Displaying your art on the internet
Part 1 in a series about artists going online
Putting your art on(line)
Should I show my art on Facebook?
How to Instagram
One of the things we’ve learned during the current crisis is the importance of taking your business to the internet. In March, as the shut-down began, businesses that made a nimble pivot to online were able to mitigate the damage caused by the shut-down. Even as we tentatively open businesses, customers who are leery of shopping as they did before COVID-19 spend more time (and more money) online.
The business of art is a business just like any other. Artists need an audience of collectors and a great way to reach those collectors is online—in fact, until we are able to safely open the country, online might be the only way you can reach collectors. And online takes your art show, which was probably local, and gives you the opportunity to make it national, if not international.
If you don’t have an online presence, now is the time to create one.
I know artists who treat this part of their business as pure drudgery, not part of the creative process. I admit, it’s hard to get over that hump.
Overcome your resistance! Marketing your work online is a creative adventure. You are telling your story. You're creating a persona and a digital space for your art, and that space—that persona—will be a work of art that showcases the work you make irl (in real life).
Overcome your resistance!
Here are some ideas and resources to guide you through the journey to online success. This is not meant to be an exhaustive look at social media marketing. A person can spend a lifetime studying that topic. This is just a taste, to get you started.
Should I social? A beginner’s guide to social media
Social media is social. It's good for networking, making friends (yes, I’ve made friends on social media), keeping up with trends, learning new things and having fun. Oh yes, and advertising your artwork. Social media is a popular way for many businesses to be online for little or no monetary investment.
You don’t have to become a social media junkie to use it effectively to advertise your work. But you do have to come to terms with it, maybe even enjoy it a little. Remember, advertising on social media is all about engagement. It’s about being social. Respond when you get comments. Follow others. Be friendly, kind, patient. All the things you are in real life.
What platform should I use?
Set limits. Pick one or two platforms and start playing.
Choosing a social media platform can be bewildering. What works for me may not work for you. You’ll learn to work social media in your own way. The important thing is to start.
The big dogs (right now) are Facebook and Instagram, simply because of the sheer numbers of users (1 billion for Facebook). But they aren’t the only game around; Twitter or Linked In might be right for you, or Pinterest or TikTok. You’ll have to figure out which one you like the best (or hate the least), and which one provides the most return on your time. Set Limits. Pick one or two platforms and start playing.
Keep in mind that the social media ecosystem changes fast, so you’ll want to stay aware so you can respond to all the twists and turns of life online. But there's no need to become obsessed if you don't want to; even a basic presence on social media can help your art business.
Cory Huff at Abundant Artist describes how to choose between FB, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Artist and businesswoman Lori McPhee has a series of blog posts on social media.
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Calaveras County Arts Council
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