This post, from Magdalena Georgieva, originally appeared on the HubSpot Inbound Internet Marketing Blog on 7/8/09.
Making a living as an artist is hard. Somewhere between establishing a market and promoting your art, you have to stay inspired.
Artist Natasha Wescoat has done just fine online with all three. She uses blogging and social media to promote and sell her creative work online. "If I can do it, anyone can," she said in a telephone interview yesterday about her social media usage. Here are eight tips that emerged from our conversation:
1) Experiment, experiment, experiment Natasha got started with experimentation. In 2005, she began video blogging and saw that people responded to her content. Afterward, she got interested in MySpace and Facebook. With almost 5,000 followers, she has now become an avid Twitter user.
Experimentation helps you keep up with changing industry landscapes. As Ben Rowe commented on Natasha’s Mashable post, "Twitter mightn’t be the silver bullet for all artists. A blog, Flickr or Etsy page might not be either. But the artists who are out there trying these new tools are already miles ahead of the artists who aren’t."
2) Set time for social media Make sure you are not overusing the social networking sites. "I try to set a time everyday to check all my different networks," said Natasha. Twice a day, after waking up and before going to bed, she checks her Twitter replies. That helps her avoid habitually overusing the tool.
3) Patience is a virtue If you are just getting started with social media, be patient. "It takes a lot of patience and research," Natasha said. You won’t see instant results because developing relationships takes time. Natasha suggested that social media rookies focus on "building their networks and relationships because that will be their most powerful tool."
4) Train Your Brain Train your brain to regularly read other people’s blogs and tweets. They provide good examples of the interaction that you are looking for. When she first started using Twitter, Natasha found herself at a loss. "I didn’t have any idea what to say. But I read other people’s discussions, trained my mind and got started on new ideas," she said.