That’s a question that only you can answer based on your communication needs. I have a web site, a blog and a Facebook public web page–why do I need all three? Because each serves a different purpose:
- My Website (www.kullaf.com)
- Purpose: To showcase my portfolio to prospective gallery contacts and collectors; list biographical information and credentials; provide updates on exhibits and workshops
- Primary Audience: gallery directors, collectors
- Secondary Audience: prospective students
- My web site has been a great tool, I’ve had it for at least 7 or 8 years and the URL has been distributed widely. It is easily found via search engine and all of my gallery contacts, collectors and students are familiar with it. The only negative is that it has a monthly fee (very reasonable @ $9.99 per month via Network Solutions), and that updating pages is more cumbersome than updating a blog or Facebook page. For that reason, I use it for generic content rather than interactive content as on my blog and Facebook page.
- My Blog (www.kullaf.wordpress.com – but you’re here already so you already knew that!)
- Purpose: An extension of the classroom designed to provide content to my existing and prospective students with class notes, handouts, demos and advice about their work and drawing and painting in general. Also acts as a place to show more informal pieces of work such as sketches and studies with background information about each, thereby giving prospective gallery contacts and collectors a glimpse into the creative process.
- Primary Audience: existing and prospective students
- Secondary Audience: gallery directors, collectors
- My blog enables me to reach a very large audience of existing and prospective students. I like the fact that someone who is considering taking one of my workshops or classes can sample the materials, get an idea of my teaching methods and understand my approach to drawing and painting before committing to working with me. In just over 6 months, I’ve had over 15,000 hits on the blog worldwide, thereby increasing my exposure among artists and students internationally. The blog is easy to maintain and update, and it costs nothing–my only investment is the time it takes to write the articles and compile the visual content.
- My Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anne-Kullaf-Original-Paintings/91898306043, ugh! I hate that lengthy URL!)
- Purpose: To introduce my paintings and my workshops and classes to prospective gallery directors, collectors and students; to act as a portal to my web site and blog; to network via professional artist and common interest groups
- Primary Audience: prospective gallery directors, collectors and students
- Secondary Audience: family and friends who like to keep up with what I’m doing professionally
- I’ve only had my Facebook page for about a week–but I’m getting exposure and can tell because the majority of people signing up for my page are people I don’t know–that is the whole point, building exposure! The page is easy to update, I can feed content directly from this blog, connect to common interest groups on Facebook, post links to my page on Facebook, use Facebook applications to increase the interactive component of the page, post events and easily communicate with other Facebook users. There is no cost associated with a Facebook web page. The best part is it is extremely easy for others to share my page with their contacts, I’m especially thankful to everyone who has been posting links from their pages to mine.
As you can see, each of these tools serves a very specific purpose in building exposure and increasing communication with my target audience. I really have 2 careers–teaching and exhibiting/selling my paintings. I need to connect with 2 market segments and therefore might need a wide range of communication tools that allows me to segment the market and convey a tailored message for each segment. I also enjoy technology and am not afraid of learning new ways to communicate online. As much time as it takes me to answer emails, create blog and Facebook posts, update my website and communicate online, it is vastly superior to doing business without these tools. In fact, I could not imagine professional life without them.