I know… If you’re an artist the word “market” or “marketing” sounds so bad. In some ways it feels like it cheapens your art. You work hard on it. You pour a lot of emotion into it. Why would you want to brag about it? How could you possibly shill it like a vacuum cleaner salesman? Trust me. It doesn’t have to be like that.
Lets stop using the word marketing and call it sharing. That’s what we’re doing really. We’re sharing the fact that your art exisits and some more information about it with people. Share knowledge with friends, family, neighbors, and anyone else that’ll listen. Lets share what we know. Often.
Another word we’ll tweak is art. When I write ‘art’ I mean all output of creative activity. It could mean a painting or computer software. So lets all hang out under the big tent called creativity so we can learn skills that apply to many areas of work.
One simple way to start telling people about your work is by using social media. It’s the fancy phrase for new ways to publish text on the web and share with millions of people in real time. I’ll assume, for now, that you have examples of your art online. If not I’ll return to that in another post.
I like to use Twitter for sharing what I know online. Go get an account. It’s free. I’ll wait…
Ok. Now that you have a Twitter account lets talk about what’s important.
- Share – Include links to pages and other stuff in your tweets. Once in-a-while share links to your own stuff. Don’t drown people in it though.
- Frequency – You have to use Twitter often. Tweet a few times a day during those few spare minutes you have. Like when you’re standing in a line at the DMV.
- Honnesty – You have to be yourself. Tweet the mundane and the exectional thoughts in your life. Ignore the jerks who say, “All people twit about is what they had for breakfast. Why would I want to use Twitter?” BS.
You might wonder how this will help you if only a few people follow you. First thing you have to do is follow other people. One strategy is to follow as many people you want to follow you. Go click on the follow link on their Twitter page. This strategy works. Don’t worry about keeping up with all those people. You can’t. There is no way to read all the tweets of tens of people much less a million. Frankly just absorb the info in the tweets when you want to. Like standing next to a river and watching stuff float by.
I personall prefer a slightly different strategy. You are following a group of people. I only follow about 1/2 to 1/3 of the total number of people that follow me. People who follow you are called followers on Twitter. Plus I try to only follow real people. On twitter users can be automated software called bots creating tweets from all kinds of data like blog posts. Organizations have Twitter accounts too. Usually those organizational accounts are run by people. But often they write in PR speak and only share sanatized info approved by a organization. That is boring and doesn’t engage people the same way authentic individual mundane Tweets do. I know it seems counter intuitive. First person is authentic online. If you want people to ‘listen’ to you online you need to be yourself.
Another reason Twitter is really helpful is Google. The major search engines Google, Bing, and Yahoo all index Twitter feeds. If you Twitter feed is public then Google has a copy. This is really good because it makes it easy for people to find out about your art. If someone searches for something like ‘Painting Your Home Town’ then they could come across your Tweet about your work. Plus over time the more info that you have about your work online the more establish an expert you will become.
I can’t promise miracles but I know Twitter can help. The largest consulting gig I’ve had in my entire career came from a lead via Twitter. Someone sent me a direct message that they wanted to talk. We chatted via email a bit. Then six months later I had made over $20,000 for nine pages of text. Because it was really easy for someone to reach me and I had established myself as THE coworking expert in North Carolina they knew who to contact.
I’m @BrianR on Twitter. If you found this post helpful follow me. Then Tweet at me something like, @BrianR thx for the post about Twitter. What’s next?.