Running a business based on the art, craft, or trade you love is a big but rewarding task. Getting feedback from customers who love what you do and want to be able to purchase more is always a good sign and you’ll need to find ways to improve on the processes you follow. You’re likely hard at work creating new products, taking orders, sending them out, and doing your best to manage it all. If you have a website, when’s the last time you updated it?
ACT is here today to give you a few tips on how to best improve the website you’ve created and haven’t changed since. Plus, we’ll give you some information on how artist insurance can benefit you and your online sales through 2021.
Tip #1: Update, update, update!
How long ago did you put up a website? Like most small business owners you may have used Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, or a similar host to get started. It’s helpful to be able to choose between various templates and feel like you’re putting a bit of your personality into the design.
Now, how long ago did you update it?
It’s okay if it’s been a while, the great thing about having a website is that you can change or customize things whenever you want.
You should make sure the template you have is still easy for visitors to navigate and find products and art you’re selling. Also you want it to look as appealing as possible. Maybe the color theme you had before doesn’t fit the vibe you’re going for anymore, maybe the images of your art are too small for visitors to adequately view and consider, maybe there is a more clear way to display pricing or descriptions, or maybe your template is simply outdated and there’s a better option. Whichever the case, know that a simple redo may make a world of difference.
Now, your domain. As much as a website called “yoursmallbusiness.weebly.com” will get clicks, how much better does it look when it reads, “yoursmallbusiness.com?” Domains can be a pain, but these days they’re much easier to deal with. Each of the website hosts we listed has their own domain purchasing process which you can visit here:
You can make it easier for customers to find and remember your website by having your own domain. Plus it can show your professionalism and dedication to your business by investing in a vanity website name.
Tip #2: Create Consistency
If you’re not wanting to do an entire overhaul of the design on your website, we suggest you find smaller things to change in order to create better consistency as customers find your page and scroll through.
You could try:
Formatting products similarly
Ensuring all fonts fit together, complement each other, or are the same
Removing old listings that no longer serve your customers
Creating similar spacing on all pages
We know you’re not web designers, neither are we, but these are some of the easier tasks you can do to make sure things look inviting and appealing to your site’s visitors. If you want a beginner’s guide to design check out this beginner’s guide for more info.
Bonus Tip: Try to keep the number of fonts on your website to a minimum. You can play around with different weights and sizes within the same font family. But our friends at UX Planet suggest not using more than three fonts or it can make your website look unstructured or unprofessional.
All of these little items could either help or hurt your ability to sell your products or art on your website.
Tip #3: Offer an Email List
If you have a website that is already doing pretty well (aka consistent visitors and sales), you like the design, you don’t really want to change anything, but are still wondering how you can improve things, consider creating an email list for your frequent customers or past customers that you hope to come back.
You’re constantly producing more art and want to showcase things to the world, with an email list you’ll be able to send out information regarding new pieces, print options, products, sales, or any other update. Maybe you’re partnering with another small business and doing a product collaboration or maybe you have surprise products that you want to hype people up for. Whatever it is, you’ll find it worthwhile to have the means to communicate with your audience.
Tip #4: Check Often
How often are you checking your website? Are you the type of person who doesn’t look at things once you’ve put them together? As much as you can hope that you’ve set up your website to be successful, that’s not always the case. Sometimes links break, or uploaded photos don’t show up properly. You may even run into issues with your contact form no longer working properly.
We recommend you check your website yourself on a regular basis to ensure that everything is up to par with your goals. What is a regular basis? We don’t have a set rule on how often, but start small (especially if doing this isn’t in your current routine or isn’t something that you particularly like to do). You could set up a calendar reminder on your phone or computer for once a month, bi-weekly, or every quarter.
While scrolling through your website, we recommend you start with reviewing, addressing, and fixing the following items:
Images that need to be updated
Verify pricing and product descriptions
Any formatting that has shifted
Through your website host, you’ll be able to make whatever adjustments are needed.
Bonus Tip: Carry Artist Insurance
Did you know that as an artist, you still have some risk exposure when selling your handmade art online? And if you’re an artist who travels to shows, markets, and festivals, on a consistent basis, those risks could multiply.
With artist insurance from ACT Insurance, you provide yourself with a safety net that could provide assistance from financial fallout if you were to ever get sued. An annual insurance policy includes liability and product coverage (and other possible coverages) and is designed to protect you in the case of a third-party lawsuit that your handmade products or business operations caused someone harm.
When you’re at a show, risks can include slip-and-fall accidents in your booth that cause injury or loose material from your booth falling over and causing harm. As an online seller, you may not know that your products can also cause potential injury as you may have choking hazards you’re unaware of or sell items that cause people allergic reactions.
By carrying an artists’ insurance policy, you improve your credibility and professionalism as well as show your customers how committed you are to your business. You can buy an artist insurance policy completely online and in less than 10 minutes. ACT has simplified our application and made it easy to navigate on your own. However, if you run into any issues you can talk with our licensed agents over chat or by phone.
Brianna Hale is a Marketing Communications Specialist at ACT Insurance. She specializes in all things craft insurance—from event liability to covering an Etsy business and more. Outside of work, she can often be found at a concert, traveling, or practicing film photography.