest seems to be trying to regain traction with videos. Create a profile and go forward.

TicToK and YouTube are for videos. And since every phone creates a video in 2022....why not.   

Your goal is to gain visibility online that could lead to purchases.  Experiment first with the free sites and learn before spending money on Internet sites that promise visibility for $100 to $200 a year. You can create a lot of visibility without spending any money. Do not think you can buy your way into visibility. That doesn't work.


Save your money to invest in fantastic professional photography. 

Go ahead, jump into social networks and get your feet wet. If you don't like it, you can either delete your account or update it once in a while. 

There are multiple posts about visibility on the web on ASK Harriete. I endorse the idea of branching out, but it does not substitute for a website.

Signed,

Harriete Estel Berman

P.S.  I have included the links to many sites in which I participate, but you may not be able to see much unless you sign in.  Hopefully, you'll see other examples to give you a feel for the particular site. Leave a comment on any post, and I will respond. 

This post was updated on January 2022, to provide current links. To Be Both A Speaker WordsPins72


Are Your Images Good Enough?

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Are Your Images Good Enough? 

This is an important question for all artists and makers in all media.  Images are perhaps the most important issue for success. 

Fabulous photographic images have always been important but with the circulation of images on the Internet, and with opportunities to have your work published in books, magazines, or exhibition publicity and catalogs,  great photographic images have become even more important.

That is why I decided to write the Professional Guidelines document about Quality Photographic Images.  There is also the topic Working with Digital Images Effectively

To be successful, all creative individuals need to strive for improvement and "deliberate practice" as described in the book TALENT IS OVERRATED by Geoff Colvin. Are you striving for improvement? Do you show your images to your Critique Group and ask for critique? Have you ever projected your images to see if they still look good to a lecture audience? Do they grab the attention of a jury? Are your images memorable?  Have you ever asked your most critical artist friend their opinion of your images? A digital camera or the camera in your phone does not make you a photographer. Evaluate your images carefully as a key to success.
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Here is an updated example of what it means to have great images. 
Ornament Magazine editor Patrick R. Benesh-Liu 
had asked Glen R. Brown to write an article about my work. At the beginning of 2020, Patrick contacted me for images of my jewelry.  I sent images, and images and images.  I mean a lot of images. It took the better part of my free time for a week to look for all the images he wanted, and then he wanted more!  Does a magazine editor ever think there are too many images?  Evidently not!  Not only did he include many images in the article, but he added another two pages of images in what he titled "Artist Showcase."  

Black-Plastic-Gyre-Ornament-magazine600The article in Ornament Magazine published in the spring of 2020 led directly to the next opportunity....the inclusion of my work in JEWELRY produced by Craft In America for PBS.

 

Are your images good enough to create new opportunities for your work?
Share your images with me on Instagram.


Harriete

P.S. Images of my artwork were taken by Philip Cohen. 

This post was updated on January 6, 2021. 


How do I promote my work in a slow economy?

Harriete,

I was wondering if you had any ideas about how to get increased visibility and possibly retail purchases with the current economy.  I am exploring ALL of my options.
Exploring

Dear Exploring ALL your options,
There are many Internet sites that offer visibility of your work for both the arts and crafts community and could expose your work to new audiences.

During these slow times, I am investing in "Research and Development" with my work and online networking. Recently, I heard an interview with Charlie Rose discussing the approach of the famous CEO of Intel,  Andy Grove. His approach during slowdowns in the economy is Research and Development and investing in his company preparing for the upturn in the economy. While his business background does not apply to the arts directly, his attitude is one we can embrace.

A slow down in the economy is not the time to take a vacation or lay around getting extra rest.  We need to experiment in the studio, develop new ideas and designs. Invest your time in an amazing one-of-a-kind or limited production item that you may not have had time to create when you were swamped with orders.

I have been posting multiple images of older work on 2.0 network sites just to show my work to aFlowerWht 72 larger audience that may not have seen it before or may not be familiar with my work. I consider all of the Internet options like Facebook, Flickr, Crafthaus, and Etsy as opportunities for exposure for the future.

Now is the time to work on finding new visibility. Enter a few shows or submit your amazing new pieces to a book or magazine. Try networking on Flickr, Facebook, Crafthaus, or start your own blog.  All of these actions can be done for free. Post images on these sites. Let people know about all the great work you've made in the past that they may have never seen. I have met people by networking online that I have never met at a conference. One more important reason to participate on these sites is that they will link to your website. 

Do you have a website? I think a website is an absolute requirement for artists these days. It establishes your credibility and helps people find you or find out more about your work. You could have just one or two pages with information and links to other sites, but a professional website is a must.  Note, I said, "professional." The website should match your personal aesthetic and style.  A D.I.Y. website or a template will look like a cookie-cutter impression. Invest in a modest but unique website style that can develop in the future with additional pages and more information.

Personally, I am working on posting more information on my website, such as my video and my slide lectures (as PowerPoint presentations). SlideShare is a new site where you can post PowerPoint lectures for free. What a great way to introduce your work to new people.

Pds_logoletterhead The Professional Development Seminar on May 20, 2009 at the next SNAG Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will have an amazing program about websites and 2.0 for the first two hours. The second half of the program is about the future of galleries in the 21st century. Don't miss this valuable information. It only costs $10 if you pre-register. 

Hope this information is helpful and inspiring. Do you have ideas that you would like to add?
Share them with others as a comment -- or email me directly or find me on Facebook.

Harriete Estel Berman


This post was updated on December 20, 2021