This post is particularly for the arty and creative readers of #awanaija, however, it will give me great joy if it turns out to be a source of inspiration to someone who before this post was not arty. If you are good at imagining and creating or interpreting that thing out of your mind so that people can see and touch and love, then you, my friend, are the person I am writing this to. If your interest or calling music, this could be helpful. Ever thought of making it a profession but oblivious of how to start or where to start from? Do you need a push? Well, read on…
So what is thing you are good at? Is it painting, Carving/building stuff, Sketching comics, fashion, etc? Is it Tailoring, Graffiti, Shoe making, Bag making, Writing, Make up artistry, Or even photography?
Why should I care about “this thing you are good at”? Is yours any different from that of other people who are in the same field? Unique or cliché,Smooth around the edges? Is it in your mind or can you show me one of your creations if I asked to see it now?
What have you done about “this thing you’re good at”? I’m referring to branding, marketing, producing, exhibiting your works.
In case you have found yourself asking “where do I go from here”, I have a few tips to help you build your presence on social media. You may be a creative person but never thought of making it a career or profession, and that is fine. However, if you are planning to make “this thing you’re good at” a profession, then now that social media is the new mass media, you will need to make your presence known. But remember that social media will never replace the old traditional face-to-face method of building presence. You have to put yourself out there and to do that, consider these:
1. BLOGGING: If getting a website would be cumbersome for you, don’t worry, you can create a blog and it is totally free. On your blog, you can share behind-the-scenes photos with your readers, you can share your creative process with your readers/followers. And from your blog, you can share posts on other social media sites with your friends or fans.
2. FACEBOOK: You have to maximise your facebook presence. This is a must do. In fact, if you don’t want to run a blog, it would be fine if you have a facebook page where you can invite your friends to like and tell them to invite their friends to like. As soon as you get a good number of likes, start sharing posts. Make your posts as visual as possible. Remember, marketing on social media does not mean you should stop marketing your work the old traditional way. For some people, they would rather inspect what you are giving to them than take the information you give on social media.
3. PINTEREST, TWITTER, TUMBLR,ETC: These social media platforms are mostly visual. For Pinterest, you have to create a profile, add your keywords, your web address and start pinning. Pinning pictures of your handwork. Tumblr is another social media tool which is visual, get on it and share photos, clear, share photos that will not pixellate after the first zoom. On Twitter, you follow and request to be followed. You can share posts from your blog to Twitter and even other social media; or you could post directly.
4. COMPETITIONS/GIVEAWAYS: You could run a competition online to gift your work as reward to your most frequent visitor who has to post a comment-this could be done monthly, quarterly, or whichever way you decide. By doing this, people will get to know you and what you do. And when you share photos of the winner of your giveaway, people will believe that you actually are a person who keeps to your word and you are a generous person. People love that and will be drawn to you.
5. YOUTUBE: The use of Youtube these days is on the increase. Create a Youtube Channel, make short but concise videos on your work, describe your work in your videos with details which people may want to know. Ask viewers to subscribe to your channel at the end of your video. Make your video interesting and colourful as can be. Market your product effectively. If it is fashion, get a model to strut a few steps and strike poses; if it is a decorative piece for the sitting room, set it up for people to see what it would look like; if it is photography, talk about your themes, inspiration and share photos; whatever it is, make sure you make your followers/viewers fall in love with you and your work.
The Internet gives the visual art market great potential for increase and diversity. It can be an effective tool for marketing, branding oneself and work. However, offline art marketing is still effective and may even be more effective depending on the marketing and presentation skills of the artist. For potential buyers who are far away, online exhibitions may be more effective. In the end, while exhibiting your work online, you should also exhibit in person, spaces and studios. Host shows and openings in your immediate community-even if it is in your back yard with just family, friends and neighbours, it is still a good step. So, you, my creative friend, be encouraged today, be motivated and start today. You could be the Leonardo Da Vinci of this century only if you bring that genius masterpiece out of your head and share it with the world. #StayMotivated. #StartToday.