Self-promotion. The necessary evil we do battle with each day. If you sell a product, no matter what product, you walk this tightrope. It’s not as simple as shouting, buy my stuff, from my the highest peak. Self-promotion is hard work and it involves a ton of patience. It’s not always fun and you don’t always see results. I personally dislike the feeling of forcing my art on people. Each time I share something on Twitter I wonder, am I annoying folks? Is anyone even looking at my art? But then I start to pay attention to my statistics. Days I don’t share and talk about my art my views go down. Days I do… You get the point.
What might be the most difficult part about self-promotion for me, is the act of sharing things not about my art, but myself. I’m a quiet person. Not as quiet as I once was in my younger days, but my fellow Tessera Guild members will tell you–I’m quiet. I’m a thinker, and sometimes a loner. I don’t often say something unless it’s worth saying 100%. Ironically, this is key to self-promotion via social media networks. Key.
When you interact with your fans you’re also building trust. Building trust will make your product look far more appealing than someone elses they don’t feel they know. Last year I wrote a blog post about building trust with online buyers after reading an excellent article at EmptyEasel.com. EmptyEasel is geared toward visual artists, but these five rules will apply to authors, musicians and anyone else selling something online.
1. Don’t Make it About “You”
“It’s about the community. People aren’t going to follow you if all you do is try to sell them stuff and promote yourself. Become a trusted resource, instead of a salesperson.”
2. Be sociable
“…the next time you think about listing one of your art pieces, take the time to figure out how you can present that piece in a more social manner.”
3. Show the real you
“Use a photo of yourself for your profile image, not a photo of your art, or company logo. People want to connect with people, not products or businesses.”
4. Respond to your fans
“When you respond to your fans (or customers)…have a conversation with them.”
5. Be consistent
“From how you portray your company across various social networks, to how often you post…”
I’ll be honest. There are days I don’t feel like socializing at all. I don’t beat myself up about that. Tomorrow is a new day and we all have off days. But when I am online I try to follow these rules and above all I try to have fun. I’ve met so many wonderful people since I joined Twitter/Facebook/deviantART and the various other sites you can find me. Some I even consider more than just acquaintances. They’ve become friends who support my creative vision and that’s invaluable.
To show my appreciation here’s a coupon code for my Etsy shop, Makepeace Studios, good for 30% off!!! Use the code DIEHARDFAN when you spend a minimum of $15.00. The coupon code is only good till December 13th.
Awesome Article Amanda. I am currently trying to up my visibility on twitter. I am using it as a resource of information, but as I interact on there, I see that those following me have gone up. Now I want to make sure that I have a voice and am relaying content that is valuable as well. Think I need to keep the 5 rules you mentioned in mind as I search for my voice. Thanks again.
You’re welcome! Those 5 rules are great. I myself needed a reminder; which is what inspired this article. It’s easy to get overwhelmed on Twitter and even Facebook, so it’s good to have a game plan. 🙂