Well-known artist Lori McNee is a social media “influencer” who found huge opportunities through networking online.
Not only has she been recognized as one of the Top 100 Women on Twitter, but has been recruited to tweet from the red carpet in Hollywood, and even asked to be part of a reality show!
Lori started the “Fine Art Tips” blog back in 2009 as a way to deal with a life transition and also to share her knowledge based on more than twenty years working as a professional artist. She wanted to spread the word about her blog, and discovered Twitter as a social media tool.
“A light went on in my head,” she says, “Right away I knew it was a very reciprocal endeavor. It’s not about ‘me’; it’s about ‘we’. As my followers grew (they now number in six figures), my website went from zero traffic to becoming a well-established blog for artists. Opportunities started coming my way – being asked to become a contributor to magazines and books that were prominent in the social media industry. I am writing my own book now.”
She suggests that artists focus on offering helpful and interesting information. Lori uses the 80/20 rule on Twitter. She says, “80% of my tweets are more generic, or are about others. 20% is about me. Each individual will find a formula that works for them.
You might not become a social media superstar by starting an online networking presence, but you can get traction and share your work with a global audience.
Lori provides these suggestions for artists who want to get started or increase their effectiveness on social media:
- Connect with influencers both inside and outside of your industry.
- Start creating a friend base. Share your content, and their content also. Make sure you don’t spam people, but respond to them. Graciously find something you like of theirs, and share it.
- Brand yourself. People on social media want to know you as a person. They want to learn your story, and get to know you as an artist.
- Share images of your work. Social media is very visual, and everyone loves art. They also want to see work in progress and studio shots. Use hashtags to target your social media audience.
- Understand that it takes time and effort to sell art via social media. Think of it as creating a whole online business.
- Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook are all great platforms for visual artists, but it is bit overwhelming to have a presence on all of them. Start out with one that you want to try. There are also ways to cross-post on several platforms at once, which is helpful.
- Facebook has evolved from text, to pictures, to videos (which readers love), and popular updates receive priority there. Use videos to introduce yourself and your art.
- Pinterest is a social shopping network and the best platform to market art or handmade items. 50% of pins should be your original content. Use keywords in descriptions, and add a price to be added to Pinterest’s “gift section”.
- Consistency is essential. You can start by spending just ten minutes a day on social media.