I follow a fair number of artists on Twitter. I even have them broken down into lists so that I can see who’s doing what by genre (painters, musicians, sculptors, etc). There are a ton of artists on Twitter, and more with each passing day. Some of the best art business coaches have guides to using Twitter to sell art, and I’m glad for that – but I wonder if the artists are even reading these guides.
This is a screenshot of my Hootsuite account. Notice how every single tweet is advertising some kind of art. There are dozens more. Hundreds more.
I wonder how much art these artists are selling by doing things like this. What’s more, I can tell by looking at where the Tweets are coming from that most of these messages are automated messages from social media management accounts.
I should be clear. I have nothing against sharing your art on Twitter. I have nothing against asking people to buy your stuff – but if that’s all you are doing, then are you really using Twitter the best you can?
Make Connections on Twitter
A few days ago I saw the Jason Parker Quartet (@1workinmusician) in concert at Mississippi Pizza. I heard about because I’m on his mailing list. I’m on his mailing list because Jason found my blog through Twitter and we exchanged emails. That was nine months ago. I’ve been following him on Twitter since. After the show Jason thanked me on Twitter. Jason knew most of the people that were there to see him. He actually went through the restaurant intermission and said hi to everyone he knew from Twitter, and thanked them from the stage.
A while back John Unger had a legal problem. Twitter went absolutely nuts over it. Artists everywhere supported him and the case was eventually settled. John went on to found Art Heroes Radio, an amazing resource for artists.
Look at artists like Tara Reed, Alyson Stanfield, or Ariane Goodwin. They’re not using automated programs to spam Twitter with their new pieces. They talk to people, make connections and have fun while they’re on Twitter.
Networking makes your career. It makes your business. It can make you as an artist. If you’re just spamming Twitter with sales listings, you’re wasting a valuable opportunity.
It can often take a buyer a long time to decide whether they want to buy a piece of your work. They may want to think on it. They may be saving up for it. They may forget about your work, even if they really love it, and need a reminder later. Twitter is an opportunity to get in front of your people and remind them who you are. It’s an opportunity for them to get to know you better.