What most artists do when they’re “doing social media” is try to grow their following one person at a time. Reciprocating comments and likes within their artist social circle. As I mentioned in my last post, that doesn’t work too well – and its exhausting.
Last week in our private Facebook group for TAA students, someone asked how a particular artist accumulated 75,000+ followers on Instagram.
Big social media followings rarely happen organically any more. The algorithms favor those with already large accounts.
But some people still grow huge followings.
Some of them spend a ton of money on advertising, essentially buying a huge following.
Some artists are already celebrities and amass huge followings the moment they announce they’re on a particular platform.
But if you don’t have a huge budget, and aren’t a celebrity, what are you supposed to do?
It’s not a secret. You leverage other people’s people.
How to Grow Your Social Media Following with PR
There are a few specific ways you can do this. These are all easily achievable tasks that nearly any artist accomplish
- Guest blogging
- Pitch your local news media, blogs, and tv shows
- Reach out to influencers and ask them to share your work
Let me elaborate.
What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging was all the rage on the Internet a couple of years ago. This was the idea that you contacted every blog on the planet and sent them an awkward form letter offering to write a terrible article for them.
Please don’t do that.
Do this instead: find a few blogs that write about things related to your art. Write something smart for them. Send them an email with a short 1 – 2 sentence pitch and offer it up.
If you do this a few times, you’ll get attention, links, and more traffic to your website, which you can then leverage into attention from bigger outlets.
How do I pitch locals news?
Every mid-size city and a lot of small cities have local newspapers, blogs, and/or TV shows. Their job is to publish stories about local interesting news. You, dear artist, are local interesting news.
Just by reaching out to these organizations and telling them about an upcoming show, or the story of a recent commission, or even the story behind your art, you can give them some good ideas for their next story.
Local journalists are easily accessible. Simply look at their bylines (the names of the authors of the articles) and either find their email addresses on the company website, or reach out to them on Twitter.
Who and what are influencers?
Every market has a person with outsize influence. It might be a celebrity, a local business magnate, or even just someone that a lot of your ideal collectors respect.
If you can figure out who those people are in your local community, or in your online niche, and ask them to share your art, then you can reach a much larger audience than you could on your own.
Any of the actions I’ve outlined here are more effective than trying to grow a social media audience one comment at a time. You’ll reach a bigger audience, drive traffic to your website, grow your online following, and produce sales all a the same time.
I’ll wrap this email up by emphasizing this: it’s important to take action, rather than spinning your wheels doing research. Compile a list of 10 names, then start reaching out. The taking action part is the part that gets results.
If you want to join us for How to Sell Your Art Online 301, please feel free to do so. You can get more info and sign up here.
TAA artist Dorothea LeBlanc followed this advice with great results. Read her story: Discovering & Embracing My Niche.