Hi friends, today we are going to talk about using social media as an artist. I often get asked from other artists online and in real life about how to grow a following online. The truth is I have been building an audience online for 13 years and what works today might not work tomorrow. I have seen strategies work well and then fail, I see a lot of guesses about what to do and rumors about the ever mysterious “algorithm.” Since things are always changing I have been hesitant to give advice. That said, most artists and crafters are sharing their work online now so I thought I would share what I know, or think, or think I now (LOL) on today’s video!
I think the key to using social media and building a following online is to accept what you can and can’t control. As I said in the video this is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t want to share 10 paintings today and then disappear for a month. Figure out a realistic schedule and be consistent. That might be once a week, daily, by weekly or monthly. Keep the quality of your work and the frequency you post consistent. This forms habits and makes it sustainable. When I wanted to get my work published in magazines I told myself I would submit 3 pieces each month for one year and if I didn’t have any takers at the end of 12 months then I would decide if I wanted to continue or not. I got my first project accepted on the 11th month. I made a plan with built in consistency and set a timeline. I can control that. Could I control and editor choosing my project, no, heck I couldn’t guarantee that an editor would open my email but I knew the law of averages and this would give me a pretty decent shot of something being accepted. After a year I could consider it a fools errand and move on. Good thing I didn’t quit at 6 months, huh? Basically you can control what you put out into the world, you can control where you put it and how often. You can build your skills and put out the best work that you can. You can’t control who sees your art or if the social media platforms you share it on will promote it or not so try not to get down if you are not getting the results you are looking for. (Full disclosure I am saying this to myself just as much as all of you!)
Lastly, set up a home base like a blog or website. I like blogs because you will often update them and search engines love blogs. If you search a how-to topic on Google or Pinterst it will usually bring you to a blog post or a YouTube video. You can embed YouTube videos in your blog posts and add extra photos and text to make it a more valuable experience for your reader. You can send people from your social media accounts to your blog for more info. I love reading blogs too! Best of all if something happens to one of the social media platforms you have all of your content backed up and people can find you. I have heard too many scary stories from DIY youtubers who have had their accounts taken down over a mistake. In all of the cases they were able to get them back but it’s scary and you need to protect what you are building. Also, most social media is ephemeral. Things you post go away quickly to be replaced with a constant rush of new content so it’s nice to have a curated space that you control.
Is my strategy perfect? No. There is always more you can do and a more optimal way to do it (sadly the optimal way changes from month to month) but I have found a way that I can sustain that works for me. If you still want to hop on this crazy hamster wheel too then figure out what you are willing to commit to and be consistent. I’m rooting for you! Happy crafting!