Part two of this post looks at newsletters (are they right for you, should you send them out, who to and how often?) before moving onto a final stage of wrapping everything we have looked at together. Balance is the key to your appearance online.
A newsletter can be a very powerful marketing tool for an artist. The internet means that you can reach further than you ever could physically exhibiting your work and the personal touch of a newsletter means those interested in your work get a real sense of who you are. It is important to put a lot of effort into creating a mailing list: get a sign up button on your website, make sure it is on the bottom of your newsletter in case anyone shares it via email or Facebook.
For an emerging artist, I wouldn’t send a newsletter any more regularly than every 1-2 months, perhaps even consider sending out a seasonal/quarterly update. Whatever you decide to do it should be based on two key points:
– How often have you got news for your followers?
– How much time can you dedicate to writing a page of engaging text?
Consistency is key to a newsletter: it shows professionalism and foresight. Do not send out emails whenever you feel like it, it has to be considered. And content is 80% of what goes into a newsletter. Keep paragraphs short, have a hierarchy of content (most important at the top with the largest image going down to the insignificant) and add a little of yourself into the mix. After all, people that sign up to newsletters want you!
Newsletters also make great social media content – share your newsletter as link on Facebook and LinkedIn. People will see this who don’t necessarily have your email address and it is great way of expanding your network.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, the difficult bit: tying up every cable, strand and loose end.
To be honest, I can’t tell you exactly what to do because not everybody is exactly the same; but here are some points to follow which won’t steer you wrong:
- Consider your website as the starting point of your online life; every tangent should be linked to this so that people can find out as much about you and your work in one place.
- If you only use one social media platform, use Facebook. Facebook is the most widely used platform for artists and art lovers – you can display images really well and it has its own built in analytics.
- Separate professional and personal efforts. While it is correct to inject a little personality into your website, think about what aspects of your life you want people to see. If you are advertising a new exhibition on Facebook, do not follow this with a hilarious video of your cat! There is good reasoning behind the old saying ‘you shouldn’t mix business and pleasure’.
- Stagger your posts to give yourself some breathing space. Invest time in writing Facebook posts but don’t exhaust yourself. It is very easy to schedule posts so you can organise your life a week, or even a month, in advance. Likewise, this goes for newsletters and any other updates you have: do not dump everything at once, leave time between your different online voices.
- Keep consistency. See what works for you with regard to online platforms and working methods and stick to it. If people know that you release new images on the first of every month or a blog post each Wednesday, don’t disappoint them.
- Finally, be yourself. Do not overburden yourself with pressures you cannot handle, with systems you are unfamiliar with or websites that make you uncomfortable. Ultimately, you should be authentic because if you are not, it will be evident.