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How to turn your artists' bio pages into marketing tools

The multiple sale went fine. Your new collector seems very promising. Everything is in place to celebrate this festive moment in an exquisite restaurant. It all just looks perfect... until you consult the wine list.


All information is there, in detail. And yet you're lost

It's not about the price. Neither is it about the truly impressive number of wines. The card reads almost like a reference book: château, appellation, millésime... all the information is there. And yet, you simply can't make out a single name.


No need to, if you play by the rules

The restaurant has done an outstanding job. Yet, you overlooked one important person. Most people think he's part of the decorum. In fact he's one of the key players. Discreet in his knowledge, but able to make or break your dinner.


Ask the expert, the sommelier

He is the specialist who will point you to the hidden treasures you're looking for. Interestingly enough, when invited to advice you, he doesn't start to comment and describe all the wines on the card, oh no.


He presents immediately his selection

Even if he's able to describe the intrinsic qualities of every single wine in detail, he knows this would only confuse you. As an expert he wants you to have a insightful experience. For each wine in his selection he comes with a story. And strong arguments. Why he suggests them. What to expect from them.

He demonstrates what knowledge can offer as a plus.


Do you have 'wine lists' on your gallery site too?

Have a look at the biographies of your artists. Most galleries publish exhaustive cv's. They come as detailed as possible: galleries, museums, biennials, solo and group exhibitions and their curators, editions, publications, all the information is there. No doubt an excellent bio page is the professional reference tool for any artist and gallery.


Professional... thus as hermetic as a wine list?

Forcing your visitors to plunge through loads of data creates an extra hurdle. Or even confusion and rejection when you publish these data without any additional guidance.

Moreover, what about you're not so professional visitors? The art enthusiasts who are eager to discover, to learn about the contemporary art world? They represent the majority of your web visitors. Why not offer them some knowledge too?


Offer them...

A selection? Indeed. But I don't mean that you should present five instead of twenty entries. Or to cut the bio to a single exhibition a year. Some years there will be more exhibitions worth listing. Other years maybe none. Careers are marked by ups and downs too, tipping points, breakthroughs.


Be the sommelier, elaborate your selection

Give your visitors the why, how, what. By highlighting exhibitions and leaving others out you shed a whole different light. Instead of levelling each and every exhibition in an almost bureaucratic approach, your visitors should understand your artists better.


Illustrate the career path of your artists

People come to your site to document themselves about the world of contemporary art, the position of your artists. So teach them, give them the background information they're looking for. Rest assured: art professionals don't know every significant detail about your artists' careers either.


You have gold in your hands

For all art professionals, gathering information is one of the most time consuming tasks. A detailed, well documented, reliable bio of an artist is priceless.

But you should get more out of your bio pages. You should become the reference point, the primary source of information for any art professional who seeks to fill in blanks on one of your artists.

If the concise, short bios that you give as an intro are already levelheaded, you could offer the fully documented, annotated bios on a secondary level in your pages' hierarchy. To a professional audience they will always be worth the extra click to dig for the details.


Don't give your gold for free

Suggest your professional visitors that they contact you. It's an excellent opener to establish a first contact with international curators, collectors, museum professionals or art fair selection committees. And you stay in control.


Become a pivot in the online art gallery world

So far you maybe looked at the bio pages as obligatory secondary pages. In fact they are your 'lettres de noblesse' as a gallery owner. Made enviable and sought after, they become a powerful asset if you want to position your gallery as a reference in the art gallery world.

Or why do you think top restaurateurs pay their sommeliers almost in gold?



Next step: read more articles on how to optimize your gallery site using easy-to-implement tactics to reach out.



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Article written by Luuk Christiaens