In this lesson I break down the major elements that need to be a part of your website in order for it be as effective as possible. There is a lot to talk about so I’ve broken the video into sections to make it easier consume.
Once you’ve absorbed all the instruction and applied it to your website, share it in our members group and get some feedback from other artists so that you can tweak and perfect your site.
The Art Pages
The Facebook Pixel is the lynchpin to all your marketing efforts via social media.
When it comes to business, if it’s not measurable, it’s not working for you. The key to measuring your ad performance on social media is to install tracking code into your website. In this instance, we are installing the FB Pixel. Download the PDF guide for this if watching video’s isn’t your thing.
My suggestion is to get this done as soon as possible, no matter what your goals are for your business. The more data you collect the easier and more effective your marketing efforts will in the future.
Using the pixel for advertising
Before we talk about the Facebook Pixel’s benefits for advertising it is important to note that these benefits increase the longer the Pixel is on your site. Many businesses assume that Facebook only collects information based on the people that enter your site via Facebook ads- this assumption is incorrect! Facebook collects information on every person that comes to your site, every person that becomes a lead, converts, or adds anything to their cart. This means that the longer the Pixel is on your site the more information Facebook will collect, so don’t wait, get your Pixel on your site ASAP!
Benefit 1: Conversion Tracking
First, let’s talk about the obvious bonuses of having a Facebook Pixel on your website. If you place the conversion Pixel on correctly, and run ads for conversions, Facebook will register what type of people are converting, which devices convert best, what time of day the ads convert, and which ads convert best.
If you are running an ad with the goal of having people sign up to your email list, if your Pixel is setup incorrectly Facebook will have no idea who is converting, or if anyone is actually converting. As a result, they will be unable to optimize the ads to get you more conversions. This results in Facebook advertising blindly to your entire audience and, ultimately, to your losing money.
In fact, if your Pixel doesn’t get a minimum of 20 conversions on a daily basis, Facebook will assume that something is wrong and will slow down the ad speed so that you DON’T lose money. As such, simply having your conversion Pixel on your “Thank You” page will save you money by allowing Facebook to understand how your ad campaign is performing.
Benefit 2: Retargeting
A huge portion of online marketing that a majority of businesses disregard is retargeting. It is inconceivable to consider that the majority of companies spend masses of money acquiring new customers as opposed to putting a budget into remarketing to existing customers. In comparison to a customer who has already gone through the process of learning about your brand, joining your email list, getting the free trial, and actually buying your product an individual who is currently unfamiliar with your company, is less likely to convert. So, as a business, you MUST retarget to your existing audience, unless you enjoy literally flushing money down the toilet.
With the Pixel installed on your site you can do more than just target people who visit your site. You can create different ad sets to target specific individuals based on how connected they are to your business. If someone has come to your site, whether or not they came through an ad, but he or she hasn’t given their email address, you can retarget by simply creating an ad setup in your Facebook ad campaign targeting website visitors excluding people who have already signed up. There is an example of this on the next page.
You can create this same type of targeting for people who have become leads; but have not yet added anything to cart, or someone who added to cart; but hasn’t yet bought in your store. This allows each ad to reach its target audience exactly where they are in your marketing funnel. Then Facebook will automatically move them over to the next set of ads as the customer progresses. This makes it so the customer is not shown the same ad after they convert.
Benefit 3: Lookalikes
Besides its abilities of tracking individuals who have converted and targeting your existing followers the Pixel can also target audiences that are similar to your audience. Many businesses struggle to create a persona, or identity, for their “best audience”, as they do not know who their “best audience” is. Imagine if, with three clicks of a mouse, Facebook could analyze your current audience and find individuals who behave similarly, imagine if you could find and target 2,000,000 individuals in America similar to your app’s users?
Lookalikes targeting allows you to target individuals you would never have considered, or found, otherwise by tapping into Facebook’s database.
What’s great about Lookalike Audiences is that you can create an audience to match individuals at different phases in your funnel. So you can create one that is similar to your email subscribers, one that that is similar to your paying customers, and one that is similar to your most active app users. As long as you can create an audience within Facebook you can use that data to create a Lookalike Audience as well.
The Organic Advantages of Facebook pixel
When most articles discuss the power of the Facebook Pixel they talk about it from the advertising side, but the organic power of the Pixel alone is a compelling argument to place the Pixel on your site. The reason why most people don’t talk about these benefits is because they simply don’t know that they exist.
Another benefit of the Pixel is that it gives Facebook the ability to understand the traffic on your site. Facebook uses this information to discern what types of individuals are viewing your site, how long they stay on a specific page, how often people convert, etc.
Since the Pixel is present on every page of your site Facebook can track which pages:
a) Get the most traffic.
b) Lead to the most conversions.
c) Are shared.
Using this information Facebook gives your site, and each individual page on it, an overall ranking based on the information that is collected. This ranking has a large impact when someone shares your site to Facebook because this ranking determines whether Facebook will show the post to the individual’s followers.
As a result, Facebook becomes aware of your site’s regular visitors and as such is able to increase the ranking of your links leading to more reach.
Let’s say someone liked your page months ago but has not shown much interest in your posts or site recently. It is likely that this probably resulted in Facebook removing your content from that individual’s Newsfeed. But if they landed on your site today, and your site was equipped with Pixel, Facebook would automatically begin showing them your posts again. This means that even if people are routed to your site via your email newsletters the Pixel will recognize their renewed interested in your business, leading to Facebook sending them your next few posts.
But it doesn’t stop there! If Facebook sees a large interest in your site they will want to give your content additional reach. So posts linking to your site (including your own posts) will get more organic reach.
This is an amazing way to boost your organic traffic. And the best part? This all happens without your ever having to spend money for reach on Facebook.
I’m already yawning just thinking about this. It is good stuff though, and you have spare time you can do a lot less effective things for your business.
So, here’s the deal - you can add your website to these citation sites to create profiles for your business. These profiles will include links back to you. The following sites have a lot of “oomph” or weight and legitimacy on google. They will lend some of that weight and legitimacy to your site and help you rank higher. Some of these cost money, others are free.
Also, if you have a physical space- even just a showroom in your home like I do, you want to add yourself to Google Maps and Google My Business
Once you’ve made it through that- you can begin hammering out the following list. You might want a box of tissues because this list will make you cry…
This is a list of sites you can add your website to in order to create backlinks.
I put this together for you because I put it together for myself. So, when you get 1/4 of the way through this and run out of tissues, remember that I have been doing this too and you’re not alone.
Limited Editions and Certificates of Authenticity
Keeping up with my limited edition sales is paramount to maintaining the value of my work. In this episode I share the behind the scenes of the process of documenting the work I’ve sold. I use my latest sale as an example and I also share How I got that sale.
Nuggets for everyone!
That was my first impression
[edit for Australian folks at the end]
… when I received a letter from the Department of Revenue stating that I could owe as much as $15,000 in USE Tax. My reaction was to immediately forward all that correspondence to my accountant, Kiran. Thankfully, I did not owe that money and I could go on with my life without selling a kidney.
Later on, I decided that I should know a little bit more about this tax and, naturally, share that information with you. So here goes:
WTF is USE TAX?
Use tax is a tax on goods and services owed to your state when you haven’t paid sales tax on that item.
So, when you paid $400 for a used iPad off Craigslist- you owe the state tax on that purchase. Don’t freak out, most people don’t know about this tax. In my state, only about 5,000 people paid use tax and, if you know about business and sales, you know that that is a VERY low number. The problem is that no one is educated about Use tax and there is no incentive to pay it (ie, claim that iPad on your taxes).
Use tax is owed by both businesses and individuals. So, if you’re like me and want to go out of state to purchase a big ticket item to avoid Washington’s 10% sales tax, you still owe a tax on that purchase when you bring it home. When do you have to pay for it? The first time you use the item in your home state. The example listed on the WA DOR website is a good one. If you bought a new pair of skis in Idaho and brought them back to Washington, you’d owe taxes on said skis on the 15th of the following month.
How much do you owe?
That is figured by the value of what ever you bought and will be different for each state. (Sorry to all my foreign readers!) You should check your state’s department of revenue to learn the details. The details should be easy to find now that you know about them.
Why is this important to my art business?
Well, if you’re purchasing items for you business such as computers, photo gear, painting supplies, etc, from a source that is not charging you tax, then you are liable for paying the taxes on those items.
BUT - as artists, we do have a saving grace, at least in the state of Washington:
Exemptions—Sales to artistic or cultural organizations of certain objects acquired for exhibition or presentation.
The tax levied by RCW 82.08.020 shall not apply to sales to artistic or cultural organizations of objects which are acquired for the purpose of exhibition or presentation to the general public if the objects are:
(1) Objects of art;
(2) Objects of cultural value;
(3) Objects to be used in the creation of a work of art, other than tools; or
(4) Objects to be used in displaying art objects or presenting artistic or cultural exhibitions or performances.
This means that things such as easels, frames, glass, display walls, are exempt from Use Tax. If you can justify it, things like TVs, projectors, and iPad or tablet (I use a tablet as a presentation tool) could be exempt, too. Key thing to note is that you’d need to be able to justify it.
Also, if you have a Reseller Permit, like I talked about in the Sole Prop video, you are exempt from paying tax or use tax on items you intend to resell. You’d then have to collect tax on those items and pay that to your state and local governments.
Do You Hate Taxes?
You need to stop right there. That is the wrong framework for mind. Taxes are a tool that enables you to live the life you are living. Your government is funded by your taxes and all the things complain about (i.e. roads, cops, etc) and all the things you don’t complain about (firemen, street sweepers, your mail) from your government are funded by them, too. I’ll have no whining on the topic.
More and more, I find people from Australia joining TASA and I know that not everything that I’ve spoke of/shared applies to you folk down under. In Australia you don’t have USE TAX but you do Goods and Services Tax that is a bit confusing. Here are two resources that cover everything you need to know:
Hey, tell two artists about The Art of Selling Art if you find this content useful.
You cannot operate as a business withOUT registering with the State.
There is a lot of back and forth as to whether or not you can do business as yourself or whether you need to register. YOU REGISTER AS A SOLE PROPRIETOR DOING BUSINESS AS (DBA) YOURSELF. IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS ABOUT THIS, PLEASE CONTACT AN ACCOUNTANT IN YOUR STATE.
Okay, now that that's set in digital stone...in this video we discuss Cody's question about doing business legally. I answer the unasked question about copyright legality (in layman's terms). We discuss deductions and reseller permits. I also show examples of my own deductions from last year's taxes.
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Post any questions or comments in the Facebook group (or below).
*Disclaimer: Discussion about taxes and business practices come from my own experience. It is not to be construed as legal advice.