I spoke with an artist today who shared a good idea to encourage her clients to revisit her web site. She posted an image of an unfinished painting on her site and sent an email to her client list asking patrons to submit potential painting titles for the painting. She also encouraged feedback and critiques since the painting was not yet completed. The response was good. This idea of asking for titles for paintings can be a great marketing endeavor.
Any time you are able to get clients to revisit your web site, you increase your visibility and re-enforce your name in your clients' minds. This particular artist garnered several title ideas and was provided a great title for the painting (plus many good titles for future paintings). She then notified all participants of the "winning" painting title and thanked them for their recommendations as well.
Any ideas you have to encourage participation by your site visitors will further your overall marketing efforts. There are many ways people may participate other than simply sending you a check. This is a developing concept on the Internet called "Social Networking." Also sometimes refered to as "Crowdsourcing." Crowdsourcing is a spoof of the word "Outsourcing", which means transferring jobs to other countries. In "Crowdsourcing" you move a job to your web site visitors. And best of all, they do the job for free! In this example, the artist "Crowdsourced" the job of naming a painting, and was provided a title that she was extremely please with AND accomplished a marketing goal of having people visit her web site.
In an effort to take "Crowdsourcing" to a higher level in the art industry, I have introduced a site called FineArtViews.com (http://www.fineartviews.com.) At this site, artists may post artworks at no charge and clients may interact with the artists and artworks in several different ways. This data is then captured and utilized by other site visitors. For example, a patron may add a particular artwork to his own "virtual collection." Other site visitors are able to search for artwork by which pieces are in the most "virtual collections." This means that the "crowd" is determining which pieces that they enjoy as a collective, which in turn helps new members of the crowd sort through the entire inventory. Many other "Crowdsourcing" projects are currently in development for FineArtViews.com.
Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic