So how do you get started on Social Media as an artist without it taking over your life completely? What Social Media accounts should you have and what could be avoided?
How will you manage these going forwards? If you are anything like me, you’d rather be creating or making and not spending hours of the day on the computer or smart phone.
Now, I come from a slightly different position to many of you here I suspect. When I first launched my art career as a painter, there was no Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube to market your art business on. Now I’m back in that world I am so incredibly excited at the possibilities now available to all of us.
Previously back in the day, I spent hours of my time creating posters, flyers, post-cards, mailing out physical letters, driving around distributing them, and writing press release for the local papers. Now, when I think back (yes blowing out the dust from the recesses of my brain), this actually took quite a bit of time.
Are you an artist who just doesn’t want to use their time on Social Media? And even if you did, you’re not quite sure what, when and how you should be posting? I totally get it.
Here’s How To Get Started On Social Media As An Artist:
What should you consider first?
As artists the very best accounts to have set up right now are Instagram, Facebook and possibly Pinterest. YouTube too if you teach your art, but this is less of a ‘Social Media’ and more of a search engine, with people looking for content all the time. They are a dream visually and are also likely to be where your target market are hanging out. Not forgetting Twitter of course.
Facebook has the benefit of being where most people share their daily lives and these days a over 2.41 billion users at the point of writing this. There are so many options with Facebook, such as being able to create a Shop on your Business Page, go Live on video and share with your customers, communicate via Messenger and of course get directly in front of your target audience with Facebook Ads.
Instagram has been seen as the primary place for fine artists to share their story, process and work for a while now. It’s branded, inspiring, and also has the benefit of being able to run images, videos, live video and of course ads (from your Facebook Ads Manager).
Pinterest is particularly great if you either blog regularly or selling things online. As you have features such as ‘buyable pins’ that can lead to your Etsy, Shopify or other online shop, this could be perfect for you.
Twitter is now often the forgotten platform on Social Media. However, you can definitely use this to great advantage, especially if you are building a global art business.
The 8 Steps You Need To Get Your Social Media Accounts Set Up:
1. Account Name
Choose your own name as your account name, avoiding names which you might think are clever but end up being confusing. If your name isn’t available, try adding in a hyphen.
2. Email Account
I recommend an ‘admin’ type of email address to set up your Social Media accounts with. I always teach my clients to create an firstname.lastname@example.org email and just use this for admin type purposes.
A secure password. I can’t stress this enough. These accounts are regularly hacked and you just don’t want to make it easy for them to get in. Make it water-tight and use a password keeper like LastPass to keep them all together.
4. Clean Headshot
You will then need your professional headshot photo (in different sizes according to which platform you are on), so people can easily see who you are. Use a platform like Canva to do this easily and quickly.
5. Punchy Bio
A very short punchy ‘bio’, where you want to use your main keywords and summarise what your products are, or the benefits you offer your customers. For most accounts now this is one sentence, so spend a bit of time getting this right. Make it clear, benefit-driven and lead to where they can find out more.
6. Call To Action
The most important part of any Social Media account is your ‘Call to Action’. The URL where you will send people. On Instagram you can use a third-party app such as Linktree to add multiple links. Elsewhere connect to your other platforms where possible and focus on sending people to where they can join your mailing list.
7. Timeline Image
Then you’ll need a timeline image (not for Instagram) and this again should reflect your business brand. Create a branded graphic on Canva or Photoshop that shows your work to it’s best advantage. (See: The Top 7 Mistakes Artists Make When Going Professional).
8. Quality Content
Lastly you need some high-quality content to get you started. Have 1-3 posts prepared BEFORE you set up your account, as nobody wants to see that empty page.
What should you do next?
Start taking more photos with your smart phone, or camera, and get into the habit of creating your own ‘stock library’.
Ideally set aside the time to create a Social Media Posting Plan to work from, as this makes life so much easier. Plan ahead for at least 30 days, so you are organised and avoid that ‘what do I post today’ question.
I would also recommend using a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, as this makes your life a lot easier to get started on social media. You can plan out those 30 posts and then schedule them. All you need to do then is connect and engage with your current and possible future audience.
Allow at least 15-30 minutes per day to like, comment and seek out your audience. Respond to direct messages, post up Stories or even do a Live Video. (More on that topic coming).
Check out my future blogs, live videos on my Facebook Page as well as tips and tricks on Twitter and Pinterest; where I will go into much more detail on each platform, how to use them effectively, what to post, how often and so much more.
I hope that has inspired you to Get Started On Social Media As An Artist and make the very most of everything on offer to help you build your successful art business.