Transitioning To An Online World
Where to begin…
As an individual, trying to keep your creative dreams alive during this major shift in society seems impossible. It's not. What you have available to you right now is social media. By either starting new, or improving upon what you already have, you can keep yourself 'present' in the now virtual world.
Let's be honest, most of us are shoved into the deep end of the responsibility pool when it comes to representing ourselves on social media, and we are mostly undereducated and overwhelmed, so let's break down what you should be considering, with our 'creative person' filter on.
If you do one favor for yourself today, follow this link and give them your email in exchange for this extremely comprehensive guide to social media for visual artists and READ IT, even if you aren't a visual artist. Most of the information can be extrapolated to include other types of creative pursuits.
Analytics are your friend. But you don't have to tell anyone.
Both Facebook and Instagram have powerful dashboards that show you whether what you're doing is having any lasting effect (ex. people 'engaging' with your posts, like feeling inspired enough to comment vs. just liking it and moving on)
- Instagram Business Account: Did you know you can hide your 'business category type' and 'contact information'? This allows your content to look like a personal page, but provide analytics like only a business page can.
- A great way to generate content with positive analytic results and very little effort is reposting. The Repost app helps make this pretty effortless.
- Hashtags help your content reach new people, but using any more than 1-3 on any platform actually drives followers away. Relevancy is of the utmost importance. If the content doesn't match the hashtag, the post will be ultimately ineffective. Here's a handy guide.
- Facebook has insights too, and here's an article on how to understand them. Unfortunately, with Facebook, you have to have a business account for analytics and you can't hide that you're using a business account.
For the Musicians…
Social media often turns into a constant call to 'Come to my show!', but you've probably figured out that's ineffective, if you aren't also providing content people want to interact with. So how do you motivate them to actually be your fan? Here's where to do some of that:
- Youtube for Artists: Not sure what this is all about? Check out this article.
- Soundcloud: This legendary platform provides its own following of people seeking to 'discover' new music.
- Consider creating a Go Fund Me digital 'tip jar' for any Instagram or Facebook live performances/concerts. Why on Instagram Live in particular? Because they send push notifications to all your followers, telling them you're live, and you don't have to do anything. More audience = potentially more money.
- Here's a handy article explaining the ins and outs of Spotify for artists, like how to get 'verified'.
Thinking about teaching performing or art online?
The same options for webinars we listed above apply here for the teaching artist or performer.
Do you already have your own teaching practice and a website that accepts payments? Great. Record your lessons, and upload them to a cloud service, like dropbox or Google Drive. Once someone purchases your lesson(s) you can send them a link to download the files.
Here's some teaching Wordpress plugins you might find useful, even though they're not designed specifically for teaching art:
This platform is specifically for teaching creative pursuits:
These are essentially 'drag and drop' site builders, specifically for teaching things online. The idea being that once you're done deciding the initial site structure, you can focus on creating content for your course(s) instead of worrying about maintaining the software side of your site :
Worried about copyright infringement by going digital?
This is a legitimate concern, but you do have the power to protect your work if you register it. You cannot file an infringement if the work is not registered with the US Copyright Office.
- Protecting your photography
- Instructions regarding registering visual art
- Motion Picture, Animation, etc.
Last but not least, 'How do I sell my art online?'
The enigmatic question of 'how' is not going to be conquered by us, but we can offer up some suggestions and opinions from those that specialize more in this topic than we do:
- The 15 Best Websites to Sell Art Online
- 6 Online Platforms Looking to Help Emerging Artists
- Artsy.net - these guys come up A LOT in this conversation online
- Arto - Tinder for Art. An application that learns the buyer's taste in art by them swiping and makes suggestions based on their taste.
You can do this.
We know that this adjustment is not a slight shift for the arts & culture industry, it is nothing short of moving a mountain. Our work and our worlds revolve around gathering people together and creating connections.
While nothing will replace that, the online work you are investing your time in now should not be an act of submission, but an act of defiance. Once these digital tools are put in place, they will only promote inclusivity and extend the reach of opportunity. Lay the foundation.
ARTSOPOLIS as a company fosters arts and cultural engagement through related website development, hosting, maintenance, and consulting services. Website>