The world runs online. Nearly every important task—and some not so important ones—can be done via the Internet. People pay bills, order things, send cards. People read online advertisements to find things to buy. They post online advertisements to showcase things to sell. Many people, though, do not think of the internet as a tool for advertising themselves. People who have not yet started to self-advertize on the internet could benefit from doing so, especially people in the creative arts. An artist online portfolio could help every artist with self-promotion.
Extra Exposure: Why is an artist online portfolio beneficial? The main reason every creative person should have an artist online portfolio is exposure. According to 2011 internet usage data compiled by Miniwatts Marketing Group, over 2.2 billion people worldwide use the internet, which is almost the population of China and India—the two most populated countries on Earth—put together. This number represents an increase of nearly 530% since 2000, and those numbers continue to grow daily. No other media in the world provides greater exposure to potential customers and employers than the internet. With so many potential viewers out there ready to surf the web for fast, easy access to what they want, every artist should create an artist online portfolio to showcase work and talents.
Online Portfolio Options: Once the decision to create an artist online portfolio has been made, what options are there? Artists can choose from two main methods of creating an online portfolio. First is a stand-alone website. With this method, the artist uses a free domain name or purchases one and then creates a website that includes the portfolio. This method works for many people, but for others it has disadvantages. It can be time consuming to create a good website, especially if the creator is not tech savvy, and later has to keep the site updated. A larger issue, though, is access.
One of the main ways traffic is channeled to a personal website is through name recognition. Before internet users can find a specific person’s website, it is helpful if they already know that person’s name. The end result is that customer connection potential is missed if the artist is not already well-known. Yes, the artist’s site might be found through a keyword search, but it is harder, it takes internet users more time to arrive there, and users may stop at another website from the search results before the artist’s name is even seen.
The solution to these issues is the other main method for creating an artist online portfolio: websites that contain “portfolio banks.” With these sites, the structure of the portfolio is often already in place, so the artist needs only to upload documents, images or other digital files into it, which is faster and easier than creating a full website and requires much less upkeep. In addition, the likelihood of a potential client or employer locating that artist’s portfolio is increased because name recognition is not a factor. The client or employer simply accesses many portfolios from the bank in one session, or, on some sites, can explore multiple portfolios by searching for specific criteria.
Keys to Artistic Success: One key to an artist’s success is exposure to as wide an audience—clients or employers—as possible. The key to wide exposure is the internet. This is why, regardless of method, every artist can benefit from an artist online portfolio. Every click on the portfolio’s contents is an opportunity to make a sale or win a job.