When Pinterest first launched, many of us undoubtedly felt the same and thought the exact same thing: another social network I need to spend my time on? It is true that things are changing rapidly and that sometimes it is really hard to keep up with things. But now that Pinterest has been proven to bring more referals to websites than Facebook and Twitter is doing, things are getting more interesting for artists as well…
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is basically a big online pinboard on which you can pin images you like, are inspired by or just would like to share with the world. Every user has it’s own set of ‘boards’ that can be used to categorize inspiring images from all over the web, called ‘pins’. Whenever you browse the web and you find a great piece of art, for example, you can choose to upload this image directly to Pinterest from your hard drive or pin it directly from the website using either a “pin this” button that could be already available on their website, or through a small bookmarklet which you can drag to your browser’s toolbar. These pins now go onto your pinboards and are being featured on everybody in the world following the category your pin has been published in as well as everybody “following” you, just like they would follow you on Twitter.
Why should I put my time and energy into it?
The biggest question is of course why. With all of the social network websites already sucking up so much time and energy, why would you add Pinterest to your daily chores as well? The anwer is simple: it works. The average Pinterest user is a woman (80% of the current users is female), is highly educated and has enough disposable income to shop online on a regular basis. Because of the viral character of the whole Pinterest system of pinning and repinning, things can quickly build up for you and your website. Not only can you publish your own work to Pinterest, you always have the ability to create a link underneath the picture, which will take users to your website when they click on the picture within your pin. Because the average user already has a “shopping” mindset browsing through beautiful items, the conversion rate of these visits are more likely to be higher than they would when you’re getting traffic from Facebook or Twitter. One other reason you should use Pinterest is that it works wonders for your SEO, your search engine optimalization. For each pin that goes viral with your website linked to it, you’ll get a “backlink” and therefore more exposure to your website.
How to market yourself on Pinterest
Format your photos right
Any time someone visits your site, your blog or your portfolio, they should be able to pin them to Pinterest. This means your images need to be optimized for use on Pinterest. This shouldn’t be hard to do. Most images are already very suitable to be pinned on a board, but optimizing your images for the perfect Pinterest experience will definitely increase your chances of being repinned and going viral. Here are some great tips on optimizing images for Pinterest:
Run contests and giveaways
An increase in traffic to your site can lead to more pins for images…and what better way to increase traffic but to throw a contest?
Contests are very popular on Pinterest. Just do a search for “giveaway” and you’ll get a huge list of search results from people using this tactic:
As you can see that many people put the word “giveaway” in the description. You can up your chances by putting other keywords in the description like “contest” or “enter to win.” In addition to that, include keywords related to your art so search results get really specific. Whenever you use a bold image for your giveaway you’ll surely generate more pins.
Create a board around broad interests
Let’s say you’re a mural painter. Instead of creating a board called “My work,” you can create one called “Cool mural paintings” of even “paintings” in general. This will open up your category so that you can share a lot more amazing images on it, including your own paintings.
If your art changes with the seasons, you can create boards for those. Or if you sell a specific collection of your art around a certain holiday or event, you can have boards for these different events and dates.
Follow the golden rule
Next to marketing your own art, make sure you take the time to repin other people’s pins as well. If you are constantly pinning your own stuff, the less likely you are to get followers or get your own stuff pinned. In order to be repinned, you must repin. Think outside of the box by creating boards that are dedicated to things not necessarily tied to your business. You have to remember that Pinterest is a social platform, just Twitter or Facebook. This means you have to be very human on it. This means you have to leave comments but also that you post photos of people and animals in your pins.
Just like on your blog or website, the more images you pin and the more they relate to the emotions of others, the more chances you’ll get your images shared.
Use the Pin It button
If you want to encourage the sharing of images on your site then step one for you is to put the Pin It button on your site.
If you have products, then put the Pin It button beside them, too. You can get the buttons here.
Let people post your blogs to Pinterest. In addition, encourage people to follow you with the “Follow me on Pinterest” button.
No, you don’t need Google Analytics for this trick. All you need to do is put your web address in this link where it says “yourwebsite.com”:
For example, when one would type in workyourart.com at the end of the url, this would show up, giving great insights in what content is being shared off of the Work Your Art blog.
I like to go through there on occasions and thank the people for sharing my pins. And then I can decide if I want to connect. Usually I’ll pick up a few followers, too. This is a great strategy for keeping the conversation going on Pinterest and driving even more traffic to your site.
When you can share beautiful images with compelling messages and you make it easy for others to share these images, then you’ll generate a lot of traffic from the boatload of pins and repins you’ll be getting!
LinkedIn is the top social network for professionals. With over 150 million members worldwide and 280 million visitors per month, it is one that deserves your attention. LinkedIn offers several ways to build your personal brand and business reputation throughout their network as well as gain valuable traffic back to your website. This lesson will show you the important areas you need to be taking advantage of on LinkedIn for branding and traffic including your personal profile, groups, answers, company pages, and plugins.
If you haven’t done so already, create a LinkedIn profile for yourself using your own (real) name. This is what it will look like:
(Above) This is the top section of your profile as seen by everybody else when they find you on Linkedin.
The most important things in this section are:
Your Profile Picture – This is a clear representation of your face, ideally a professional picture or one with good lighting. Try to avoid using cute shots of your vacation on Hawaii here, since you want to come across the way you would normally walk into a job interview: professionally, and not wearing your flip-flops. (Unless Baywatch is what you’re applying for).
Your Name – This means your real name. LinkedIn will not allow using your art form or other descriptive words in this field, since it will trigger spam and search engine optimized names that will make searching the profiles more difficult.
Your Headline – This is where you’ll be using some descriptive words that you want people to find you by. When you’re a painter, than make sure to include some keywords like ‘painter’, ‘painting’ in here. It will increase your chances of being found through LinkedIn’s internal search engine. This is why I included ‘graphic designer’ and ‘animator’ to my description, and this works like a charm. A lot of my freelance jobs in the past came from people using LinkedIn search on these terms; a great way to grow your network.
Your Current and Past Experience – List everything that is relevant to your profession and use some good keywords here as well.
Your Education – List the schools you went to, the classes you’ve taken and the degrees you’ve earned. If you, like me, speak a foreign language and had to enter your school in your native language because it was entered this way by the page owner, there will be an option to enter the English translation further on as well. Mine would be ‘Utrecht School of the Arts’, which would make more sense to international visitors than the one showing on my profile.
Websites – This is a great chance of promoting your website, your blog, your portfolio, your online shops and so on. You can enter multiple websites in this field, so make sure to use it fully.
Beneath this are additional sections that can be rearranged based on your needs and what information you would like to present first including the following:
Your Summary – This is a great spot for your elevator pitch, your artist statement or a short version of your bio.
Your Specialties – What are your skills? What is it that only you can do? Why would someone work with you and not with someone else? Really dig down deep to sell yourself in this section.
Your Skills and Expertise – Think of some good synonyms for the things you do and add them all in here, since it will also influence the search results in LinkedIn’s internal search engine. Don’t make it too spammy, though, and keep it readable to humans as well.
Interests – This is a great spot to list the things you enjoy in life, providing a more personal look into your life.
Groups and Associations – If you belong to any groups and associations, be sure to include them here.
Personal Information – Some additional information could be entered here, as well as some other ways to keep in touch with you.
Contact Preferences – If you like, you could enter some contact information in this section.
Below are some optional sections you could add to your profile to create a more advanced profile. They are optional, but some of them will be very useful for showing off your experience and skills even more than with the basic information described above. To add them, click the ‘edit profile’ link and select which sections you’d like to add.
Certifications – If you have received any important certifications in the past, you can list them here.
Courses – Add this section to your profile and let people know what you have learned.
Honors and Awards – YAY to you if you’ve received some awards in the past. Show it off!
Languages – Do you speak multiple languages? List them here and assign a certain degree to them (are you native? do you speak the language professionally, or just on a more basic level?)
Projects – If you’re working on a big project (even if you haven’t finished it yet), this is a great spot to tell everyone what you’re working on. It’s also a great spot for some extra information about your art.
She has also done a great job on entering just the right information on her profile at the top section:
Publications – If you’ve ever been published, list it here, along with an optional link to a page where people can either read it or buy it.
Patents – Patents you’ve filed can be entered here.
Test Scores – Are there any important tests you’ve taken that will be relevant to your business? (Don’t list the ‘astrology partner compatibility test’ from this month’s Vogue magazine here, I tried, nobody seemed impressed)
Volunteer Experience & Causes – Great going if you’re doing some volunteering or support good causes – there’s actually a spot for this as well on your profile.
LinkedIn offers Applications that you can install on your profile to enhance it even further and to embed some content from external websites and applications.
You can see what applications are available to use in the Applications Directory. There are some that artists can benefit from, such as the WordPress application that pulls in your latest blog posts to your profile, the Slideshare application that is great for showing slideshows of your art and the Behance application that syncs directly to your profile on Behance.
I used Slideshare to embed a youtube video on my profile that autoplays when someone visits my profile. Slideshare has the option to add a Youtube link to your presentations, and when added to the very first slide, it will autoplay the movie for you on your page. I used it to embed a great testimonial Greg made about me.
Networking with other professionals on LinkedIn is different from connecting with the average Twitter user. LinkedIn specifically includes in their rules not to “Invite people you do not know to join your network.” Hence, you will want to build your LinkedIn network via the following:
Import Email Connections – Using the Add Connections area, enter your email address to see if anyone in your contacts are on LinkedIn. You can also import desktop email contacts from systems like Outlook. This will send a generic invite to everyone in your email address book.
Colleagues – Using the Colleagues area, find people on LinkedIn who work at the same companies that you currently or previously worked for. When you view colleagues for a particular company, it will bring up a checklist of employees for that company. Select the ones you want to connect with, then include a personal note with your invitation to ensure they know who you are and why you’re connecting with them.
Alumni – Using the Alumni area, find people on LinkedIn who attended the same schools and universities that you did. This will show you profiles of people from your school along with a summary of where people work now, what they do, and where they live.
People You May Know – Using the People You May Know area, find people who you might know based on mutual connections.
Other ways to grow your connections include the following:
- Participating in LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers.
- Adding a link to your LinkedIn profile on your website, emails, and other social profiles.
- Using the People Search to find people at specific companies, living in particular countries, and working in related industries.
If you do decide to try to connect with someone that may not know you well, be sure that you explain your network invite in the personal note section, such as saying you just checked out their portfolio and would love to follow up or saw them speak at a major conference you attented. If you invite people to your network and they mark your invitation as someone they do not know, you will be banned (temporarily) from inviting new people to your network unless you know their email address.
Recommendations are testimonials given to you by other LinkedIn members for specific job experiences you have listed on your profile. There are three ways to increase your recommendations on LinkedIn.
Ask for Recommendations via LinkedIn – If you go to your Recommendations Manager, you will see a listing of all of your job experiences and a link next to each to Ask to be endorsed. Alternatively, you can use the Ask for Recommendations link on your profile which will have a drop down of your jobs. You can then ask up to 200 people in your LinkedIn network for their endorsement of your work at a particular job. Be sure to include a personal note as to why you selected them for possible recommendations. The best time to ask is if you have recently done something good for them – a time when they are likely to write a glowing review of your work.
Ask for Recommendations via Email – If you want to go for a very personal invite with someone you work with, ask them via email to visit your LinkedIn profile and recommend you for a particular job.
Give Recommendations – In some industries, reciprocation is equal to a thank you. By adding recommendations to your colleagues’ profiles, they may reciprocate by adding a recommendation to yours. Be sure to only recommend people who you truly believe in – not just in the hopes that they will recommend you back.
Now that you’ve established a strong LinkedIn profile, let’s look at the ways you can use it to increase your network, spread your message, and promote your art.
Your first stop for marketing on LinkedIn should be LinkedIn Groups. You can find groups within your art of craft in two ways. You can use the Groups Directory to search for keywords related to your industry or use the Skills pages to see top groups recommended for each skill.
Once you find some groups that fit your interests and (even better) art or craft, click on the Join button to become a member. Some groups will automatically accept you, while others require administrator approval. When you become a member of a group, take a look at the recent group activity. This is how you will find out what you can get away with in the group. While some groups have tough moderation in place to remove spam, other groups allow free posting by group members of any discussions they choose.
How do groups help with promoting your artwork? The groups that allow you to post anything (related to the group topic, of course) will allow you to link to your latest website content. This is a good way to promote your blog posts or articles including your art. You can post links to your latest content in LinkedIn groups by going to the group, starting a discussion and attaching a link. Alternatively, you can share a link on your profile, then click on the Share link beneath that to Post to Groups. Select all of the groups that might be interested in your content by typing their name into the box, add a subject & details, then click Share.
If you share a link on your LinkedIn profile, it will be potentially seen by only your connections. But if you share a link on your LinkedIn profile and within relevant groups, it will be potentially seen by your connections and members of the group. This will increase your exposure (and traffic) exponentially.
When you do post a link in a LinkedIn group, be sure to keep up with any comments on your link. This will show group members that you are engaged with them and not just promoting yourself. Another benefit of being active in groups is that you get the chance to be listed on the group’s homepage as a Top Influencer of the Week.
The next area to demonstrate your expertise and potentially drive a little traffic to your website is LinkedIn Answers.
Here, you can find questions from other professionals in topics ranging from Administration to Technology. Answer questions from other members often in topics related to your specialties – this will help other people notice you as an expert. When applicable, you can also leave links along with your answers for more information – this can be a great way to drive a little extra traffic back to your website.
Want to promote your creative business on LinkedIn? You can add yourself as a company using the Add a Company form. Then, be sure to take advantage of different sections of the LinkedIn company profile including the following:
Overview – The company page overview allows you to add your company logo, description, website address, company industry, type, size, locations, specialties, and company blog RSS feed so your page will be updated with your latest blog posts.
Careers – Take advantage of the top social network of professionals by posting your current job listings on your company page. Pricing varies based on the location of your job posting.
Products & Services – The products and services section of your company page allows you to showcase the top products and services your business has to offer. Each product and service description can include a link to its page on your website, a YouTube video, and additional details. Keep conversions in mind when writing your products and services’ descriptions. Also, consider adding a Recommend Button to your products and services’ website pages so LinkedIn members that have used them can recommend them.
Also, be sure to use the new Company Follow Button on your website. With one click, logged in LinkedIn members will be able to start following your company updates.no responses
Whenever you’ve made the decision to showcase your art online, getting people in to check on your work on a regular basis can be really hard at times. Blogging can help you promote your work in a more fun and efficient way and will generate more traffic for you than with just a website.
Using the built-in blogging system on your website
As described in the first part of our Portfolio website lesson, most solutions to creating a website have a built-in blog you can use right away.
Tumblr and WordPress are both blogging systems that are easy to use and offer great possibilities to post articles, thoughts, and of course your work. I highly encourage you to build a website with a blogging solution built in, as it offers so many advantages with regards to visibility in the search engines, a much higher engagement by your visitors and a better overall experience of your website. It will also stop any confusion about which website is actually your portfolio, and which is your blog. If you do keep them separate, it will not be unlikely for people to email you about missing something on your website, when actually they were looking at your blog, or the other way around.
If you, despite the advantages of having a blog as a part of your website, still feel you want to set up a separate blog, you can of course use Tumblr and WordPress for just this purpose, or use one of these alternative services.
Weebly is quickly gaining popularity in the art world because of it’s nice designs and easy to use drag and drop interface. Signing up is easy and clear instructional videos help you through the process of setting up your blog.
Google offers it’s users a free blogging system through the popular Blogger platform. After signing up with your Google account, you will have your own ‘blogspot.com’ blog that easily connects to other blogger users as well.
One of the absolute best ways to blog about your work is to post pictures of your work along with thoughts about your process. Some things you could post are:
- Chronology of your creative process
- Short videos of preparing an exhibition
- Your latest work
- Sneak peek at what’s coming up
- Pictures of you in your studio
- Links to things that inspired you
- Links to blogs of people you like
- Interesting articles you’ve found in the paper
- Important things going on in your personal life
- Art reviews
- Quick and helpful tutorials of the materials you’re using
Give your opinion
As you start to attract an audience around your work, you’ll notice that people want to know what you think.
Though you might not want to believe it yourself, there are a lot of people that want to hear your opinion on certain topics. Whether you are a beginning artist or a seasoned one – through your work you will become a maven with a following of enthusiasts. Think about the blogs you visit on a daily or weekly basis – why did you decide to follow these people? For most of us, it’s because of either their creative talent or their fresh perspective on things. Offer your fans and visitors both: share your artwork, and share your thoughts. If these two go hand in hand, you’ll grow your blog following even quicker than you would with just publishing your art.
Use attractive headlines
When blogging, don’t write your titles, headlines and subheadings too quickly. They are extremely important. Think of them as newspaper headlines – people like to scan websites for interesting articles, and the more generic your headline is, the more chance that someone will totally ignore the absolute brilliant message that you have in store for them in the body of the text. The best copywriters in the world start with writing their headline and worry about it about 60% of their time, spending the other 40% writing the actual copy. There are also numerous books written about i,t which you can find in the library and explore a bit further if you want, but if you’re not keen on reading any of this, here are some evergreen headlines that have made people open up email subject lines and read blog posts for years now, and some of these you will undoubtedly recognize from other popular blogs and websites out there.
- 5 ideas for … (Framing an artwork, putting an art wall together in your home, something nice and/or useful they can do with your art)
- Find out how I … (Create my work, get my inspiration, manage to juggle a family life and an art career)
- Who else wants …? (To come to this event, a free piece of art, a discount)
- Ever wondered how…? (This piece of art came to be? I got my art degree?)
A good headline also has a keyword in it. This keyword can be a word someone would use when searching online. For example, when you’ve just finished a landscape painting, don’t write a blog post about it with this headline:
“New painting finished today”
But instead try to include a keyword to rank for in the search results, like:
“My best landscape painting so far, do you agree?”
Asking a question also makes the headline more appealing, and stating that it is the best one you’ve done so far really makes them curious about what it looks like and what makes it so great. Try to be creative in this and think of the end user; what are they looking for that you can offer them? How would they search for this?
Create bulleted lists
Bulleted lists are perfect to be used in blogposts. They make your content easily scannable and are more inviting than big chunks of text. Think of something like ‘the top ten…’, ‘five reasons why…’ or ‘three examples of…’. I use this format for a big majority of my blogposts since I noticed they always turn out to be the most commented on and have a bigger chance of going viral on social media.
Use links to your own pages
Having a blog section embedded in your website is extremely useful when you want people to navigate through your website and hang around for a while. It is inevitable that people who stay on your website longer tend to buy from you with more ease, since they have gotten a chance to really get to know you and nurture their growing sympathy and passion for your work.
Blog on a consistent basis and give your audience something to look forward to. When you don’t want to spend an awful lot of time on your blog (which is probably the case, since most artists just want to spend most time in their studio), try to come up with a blogging schedule that works for you. If you feel like once a week is enough, then pick a day and stick to it. Someone following your blog will undoubtedly notice and check back on your site on this day. On Wednesday, for example, the Work Your Art homepage experiences a huge spike in traffic from people checking back on my new blogpost, which I indeed post on that day every week. The upside of this is also that when I don’t blog on that day, I will feel incredibly guilty for letting these people down and jump out of bed in the middle of the night to write it anyway. How is that for commitment?
There is nothing more fun than having a good conversation with commenters on your blog about your ideas. Don’t keep your creative thoughts all to yourself – share some of your ideas on your blog once in a while and see if you can stimulate your reader to join in on the brainstorming. The latter can be achieved by asking a specific question at the end of the post and inviting your readers to comment on it.
Don’t forget the caption
Studies have shown that people tend to read the caption of a picture sooner than they do read the introduction of an article, so when inserting an image in your post, don’t forget to add a small caption and make it a small one sentence summary of the article, if possible. You’ll see this in newspapers as well, where they sum up some facts and point out what’s seen in the picture above it. What you might want to do is, when explaining how you’re sculptures all represent male bodies, insert a picture from one of your sculptures and instead of just saying ‘Male body, March 2012′, have the caption say something in the lines of ‘My art focuses around male bodies, creating sculptures from live models’, or anything else you’d point out in the article. If someone was to read that, they’d be more likely to return to the top of the article and start reading the entire post.
Post about future plans
Provide your readers and collectors with something to look forward to, like an event, an upcoming piece of art or anything else you have planned in the near future. This will make them come back more often and keep you in the back of their mind.
Ask for input
Another way of getting great ideas from your readers is to simply ask for input. Ask them to name one of your pieces, to give you a subject for your next piece of art or to provide you with an inspirational picture to work from. This could also be done by adding a poll to your post – a great way to get more interaction on your post by people who are not thinking about commenting, but would love to express their opinion in a different way.
Reply to all of your comments
A good blogging etiquette is to reply to the comments made on your blogposts. This can be anything from a simple thank you to a heated discussion, but either way seeing your name appear in the comment section of your blog will give your readers the feeling that they’re being heard when they comment.
Review other websites
A great way of getting more views and links is to write about other websites and fellow bloggers. There’s nothing more flattering than being included in a blogpost, so by doing this you’ll notice that you’ll make some blogging friends, while at the same offering your readers a great insight of your ‘online neighborhood’.
Add a comment on their blog
Something else that seems to be fairly common in the blog world is to comment on someone else’s blog when they’ve commented on yours. This makes you look professional and shows that you truly care about what they do and what they write about as well.
When you get into the habit of commenting on other blogger’s posts, you’ll quickly see that your visitor count will increase as well. Your name will be seen by a whole new audience and you get the chance to show your knowledge and express your opinion. A comment with some great helpful information will undoubtedly result in some clicks back to your blog.
Find blogs related to the themes or symbols in your art
If your art usually evolves around a certain theme, you could find some great blogs on this topic and join in on the discussion there. If you love sketching vintage cars, try to connect to some bloggers writing about these cars and ask them for their opinion on your art. If they like it, they will be more than happy to write a post about you, spreading the word about your art to just the right people: those who already like what’s in your sketches.
Contests and give-aways
If you have some smaller or old works of art that have no particular purpose, you could consider using them to market your portfolio website or blog. Write out a contest to your audience with a small piece of art as the grand prize, or if you feel uncomfortable giving away your work, create a smaller/sketched up version just for this cause.
Things people could do to win the prize are:
- Be the most helpful commenter on your blog that month
- Refer the most friends to your website
- Send out a tweet for a chance to become a random picked Twitter winner
- Share a post on Facebook and get the most likes on it
- Answer questions on a quiz about your art
Submitting a free eBook
Do you have a lot of expertise in your particular craft? Do you love telling everyone about what it is that you do? Then it might be a good idea to write a short eBook about it and submit this to one of the many websites out there listing free ebooks on the net, like this one. In this eBook, which you can easily create by writing it in a rich text editor and saving it as a PDF file, you share your thoughts and ideas, include some tips and tricks, and, this is where the magic happens, include a full page advertisement for your art, your website, your blog, anything you want. People interested in your craft will Google you and find your eBook, download it, and see your ad when they open up the eBook. It’s like self-publishing a full-color one page ad in a magazine you wrote yourself.
Joining a blogging tribe
Closely related to creating a hive around yourself, is joining a so-called ‘blogging tribe’. These tribes are groups of bloggers that automatically share each others content to their Facebook and Twitter accounts so that a bigger audience is reached with every update. Applying for a blogging tribe can be done on sites like Triberr.com.
Submitting your website to a quality directory
When you have a website and you write some new content for it on a regular basis, it could be a great idea for you to submit your website to a useful online directory. There are a lot of spammy directories out there, so you should make sure you pick one that is related to your topic and craft and that it’s of a good quality. A good quality directory is curated by actual human beings and features only a select group of approved sub-categorized websites. A great website to get featured on is Alltop.no responses
With new members registering for a profile every day and hundreds of millions of people around the world using it, Facebook is undoubtedly the best way of reaching a big audience and staying connected with your friends and fans. With a Facebook Page, you benefit from the audience already there and make it easier for people to find and spread the word about your art. In this lesson, we’ll go through a step-by-step tutorial on setting up a Facebook page for your art and dive into some great marketing tactics as well.
You can see the final result of Harold’s page right here: http://www.facebook.com/HaroldThePainter
The Cover Photo
Your Cover Photo is the first image a visitor will see when arriving to your page. You can see it as a visual status update and a part of your branding as it sets the tone and theme for the rest of your page. Use this space as a cue of what’s to come and update it regularly to keep it fresh and inviting. There are no limits in how many times you can change this photo, so updating it with a new piece of art once in a while might be a good idea to do.
The profile Picture in the upper left corner of your page is the visual representation of your brand. I recommend changing this less frequent than your cover photo. Keep it consistent to build your brand and have people recognize you by your profile picture when you post anywhere on Facebook. Also make sure to keep it simple, since Facebook will shrink the image down to a small thumbnail – a clear picture will be easily recognizable as your brand.
The About section is a great place to put your artist statement and tell a bit about yourself. There are a maximum of 150 characters displayed, but if you need more room to write, a clickable ‘read more’ link will appear at the end of the truncated message.
Apps are a great way for the advanced user to add some additional functionality to Facebook. These apps appear as tabs in the top bar of your page and can be adjusted with a tab thumbnail image. The Photos app is fixed to the first position, but there are three spots left for you to fill. You can try searching for apps suitable for your business by using the search bar at the top of the Facebook website.
Facebook allows you to post a status update as a ‘sticky post’, and ‘pin’ it to the top left spot in your Timeline for up to seven days. This is a good position for catching the eye of your visitor, so make sure this message is nice and appealing.
The Friends box offers you a clear view of all Friends who have been supportive of you and liked your page.
As an additional way of drawing attention to content without pinning it on top of your page, highlighting a post with a star expands it across both columns of your timeline and offers you the possibility of showing a larger image.
Backdating & Milestones
Through this feature, posts can tell your story as an artist going as far back as 1000 A.D. Milestones are used for key events and achievements. Use ‘Change Date’ to place content on a precise day, month and year.
Timeline also displays monthly activity posts that include “people who like this” and “people talking about this” insights. This is great for some credibility, it shows that you have an active community surrounding your creative business.
By clicking the Admin Panel at the top of the page, you immediately get a snapshot of your page’s notifications, messages and insights. It provides a clear understanding of what is going on on your page and is a great way of evaluating the performance of your page by having a nice chart with likes and overall reach visible.
So now that you have a Facebook Page, what do you say? How do you make sure that your time isn’t lost on something that will not benefit the promoting and selling of your art?
The number one rule for this: offer people a chance to get to know you as an artist and as a person through your Facebook fanpage. When someone decides to like your fanpage, chances are they are interested in hearing about updates such as sales, shows, new pieces of art, and blog posts. The key to preventing yourself from being hidden from someone’s newsfeed (because there is actually an option to do so) is to be diverse and come across as a human being. Otherwise your readers will feel flooded with offers and discounts and opt-out from following you.
If you mix it up with a personal touch and a bit of entertainment as well, they’ll be looking forward to future updates, have an occasional laugh and engage with the fun stuff you’re sending out, which will also evoke the ripple effect you’re ideally looking after. When your fans like something on your fanpage, it will appear on their friend’s newsfeeds, so if their friends like it, the friends of your friends will see it, and so on. This is why marketing on social media is so popular: people with the same interests engage with you and with each other, making it a great source for word of mouth marketing.
So while it is necessary to put your art out there and publish it on Facebook whenever you feel like showing it to the public, there are some ways to turn your Facebook fanpage into a fun experience everyone would want to be a part of.
Share pictures of your work in progress
Sharing pictures of your work-in-progress with your fans is an excellent way of sharing both an update on an upcoming piece and your activity for that particular day. It allows your fans to see the process behind creating your work, and will feel more connected to it once it’s finished, because they’ve seen it evolve over time. It also gives you the opportunity to link back to these photos once you’ve published your piece of art for sale on your blog, your website or on an online shop, so the story behind your artwork gets told by these work-in-progress pictures.
Be inspiring and educational
As an artist, you’ll undoubtedly keep yourself informed and educated about the things that are going on in the fields of your particular craft. Chances are that if someone likes your work, they’ll like these little snippets of information as well. So be sure to post articles and blog posts or share Facebook updates from others to your fanpage as well. If you want to make the most out of this, you could include a link to a piece of art that is closely connected to the update as well.
Add a personal touch
Statistics have shown that pictures of pets and family are the most popular updates on Facebook. Everybody likes to see your dog chase it’s own tail or see your cat leave paw marks on your studio floor from accidentally stepping in your materials. While your page shouldn’t be all about your personal life, this is after all where your profile is for, you could include just a small amount of personal stories to your page to keep the connection with your fans strong and stay entertaining.
Ask for feedback
Your Facebook page doesn’t have to appear as a monologue. In your status updates, instead of just broadcasting a message, you could ask a question or ask for feedback. You could:
- Start a poll on anything, from serious to quirky
- Ask for an opinion on your art or process through posting a picture
- Ask an open question
- Have your fans submit ideas for future art pieces
Reply to every sensible thing people say to you and remember that you’re having a conversation with a real human being. When someone asks a question or has feedback, try to respond to it in a timely manner. It will make you and your work more approachable and real to potential customers. Also, needless to say, try to be nice and get to know the people you see engaging with your updates most. These are your biggest fans and top influencers, so pay special attention to them as a thank you for their ongoing interest.
How to attract likes on your Facebook page
Make sure to promote your Facebook page as you have conversations with your fans and customers, and don’t forget to include the link to it in your email signature, your business card or on other marketing materials. Remind them that liking your page offers them a chance to hear about special promotions first.
Another great idea to gain some likes when you’re just starting off is to make sure to check the right-hand column of your page where you’ll see the link to “invite friends”. That will send an invitation to your page to your whole Facebook friends list, so this will surely gain some attention and awareness.
Don’t worry too much about the amount of likes on your page; it is better to have just a few people really liking your work and engaging with you, than to have hundreds or thousands of people simply clicking the like button but never even take the time to look at what you have to offer.no responses
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.