Online Marketing - Gallery and Artist Collaboration
Should I link to my Etsy shop on my website? Part 1

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 web sites 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
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 purchase.  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
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 web site 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 web site.  While linking to the artist's web site 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 web site.  The link to the artist's web site 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
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
www.harriete-estel-berman.info

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