We’ve been talking this week about the benefits for small freelance creative businesses to include virtual events as part of their everyday business activities. The idea here is that in order to stay competitive in this time of isolation and economic downturn, we need to take advantage of every opportunity to compete for the global art world market. That means we need to be as attentive to online, virtual marketing as we are to putting our work out there in public settings. The world has changed, and we need to be part of the New Normal.
So what do we need to do, what do we need to have, in order to be equal players in this new creative market? Let’s just talk about the top 5 things we’ll need. Hopefully, they’re things you’re already using in your business.
#1 Up to Date, Working Website
The first thing is to have an updated website, with all of the contact information in place, a current resume. artist statement and hopefully a functional e-commerce module activated and populated with work for sale. This is a yes or no question, so no quibbling. You’re either set up, or you are not. If you have a separate sales page, that’s ok I guess, just make sure all the links to your online inventory are working.
#2 An Active Contact List
Hopefully you already have a wonderful list of emails, addresses, Facebook friends, Instagram and Twitter followers ready and waiting for any new content you throw their way. If you don’t have much of a list now, get to work on it right away. You can’t market your online content if you don’t have any contacts. Develop that list, make certain they’re all good contacts, and guard that list with your life.
#3 A Camera with Video Options
Most all of us work in visual mediums, so having access to good, quality images is essential. You will need to have high resolution photos of all of your work, and ready access to create video content on the fly. A cell phone is fine, as long as you use a tripod, and adequate lighting. The pictures and video have to be in focus, well lit, and look amazing.
#4 Computer with Editing Software
You will need to have access to a real laptop or desktop computer with some sort of photo and video editing software. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but editing would be impossible to do well on a phone. You need to touch up your photos, and edit video content to make it look polished and professional. You can’t just turn on your video camera and let it run, you’ll need to clean that footage up, make cuts, and overlay “legal” music tracks and b-roll.
#5 Studio Lighting and Audio
Ok, this may look like two things, and it sort of is. The idea here is that you have to create enough diffused lighting to take good pictures, and you have to have an adequate microphone to capture good sound. We’ve all seen the horrible examples of people who don’t do either. This is all part of the shoot, and is as important to you as your camera. You need not spend a bunch of money here. a lamp with reflected or diffused lighting and a microphone that is attached to you, not across the room on your tripod, will raise the quality of your productions enormously. You can buy a cheap mic with a super long wire that plugs directly into your phone or camera. Easy fix.
With these five tools at your disposal, you’re ready to start creating online, virtual experiences for you and for your collectors to enjoy. This in turn, will enable you to expand your creative business empire, to every corner of this planet. Go get em!