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What bugs you?

Does anything on this page hinder or even irritate you?

I would love to know. Nothing is unimportant, too small or too big.

If there is something I can fix, I will certainly do it.

Please let me know right away



Do you qualify for this position as gallery director?



To meet its growing success a fast-paced contemporary art gallery is offering a unique full-time position as gallery director.

For this position the gallery seeks a responsible, detail-oriented, highly organized, multi-tasking individual willing to serve a demanding international clientele consisting of seasoned art enthusiasts and renowned collectors.

To meet the gallery's high standards only applications of candidates with a proven record in a similar capacity will be retained.


Please apply only if you are willing to accept the following, irrevocable conditions:

  • You will have to follow up the gallery's activity 24/7.
  • There is a strict code of conduct that can't be violated under any circumstance: no action can be undertaken to disturb visitors.
  • The visitor always has the initiative of first contact.
  • More specifically:
    • neither the gallery director nor any staff member are allowed to get in contact
      during or after their visit or to address visitors under any circumstance.
    • if visitors show a real interest, the gallery director or any staff member are
      strictly forbidden to intervene, assist or provide advice in any way.
  • Visitors are familiar with these proceedings and agree to this code of conduct that guarantees them full discretion and anonymity at all times.


Would you apply for this position?

Of course not. It looks like a farce. What is this all about anyway? A concept for an upcoming performance?

No idea what this is all about ? Really? Bizarre ... because it's everyday reality for most galleries.


In fact 99 percent of gallery sites adopt this approach

In essence it's the concept of the omnipresent portfolio site adopted by contemporary art galleries. They faithfully extend the 'gallery experience' and copy online the setting and scenery that visitors are familiar with.

All features and components are exclusively focused on the roster: the presentation of the artists, their portfolios, biographies, cv's, monographs, catalogues, etc.

There is seldom any incentive or stimulus to get the visitor address the gallery. In fact, contact with online visitors is almost never sought after.


Oh ... but visitors can always contact you!

Sure, of course. You publish your land line, fax and mobile number, email addresses on your contact page. You even have a Vcard to download! If visitors are interested, they only have to pick up the phone or write an email. You are all too happy to answer their questions.

What more could you possibly do?

If it were that easy to get people to contact you and set the first step to 'convert' people, a lot of web marketing specialists would be out of business tomorrow.


Most gallery's sites only convert a tiny minority of visitors

Luckily seasoned collectors and people already familiar with the art world don't hesitate to contact you, thanks to your and your staff's off-line efforts.
The already 'converted' visitors don't need your assistance. As insiders of the art world, they know the shortcuts.

On the other hand, a vast group of your web visitors belongs to the 'outside world': first time visitors, art enthusiasts orienting themselves, etc.
They don't really know where to start; what your gallery offers, what your program is all about. And more importantly how to engage with the gallery, what to ask, who to address.

They enter, visit and leave in complete anonymity. So much so, that generally you don`t even know they were there.


Don't think this virtual barrier is a fable

It's not even a barrier, it's a mental iron curtain for most people.
And the toughest challenge for all web sites, especially for 'informational' portfolio sites that are set-up as 'one way' communication channels by definition.


Much as in real life, it's up to you make an opening

What is more important, as first purpose for your gallery's site than to get in contact, to convert visitors and to engage with them?

You don't want to be disturbed daily, forced to answer even more mails or phone calls than you already receive from 'interested' people?

No need to, there are excellent ways to lead these visitors. We'll talk about this in a future article.


First things first

Go through your gallery's site, page per page, and write down on which pages you invite your visitor to contact you, without having to leave the page they're on or being forced to look up your contact page via the main menu.

I think you will be surprised on how few pages you do.

In a future article we'll go through a typical portfolio site and indicate page per page what you should do to convert more, but above all, invite your visitors to go 'just one click' further.





Next step: read more open articles to optimize your gallery's site using these easy-to-implement tactics to reach out to new audiences.



If you haven't done so already:



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Article written by Luuk Christiaens