We all know that social media plays an important role in carving our your creative niche and networking with potential clients. But with so many platforms available, where should you be focusing your attention?
Part of having a successful career as a freelancer, whether you are a fine artist, photographer, or maker, is learning how to create new opportunities for yourself. And while social media can seem overwhelming for some, knowing how different platforms can serve you is the first step in being more successful. Think about it. If you know the advantages and audience of each network, it becomes a lot easier to decide what’s for you and how you can take advantage of each platform.
Some social media is aimed at potential clients and can even build direct sales, while others are better at connecting you with the curators and journalists who can give you your next big break. And some are a mix of both, giving you both marketing and networking opportunities. We’ve broken down the major social media platforms, including some specialty networks for creatives, so you can decipher how each will best work for your personal brand.
Here are the major social media platforms that all creatives will want to join.
While it can be harder for new Facebook pages to get their work into users’ feeds, it’s still a must for creatives to have a strong Facebook presence. This will be useful for interacting with your customers and using features like Facebook Live, which makes it easier than ever to take people into your creative process. Makers will also love the added “shop” feature that allows fans to purchase items quickly. And, Facebook events make it easy for fans to stay informed about your upcoming exhibitions.
Instagram is a wide-reaching platform that can bring great benefits, (especially if you follow our Instagram tips). It’s a great place to show off your work—and since the more you post, the better, you can really demonstrate your creativity through video and stills. It’s also a fantastic place to do market research and network with magazines and arts organizations, many of whom love to repost and help artistic content go viral. This could lead to bigger opportunities as your following grows. And on the sales front, aside from customers writing directly about artwork, platforms like Shopify make it easy for you to create shoppable posts for your items.
Video content is more in-demand than ever and it’s a great way to get your craft out there. Video marketing is an increasingly important part of any business strategy—and it should be on your radar. Many artists use their YouTube channels to create lucrative businesses teaching people how to draw or create viral photography tutorials that serve to get their name in the media, which can then transform into more clients or lead to sponsorships.
Particularly interesting for interior designers and artisans, Pinterest is a fantastic way to show off your portfolio and handicrafts. Not only is Pinterest a great venue for inspiration, but it’s a wonderful way to get your art out to a new audience. Though all creative fields work here, Pinterest is especially strong among audiences who love decorating and crafting, so creatives who are focused in these areas will find it to be a go-to platform.
Though some may underestimate Twitter, it’s still a great platform—particularly when it comes to networking. This may not be the arena to sell a lot of art, but you can make great connections with journalists and publications that can keep your creations in the mind of the public at large.
Though you may not update it as often as other platforms, a well thought out LinkedIn profile isn’t a bad idea, particularly for those working with corporate clients. Having a professional LinkedIn profile is a perfect digital calling card that also allows former co-workers and clients to leave recommendations, acting as an online résumé that potential clients will look for.
These niche networks are well worth considering depending on the art you practice.
Photographers will be interested in 500px, a large online photo community that shows off images in a clean, minimalist manner. Aside from displaying their portfolios and mingling with other photographers, users can find new clients by selling their photos in the 500px marketplace. They also have different partners, like Getty Images, that offer photographers new revenue streams.
Dribbble is a great social network to show off your portfolio and is specifically geared toward graphic designers. They even hold meetups in different parts of the world and have a job board with companies like Amazon, Tumblr, Vimeo, and Microsoft advertising positions in the past.
Created in 2000, DeviantArt continues to be popular—particularly with fine and digital artists. With over 30 million users, DeviantArt caters to a large artistic community. Especially popular in manga, digital, and underground art, the platform is not only perfect for connecting with likeminded artists and fans, but often draws the attention of publications.
Owned by Adobe, Behance is a portfolio site that is particularly popular with graphic designers and creative directors—though it’s open to a wide range of artists. The user-friendly interface makes it a good choice to show off both personal and professional projects in a manner that’s easy for potential clients to discover.
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