You know you need to be showing up regularly on social media, but the thought of it is overwhelming. Sound familiar? Make it easy for yourself by creating a social media posting plan. Once you've put some structure in place you can be strategic about the time and effort you're putting in, and you'll be less likely to spend your days scrolling endlessly while procrastinating!
Use my 4–3–2–1 posting approach for sharing on social media
Here’s how to go about it:
Created Posts (4): Post your own content that isn’t overtly promotional
Create your own content, sharing images and stories about your work so that your followers and potential clients know what you do and what you stand for. Here are some ideas: Share what you’re working on in the studio, what inspired the work you’re doing now, let them see what your studio looks like. Show them your process, tell a funny story. Give your followers a peek behind the scenes so that they get to know your work and your life as a small business owner.
How to do it
Get in the habit of taking photos and videos of your work, your process, your studio, every day.
You don’t have to share only recent photos, though. I suggest you create a folder of images and pull from it whenever a photo suits the topic of your post. People won’t mind and won’t necessarily know that the photos weren’t taken that day. Or, if you want to let it be known that you’re posting an archived photo, use established hashtags like #TBT (Throwback Thursday) or #latergram.
Curated Posts (3): Post content from others that is relevant to your audience
Using curated posts gives you something to share that you don’t have to create yourself. Plus, you can connect with others by sharing their stuff (think influencers, other artists, people and businesses with larger followings than you). I regularly share posts on Facebook from a number of sources, one being Orangenius. I share their advice for artists, adding a little note that it’s a great read, and I tag them in the posts. Orangenius noticed and reached out to me. They told me that they’re creating an online platform to teach business skills to artists and asked me if I’d like to be a member of their faculty!
So you see, good things can come from sharing the content of others and giving credit where credit is due. You can come up with your own schedule and catchy names for your posts. I share motivational quotes on Mondays (Motivation Monday) and funny things on Fridays (Funny Friday). I create my own graphics for these quotes so that I can include my logo and website address, but you don’t have to. You can share them as is.
How to do it
Watch for inspirational messages everywhere and keep a running list. I save posts and articles that I find interesting, funny, or inspirational. Subscribe to a few email newsletters with content that’s relevant to your audience and scan them for shareable content each week. Note: Instagram isn’t a great place to share the content of others, but you can still take relevant quotes and create your own branded graphics to share.
Personal posts (2): Share something personal that isn’t overtly work related
There are now millions of people selling their wares on the internet, so you have to find a way stand out from the crowd. One way to do it is to show your unique personality. Most people need to know, like, and trust you before they’re ready to buy.
Your potential clients want to know what you stand for in your art, personally, and in your business. You and your art are your personal brand. In my course, Create a Marketing Plan for Your Thriving Art Business, we do a whole lesson on branding.
For now, here’s a brief example for you: Let’s say that you brainstorm words that represent your brand and you narrow it down to these three: Color, Nature, and Adventure. In your personal posts, share images and stories that fit with your brand words. You don’t need to post selfies, but when you’re out and about, take photos and create posts for social media that demonstrate how these themes matter in your business and in your personal life.
For example: You go on a trip to Kazakhstan, and you share something like: “Here I am on an adventure in the wilds of Kazakhstan, and I just took some great reference photos. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this reflects in my work when I get back home.” Or: “I came across this amazing color today—I think it’s going to start showing up in my work.” Or: “I was out on my bike today and I just about ran into a moose! Once my heart rate gets back to normal, I’ll be in the studio working on a new series of moose paintings!”
Sharing personal posts does not mean sharing photos of your dinner (unless food is a primary theme for you), and it doesn’t mean sharing photos of your family … unless you really want to do that or unless family is one of your core themes. An exception: DO share photos of your cute pets once in a while, because, as you know, cute pets rule the internet!
How to do it
See the how-to for created posts (top).
Promotional posts (1): Posts that include a clear call-to-action
You’re in business to sell your work, remember, so be brave and openly promote your business. Use promotional posts to send interested followers to your website where they can learn more or buy on the spot.
How to do it
Ask your audience outright to buy your work. No beating around the bush! Give a clear call-to-action (CTA) in each post, and include a link. Say things like: “This is for sale on my website. Check it out.” (link) “Go to my website to learn more.” (link) “These just went up on my website for sale. Click here.” (link) “Just added these to my Etsy shop. Have a look.” (link) “Sale today! Click here to get your 10% off coupon!” (link) On Instagram, you can direct followers to the link in your profile. You can also create “shoppable posts,” which enable your followers to purchase directly from a link within the post.
For more on shoppable posts, see this Hubspot article. Check out these related posts: How to Spend Less Time Promoting Your Art on Social Media with Better Results How to be Efficient and Effective at Promoting Your Art on Social Media
Do you have a system for managing your social media posts? Let me know in the comments!