Start creating online visibility - with Social Networks to promote your art and craft
May 15, 2009
I haven't tried the Internet yet to promote my work. What do you suggest to start with first?
Overwhelmed and Confused
The internet can certainly help your marketing efforts, even for a novice. Start with the easiest web exposure by joining a couple of social networking sites.
Think of this social networking as sharing, rather than self-promotion. It will be a lot more successful.
Below is a list of several good social network options.
Instagram seems to be very popular right now. You can upload images to create an online presence. Even businesses are using this for an online identity and to drive traffic to a link in their profile. This can be changed anytime. It is relatively easy to post images on Instagram. There are tons of tutorials out there. If you don't have Photoshop (or other photo editing software) you can upload rather large images directly from your computer or phone. Start with the free stuff. You can upgrade any time to the fee-based premium options. Regular posting and 'following other people, commenting, and liking are all part of the social dynamic. Just like everywhere else, great images are key.
Facebook is a social networking site that is also free and very easy to use. You can make your profile public or be private. (On a personal note: I don't see how posting online can really and truly be "private." That seems like a pretense that is not realistic. ) Make posting images of your art or craft work a primary focus for your pages. You'll gain a lot of visibility with a wide new audience both inside and outside of the arts and crafts world. You'll meet lots of people on Facebook and it helps break the isolation of the studio.
LinkedIn is a social networking site without images but it can be useful to connect with other individuals or possibly your collectors who might have a "professional" profile. It doesn't cost anything other than a bit of your time, and it provides another possibility to connect with colleagues from your past, present, and future. Keep this site completely professional. Skip any reference to your family, children, and pets, etc.
Every one of these sites generates visibility for you and your artwork or craft. As you become more proficient, make sure to add links on each of your profile pages for every site and your website to interconnect them. This creates more traffic for your artwork or craft and more name recognition. The Internet is called the "web" and it is up to you to create a web of links and connections to catch the attention for your work.
Pinterest was hotter a couple of years ago (I am updating this information in 2022.) Still, I would not divorce myself from any site. Mix it up. Pinterest seems to be trying to regain traction with videos. Create a profile and go forward.
TicToK and YouTube are for videos. And since every phone creates a video in 2022....why not.
Your goal is to gain visibility online that could lead to purchases. Experiment first with the free sites and learn before spending money on Internet sites that promise visibility for $100 to $200 a year. You can create a lot of visibility without spending any money. Do not think you can buy your way into visibility. That doesn't work.
Save your money to invest in fantastic professional photography.
Go ahead, jump into social networks and get your feet wet. If you don't like it, you can either delete your account or update it once in a while.
There are multiple posts about visibility on the web on ASK Harriete. I endorse the idea of branching out, but it does not substitute for a website.
P.S. I have included the links to many sites in which I participate, but you may not be able to see much unless you sign in. Hopefully, you'll see other examples to give you a feel for the particular site. Leave a comment on any post, and I will respond.
This post was updated on January 2022, to provide current links.