February 18,2007
Building your Brand - Part 1
Filed under: Branding Marketing Tags: Business+Cards Emails
So how do you use your domain name to build your brand? First of all, add it to all your content, everywhere. Where can you add it? Print it on your stationary. Print it on your brochures. Print it on your business cards.

I don't know how many times I have been to an art show and looked at the business card of the artist which are on offer only to see that they have not included their website address.

Does it work? You bet. One of our artists was painting in a public location and had plenty of visitors passing by his easel. Folks would stop to chat and he would hand out his card and invite them to visit his site. When he would go home at night and look at his site statistics, his web page hits were through the roof.

Where else should you add your domain name? Add it to your emails. Add it to your press releases. And when you send out your emails to let people know about your activities or your latest work or where you'll be exhibiting, don't just have your domain name at the bottom of your email under you name. Add it as part of your message. Make it an invitation to see more of your work on your site. Make it a clickable link in your email so people can easily come to see your work. When your customers or prospects go to your page, invite them to bookmark your site so they can return to it again without having to remember your domain name.

So you've issued the invitation to have people come to your site. When they get there, what do they see? Naturally it is all about the content. In the next blog, we'll discuss ways to make your site inviting so they stick around.

Posted by Art Marketer at 01:20 1 Comments
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February 01,2007
Picking a Domain Name
Filed under: Marketing Branding Tags: Domain+Name Website

What should you consider when picking a domain name for your website?

First of all, picking your domain name is all part of building your brand identity as an artist. So you want to pick a name that supports your brand. A domain name that identifies with you, the artist.

What would someone guessing your web address think of or try first? Most often it is who the artist is. Therefore your name represents your brand, even though your style may change, your subjects may change or your media may change. As an artist developing a career you want people to be able to search for you on the web based on your brand. And using your name as your domain name is part of building that brand.

Unless you have spent the last 5 years creating those cute pink porcelain pigs and plan to spend the next 15 years creating those cute pink porcelain pigs and your absolutely famous for your cute pink porcelain pigs, you should resist picking a domain name like www.pinkporcelainpigs.com. Mind you, if you are that artist, then you do want the domain name www.pinkporcelainpigs.com. Otherwise the domain name that you pick can restrict your brand.

You can have more than one domain name, and use them for different applications. For example, let's say you are a landscape painter, and you do ceramics pigs too. Reserve both names, and point them to the appropriate locations on your site. Having two or more names allows you to advertise and build on more than one brand.

How do you know what names are available? You can go to any domain name registrar and they will have a mechanism where you can put in the name you would like to register. It will tell you if the name you want is already taken. In most cases, it will also provide you with a list of alternatives. Or just write to us at [email protected].

On the world wide web there can only be one BillSmith.com. So what do you do if BillSmith.com is already taken and you happen to be another Bill Smith? Some obvious choices are to look for variations on the name.

  • WilliamSmith.com
  • BillJSmith.com
  • WilliamJSmith.com
  • BillSmithArt.com
What if my name is hard to spell? What do I do if my name happens to be Peter Tchaikovsky and people have a hard time spelling by name? Should I use my name as my domain name? The answer is still yes. Because it is part of your brand, and you want people to learn about and remember you.

Another opportunity that is recommended, is to register the names of close misspellings. What would someone most often mistype? From our example above, you may want pinkporcelainpig.com as well as pinkporcelainpigs.com.

What domain name ending should you use? Should it be ".com" or ".ca" , ".net" or ".org"? The ending ".com" is most popular, from the beginning of websites, and it means representing "commercial" sites. When attempting to find you, a visitor to your site would most likely select ".com" first. The ending ".ca" represents "Canada" and in Canada that is a likely next choice. For example, you could choose BillSmith.ca, especially if BillSmith.com is not available. Choosing both is also a way of blocking out the hordes of next door neighbours to your site. Having billsmith.ca and billsmith.com protects you from someone else doing this.

Should you invest in a lot of names? The number of names should reflect the significance of your web presence. Typically doing the above strategies is a good idea, but as it does require annual or multi year commitment to pay for the names, it can become a significant cost. Look at your overall plans, and usually go with one or two names. Don't get too excited and register a ton of names just on speculation.

The rules for creating your domain name are simple. Domain names must be between two (2) and fifty (50) characters long and made up of

  1. The letters a through z (no accents). There is no distinction between upper and lower case letters ;
  2. The numbers 0, through 9; and
  3. The hyphen character (although it cannot be used to start or end a Domain Name)
You will notice that the space or blank character is not a legal character.

A good place to see names available is www.internic.org/whois.html - it can also be fun to try to see what is available!

In our next blog, we will discuss how you use your domain name to build your brand.

Posted by Art Marketer at 07:57 0 Comments
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The Marketing Team at MyArtClub.Com publishes a variety of marketing tips for more effective Internet Marketing here.

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