By now, anyone who has been following this blog knows that I am a big proponent of social media and its benefits to artists as a free marketing medium.

Social media has been proven to be one of the fastest and most effective means of promoting your art brand, building contacts and announcing events – I know this from personal experience. Below, today’s guest post shares some unique ways to help you do just that! ~Lori

Guest artist/author: Geoff Talbot

Paint Your Own Social Media Portrait

So you’ve got to have a Self-hosted Blog or Tumblr, you must use Twitter, have a Facebook Fan, be on LinkedIn, create viral videos on You-Tube, the list goes on and on. Are you worn out by the concept of marketing and pushing your art online?

There are so many voices, prescribing theories and charging dollars, telling the Independent Artist how they can make a fortune through marketing their art with Social Media.

Yet your passion is the expression of your creativity, not selling, using technology or marketing and you have so much time each day! This brave new world of technology is a bothersome and frightening thing for many artists.

But you need not be afraid or feel worn out… this brave new world is here to help. It’s simply offering you a new canvas, a different vehicle for creative expression, a different medium to paint, sculpt and tell your stories.
Stay away from Social Media Consultants and Advisers who would force you to compromise the integrity of your art by pushing you to become a salesman, in the worst possible sense.

Your Social Media Portrait (What people see of you on the Internet) should be your creative expression and it can be as mysterious or as extravagant as you wish. Don’t be pushed into being someone you are not. Be yourself, but enjoy this new medium.

Here are seven riffs or ideas for how you can paint your own portrait:

1. If you are not tech savvy, find a consultant that works primarily with artists, who values creativity. If dollars are an issue, look for a student who is tech savvy (so many are), and walk through the process with them.

2. Understand the power of mystery in your art. How much you wish to reveal, the detail in your Social Media Portrait may match the detail in your artwork. If you’re work is obtuse then perhaps your social media portrait and your method of online expression should be also? It’s totally up to you.

3. Think of the Internet as an exhibition perpetually stuck on opening night. People are visiting, looking at your work, wanting to engage with you and your art. You can help them, you can listen to them, you can learn from them.

4. Your Social Media Portrait shouldn’t be just about your art; it’s your portrait, it should be about you. And you care about many things that are apparently on the outside or the periphery of your art. Issues, hobbies, passions… write, tweet, express yourself in these areas.

5. Instead of marketing, think of it as a place to share yourself with others. You can become part of a creative community of artists who are sharing life, creativity and resource with each other.

6. Whenever you get stuck simply tell your story.

7. The online engagement although scary and different may actually be good for your art. It may force you to question why you do what you do. It may highlight areas where your art is misunderstood or inaccessible. It may open up new avenues of creativity inside of you. Since it’s your portrait you also get to look in the mirror and see what others see.

In conclusion, your canvas is huge and your options are unlimited and you can paint whatever you wish to paint. Your portrait could be a simple silhouette or it could contain the fine details of a Leonardo masterpiece. There is no right or wrong, it’s really up to you.

*Geoff Talbot is an film-maker and social media consultant living in Hollywood. He writes a popular daily Seven Sentence Blog for creative people. He has a big dream that he’s still chasing.

*****

If you liked this post, you might like these…~Lori

5 Reasons Why Artists Need Social Media & Eye Opening Stats to Back it Up!

3 Reasons to Start a Creative Blog for Your Business

Demystifying Social Media for Artists

The PowerArtist Series: Artists Who Excel in the Arts and Social Media (really good stuff here)

Easy Steps to Secure Your Facebook Account from Hackers

Branding You: 5 Ways to Improve Your Professional Image

Inbound or Outbound: Which Direction is Your Art Marketing Going?

PS. If you want to see my art please visit my art blog and let’s meet on Twitter and my Facebook Fan page!