A Little Pep Talk
Unless you’ve been on the moon for the last decade, then you know social media is to marketing what air is to breathing. So using it to share your art, grow your fanbase and increase sales makes perfect sense.
But before we talk about that, I want to say how super remarkable you are without it. I know I’m usually telling you ways you can improve your art business, but it’s even more important that you’re working on the practical application of your talent. It’s paramount and honestly social media comes somewhere down the line after that (Completely up to you to say how far down the line that is!).
It can feel like we’re not keeping up well enough because there’s always some new technology flying toward us at light speed. So, before you read through my list of social To Do’s, know that by simply sticking with your passion and creating art that would never exist without you means you’re an amazing creative success.
And that perseverance of yours combined with your talent is what makes you as remarkable as you are. The most successful creative people on the planet do their work despite difficulty or even delays in achieving success. In other words, you’re doing better than everyone who’s not doing what you’re doing.
No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying. – Tony Robbins
Social Media Today
I took a minute to tell you all of that because these tips may be a bit tough for some to follow. I know they are for me. The good news is they’re not necessary. But if you’re ready to tackle social media marketing in 2016 to grow financially and gain recognition, then I have a list of 4 ways strategies that might help you lasso a win.
There are a few people living their lives online these days. Three and a half billion to be exact. That’s a fact. I looked it up. And your audience is there in the middle of it all getting shoved around. So, you’re going to have to throw them a lifeline if you want to reach them sometime this century (which I’d like to mention has quite a long way to go). And social media is the dock you’ll be standing on when you do it.
And, hey, guess what? You’re already plenty qualified to use these strategies. The fact that you go online to share, like, comment, learn, and experience means you’re plenty qualified to market there too.
You are Internet integrated.
So, try using these strategies to get to the top of the winner’s podium. The goal is to spread your content in ways few artists are using.
- 360 Video
Videos are picking up momentum online. In fact, they’re starting to outrank images in the same way images showed up long ago to outrank text. However, there’s a newish video in town that’ll put you farther ahead of the curve. It’s called 360 video. I bet you’ve seen them on t.v. sports commercials, but never thought of using this type of videography for your art. The whole advantage is to connect in a more authentic way than you’ve done previously with your audience.
- How To Use It: You’ll need to borrow or buy a 360 video camera. Wait. Before you throw this idea out, you must know the hassle will be well worth the return. Remember that the reason 360 video is so hot now is because it’s ultra engaging. It feels to the viewer as if they’re actually there with you. First, Google a few and take a look. I recommend watching a couple of slower, serene, narative 360 video shoots. Artists and creatives like you are starting to use 360 videos to boost engagement with their art. 360 video lets viewers have a virtual experience with your art, gallery, show, process, or whatever you choose. By having them with you, their experience becomes more real and in turn they connect better with you and your art brand.
- The Advantage: You don’t have to be a videographer with lots of knowledge of video production. It’s as simple as recording a regular video. And it’s just as simple to edit and upload. So, be one of the first to use it and win big. It works great on mobile, desktop, or laptop. Video yourself outside, on stage, in your studio, at a show, etc. The ideas are endless as are the opportunities.
- The Drawback: You’ll have to access a 360 camera. They can range in price from the mid $200’s on up. If you look around, you might just score one for much lower.
- Live-Streaming Video
Last year, live-streaming video hit the Internet with little mainstream fanfare. Now that early adopters have turned into real users, sites like Periscope and Meerkat have been followed by others like Blab.im, and Appear.in. Many are joining in and live-streaming video is becoming surprisingly popular.
The reason live-stream is contagious is because unlike video that’s recorded previously and posted after the fact, live stream is as current as you can get. And current is all the craze in social right now.
Using live stream video lets you easily meet your fans face-to-face (virtually) by removing the distance barrier. Fans can interact with you in real time, yet be thousands of miles away. These interactions carry more truth, reality, transparency and authenticity. People are embracing these ideals as the new norm for social.
- How to Use It: Sign up on one of the free platforms such as Periscope. Set up your profile. Watch some sample streams. Start the process by choosing what you’ll broadcast. Come up with a simple idea. For example, you could stream a painting session, sculpting, welding, dancing, singing, etc. Decide on your space and a time. Write an introduction to let your audience know what you’ll be showing them. It might be intimidating, but remember, you’re the expert and people want to learn more about you and your amazing talent. So, try it! You might just end up being one of the first on Periscope to become an artist celebrity.
- The Advantage: There are a lot of people using live streaming video, but not many yet who are using it specifically for the arts. Because it’s still a fairly new social practice, by starting now, you can get ahead of the curve. You could create a channel that dominates Periscope. You can feasibly dominate your own niche. For example, maybe you conduct live streams for beginning artists teaching them the ins and outs, or behind-the-scenes looks at what it takes to be an organized artist, or even step-by-step tutorials on specific art methods, and so on.
- The Drawbacks: Live streaming requires your time and full attention. You don’t have the freedom to pause and return later the way you can with regular video. You also won’t be able to edit, of course. In addition, you have to prepare your environment ahead of time (dirty socks off the floor) and have a specific topic and basic outline in mind of what you want to cover. You’ll also want to have a general timeline (15 to 20 minutes is best). Finally, while additional purchases aren’t necessary, you may find yourself wanting a smart phone stand, a clip on microphone or a phone case with built in lighting. All of which can drive up the cost of your new marketing strategy.
- Private Social Networking
Private social networking is a form of social that’s exclusive. Private platforms and features like groups and messaging utilize a variety of different interests and criteria to engage people. This kind of social is on the rise. And that goes along with the movement towards making a more personal and authentic connection to one another online. It works on the notion that we like to be exclusive. By nature, it’s more targeted and immersive. In short, it’s just more real. In order to use it, you simply need to find a private networking community or a private feature like groups. There are quite a few out there like Nextdoor, for example (a private social network for your neighborhood).
- How to Use It: Look around at some private social networks to find something you like. Join or start a group on one of your current networks. Create a topic of interest. Take your time and build your tribe. To do it right, you’ll need to be active. It takes some effort, but the payoff is worth it.
- The Advantage: By being more personal and conversational online, you peel back another layer to your business friendships with fans. People invest themselves when interactions are authentic. The more real you are, the more invested they will become (unless you’re working on that whole ‘mystery persona’ thing).
- The Drawback: Private social networking requires more time because you’re more deeply involved with people individually. Rather than posting a general announcement or picture on your feed for everyone to see, a post to your private group requires you to answer and ask more questions. You’ll have to be more committed, thoughtful and dedicated.
So, maybe try baby steps? Choose one method to start and before you know it, you’ll be the super star of super exclusive!
- Adaptive Marketing
Adaptive marketing is being more of what your target audience needs. Switch your efforts to a “them first” strategy. Find out what interests and desires they have and adapt your interactions to include those. Ask questions that engage them in their interests. Meet them where they’re at literally. Learn about them so you can directly market to their wants and needs. Ask a relevant question that centers around their knowledge base but has to do with your genre, request votes for choosing content and so on.
- How To Use It: If you’re a portrait photographer living in a college town where your target market is usually focused on hometown college football, then you could get some great shots of athletes and ask to display them in a busy local pub. Include your social handles on the information posted with you works. Now you’re showcasing your talent while at the same time giving fans a way to connect with you online. Providing products that hit right at the heart of your market’s interests as well as positioning them right where they’re most likely to see them is smartand adaptive. It just takes a little research and some effort and BAM, you’ve got them.
- The Advantage: Your job of marketing will become more enjoyable in a lot of ways. It’s like finding a clearance sale and scoring big by saving money. Only you’ll be scoring big by gaining zealous fans because people’s enthusiasm is contagious once you tap into their interests. You’ll get to start having real life conversations initiated by them first (which is the best way to sell something anyway).
The Disadvantage: Adaptive marketing takes more thought and planning. It can also feel like you’re trying to be something you’re not if you don’t do it right. There’s a line in the sand that you’ll want to draw to stay true to you, which is why people love you in the first place. But just as you see in your significant, real-life relationships that you hold dear to your heart, online relationships flourish if you make the effort to show interest in their interests first.
It’ll take an investment of your time and energy, but little by little you’ll grow as a modern day marketer using these methods.
These free marketing tools plus free sites like artsrow.com will help to position you for a strategic takeover.