Andrew Pepper, founding editor of WeLikeArtists.com, gives you his top 5 tips for promoting yourself online.
1. Prepare things first. Get together a selection of 5 good quality digital images of your work which you feel really represent what you do. Make sure they are recent and you have descriptions of them, including sizes, dates and materials. Also write a short artist statement telling people about what you do, why and how. Don't make it too pretentious.
2. Set up an online portfolio. There are lots of sites which will let you do this for free and a selection of them are listed in the WeLikeArtists.com portfolio section. You don’t need any technical knowledge or specialist software to do this. It will take you a matter of minutes!
Make sure you take a good look at several sites and be clear that the one you choose is the best place to display your work. Some specialise in certain disciplines so make sure the ‘community’ which view the site are like-minded.
3. Tell people about your portfolio. Gather together a selection of e-mail addresses of people you know may be interested in your work and send them a short e-mail telling them you have a new online portfolio and asking them to take a look. Include the web address of your portfolio. Don’t send unsolicited e-mails to people who will have no interest in your work - it wastes your time and you don’t want to be branded a ‘Spammer’.
4. If you use Facebook, G+, Twitter or another social networking service, use them to promote your online portfolio by including a link for your contacts to click through. Add your portfolio web address to the bottom of all your e-mails. You can do this by including it in the ‘signature’ space. All e-mail programmes let you set up a ‘signature’. That way, every time you send out an e-mail, or reply to someone, your new portfolio web address is included.
5. After a couple of weeks, select extra (new) images of work, and upload them to your portfolio, then send out a second e-mail to your list to let people know there is something new to have a look at. You will be surprised how many people will visit to see what you are up to. Each time you finish a new piece of work, include it in your portfolio and repeat the e-mail notification. Be careful not to bombard people with e-mails - be gentle - and they won’t become bored or irritated with you.