Today’s question is on social media. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn: are any of these worth joining for selling art?

I’ve been collecting questions from my Facebook group and email list and this is one several folks had.

And the short answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as just posting a painting and naming a price.

In this episode I’m covering

  1. why you should start using social media to promote your art,
  2. how to decide which social media platform to use, and
  3. the single most important thing you can do to make it work.

Got a question??

In the episode:
01:39 – How to decide which social media platform to use
02:37 – Pick the platform where you’re comfortable and your perfect clients hang out
03:41 – What social media can do for you
04:36 – We are personal brands
05:17 – The second stage is engagement
6:46 – The last stage is called conversion
8:28 – The HOW
10:35 – Questions


I’ve been collecting questions from my Facebook group and from my email list lately for these little quick live videos. And the question that I’m going to be covering today is what about social media. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn: are any of these worth joining for selling art?

And the short answer is yes, but not in the way you may be thinking about it.

Hey, there. I’m Mary Gilkerson and I help artists create compelling paintings, sustainable thriving studio practices and online art businesses. So today, as I said, we’re going to be looking at social media hubs.

What do you do with them? Can you use them to sell art? The short answer is yes, all of those can be effective, but not necessarily in the way that most people think about it.

Most people think about social media as having the potential to make those direct art sales on. That’s not its most valuable use. It’s not really the best approach to it. So while you’re going to make some direct sales on social media, you’ll actually do much better. If you think about it as a place where, or as a way to rather.

Grow your audience and move people from not knowing who you are at all to having a little bit more familiarity with you gonna come back to that in just a minute. So the answer about which one to choose is two fault. They’re two different parts of it. You have to think about number one, you have to think about which one are you most comfortable with.

So there’s no magic answer about whether it should be Pinterest or Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn, or even Twitter. The answer is which one are you going to actually pick up your phone and use? Because if everybody you hear about is making sales on Instagram and you hate Instagram, it ain’t going to work.

So which of the social media platforms is the one that you feel the most comfortable on that you’ll actually use. You’ll interact with, that you will do on a consistent basis. The second consideration, there is equally important. You need to know the one that your niche hangs out on. So you need to pick the platform.

That’s the intersection of those two things, where those two things overlap, the one you’re comfortable with and the one where your people, your perfect people hang out. Because if they’re not on that platform, it doesn’t make any sense, no matter how much he loved the platform for you to be on there. For example, I don’t think that Tik TOK is going to tend to be the place where most of our art collectors are going to be hanging out.

I could be wrong, but in fact, some I’d go out there and prove me wrong. I could be wrong, but I don’t think it’s there yet. So you may love Tik TOK, but it’s probably not where you’re going to be growing your perfect collectors. So think about that intersection of those two things, which one do you enjoy and love and actually participate in.

And where do your people hang out? Where’s your niche hanging out? Once you figured out which one, then I want you to think about what social media can do for you, why you actually should be using social media. And yes, I do think you should be using social media. It’s a huge component of what I teach my students to do, how I teach them to move from having no sales, no hub online.

No, no real web platform to having an engaged audience and launching their own small collections of art. You have to think about why, what social media going to do for you? Well, there are three stages of moving people from not having a clue who you are to their feeling, comfortable purchasing art from you online or anywhere else from that, for that matter.

So the first stage is called awareness and it’s really brand awareness because newsflash artists. Our personal brands. We are personal brands, just like musicians, big popular musicians are personal brands. So your name matters. People need to become familiar with you, not just your art or, but you, because they buy not just because of the work, but because of a relationship with the person who made the work.

o brand awareness. Realizing we’re a personal brand. That’s a huge one. And social media is one of the best ways to move people from not having a clue who you are to becoming aware that you’re an artist and this is the kind of stuff you make. The second stage is engagement. The second stage is relationship building.

This is something that all human beings crave. It’s something all human beings need. And it’s a crucial phase of the sales process. If you don’t build relationships, I guarantee you, you will not make any sales. You can make the most spectacular artwork that there is out there, but if you don’t build relationships, whether it’s with.

Clients collectors directly or with gallerist and have them sell your work. You’re not going to be able to make a living at this. You’re not going to be able to make even the money to cover your supplies. You’ve got to get good at relationship building doesn’t mean you need to go and meet every one of these people for coffee.

But if you begin to think about social media as a coffee shop, as a place to meet people and become familiar with them and then become familiar with you in a safe environment, it becomes a whole lot easier. And remember you can have the computer screen between you and them. You don’t actually have to go out and meet them in person.

So engagement, super crucial, crucial. It’s the second stage of that journey. So they go from not having a clue who you are to becoming familiar with who you are and what you do. And then beginning to actually build that relationship, but they’re still not ready to buy yet. That last stage. It’s called conversion and conversion is when people make a decision and that conversion can be small or it can be really large.

So an example of a small conversion would be when they join your email list, which is something all of you need to be building. And it’s a crucial part of being able to warm up that audience and build relationship so that small conversion could be. Inviting them to join your email list. Then the larger conversion, the one that we started talking about tonight is art sales.

That larger conversion is not going to happen until multiple smaller conversions have happened until people have gotten to feel comfortable with saying, yes, To the things that you’re asking them to do yes. To hang out on a Facebook live, where you talk about your work and answer questions. Yes to joining your email list.

Yes to sharing it with friends, all of those are little tiny conversions along the way that lead up to the point where people can feel comfortable enough to purchase the painting doesn’t mean you won’t ever get that one off. Person who never heard of you before and immediately buys a painting on Instagram directly can happen, but please don’t wait around for that.

It’s the exception rather than the rule. So those stages, again, awareness, engagement, and conversion, super, super important. Then the last part that I want to talk about tonight is the, how. And actually it’s the simplest part, the, how has to do with consistency and the importance of consistency, because the biggest problem I see most people have with using social media is they’re terribly inconsistent.

They don’t show up very often. They post maybe once a week or they forget to post for three weeks and then they come back in and post. For two days, then they disappear again for another two weeks that ain’t going to work. So I got some great advice. One time from a mentor, I took a marketing and sales course from Seth Godin about six years ago, something like that.

And I had a chance to ask him questions directly. So I asked that what would be one of the most effective ways to market and sell my artwork online. And he had a really simple answer. He said, show up for your audience in some way every day. You know, I tell people to paint every day. Well, you need to show up for your audience in some way every day too.

And that doesn’t mean you’re sending an email every day, but it does mean that you need to do something to touch your audience’s lives in some way every day. Because newsflash Seth was right. It works. You got to show up and if you show up, it doesn’t have to be that you’re making a long video or writing a long essay for your blog or having a complicated post on social media.

It can be super simple. If you follow Seth you’ll know that his, his emails are short. They’re like maybe 150 words. They’re really more like tweets. But he sends them every day or you can follow him on his blog every day, the same deal, but because he’s shown up every day for years and years, he’s following is huge and tremendous.

That could be you too, but you’ve got to be consistent. So I want to see if there are any questions over here in the question box. Hey Terry Gergen, it’s good to see you and Hey Reed and rise. Awesome. And a dealer, the dealer says I figured out five or is the best for me now. Fiverr is not really a social platform.

It’s a sales platform. So that’s a little bit different. So you do need to know what sales platform is best for you. Social media is that connecting platform. It’s social. So you probably are doing something too to get people, to look at Fiverr, Fiverr’s where you send them, but Fiverr’s a fantastic platform.

It’s a platform for illustrators and designers and people involved in any aspect of the online business. And Hey Deborah from Melbourne. And portrays. It’s good to see you too. So I had a great time chatting with y’all today. Let me know if you have any other comments in the chat role there in the chat role, in the comments section, and I’m happy to answer those.

Oh, thank you, artists. I’m glad that you find that good advice. That’s fantastic. yeah, it’s super easy. It’s actually way easier than most people think that complicate it too much. Remember that you want to move people along from awareness to engagement, to conversion and do it by showing up consistently.

Terry says, do you remember recommend anyone over the others? Like I said earlier, the one I recommend is the one that you enjoy and actually will show up in use. It’s not going to do any good for me to say. I really think Facebook is a super effective platform. If you detest Facebook and you’re not going to use it.

So it needs to be that the intersection again, of the one that you actually use and love. And the one that your niche will use in love. Now, the easy answer is Facebook because Facebook is the largest one of those platforms, but it doesn’t mean the others won’t work too. I know people who sell on Twitter using Twitter, using Instagram, using LinkedIn, Pinterest is the largest driver of traffic for me to my website.

It drives. Large volumes of traffic, way more than Facebook. others that you can think about using YouTube is another one. Pinterest and YouTube are a little bit different. They don’t have the same degree of social interaction, but they’ve begun to build it in there too. So all of those are possibilities.

So think about it, Terry, which one do you use the most? And which one do you enjoy using their ways to develop? Things that you enjoy about whatever platform you’re on, but which one’s the one that you really, really do have a passion for which one do you love? So if I had to say which one I enjoy interacting on the most, it would be Instagram and Facebook.

I don’t really do very much with Twitter for art. I use Twitter for other things, but Twitter’s not really the platform I enjoy for that. So Terry says, would you create a Facebook page to promote your art rather than you individually? again, you’re a personal brand, so it needs to have your name on there.

Don’t use a cute name. Cuteness is not going to sell your paintings. I would not call your Facebook page for your art, my fluffy little pony or my wild amazing Western views. Because it’s you as a personal brand that selling your work, that’s kind of, different from what some people recommend where they’re talking about social media marketing, but selling art.

It’s different than some other types of products. musicians, same deal. You want to create a personal. Brand for your Facebook page. So it would have your name and it would be a Facebook business page, not just your personal profile and yes, Terry you’re right. You can connect Instagram and Facebook together.

So you can kind of kill two birds with one stone. They are, it’s not the best long-term way to do it, but absolutely you can connect them up together. It works beautifully. I, I recommend students do that when they’re first starting out so that they don’t get too overwhelmed with trying to manage more than one platform at a time, really focus on one and really get that up and running rather than trying to be everywhere.

You cannot be all over the place everywhere at one time and do it well. Pick one, the one you enjoy and do it well. Mary Claire says, would you use Facebook for your art only? I’m not sure. Quite sure. What you mean, Mary Claire, do you mean, would you sell only your art on Facebook or do you mean use Facebook?

You shouldn’t use your personal profile. Okay. So there are ways to use your personal profile to promote your art, but you cannot sell your artwork on your personal profile. Facebook frowns on that, and it’s actually a violation of their terms of service. They can close your account down so you can share your paintings onto your personal profile.

You can even share a link to join your email list on your personal profile. But you can’t make direct sales on your personal profile. It’ll get you into a heap of big trouble. So I recommend that you create the business page and that you share to your personal profile. So there are all kind of other ways, strategies to use, that we can’t go into tonight.

They get a little bit more complex than that. But at the heart of that whichever platform you’re on, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, any of those or YouTube, you want to have a business account because you get other tools that you don’t have with a personal account. All of those platforms have business accounts.

Available they’re free. You don’t have to pay for them. You have to pay for advertising, but you don’t have to pay for the account and you can start it up and you can actually accomplish an awful lot just with organic traffic that you don’t pay for. But the key is to get started. So pick out the one that you really enjoy.

Start that business account and get it up and running the best time to have done. It was 10 years ago. The second best time to do it is today. Connie says, do you use FASA for your web and email platform? I don’t, but that is because I am a former web designer. So I’ve been designing websites has started back in the early nineties or whenever it was that the web really opened up, I was an early adopter.

So I’m a control freak on that. So I don’t use fast. So I actually have designed my own and coded my own site. So I use WordPress. And that is not what I recommend from a Stardust, because you don’t need to be spending your time on the back end. They’re so fast. Those are really good options. Squarespace’s a really good option too.

Munez, the way that you connect Instagram and Facebook is through either one of those business accounts in the settings. It’s you’re able to go in there and link the two together, and then you have the option when you post for it to go to both. So great question there. So yeah, there, there are all kinds of platforms out there that will allow you to easily create a website and fast.

So is one that’s just for artists, love that one and Squarespace is another one that’s beautiful and, has lots of wonderful templates. So those are the main two that I recommend don’t really recommend Weebly and Wix because they, they have some limitations to them that make them not the best platform to try to transition off of.

Great questions. That’s all for today. No, I would not use WordPress for your email list. That’s not going to be a good way to manage it. You’re liable to violate a whole bunch of laws around email lists.

What to do about an email list. Well, I’m going to make that the next question we cover. So tune in tomorrow, I’ll try to post a, an announcement about when I’ll go and do that, but, let’s talk about that in a separate, broadcast because email lists and platforms are a key, huge, huge topic.
So y’all have a great rest of the evening and I’ll look forward to talking with you again soon. Bye bye for now happy painting and paint on.

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