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Social media for artists

I think we can all agree social media can be a blessing and a curse! It’s amazing to have a place to connect with our customers and friends, but sometimes it’s a huge pressure trying to keep up with the requirements of different platforms and also being ‘present’ all the time.

As creatives we love getting immersed in our work and stopping to post on social media and update the world on our progress can be an unwelcome interruption.

So how do we navigate this and use social media to our advantage without it having negative effects on our creativity or mental health for that matter?

Set your priority and focus your efforts

Firstly prioritise which platform is important to you.

(Whatever you do DON’T try to tackle them all…… a sure fire recipe for burnout!)

Eg if you are a watercolour tutor and your main ‘aim’ is to sell watercolour courses then YouTube may be a good platform for you because you can video tutorials in order to attract your ideal student. Or if creating ‘groups’ and building community is good for you then you may want to consider Facebook.

Think about what your ultimate goal is and then choose the platforms that suit you best 1 or 2 at most.

Then learn as much as you can about those platforms. Most of them have a different agenda to you i.e their aim is to keep people engaged on their platform for as long as possible. Your aim is usually to get people off their platform and onto your website! So we have to work together.

Let’s talk Instagram….

I’m going to use Instagram as an example as that is a visual platform that works well for a lot of artists.

Instagram want you to ENGAGE with people so taking time to interact with other accounts is vital. Make sure they are accounts that you are genuinely interested in and leave real comments, not just emojis. This is a great way to support other artists, who then in turn mostly support you, but their buyers may also see your comment and go check out your profile too!

Your ‘hook’

Your IG feed posts should ‘stop the scroll’ so the best way to do this is to use a ‘hook’ in your first sentence…something that makes them want to click through and see the full post.

Look at these two openings and decide which one you’d click on….

  1. My latest piece….8×10, for sale, DM me for info.
  2. Can you believe this happened? It started out as a normal day in the studio, then……

The latter pulls you in and makes you want to know more, right?

Your post text

Then once they are inside your post make the information valuable/funny/informative. Share something that makes them glad they clicked through. In particular, if you can solve a ‘problem’ for your customer you will turn them into raving fans.

At this point I hear a lot of artists say ‘but I don’t solve problems, I just paint’. Well I disagree! Someone’s ‘problem’ might be that their home lacks individuality or colour. So you could say ‘this is a real statement piece that brings a certain quirkiness/calmness/individuality to a room, so you no longer have to look at dull/uninspiring walls (delete as appropriate). You have just highlighted they may have a problem….dull/uninspiring walls… and you have provided a solution.

Images, hashtags, tools etc

Your image is also important and should be high quality. And your hashtags well thought out. My favourite for hashtag research is https://displaypurposes.com/

Finally using stories as well as posts feeds will help you reach a different audience and use as many of the engagement tools as possible such as polls, questions, voting etc as this encourages interaction and IG will look favourably on this.

So to summarise:

  • Prioritise your social media platforms (choose 1-2)
  • Make your posts interesting and valuable, images well presented and make the most of all the ‘tools
  • Engage with other’s feeds….take 10 mins a day to post on the feeds of at least 5 of your followers, then post on 5 people’s feeds who you follow.

Planning – so you can create without interruption

Finally, if you can, spend a day planning your social media content and make sure it aligns with your goal/strategy for that month/few months. You can choose whether or not you use a social media scheduler or whether you just have a plan and post manually each day. Whatever you do, consistency is KEY! Don’t post 6 times one week and then once the week after. If you can only commit to posting 2-3 times a week do that but stick to it.

Remember YOU are in control of social media, NOT the other way round. If it all gets too much, your wellbeing and mental health is worth WAY more than your follower count.

If you are serious about turning your art into a part or full time income check out my free pdf ’12 ways you can make money from your art’ for some inspiration to get you started!

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