Know what no one tells you when you decide to be an artist for a living? That you’re going to spend more of your time advertising your art than you will actually getting a chance to make it. Between social media, email lists, and blog posts you find yourself competing against the entire world just to capture your audience’s attention for a few moments.
Okay, I am making it sound worse than it is but the truth is that it is super important to create scroll-stopping content if only so that your audience knows who you are, what you do, and what they can expect from you.
For the last couple of weeks I have been sharing my tips for creating scroll-stopping photos for your creative brand. Keep reading to learn my tips or scroll to the bottom to see all 10 tips in one video!
10 Social Media Marketing Tips for Artists
Tip #1 Take scroll-stopping photos!
Great photos are key! The first step in taking good photos is, of course, knowing what a good photo looks like. Start by looking at the posts and pictures that you enjoy.
What does it take to grab your attention? Is it the color, the lighting, the subject? Take note of what makes the photo good compared to others. Sure, some of those pictures are taken by professional photographers with professional equipment but you can still get gorgeous graphics with your phone’s camera.
Tip #2 Build a brand identity.
The key to having a successful brand is having a consistent one. Do I mean that you’re locked into painting florals or abstracts or even furniture forever? Not at all! Branding is about more than the type of art you create, it’s about why you create it. What is the goal of your art and your feed?
Write down the top 5 principles of your brand. For example, some people might choose:
Each time you create a post, refer back to your list and determine whether the content you’re creating or sharing is in-line with your brand.
Tip #3 Enthusiasm is contagious.
Want to stop a scroll? Be VERY, VERY excited about your topic! Whatever you’re choosing to share, whether it’s your latest work or a cool new technique you learned, should have you so fired up that your energy is palpable through the screen. If you want folks to be fired up about your work then you need to set the bar for what that excitement looks and sounds like.
Tip #4 Copy the “big” accounts outside your niche.
I don’t mean steal their content, I mean analyze it! Think back to your high school English class or that art history book you read and take some time to look at the feeds of major accounts. I’m talking followers in the hundreds of thousands or more! What angles are they using for their photos? What does their color scheme look like? Where is their light source? What’s the subject of their photos?
Try to emulate their photo composition (not their style) and you may find that your own photography skills improve.
I recommend checking accounts outside your niche for even more inspiration! For example, if you’re a fellow furniture artists try looking to interior design accounts, party planners, and even architecture or home interior magazines! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been inspired by the colors and staging I’ve seen in totally unrelated photos.
Tip #5 Use Pinterest as inspiration for your feed.
If you’re not on Pinterest as a visual artist then now is the time to get on it! Pinterest is an amazing tool, not just for growing your following but also for finding inspiration and even learning more about yourself. I recommend creating a handful of mood boards for your brand and pin anything that comes across your screen that intrigues you. Flowers, rooms, art, wallpaper, travel photos, fashion, makeup… anything that catches your eye. What colors do you pin most often? What do the photos you’re pinning have in common?
Use that to inform the types of images you choose to share. If it stopped your scroll then you know it will stop others, too!
Tip #6 Listen to your followers!
Which of your photos are getting the most attention? What questions are your followers asking in the comments? Check the comments where your followers share their questions, concerns, and enthusiasm and then use their feedback to inform your future content— from what you write to the photos you share. Maybe you’ll find that your audience prefers darker, moody photos or light and airy beach shots. You’ll never know until you look at the analytics and listen to what they are saying.
Most importantly, your followers will take note and that will help you build a real, genuine relationship with them.
Struggling with Tip #2? Ask your followers what words they would use to describe your brand or art!
Tip#7 Share the love.
If you love something, chances are your followers will love it, too! Sharing these small details of your life is a great way to connect with your audience and allow them a peek behind the curtain.
Not only is sharing a good way to help your audience get to know the things, books, music, movies, and ideas that you hold dear but it’s also a great way to promote and elevate the brands and businesses that you admire.
Tip #8 Natural Lighting is KEY
Do whatever you can to find natural lighting and use that to take your photos! Indirect, natural lighting is the most favorable and color-accurate way to take photos.
This will make your colors POP and provide your audience with gorgeous, accurate photos to look at as a realistic sample of your work.
Tip #9 Use your favorite home decor for staging.
Here’s the thing: most of us, whether we realize it or not, have a pretty particular aesthetic. I think it is so helpful to begin your staging process with a piece from your home because it adds an air of authenticity and lived-in-ness that you can’t get with brand new bits. Plus, beginning with things from your own home is so inspiring! I always find it easier to stage a piece when I’ve added my favorite vase or flower clippings from my own garden because now I can actually see the piece as a part of my home and then my staging instincts are more natural.
Tip #10 Keep one consistent color in your feed.
As annoying and painstaking as it is to create, a consistent color scheme and layout design is a surefire way to establish your creative account as consistent and credible. Nothing looks more polished, or intriguing, than a color story that spans several frames. For example, I always try to tie a thread of turquoise into all my photos because 1) it’s in my brand name and 2) it makes me happy! When people see turquoise they usually know it’s from The Turquoise Iris.
If you can’t commit to a consistent color scheme, consider keeping the lighting in the same tone like warm vs. cool, yellow vs. white, etc.