Getting a website is essential, but it can be a bit of at test to get it all sorted out. It’s true that your web designer should be able to bring their expertise and experience to the table to assist you, but in order to get the best out of your website, you need to go in with a bit of a plan. Namely, you need to know what the purpose of your website is.

Here are a few options that might suit you:

  • Get new people to see/hear my work
  • Get people to buy my work
  • Make people aware of who I am and what I do
  • Get people to contact me about what I do
  • Connect and network with people
  • Show people I am an expert
  • Strengthen my brand
  • All of the above

Now, getting to that goal is a little bit more involved than that, since you need to be sure that your website caters to the minutiae of that goal and not just the broad strokes.

Let’s look at an example:

You are a filmmaker and you have just completed a movie. You want people to know about movie and get excited about seeing it.

That’s actually two goals, rolled into one. Those goals are:

  1. To create awareness about the film.
  2. To get people excited about seeing it.

How might you achieve those goals? Well, you could…

  • Post a production blog chronicling the making of the movie
  • Post production stills and videos chronicling the making of the movie
  • Have a synopsis and character bios on the site
  • Have cast and crew bios on the site
  • Post a trailer

All of these things will achieve the both of the goals we defined, but which one of these things is the most important?

I can hear you collectively saying, “All of them!!” This might seem true, but when visitors arrive at the site, what is the one, primary thing you want to them to do? What should they know immediately about your film that might help them connect and stay to find out more?

Only you can answer that, because you made this movie. You’re the one driving this particular bus.

When making this decision, a good rule of thumb is to keep it simple, specific and directly tied to your audience. (I’m doing a little audience brainstorming stuff on the Tuesday column “Content Strategy for Artists”. You might want to pop over there and start thinking about it. There’s a worksheet, too!)

To keep it simple, try to refine it down to one thing. In this case, your primary goal could be awareness, with a secondary goal of excitement. Keeping it specific means that you need to understand exactly the action you want people to take when they arrive. In this case, it could be to watch the trailer (maybe this achieves both goals at once even, huh?). Tying it to your audience means, if your film is an animated movie made for children ages 3 to 6, having the trailer on the home page may not be the most effective thing. You might want to focus instead on character design and bios.

Alright, now it’s your turn. Start thinking about what you want your website’s purpose to be and The Magpie Blog will be back next week with more Website Strategy for Artists.