Brand Yourself as an Artist on Twitter

woman holding paint brushes wearing painting apron and hatMy teenagers were mortified to find me on Twitter. First blogging and now this! But, don’t allow yourself to underestimate the power of social media and micro-blogging services. Twitter is one of the quickest ways to build brand recognition for you and your art business.

What do I mean by branding? The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand:

“…name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

A strong brand is invaluable and serves to communicate credibility to your prospective customers and business associates.

You want your brand to reside in the hearts and minds of your clients, collectors, prospective customers and competitors. Twitter is the perfect site to begin branding yourself online.  It’s true that some people do use (or misuse) Twitter as a way to share their mundane lives with us. However, many intelligent minds are sharing links, news, photos, websites, blog posts, videos, podcasts and more. Finding and networking with like-minded individuals is a great advantage.


Here are important branding tips to think about: Please add your suggestions by commenting below…

1.    @Name: Your name is the first thing that people will see on Twitter. Use the name you wish to represent your artist brand. When I first started on Twitter I used @lorimcnee, but quickly changed my name to @lorimcneeartist and gained followers rapidly. It is easier for people to associate me as an artist this way.  Also, when people search ‘artist’, my name appears.  Once your Twitter page is complete, I suggest you consider adding yourself and your interests to the free Twitter Directory, WeFollow.  This way, you can track your ranking, status and influence on Twitter.  Currently, I am ranked as one of the most ‘influential artists’ on Twitter according to WeFollow!

2. The Profile & Bio: Choose your profile wisely. This is a great opportunity to brand yourself on Twitter. These few words will say a lot to the world about who and what you are. Make it ‘catchy’, this description says a lot about you which helps people make the choice to follow you or not. A custom page is a good way to immediately grab attention. Read this > How to Write a Bio that Gets Read

3. The Profile Picture: Remember you are building your artist brand. It is noted that most people relate to and want to see a friendly face. If you are not comfortable with this, then pick a great image of your art that represents you and grabs attention.

4.   Your Website: Do not forget to add your website to your profile. Make sure your portfolio is visible. Twitter will drive traffic to your site.

5.   When to Tweet For Impact:

Tim Ferriss tracked and measured ‘tweets’ and came up with the following best times…

12 midnight – 4am PST: 6, all between 12 midnight and 2am = 3 per hour
4am – 8am PST: none (partially due to the fact that I am sleeping)
8am – 12 noon PST: 8, all 10am – 12 noon = 4 per hour
12 noon – 4pm PST: 11, 9 between 1:30 – 3pm = 6 per hour
4pm – 8pm PST: 9, evenly spread = 2.25 per hour
8pm – 12 midnight PST: 3 = 0.75 per hour

Guy Kawasaki states: I find it’s worth repeating important tweets up to 4 times in about 18 hours. Typically, that would be evening, late evening, next morning and then the afternoon. Hopefully, that will catch the different audiences. But that’s enough, I don’t want to turn anyone off.

Guy generally  pre-schedules his tweets 8 hours apart at  7 pm PST, 3 am PST, 11 am PST, 7 pm PST…

6. Be a Good Follower: Next, follow people and organizations that could help your art career and are of value to your business. I suggest you follow galleries, museums, collectors, art coaches, fellow artists, and others you would like to be seen by. Do not underrate the average Joe or the newbie tweeter…he might be your next big collector! It is good to learn how to be a better follower and follow interesting people from all walks of life.

7. The Tweet: Tweet, re-tweet or post high quality content that adds value for your followers. Remember,   is micro-blogging. People are looking for something of value to read and share or “re-tweet” with their followers.  Each ‘tweet’ has a limit of 140 characters.  Make sure to keep your ‘tweet’ to a maximum of 130 characters in order for others to easily re-tweet your tweet! Save extra characters by shortening links by using a URL shortener like or  TinyURL.

Download and use Smqueue (I use Smqueue), Tweetdeck, BufferApp (I also use Bufferapp), or Hootesuite . These are efficient and time saving personal browsers used to manage your Twitter & Facebook accounts. These applications are intuitive and easy.

On Twitter, at times I will share a a photo using Twitpic (on my Tweetdeck)  to post a newly finished painting or one that is  in progress.  This is a great way to get feedback and spark interest in your work.

I like to share my knowledge with #finearttips, social media advice, my art, and some favorite quotes.

Keep in mind what kind of personal information, links, resources and promotional materials you plan to post.

I read somewhere that a good rule of thumb for tweeting is – one personal tweet for every 10 informative tweets. That said, you will find the right balance that works with your following…  I average around 2 per 10. (This does not include all the re-tweet ‘thank yous’!)

Sometimes it is tempting to get something off your chest or share some exciting news as I did when I taught a plein air workshop in France or when a black bear jumped in front of me on a dark trail. A little of this goes a long way, but it also important to show a real real human side.

Also, tweet frequently to build your following and brand recognition. This way, you can grow a small community of people with similar interests and who recognize your name and your brand. Having said that, don’t bombard Twitter or Facebook with numerous tweets & updates. You will find what works for you…and your followers will let you know if they don’t like it.

8.  The Retweet/RT @: Re-tweeting is a great way to capture the attention of an art organization, gallery or someone you would like to have ‘follow’ you. The re-tweet shares valuable information with other like minded individuals.

9.  Etiquette: Don’t forget to thank people for Re-tweeting or replying to your ‘tweet’. Oh, and don’t worry if you lose a follower or two…this happens every day and is the name of the game.

Be a human being, not a marketing drone. Otherwise you will be considered a spammer if you are constantly direct messaging to your URL or product line.

And finally……….

10. The Golden Rule of Twitter: “Tweet others the way you want to be tweeted.”

~ Lori 🙂

If this article was helpful, you might enjoy:

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

Simple SEO Tips to Rank Your Twitter & Facebook Pages Higher on Google

How Artists Can Use YouTube to Improve Marketing


  1. Miranda October 15, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Great post, Lori! The profile is a big thing for me; it’s how I decide if I’ll follow back someone or not. If a person doesn’t have a profile, or it doesn’t clearly state what they are interested in and will be tweeting about, I don’t follow!

    • admin October 16, 2009 at 9:05 am

      Hi Miranda…thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think a lot of people will agree with you. 🙂

  2. Cory Huff October 16, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Lori, I love your header photo! Thanks for sharing your Twitter tips. I’m amazed at how many artists are really discovering Twitter right now. I’m also excited for all the artists out there who are working to sell their own stuff instead of just waiting for the galleries to do it. Go artist entrepreneurs!

  3. Henry Powers October 20, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Great article……thanks for taking the time and effort to help other artists. Well done!

    • Lori McNee October 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm

      Hi Henry and thanks for taking time to read and comment on the Twitter post!

  4. Misty October 20, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Excellent tips for artists, designers, writers, etc. Twitter is a great networking tool and social platform. It’s also a perfect place for marketing & building your brand. Adding a ‘title’ in the name field definitely helps with association & in searches. Also, registering with Twitter directories is very useful. Another important aspect: not only following, but also personal interaction with those in your field. Thanks for posting!

    ~ @Mysticle

    • Lori McNee October 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Misty…i recognize your pic from Twitter! Thanks for the thoughtful and helpful comments. Glad you ejoyed the post.

  5. Ana October 22, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Thank you Lori. Great post, very interesting.

  6. Jane Loedding October 23, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  7. Georgie November 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Great advice and greatly appreciated.

    • Lori McNee December 7, 2009 at 11:02 am

      Georgie – I am glad the Twitter advice helped you. Let me know how it goes…

  8. Brian Walker November 12, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Fantastic post, Lori. I especially liked your suggested tweet times and associated counts.

    One thing we don’t do a very good job at is tweeting during the wee hours of the night. I personally hate automated tweets, but there really is no other choice. We are missing the opportunity to build our brand across the pond.

    Your article inspired me to get this going immediately with our team.

    • Lori McNee December 7, 2009 at 11:02 am

      So glad this post helps you, Brian. Thanks for commenting and visiting my site. Come back again 🙂

  9. Ralph Contreras November 13, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Great article! I’ve been on Twitter for over a year now and have been using similar techniques you outlined here. It’s a very powerful tool to help get your name out there, if used correctly. Thanks for this great info. Shazam!

    • Lori McNee December 7, 2009 at 11:00 am

      Hey Ralph- Nice to meet you and I agree with you about Twitter. It is an amazing tool that many artists have not tapped into. Thanks for your comment. See you on Twitter! Lori

  10. Sarah at OVA November 19, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Great article, thank you!

    • Lori McNee December 7, 2009 at 10:44 am

      Thanks for taking time to read and comment on the ‘Branding’ article.

  11. Christine Kistner November 21, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Lori, I just went through a Twitter rebrand myself. Thanks for the great tips.

    • Lori McNee December 7, 2009 at 10:42 am

      Hi Christine, thanks for the comment & glad to help!

  12. TopiaryLady January 12, 2010 at 10:28 am

    So glad I found your site Lori! Someone tweeted about it and I followed the link. I’m new to twitter but slowly coming up to speed. I look forward to readying more of your informative articles! Thanks for posting.

    • Lori McNee January 12, 2010 at 11:38 am

      So glad to have you visit, Michelle! Thanks for taking time to comment and I look forward to hearing from you again.
      Best, Lori 🙂

  13. Laura Lawson March 7, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Seriously great post; I took away a lot from it! Lovely work, by the way.

    • Lori McNee March 8, 2010 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks Laura! Glad this post was of help to you. Oh and, thanks for the nice words about my work.


  14. Chris April 9, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Great article! I’ve taken notes from the beginning till the end. Thanks for posting something so informative!

    • Lori McNee April 9, 2010 at 11:26 am

      So glad you found this article helpful! Thanks for the comment. Lori 🙂

  15. jenn April 28, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Nice information! Will try some of your tips!!

    • Lori McNee April 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm

      Hi Jenn…thanks for the comment. Glad to help.

  16. Cat May 7, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Some of these are good tips, and some of them really, really aren’t. Not if you want to build a good following of people who are actually interested in what you have to say.

    First, tweeting for impact up to 6 times per hour for several hours a day? I would defollow that in a second. You are just flooding my stream. That’s not a conversation; that’s talking at me. I try to keep my tweets to 1 an hour. Sometimes I go over, but six is ridiculous and means you’re putting out a poor signal to noise ratio.

    It’s great to follow relavent orgs, but often only if they’ve got useful twitter accounts. Many of orgs’ accounts mostly just send tweets out and don’t take info in.

    ONE personal tweet for every 10? That’s also a quick way to get unfollowed. We follow PEOPLE. If I want a stream of information, I follow a blog. The only tweets that SHOULD be streams of info are some organizations, weather beacons, things of that ilk.

    A lot of these tips definitely make you a marketing drone, not a person. I wouldn’t follow your twitter account. This isn’t meant as a personal attack, but you are giving poor professional advice so it needs to be said.

    • Lori McNee May 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Cat,

      Thanks for your comment. I just clarified within the article that the stats I shared are by some of the biggest names in Social Media, they are not my own stats. I linked to their websites, but maybe you missed that. Believe it or not, I find that I don’t follow the formula myself. I tend to tweet in the am, maybe a few in the afternoon and I try and get some in in the pm (depending on my schedule).

      That seems to be working for me because I have a strong community following and have made some really great friends on Twitter. I always personally thank my friends for RTs and nice comments, randomly say hello and then add a personal tweet every so often. Other than that, I like to share my art tips & quotes. That is what works for me. I know I can’t please everybody 😉

      I am a big believer that, ‘bad ink is better than no ink’ so thanks for your comment. Hope to see you on Twitter sometime.


    • chris May 7, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      I have to disagree with your reader name Cat. I have followed you from your first tweet and you didn’t grow to be the top artist on twitter for spaming. You built it by putting up important info that reached a large audience not just artists.
      Personally, I think she is jelous and probably has about a few hundred followers and if I had a picture like that for my avatar I would delete it.

      • Lori McNee May 8, 2010 at 8:00 pm

        Anytime an artist decides to ‘put themselves out there’, they better be ready for the positive AND the negative feedback. Realize, we can learn a lot from what people dont like! Comfort zones are most often expanded through discomfort…
        Thanks for your follow-up comment.

  17. Daniel Edlen July 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Excellent overview with simple suggestions. I love sharing when I see articles about artists and how Twitter can do well there.

    Glad to have connected!

    • Lori McNee July 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm

      Hi Daniel, it is great see my Twitter friend here on my blog. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the comment!
      See you on Twitter!
      Best – Lori

  18. Franziska San Pedro October 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks Lori for the beautifully written post.
    Especially all the links are very helpful and as I am reading more and more about how to use social media, I find that I am learning more every day (and it doesn´t stop) 🙂
    To put this together takes a lot of work and effort, great job!
    Flavor Designs

    • Lori McNee October 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      Hi Fanziska-

      Many thanks for the extra special comment. I really appreciate your feedback on this and I am glad you are learning some social media tips from me. It is another world – but, creative people really are enjoying social media and it is good for business!

      Hope to see you here again-

  19. AKH January 11, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Great stuff Lori! “one personal tweet for every 10 informative tweets” I have a hard time not tweeting personal crap, so this line I’ll keep in mind. From what I’m learning the tweet has to be real and relevant. Good stuff.

    • Lori McNee January 19, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      Glad this post helped you AKH. There really are no rules, but some guidelines are helpful. Once you get a following and more familiar, you will find your right timing.

      Happy tweeting!


  20. Ani Todd Smith February 13, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Hi Lori,
    Thanks for posting. Even though I am aware of its value, I struggle with Twitter and I would like to make better use of it as an artist. I see there are a lot of things in your article that I am NOT doing but will definitely make a point to apply them now. I have a lot to learn. 🙂

    • Lori McNee February 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

      Hello Ani, you are not alone. Many people are perplexed by Twitter. I am glad these tips are helpful to you and I hope to see you there.

      Happy tweeting!

  21. Bill May 11, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Great information Lori – when it comes to social networking, I’m little short of a disaster – this information is spot on! Thank you!

    • Lori McNee May 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Happy to help you Bill. Thanks for letting me know. Good luck with it all.


  22. January 24, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    “Brand Yourself as an Artist on Twitter – Lori McNee Artist”
    ended up being extremely entertaining and insightful! In todays universe that is
    challenging to deliver. Thanks, Francine

    • Lori McNee February 4, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Thank you for reading and commenting! I appreciate you.

  23. Outdoor Living room January 25, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Hello! I’ve been following your weblog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Austin Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!

    • Lori McNee January 28, 2013 at 11:28 am

      Well, thank you for leaving a comment. I am happy you spoke up and that you enjoy this blog.
      Lori 🙂

  24. Emily Rose Galvan June 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Glad to be following a true artist 🙂 Keep up the good work!

    • Lori McNee June 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Hello Emily,
      Thank for the nice words here. Happy to have you stop by for a visit!

  25. Lori Putnam February 1, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    great article. I am afraid I am terribly behind in the tweet world. There is so much I do not understand. In short, I could not find how to change my @name to include something such as “artist.” Will try to get better at this. Thanks Lori.

    • Lori McNee February 4, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Hi Lori, great to see you stop by for a comment. On Twitter, go into your profile settings to change your name. I hope that helps!

    • Df Michael Artist January 14, 2015 at 4:17 am

      What I did I renamed my twitter username under profile settings like Lori McNee suggests in her answer, but I also created a new twitter account with my old username so that i did not lose that. Then I added a tweet on the account with the old handle that simply states “Please follow me at @dfmichaelartist”, that way any accidental visit to my older username can be redirected to the new one.

      • Lori McNee February 8, 2015 at 12:17 am

        That was a smart thing to do! Thanks for sharing that tip in the comment section 🙂 Happy tweeting!

  26. Df Michael Artist January 14, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Lori, thank you so much for sharing these tips. These are invaluable tips that make sense, not the usual marketing blog like “17 steps to this” or “9 things to never do” etc etc. (I just changed my Twitter handle from @dfmichael to @dfmichaelartist last night and already saw an improvement after one day). You are great!

    • Lori McNee February 8, 2015 at 12:18 am

      That is such great news! Thanks for letting me know that you have found this post helpful. I will find you on Twitter to say hello! Thank you 🙂

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