I explained in the first social media marketing for artists blog entry that the possibilities for promoting your work have never been easier, cheaper or more comprehensive. You can promote your work permanently online locally, nationally and internationally at practically no cost. I also promised to explain the practicalities of building your audience and making money through social media marketing. Here is that explanation.
The greater the audience you appeal to the greater the likelihood you will find buyers. To build the audience for your work…
- Create your hub
- Make announcements, publish your thoughts and start discussions
- Join discussions
- Be interesting and /or helpful
- Keep publishing
Create my hub?
Yeah. Your website or blog. The centre of your whole operation. There has to be a hub around which all the social media stuff revolves.
If you are an artist your hub will be
- Your online exhibition space. All your painting, photographs of your sculpture, photographs will be displayed there.
- There will be a biography / profile of you, the artist
- There will be contact details
- There will be news of upcoming exhibitions in real space
- There will be a “buy now” button alongside every art piece not yet sold
In short, your hub will be you and your art online. If ever anyone asks what you do, or who you are, and you don’t have time to explain then you will be able to refer them to your website or blog for the full directors cut.
Make announcements, publish your thoughts and start discussions
Spreading your news and giving your thoughts on issues concerning art will develop your profile on the internet. In every blog entry you will send out signals on what kind of work you do and what interests you. In your tweets the terms you use will tell others how to categorise you relative to their own interests. The groups you belong to in Facebook will betray your aesthetic sensibilities. Your appearances on Youtube will appeal to certain types of audiences. Every thing you say on the net will further develop your profile and make you categorisable.
Do I want to be categorised?
We are all categorised in the real world. It’s how people find us – for example “the guy that lives on that street, the girl with the blond hair, the artist from Edinburgh”. On the net you are categorised by your words. Type in the search “Social media consultant, Edinburgh” and close to the top of the page of search results you will find a link to my website (my hub). Google has indexed my activity and my relevance to the search by the words I have on my website. The same goes for “Social media marketing for artists Edinburgh” which will bring up search results with my blog at the top. (see SEO)
There are things you can do to help the net categorise/index you and make you searchable via search engines like Google – these things including tags in blogs and #tags in twitter will be explained in a blog entry coming soon.
Social media platforms are social because they provide a place for authors to interact with their readers. A blog entry can be commented on by readers. A tweet on twitter can be replied to by direct message to the author by reader or by a retweet or tweet visible to all other readers. Youtube films also provide for commentary by viewers.
As an artist you can write your blog and comment on the blogs of other. Your response to the material of others goes further to heightening your profile and building your reputation in relevant areas of discussion and interest.
Responding to other blogs doesn’t just increase name/brand awareness across the web. It allows you to plant direct links back to your hub. In every comment you make on another blog you can leave a link back to your website or blog – back to your hub. On every tweet you send or respond to you leave your profile with its link back to your hub.
Be interesting and/or helpful
Chattering away on social media (publishing your own stuff) and responding to other peoples participation in social media (commenting, retweeting) you can make a lot of noise, but you’ll only attract loyal and increasing attention if you can appeal to readers interests and keep them interested.
If you are interested in art then you will be familiar with many of the issues that concern the art community generally and the art community in your local area and country. There will be audiences for new art, art funding, exhibitions, sculpture, painting and drawing, crafts, performance, film etc to whom you might direct an advice, an opinion and insights.
Blogs and twitter accounts harnessed to the marketing of your hub should be used carefully. They are not for gossip or venting frustration – you can set up other blogs and twitter accounts for that stuff. They are there to help you build a reputation as a serious player in your chosen field. Here is a list of things business people might twitter in promotion of their product or services.
Social media participation, if it is to be a useful marketing activity, has to be long term and frequent. One blog every blue moon will do little to build a reputation and a large audience. One tweet every week is the equivalent of sitting at the back of class saying nothing and just about as useful! Publish and publish often!