Artists & Local Social Media for Naples Fl
Decorative Arts, Muralists & Faux Finishing
How do you stay on topic? Sometimes it’s hard to.
When you do as much posting on social media as I do you could write your own book about it.
Many different things are discovered about it and with it, all combined you find what it can and cannot do to improve an artist’s bottom line.
For instance, when it comes to marketing on and offline most business owners know the importance of branding oneself but when it comes to artists that are just now coming out on the web they really have a hard time understanding what it can actually do for them, “a babe in the woods” I guess you could say.
It’s true to say that most everyone thinks that social media is all the same when in fact they are all entirely different from one another and each serves its own purpose. I hope this article will shed a little light on this as I move ahead and try to explain (in brief) the differences of the main four, which in my opinion are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Yes, I believe Google+ should be included in this list of comment generated sights but first I want to let you know where I am with all this as you are probably bored with what I have to say already and have X me out after just reading the title.
You know what though? I really don’t give a shit because I’m not writing this for who wants a better understanding of what each of the platforms is for. The ones who know it all already know more about the platforms than the ones who even built them because they call themselves experts, lol am I right?
c’mon gimme a break, even the ones who built the sandbox find a turd once in a while…
Social Media for artists and anyone else can do a 180 and hurt you on the internet if you take the wrong advice from those that believe they have the experience to direct others on what to do and about getting the best results from the information they provide. Most do mean well and really do think they are helping but what they fail to do is consistently research recent updates with Google releases and have a tendency to pass on old information which in my opinion is three months or more. (Yes three months) the rules change very quickly.
Being that I am getting quite busy again with my artist work in the area (Naples & Southwest Fl) with some that are already “sprucing up” before the Holidays, I really have little time trying to keep up with the social media side of things. Did I mention I also manage a couple of LinkedIn groups ( Art Marketing ) and am a contributing member to many others, plus I have taken on writing a blog on LinkedIn’s newly added Pulse section.
I think this was a fantastic addition to LinkedIn as it is mainly about business. By utilizing this I can post more about how I can help others not only in the arts but also what I have learned from running a few businesses and keeping things separated like Google prefers to have it. Makes it easier when it comes to indexing content and URLs. Another strong social media that I have discovered to be very helpful to small business but more on the creative craftsman, decorative artists, muralists artists and Interior Design side is Google+
The differences between Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+
In short, I think Twitter is just a means of screaming out the latest headlines of current events, kind of like the town crier who holds the latest edition of a newspaper by standing on the street corner of yesteryear to make a few bucks. This little guy has to be good at it too because he wants people passing by to buy a paper from him, this means he as to yell out compelling information to get ones attention just as you would have to be creative with titling your tweets with relevant keywords like in my case would be decorative arts, faux finishing, muralist or whatever information you are want to send your followers to. It’s usually short and sweet with about 140 to 160 characters (including a link) that can lead to wherever you want to send that person to, such as a blog and/or gallery. Over time the kid on the corner eventually gets his “regulars” or followers in a sense that he eventually opens a “newsstand” to carry the load of buyers that hopefully grows and grows
Facebook, on the other hand, the way I like to explain it, is nothing more than one huge city with many things all going on at the same time. People go to the big city to have fun, to be entertained and to find the basic things that they need such as carpet cleaners, plumbers, pizza, family restaurants, movies, nightclubs, etc. But it’s also a way to keep up with family and friends through socializing. Then there are networking groups of people who share things in common and are generally looking for specific information about what they share. It’s what I call the “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How of social media kind of like a melting pot of your local Chamber of Commerce which has many many groups that help one another on a Business to Business kind of platform. This is where you meet other business owners and learn about them and who they are and engage in socializing with them just as the same as if you were at a local T-ball game with your kids or even meeting at a local coffee shop or bar. It’s a place to build friendships as well as trust in an individual before you would invite them into your home. Of course, this is a great place for small businesses in the service, food, and entertainment side of things. So in a sense, Facebook is a huge city of commonality and community activities where you can pretty much find anything you are looking for in the service and entertainment industry.
Then what is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is more of a social media for the professionals such as the high financier, banker’s, corporate attorney’s, investors, doctors, the mover’s and shaker of corporations, advertising agencies, real estate, CEO’s, etc. and basically where the big money cash flows are happening and yes including the stock market and political side of the things (was that a chill that just ran down my spine? lmao) In other words these are the businesses who are in the business of taking care of other people money and advise them of what’s going on (or not going on) with their money investments. Usually, the mindset here is “How much am I making and when do I get paid” to put it simply. Some do it in the long term and others do it in the short term or both. Social media members here are businesses looking for other businesses to do business with at a much larger and higher scale. Most are involved in several businesses at once at generally don’t have time to do their own long-tail research and hire others to do that for them. Yes, this is where an artist would have a better chance of selling their work for what it’s worth if only you could get them to slow down long enough to see and view the work themselves.
However, this is where personal assistants and others come in and find it as their job to locate the professionals who best fit the criteria for whom that would “fit the bill” for what they are in need of.
So where do artists fit into all this?
Well, artists have a very unique niche in the community which fits into a much higher plane and are really in a place of their own and make it a bit more difficult to really categorize them but like that. For instance, although people do go to the “city” to buy fine art it’s not to what one would call average to most city life. Art is a cultural side of life where you would find more in fine art museums, art shows, muralists, decorative artists, charity events, fine art galleries, and generally places of higher education and not at the average bar scene and/or 30 dollars a seat restaurant or hanging out at the movies. But then it really depends on the kind of art and or faux finishing you are selling, and what you as an artist are comfortable with at your selling price. Some artists are thrilled to get $150.00 to $200.00 for a small painting (i.e.16 x 20). Me? I wouldn’t even take it off the wall for that (unless it was just a 10-minute Conte crayon sketch) but you get my point.
This is where many artists make their mistake when trying to market their work on their own, are they have not determined their market or worse yet, downplay it by unknowingly trying to sell it in the wrong markets.
In my experience of marketing as an artist, it’s really simple to see that artists spend too much time trying to sell “original” artwork in the wrong social media arenas while using the wrong approach. What I am saying is, if you are an artist your time should be focused on areas where your buyers are and not where they are not. Sure you can sell a few pieces of art on the common social media sights and even sell a few prints, posters, coffee cups, calendars, etc. however you are rarely going to find buyers/collectors of $15,000.00 or more hanging out in your average social media or chat rooms. Unless of course you are able to find the private/hidden and/or secret groups of social media which is rare but they are there.
As Fine artists, Muralists, and Faux finishers what do we do?
First off start a self-hosted blog with a strong keyword domain name that’s relative to you and what interests you as both an artist and a person. This is important when you are wanting to be found on the internet through generic searches and not direct searching unless of course you are already world-renowned and people would search for you directly, then you would just use your own name and not have to rely on organic searches. However, if that were the case you sure as hell wouldn’t be sitting in front of your machine reading my yammering now would you? Of course not, lol
You must create a place to drive people to and who are interested in you as a person. A place where you invite friends, neighbors, and those who are “genuinely special” to you as your home for instance. This is where you are most comfortable within your own environment (your “Domain”.)
Don’t try to use any of the social media platforms like a blog or a website these are only a place to list yourself in the social media platforms and to network publicly and branding your image. For instance, people remember me because of my long ponytail and beard, and a couple of other things. They remember me for helping with painting and business advice but mainly about marketing and web knowledge and how I help them as much as I can each within their own platforms of social media that they search for certain things they need help with. For instance, if they need a plumber I know a plumbing company they can find on Facebook. Or if they need a business mentor I know one on LinkedIn I can send them to. This helps them with their problems and has earned their trust as a person. This is my trademark so to speak and I am not remembered as a salesman/spammer or for pushing what I’m selling, although they do know I am an artist will remember if it comes up.
So if the need ever arises and someone does want a fine art painting, mural, and/or decorative art commission completed I will be the first one they will remember and end up as the “go-to guy” as a leader in my market. Yes I know I sound like a broken record about this but it’s true and you must have a home base where you can be found by anyone who may be looking for my kind of knowledge just like any other business, You need to centralize ALL your social media to one place which is your blog and this is where all your friends, clients, customers new and old can find you. After all, you can’t expect to hang out at the local coffee shop all your life and expect to earn someone’s trust. Besides social media, you must obey their rules and they can pull the plug on you at any time. I mean even casinos in Las Vegas have their cleaning hours and can shut you down anytime they feel like it or worse just decide to drop out of the business altogether then what?. This is the same with all social media sites and why they should not be relied upon as business sites because THIS is what they are NOT.
Now the last Social Media I want to say a few words about is rather young and in its infant stages but these kinds of Social Medias are the ones I feel should really be watching and learning about. The reason is that they are learning just as you are and makes it much easier to grow with them just as you would with any start-up business, art gallery, museum, production company film, or otherwise. This social media to me is focused on the creative side of life and more about cultures in and from around the world, as well as outside of our world and/or more. This social media is where I have pointed a lot of my focus because of the kind of creatives that they are and have the outside of the box kind of thinking. Personally, I think this social media is way above the others in regards to the movers and shakers of the Fine Art, Muralists, Faux finishing, Interior Design, and high end commercial and residential construction across the world and beyond. This to me is the highest level of like-kind thinkers and where artists are going to find the buyers/collectors of fine art in the very near future. The speed for which it is growing is not quite as fast as the others have been in the past but slow growth is far better than a bubble bursting speed as what had happened in the .com days at the turn of the century and who might this be you say?…. I think you already know the answer to the question, but it’s none other than Google+
Yes that’s right, I said it Google+