Wonder why this post rocks? It is written and submitted by Dan from Right Brain Rockstar, that explains it.
Love it or hate it, there’s no escaping the fact that more and more people are spending a LOT of their free time (and a fair bit of their work time too) on Facebook. Facebook claims to have 483 million daily active users. While there may be some dispute over what counts as active, there’s no denying that we’re talking large numbers. So how can we artists take advantage of these millions of Facebook users to promote our art?
Facebook Artist Pages
A Facebook Page is your own little corner of Facebook, separate from your personal profile, where you can represent yourself as an artist and interact with your fans.
A Facebook Page is different from your regular Facebook profile, in that you can attract an unlimited number of ‘Fans’ (there is a limit of 5000 friends on your personal profile). You can also take advantage of a wide variety of apps to enhance your fans’ experience and promote and sell your artwork.
Setting up an Artist Page on Facebook is pretty easy once you know how. The first step is finding the elusive ‘Create a Page’ link.
You will see a ‘Create a Page’ button on the top right when you visit any other Facebook Page, or you can use the ‘Create a Page’ link at the very bottom of your Facebook profile.
You then have to choose what type of page to create. Choose the one most relevant for you, in this case ‘Artist, Band or Public Figure’.
Choose a category for your page (Artist), and give your page a name (e.g. Dan Johnson Art)
You then go through a few basic setup screens, where you can add a profile picture, invite your existing Facebook friends to like your page, and complete some basic profile information.
Once you’ve done that, your page is live. That’s how simple it is to set up a basic page.
Customizing Your Page
Your Facebook page is now good to go, but there are some things you can add to encourage more Likes, more interaction and ultimately more sales.
Create a Welcome Page
When visitors first land on your new Facebook Page, by default they will see your wall, where your most recent updates will be listed.
That’s fine, but it’s not very enticing, so what you can do instead is to create a special welcome page for new visitors. Here you might offer a free gift or a special discount for Facebook fans only. This gives an incentive for people to click the ‘Like’ button, and become a fan.
To create a welcome page yourself, you need a certain amount of graphic design and HTML skills, which is beyond the scope of this article, but there are services out there like PageModo, which let you create and publish custom welcome pages with no technical skills whatsoever.
Once you have created your welcome page, you need to tell Facebook to show it to all new visitors. Go to Edit Page > Manage Permissions, and choose your new welcome page from the ‘Default Landing Tab’ dropdown. Now all your new visitors will see your enticing welcome page instead of your plain old wall.
Connect Your Etsy Store
If you sell your art on Etsy, you can actually display your Etsy listings right on your Facebook page by installing the Etsy Facebook app.
To do this, just type ‘Etsy’ into the Facebook search bar. You will see an app called ‘My Etsy App for Shop Owners’. Click it, and then click ‘Add to My Page’.
You will have to choose your page from a dropdown and click ‘Add My Etsy App for Shop Owners’.
Now on your page you will see a My Etsy tab in the left menu. Visit that tab and you just have to enter your Etsy username and you’re done. Now your fans can browse your Etsy listings right on your Facebook page and click through to make a purchase.
There are thousands more apps like this to enhance your Facebook Page. For example, if you use video to promote your artwork, you can have a YouTube tab to display all your videos.
You can browse all available Apps in the Apps and Games dashboard.
Add a Facebook Like Box to Your Website
In order to convert your website visitors to Facebook fans, it’s a good idea to put a Facebook Like Box on your website. This provides a link to your Facebook Page, as well as displaying how many people already like your page.
To add a Like Box, go to Edit Page > Resources > Use Social Plugins (There’s a whole host of different plugins you can experiment with here.)
Click on ‘Like Box’, and then you have to enter some details in the box on the left. Enter your Facebook Page URL, the desired width and height of your Like Box (this will be determined by the space you have on your website), and choose which display options you want (you can see what it will look like in the live preview on the right.
Then click ‘Get Code’ and you will be provided with some HTML code which you can paste into your website template wherever you want to display your Like Box.
What to Publish on Your Page
Now that your page is customised to your liking, it’s just a matter of keeping your fans happy by posting great content to your page.
Don’t post exactly the same stuff as you post on your website, or your fans will have no reason to follow your page. I like to use my Facebook page to give my fans a bit more of a behind the scenes look at my work.
I will post works-in-progress, photos of my studio or my palette, anything that will make your fans feel more connected with you, and feel like you’re showing them some of what you normally keep to yourself.
I also post links to other artists I admire, which is a great way to introduce your fans to other artists that they may not know about, and also a good way for you to connect with other artists.
I hope this short guide will help you get your artwork on Facebook if you haven’t already. If you have any questions about setting up a Facebook page or how to use one effectively, please leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to help.
Now that the Christmas presents are all unpacked, 2013 is knocking on our door and it’s time to not only prepare for new year’s eve, but also to get some systems in place that will help boost your artistic work in the coming year. The goal is to have you wake up in the morning with an absolute passion to get started on the things that will improve your artwork. If you’re like me, some days you can’t get anything done, because you keep hesitating what should be the best thing to work on that day. Too much choice will paralyze you in the end, so keeping focus can help you improve the quality of your day tremendously.
Creating an ‘editorial calendar’ for yourself
All television shows, radio stations and magazines in the world work with them: editorial calendars. There is not a reporter in the world that get’s up in the morning in a state of absolute panic, screaming: ‘wait, ANOTHER issue of our newspaper is coming out tomorrow?!’ The reason they’re not panicking, is that they work with an editorial calendar.
Artists usually don’t have to publish a daily newspaper, but what we can learn from reporters is the fact that they think ahead. They have regular meetings about what will be covered when and keep referring to the calendar when they start working. This could also apply to us, artists, when we want to set goals for the coming year and want to make sure we stick to it. This is why writing your goals on an editorial calendar can be useful.
How to do it:
Create small and fun recurring tasks for yourself
Think of small goals you would like to achieve in the first couple of months of the new year, and make them recurring. What skills would you want to improve? What made you proud last year, that you could repeat in the next? What mistakes do you want to avoid?
Think of them as small tasks. Some things you could do on a monthly, weekly or daily basis are:
- Emailing your best clients to keep in touch with them and keep the conversation going
- Reflecting on your work, analyzing what works and what doesn’t, asking friends or colleagues what they think of it
- Experimenting with new work and materials
- Reading books that will help you improve your work
- Finding new like-minded people to connect with through social media
Now, write these down on an actual calendar and stick it to the wall you face when working on your art. If you’re into digital calendars, make them recurring appointments with notifications set up to remind you of your task.
When you’re done planning the first months, try to think of the months after that. What would be important to do in that period? What will make spring incredible? And how are you entering summer?
Remember, don’t make these goals huge, they should be done in about half an hour to an hour every week (or day, or month, but I prefer weekly so I can make Tuesday ‘writing day’ and Friday ‘catching up day’) and they have to be fun to do. Don’t make it a weekly goal to work on your administration, because you will quickly lose your interest. Have fun with it, plan ahead, and you will have an action plan for the coming months.4 responses
You might expect that a blog about ‘marketing your art’ is about getting as much twitter followers as possible, or a how-to on targeting your audience with flashy banners and spectacular commercials on TV. While that might work for some, real ‘marketing’ is about getting your message out there and reaching those people that actually would want to listen to what you have to say. Why do you need 1,000 twitter followers when only one of them would love to buy your work or hire you as a client? I’d say focus on this one person, and have them experience your work the best way possible.
Explain how you made it
As you might have noticed, one of my strongest beliefs about running a successful art business is telling your story to the right people. Part of this story, next to telling them the ‘why’ of your work, is a piece of education, where you educate anyone you’re talking to about your work. You know there’s more to it than at first glance, but nobody else does, unless you tell them.
Things you can refer to, depending on your profession, are:
- What materials you used
- The choices you made during the process
- What is in the picture/painting/sculpture/writing (is it just a woman, or your mother? what happened right after you captured the moment? why was that moment special?)
- How many versions you made of this particular work
- What your inspiration was
- How you felt when you made it
- What message you put in the work
Have them tell your story
Make your story very visual and interesting, so your audience can relate to it and will be able to remember it once they either bought your artwork or they want to refer you to someone else. It’s always great to own a piece of art you can talk about to your friends, with great detail of how the artist made it and what choices were made in the process. It’s your responsibility to tell them this story, so they can pay it forward. And as you know, word of mouth is one of the best ways to market, since we all trust our friends’ taste and advice on things, more than we trust someone spamming twitter with messages in capital.
Again, it’s very important to understand that when people are buying your work, they are not buying the materials, or the techniques, but they are buying your story. As someone in a Linkedin discussion on a previous blogpost said: ‘So, sell the sizzle, not the sausage’. (And I understand that in the US, it’s ‘not the steak’. Whatever you prefer, I think it’s true. And a funny sentence I will keep in mind to use in moments I want to come across as extremely clever.)
The painting in the featured image is ‘Purple Layers of Abstract Digital Art’ by Terry Mulligan. Want to have your artwork appear on my blogposts? Contact me!7 responses