You’d rather be writing, painting, performing, singing, acting, dancing, sculpting, crafting…
Be honest, tell us that social media is getting in the way of your creative flow? It is, isn’t it?
You’re not alone.
If you’re an artist dabbling in the world of social media you may quickly grow overwhelmed with all the platforms, coding, plugins, rules, etiquette, tips… the list could go on, but we’re trying to avoid that overwhelmed feeling right? So I’ll stop there.
Adjust the Attitude
I used to loathe social media. My first tweet, back in May of 2009, expresses my early sentiment about Twitter:
Even after learning much about it and doing a little ghosttweeting for others, I can’t say that I love it. But then again, I don’t love auditioning either. If you’re a painter, you might not love the clean-up, or purchasing the crazy-expensive brushes.
There are always elements of what we do that we don’t love. But we can use those ‘unlovies’ as fuel to get to what do do love: creating.
[box options]As we delve into the practicalities of social media for artists, we’re all asking ourselves the question: is it worth it?[/box]
Think of it this way: if 80% of the population is using the internet (for real) why would I want to limit sharing my craft so drastically by not taking advantage of the power of social media?
Social media, for artists, is a great way for our voice to be heard and, equally as powerful, shared.
It’s a matter of being smart, using social media effectively and not letting it overtake your creativity.
Plan Your Launch
Those words sound daunting don’t they–“plan your launch.” Like we’re at Cape Canaveral about to shoot into social media space.
In a way, we are.
Many creatives grow disheartened with social media simply because they don’t understand how to implement social media for artists.
“I started a Facebook Page but no one will follow me.”
“I’m on Twitter but no one buys my stuff.”
“Blogging seems like a waste of time. I don’t know why I even bother.”
Ever felt that way?
As with any creative venture, planning is essential.
- Actors: you wouldn’t go to an audition without a headshot, resume, sides of the script, and having done your due diligence on the production.
- Writers: you wouldn’t write a novel without any thought to structure, form, or characterizations.
- All creatives: you have tools you use to create, but we’ve got to know how to use these tools.
Planning your social media launch is paramount. We’ll get into nitty gritty specifics in subsequent posts, but here are two basics for now.
- Professional and/or engaging profile pictures. Don’t send anyone to any of your social media outlets without one and without any basic contact information. Your picture is your calling card, your page your resume. Make is polished.
- Make it sharable. Believe it or not, there are people out there just looking for something to share via social media. Make it easy for them to do so by including something like Add This by your content.
By planning your launch and getting the proverbial ducks in a row before ‘going social,’ whoever visits your platform will be more likely to engage with you. Fight the urge to do the sign-up, share-one-thing, get-frustrated dance.
Engage, Don’t Sell… Yet
Finally, if you’re goal is to sell your work or offer a service don’t jump right into your sales pitch.
No one likes to be sold to, but people love to buy from people they know and trust.
Before offering your product or service…
- Get to know your audience.
- Develop trust (takes time).
- Offer something for free first.
I’ll take my own advice with this. If you’ve read this whole post, you’re serious about learning about social media for artists, building a platform, and using it to enhance your creativity. If you’re thinking of using blogging as a platform and wish to maximize your creativity, you may want to start the planning stage and delve into self-hosting your own blog.
But it’s not easy. I’m no programmer and I don’t know code, but the site you’re reading now is self-hosted and you can do it too. I’ve developed a 27 page e-book about starting your own self-hosted blog and normally it’s $2.99. (Read more about it HERE.)
But I’ll give it to you for free. Just Subscribe to this Blog today, follow me on Twitter, and share this article by clicking that Tweet button to the left. I’ll direct message you via Twitter to get your e-mail and send you the book. Completely free.
Happy creating! Happy communicating!
[box options]”Social Media for Artists” is making it’s debut with this post. In subsequent posts we’ll be exploring various platforms such at wordpress.org and wordpress.com, content management, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook as a means to help artists manage their own social media to get exposure, share their creativity, book gigs, make money, and have fun doing it. Social media for artists shouldn’t be a drudgery–at it’s core, it’s communicating creatively.[/box]