What the digital age has also brought is incredible access to getting out the word about your work to your target markets.
Wait, though. Using online marketing such as social media sites Twitter and Facebook is not as simple as it may at first appear.
If you want to get the most bang for your buck (translated as making the time you spend on social media worthwhile), you need to understand social media and then have a strategic plan for your own projects.
Although you do not necessarily need to do all the online promotion yourself, you do need to understand the best ways to promote your specific work and be able to supervise the efforts of any people you hire to represent you online.
First, a big warning:
Do NOT put any comments or photos on social media sites – no matter what the stated privacy controls are – that you could not live with the entire world, including your parents, viewing.
Now that this warning is out of the way (but, please, not out of mind), let’s talk strategy:
Effective online marketing strategy is built on two pillars:
First is that you must be clear about who your target markets are for your different projects.
Second is that you need to know where your target markets hang out online.
Let’s take an example of a person who creates electronic dance music. He or she may well know the main target market – people who love electronic dance music. Yet which might be the best social media sites to connect with these people?
The next important points are these:
First, if you are going to do the online relationship building yourself, you need to understand that each social media site plays to different strengths and thus you need to choose accordingly.
Example: I personally love Twitter for professional connections. But I advise clients not to start on Twitter unless they can commit to tweeting at least three times a day and at least five days a week.
Second, the entire value proposition for using social media to connect with your target markets is that you must share information and NOT sell.
Example of the difference: You do NOT tweet “Buy my photograph of the willow tree lit by a rainbow” and give a link to where this photograph can be purchased.
Instead you tweet “Thrilled to get a photograph of a willow tree lit by a rainbow” and give a link to where this photograph can be purchased.
You may think this is a subtle difference, but in the world of social media it is a huge difference.
In future articles I will be talking about how some of the more popular and some of the newer sites can be effectively used by artists who understand the value of social media. I hope you’ll come along for the journey.
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter and @ZimblerMiller on Pinterest) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing consulting company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com She is also the author of fiction and nonfiction books and ebooks – see www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com