Do artists have the right temperament for social media?

Sheila Chandra - Monday, August 21, 2017

Many artists find it a huge challenge to ‘shout’ about themselves on social media. And yet, building a platform is essential in this day and age. What is the answer?


Why do some artists find it hard to promote themselves on social media?

Many of us are introverts – focussed for long hours of painstaking work on our projects. Many of us work alone. For some, the ‘sociability’ of social media can be a welcome break. For those of us who are less forthcoming, it can feel difficult to engage in a way that builds a platform. Some creators, notably extrovert performers, will have no problem sharing their work and lives through social media. And for the newest generation of artists, it will probably feel fairly natural. But that still leaves an older generation of introverts who might struggle a little.


How can artists who struggle become more comfortable with social media?

  • 1.Recognise that social media attention isn’t always an accurate gauge of how well your career is going. Great if you’re getting lots of likes and comments – but if you aren’t selling lots of work at a decent price alongside that, your efforts are not really worth it. And bear that fact in mind when you get ‘social media envy’ about competitors.
  • 2.Listen to and actually believe the compliments you get on social media. In the olden days (yes, where I come from) people had to actually find an address and write a letter and stick a stamp on it, and it had to get passed on (which didn’t always happen) for you to hear what your fans thought. Nowadays it’s easy to find out. And if they love what you do, it’s time to listen and believe. Especially comments from other creators in your field.
  • 3.Remember that social media is part of your branding. As such it’s a professional activity and you don’t have to bare your soul – or be too vulnerable. You should be working out your ‘brand story’ so that everything you post is appropriate e.g. your story of origin (how you came to be doing what you’re doing) and your ‘slogan’ (even if it’s an unofficial one you never post). These will help you focus on what you should post.
  • 4.Set up a social media schedule. Write and schedule the bulk of your posts in advance. Concentrate on a couple of channels where your fans are to be found and write for them all in one go. It saves a lot of time and takes the pressure off.

If you’d like help with self-promotion and social media, you’ll find more detailed advice in ‘Organizing for Creative People’. Download a free excerpt.

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