I am often asked by Artists/’Creatives’ to critique and review their business website for efficiency. They are always eager to hear my feedback about their choice of color scheme, font, wording, pictures, etc. However, this is not the first thing I look for when giving website critiques!! Yes, all of the fluff is great and eye catching, but what good is a fab site but if it isn’t functional? The main point of your website is first to make it WORK for you- not sit on the sidelines just looking pretty (however, aesthetics does play a role, just not the MAIN role). Having an auto-mated system in place to build relationship with your subscribers through e-mail is paramount! After giving several critiques I thought it was appropriate for me to share with you the #1 SINGLE-MOST important item needed on any website to run efficiently and be your HARDEST WORKING EMPLOYEE. The answer is (drum roll please…..) Your Opt-In!
For those of you who may not know what this is, an opt-in box is the system in place to capture the contact information of your website visitors. This is how you build your mailing list. If you do not give people an OPTion to ‘OPT-IN ‘to your list, you are sorely missing the main point.
When you build your list by first capturing visitor’s name and email from your website, you are able to develop a relationship with those who are most interested in what you have to offer (whether it’s singing lessons, coaching programs, products, etc.) When people want more of what you have to offer, give them the option to hear from you on a regular basis through your blog and e-mails. This is how you build relationship! When you offer a new product that they have been asking for, you already have a ‘built-in’ subscriber list that knows who you are. People buy from those they know, like, and trust. Be that trusted resource with your gift!
For those of you getting started building your list, here are a few recommended resources:
· Aweber (minimal monthly fee under $20/month-love, love, love their product, customer service, and systems!)
· Mailchimp (they have a free option but only offer a Corporate e-mail for questions) but it’s great for getting started with literally no-budget.
I’m also asked about my suggestions for someone who doesn’t have a website yet. Great question! You don’t have to wait to build your list until you have a website. You can have a contractor from elance.com or fivver.com create a squeeze page with your e-mail auto-responder (i.e. from aweber.com or mailchimp.com). This way you are still building your list automatically while your website is being worked on. Although this is just the beginning of knowing how to capture the information, it is an important one to have!
Okay, if you don’t have your opt-in going, no more excuses! Get moving! If you do, share this with someone else who can use it!
You Have Amazing Gifts to Offer the World..Never Forget That!
Your ARTpreneur Coach
P.S. For those of you who have expressed interest in snagging a spot in my ‘Make Products and Programs with Your Craft’ Coaching Sessions there are only a few spots left! Get more details here!
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Sway Buckley is an ARTpreneur Coach, Speaker, CEO of a leading Creative Arts Staffing firm and Founder of The sm(ART)ist Institute. The institute offers coaching to Creatives of all kinds who are ready to catapult their business. As a professional dancer and choreographer Sway has toured internationally and continued her dance training in New York at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Steps on Broadway after attaining her BFA in dance from Texas Christian University. She has a weekly blog that helps Creatives design profitable streams with their craft. Sign-up to be the on the list at www.smartartistinstiute.com