Social Media and the artist…. Do you love it or hate it?
Social Media is the perfect opportunity for artists to get their work seen by a large audience. It’s free and easily accessible. Its full of photos that are wonderful to look at and we get to see into the lives of our artist peers. But the real value is that we have the opportunity to get in front of our ideal customer so that they can see what we make and hopefully be inspired to purchase from us.
But Social Media isn’t always about selling our artwork. Its more about selling ourselves, and gaining new friends.
Many artists steer clear of social media. We don’t like to “sell” and we tend to be pretty self-conscience about talking about ourselves and our art.
For many, posting constantly on Social Media is an unwelcome burden. It really shouldn’t be viewed as a chore but as another creative outlet that lets you talk about your art and share all that you are passionate about. It’s more about connecting with other like-minded creatives and building trust with your ideal customer.
It’s about marketing yourself which allows you to build the trust you need to sell what you make. It’s building the support of peers, collectors, friends, and someday customers.
Years ago, in another life, my hubby and I made our living selling automotive tools through an e-commerce platform. This was years before everyone else jumped on the bandwagon. It was a gravy train for many years.
Eventually, competition started showing up and things changed. Of course, we panicked a bit. These folks were taking business away. But my motto at the time was “Anyone can sell Automotive tools, we sell customer service and support”
The same is true for today’s artists. In today’s world, customers service seems to be an afterthought for so many businesses. It makes us uncomfortable and sometimes even angry when we experience bad customer service. If we have a choice we change providers. If we don’t have a choice we suck it up but are not happy about it.
There are many potters and many artists. The customer has a choice. By getting to know you, your work, your process, and your values they begin to trust you. Give them great customer service and they will purchase from you and recommend you.
Sell Yourself First
Personally, I have found Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to be the best platforms for my work. They are graphical which allows me to share photos of not only my finished product but shots of other studio happenings, process videos, cat play, happy accidents and other fun things. I do my best to share “me”, as an artist, a person, a cat lover, in hopes that by getting to know me, my followers will desire to own one of my pieces.
Recently I have been reading (and being inspired by) a book called “This Business of Art: How to Become a Professional Artist” by Hannah Blackmore. Her thoughts on marketing on Social Media are spot on to how I believe. “Creating art is so much more than just making a product and selling it. We put ourselves into it and part of our soul.”
Sharing ourselves on Social Media allows others a chance to peer into our soul. It allows us to share our passion without being salesy! It opens us, and our art, to the ENTIRE WORLD. Think about that a bit. AND IT’S ALL FREE!!
Share your thoughts on Social Media. Do you use it? What Platforms do you like the best? Has it helped you grow as an artist?