Heads up! As of today, Facebook has introduced a feature that has been around on other social media websites for quite a long time and has been an important factor for engaging with others and exploring content you might be interested in. Yep, hashtags! These #funny #looking #little #words you see after a message on websites like Twitter and Pinterest are now implemented in Facebook as well.
Check out what Facebook had to say about it:
“To date, there has not been a simple way to see the larger view of what’s happening or what people are talking about. To bring these conversations more to the forefront, we will be rolling out a series of features that surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people, and topics. As a first step, we are beginning to roll out hashtags on Facebook.”
What this means for you is that whenever you post artwork on your Facebook page, you should consider adding some relevant keywords formatted as a #hashtag to make it clickable and therefore searchable. This makes it possible for your visitors to explore related content by clicking on these words and getting a list of Facebook search results for it, but in the same time allows fans of other artists to find out about you because they clicked on their hashtags. Isn’t that great?
From now on, try making it a habit to add relevant hashtags to your facebook posts (some examples: #art, #illustration #oilpainting #watercolor #sketch #sculpture) – you could see an increase of traffic coming from people interested in your art.
If you haven’t been able to figure out marketing your art to the fullest through Facebook yet, make sure to follow the steps in our Facebook course and reap the benefits on a daily basis.3 responses
By guest author Morgan Swofford
When you’re first starting out as a freelance artist marketing your work can seem overwhelming to say the least. There are a lot of factors that can make it challenging and one may be your own pocketbook. They say you have to spend money to make money, but as an up and coming (and financially strapped) artist that can be hard to stomach. So where do you start?
Luckily there are several avenues that can get your work seen without draining your bank account. There are also many steps to take to maximize the money you do spend on promotions. We are living in an opportune time for massive marketing ventures on a small financial scale. Yay for us.
So here are a few things to note:
1. Social media is your best friend. While most of us are probably aware of the benefits of using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote our work, the key is to use them in the best way possible (don’t tweet endlessly about that french toast you made for breakfast and expect to have people clamoring to see your portfolio).
I’ve found the best approach is to think about forming relationships through these outlets instead of thinking of them as giant platforms to get people to look at your illustrations. Although it is important to get eyes on one’s portfolio, forming personal connections and long term correspondence is the ultimate goal and the best way to actually create opportunities for work. Ask about what people do, get to know them. Start there. Being genuine can get you a lot farther than, “Hey everyone, look at my work!!!” #I’mdesperate
2. Email promotions are a godsend. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see that many publishers, art directors, etc. accept email submissions (some solely accept them over snail mail). Many give the option of either email or postal submission and it’s up to you to decide which is best. Be sure to follow submission guidelines carefully (always note the size of files the recipient requests – no one wants their inbox full of 30mb files) but this can be an excellent way of connecting for absolutely free.
3. Don’t be a hermit! Look for social gatherings for artists and consider joining a critique group. You never know how personal connections you make will impact your career for the positive. Again, focus on building relationships here. Many events like the ones hosted by SCBWI are at a low price and can introduce you to loads of other artists and potential employers. You don’t have to wine and dine anyone, just go with the intention of getting to know a few new faces and their work.
4. Scrutinize your mailing list. Take time to go through every name and company with a fine toothed comb. If you have been getting the cold shoulder from someone for a while put them on the back burner and hone in on the clients who have the most potential to give you assignments.
5. Funnel a percentage of every profit you make from your art sales into future promotions. It may be tempting to take your first couple of checks and go get that new wardrobe (okay, maybe give yourself this) but you’ll be glad when you have a built in budget to rely on. Think long term and you can’t go wrong.
As artists, most of us pride ourselves on our creativity. Having small starting funds to build a career is just another problem to find a creative solution for. We are lucky we have so many resources available to us that make low cost marketing a possibility. So get going! Send those emails and meet some new faces. Work is waiting!
Not sure how to define yourself as an artist? Taking this lesson about defining your artist ‘character’ will make a lot of things clear for yourself and your fans.
One of the great advantages of promoting your art on Twitter and other social media sites is the fact that you can use any event or popular topic as an excuse to put your art in the spotlight. Whenever a certain topic gets popular, people will start searching for this term to see what other users are saying about it – and that’s your cue right there.
Most popular topics that go viral on the internet are quite unpredictable and usually seem to happen out of the blue, but a great way to predict what will be most talked about is looking at certain special days of the year. Apart from the obvious ones like Christmas and Valentines day, which you should absolutely leverage as well, there are many more days celebrated throughout the year everywhere in the world. There is a day for just about everyone and everything. Look at what artist Michele Banks did a couple of days ago when she found out that day was about raising awareness for malaria:
It really can be as simple as that and it gives you a better excuse than just your average ‘look at my art!’ tweet that you would normally send out.
What topics or special days can you think of right now to link your art to?
Are you newsworthy? Guess what: everybody can be. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to create newsfacts around your art and have the press quickly pick up on it.
Use clever marketing tactics you can use in your every day life to get more attention to your art without spending too much time on it.
What benefits can using Twitter offer to you and your art? A lot – let’s set up a system that allows you to have more time and see your fanbase grow day by day.
By guest author Lina Tirilis
As artists and designers, we are constantly thinking of better ways to communicate our designs. Studies have shown that the average person takes seven seconds to make a decision about something… subconsciously. With that in mind (pun intended), design is a powerful communication tool. If a piece you create doesn’t “wow” the audience’s subconscious in this short span of time, you can definitely bet on it being forgotten. So, how do you keep that person’s interest?
First and foremost, it takes an elegant execution. What does this mean? It does not mean that your piece has to be stereotypically beautiful, but rather it has to be made using your smarts and with the knowledge that your audience is smart too. For instance, use colour with intent. If you are designing a logo for a small coffee company, choose colours that are relevant to the brand of the product, not just colours you chose from thin air. This will provide a sort of cohesion throughout the entire brand.
Also, get to know your audience. If you don’t know your audience to begin with, they likely won’t even look at your designs. If they do take a glance, remember, you’ve only got seven seconds to make an impression. But how do you get to know your audience? Find out which target market appreciates your tastes. For instance, a big faux pas among graphic designers is when that horrible Comic Sans (cartoon-like) font is used on just about everything, but say you are designing an invitation for a Children’s event – this is where the font may be appropriate.
Typography, typography, typography! Not all people will opt to use typography in their artwork. Yet, what do you want to convey if you do? Say you decide to make a poster that uses a lot of type. Is your type legible? (Is it meant to be legible?). Good typography goes unnoticed. Bad typography sticks out like a sore thumb.
The medium is the message. Canadian Philosopher Marshall McLuhan coined this term. Simply put, there is a relationship between the medium that you use and the message you wish to portray. If you are designing sculpture, take into account the materials that you are using. It may be cool to tag an environmental message behind a sculpture made of mixed media and refuse. You are the one executing the message in your designs. Make a solid point of it. Try to make it impactful.
Telling great stories can make a huge difference in the way people perceive your art. Make them love your art even more by knowing exactly how to talk about your art in an engaging way.
It all sounds very simple: get the right people to write about you and the big audience will follow. While getting attention from media outlets is indeed a very good way to quickly gain popularity, convincing the ‘big guys’ to feature you can be quite tricky. Here’s a good way to start: make it easy for people to write about you.
Write your own short bio
Writing your own biography will help reporters choose which person they will feature when they’re on the hunt for some good content. When looking around for artists, those who introduce themselves in a short and clear story will surely stand out because they make the writer’s life a little easier, and there’s an even bigger benefit for you: to choose what is being written about you. Are you a watercolor artist? Make sure to call yourself exactly this in your bio or they will perhaps label you ‘artist’ or ‘painter’ without further definition. Do you have any special achievements like awards or successful shows? Make sure to include these as well, as it will provide some insight in your overall experience. When you finish your short bio, include it on your blog, website, flyer or any other outlet you are currently using to promote yourself.
Release some pictures of your art to the public
When you are being chosen to get a feature spread in a magazine or a blog article on a website, having some high resolution pictures of your art ready for the press will speed the process up by taking away any worries about copyright. You should feel comfortable with releasing these pictures and have them represent your style and common thread throughout your work. Make sure to add the photographer’s credits, if any, and be clear about any conditions you might have on publishing the picture. (Can they reuse it for further editions? Are they allowed to store it in their library? Is the picture going to be used for commercial purposes?)
Add a headshot of yourself
If you feel comfortable enough, try providing the press with some professional high quality headshots of yourself that they can include in interviews and editorials. An ‘action shot’ of you creating your art or being around your studio is a great idea for a picture.
When writing about you, reporters will thankfully use any testimonials from others that were written about your art. Adding quotes from art critics or fans will help their writing and add different perspectives to the piece.