Meadows dual-admit students (Music, Theatre, Dance, Art, and Film and Media Arts B.F.A. majors) are required to maintain an online presence that showcases the skills and talents that make them unique artists. All Meadows students, regardless of major, are encouraged to participate as well. Creating an engaging web presence is a key starting point for artists to market themselves and their art!
Students are expected to keep their online presence up to date throughout their studies as well as into their careers as artists.
What is an online presence? It's not just having a personal Twitter account or website. It's about presenting yourself and your work professionally across multiple digital platforms.
Meadows students are required to have a Facebook Page (NOT just a personal profile!) as well as a website with a domain name attached to it.
Note: The SMU WordPress blog server is now open. View instructions to get started.
The following steps will help you get started.
Pick your name.
The presence you build for yourself online is the first step in your professional career. It lays the foundation on which you will build your brand over the years. It’s very difficult to change who you are, though, once you’ve started! Remember, the Internet never forgets. The time to define how the world knows you is now. There are many factors to consider: Does another artist already have my name? Is that name already strongly branded with someone/something else? Your parents might not have thought about these things, but you can.
Read more about the issues to consider when choosing your stage name.
Choose your host for your website.
Before you register your domain name, you have to decide where you want to host your website – your website has to live on a computer server somewhere.
Read more about web hosting, or sign up for an SMU WordPress account.
Explore the various and robust platforms available online. Some you might explore include wix.com, weebly.com and wordpress.com. There are others. Look around, start a free trial and play.
Register and buy your domain name.
Now that you've chosen what name you want the public to know you as, and now that you know whether your domain name will point to your SMU site or to your externally hosted site, it's time to register and set up your domain. Don't worry, it's not that expensive. It can get a little technical, but we're here to help. (This step can be done before step #2, but if you do choose to host externally, it's best to register your domain and host your website with the same company.)
This is the fun part. This is where you make your website yours. Have fun with the process by incorporating video and pictures, starting a blog and writing text. The FACE class will focus on wix.com; though SMU Meadows does not endorse this company over others, students are encouraged to use this platform for class discussion of examples.
Submit and list your website on Meadows' website.
After completing the steps above, your professional website is ready to make its debut. It's time to share it with your friends and family and start building a following and fan base. Websites that meet the requirements of the rubric and are viewed as well thought out and exemplary may be selected to be featured on the Meadows website. Students whose sites are not selected can appeal to the FACE professors and ask for further consideration. At that time, the students may be asked to adjust certain aspects of their site.
Launch your professional Facebook Page.
Your friends want to see pictures of your dog, but your artistic followers want to see your work. And your friends are trusted people you know, while your fans might be strangers you've never met. It's time to think about how to keep those two worlds separate. Use your professional name, get your friends to like your Page, and start posting photos and inviting people to events.
Keep your online presence updated!
Just because everything is launched doesn't mean it's done. Keep coming back. Make improvements. Show off your latest work. Keep your audience engaged! Launching is just the first step toward a successful online presence.
Note: Submit this form to update your web listing on the Meadows website.