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Nov 14, 2015

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PROTIP: Marketing Yourself Online via Instagram and Email - Stop Tagging Random People!

I see many artists randomly tagging people on IG and FB in an effort to get more eyes on their artwork. It's gotta stop. It's not effective and it basically just irritates each of those people - counterproductive. I sent the below suggestions to someone who was doing this to me on IG, and it's worth sharing so I'm blogging it for your benefit.

(NOTE: below is just my opinion, based on my work experience online over the past few years. I am by no means the final word in internet marketing strategies, but I doubt any expert will tell you to start tagging a dozen random people in your images.)

OK so first off, tagging someone on social media when they are not involved in your project/piece won’t do anything.

That’s the absolute most passive way possible of getting the word out. It’s like standing in the middle of an empty field with a sign that says “Hungry. Please help.” No one is coming by to help, you need to go to where the people are and specifically ask for help.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
You need to ask yourself what you want to accomplish by tagging random people, and then take very specific actions to make that happen.

In this case I’d imagine the purpose is to sell artwork.

SET UP A SHOP
So, you need a shop. Make sure your shop is linked to from your website, blog or online portfolio in the nav menu.

If you don’t have a shop, set one up or else you will be forever doomed to handling orders by email. At some point that will become too time consuming. Shopify, Big Cartel, Storenvy, eBay, etc etc.

If you do have a shop (outside of your main website), make a nav menu button that links to it so you can sell stuff.

Once you have a shop, you have a link to direct people to to make purchases.

NOW TELL EVERYONE
Once you have a link, you can start writing press releases.

Make a list of the bloggers you have heard of, get their email addresses. They all make that info very public.

When you have new work to share, send the bloggers an email with images and a chunk of copy they can literally copy and paste into a blog post, links and everything. You will refer to yourself in the 3rd person so that the blog post on someone else’s blog makes sense when the reader reads it.

Email bloggers no more than once per week but no less than once per month.

USE INSTAGRAM LIKE A PRO
You can continue to post on IG, of course, but tagging random people in the posts should stop. IG is super useful and a great platform to show off your best images. Post one post per day, make sure the image is AWESOME. Curate your own images. Make sure you use relevant hashtags. Don’t bother posting teasers or half pics of pieces. Your followers see thousands of pics every day, make sure that when you show them something, it has meaning and value. That means show the FULL piece in your IG images. You can use IG videos too to get the pieces from all sides. A turntable is helpful to do that.


Don't post negative shit, stuff about your ex-wife, or pics of your food. That crap doesn't help you sell your art.

EMAIL TIPS
As an aside, EVERY link that you have - every social media page, website, blog, shop etc - should appear in the signature of your email. Figure out how to set up a signature in your email account. At least that way you know 100% that every person you email knows exactly where to find all your stuff.

Another note about email: be careful how you send emails.
You need to maintain an email thread chain for long conversations so the person you are communicating with can read back and see the full conversation in one email. Always hit reply to reply to a conversation. Do not start a new email. This makes re-reading the conversation easy for all.



ALWAYS write a subject for every new email. Emails without subjects is like mailing junk mail - probably won't get opened, will definitely get lost in the shuffle.

When sending newsletters or press releases: if you don’t have an email service like MailChimp or MadMimi to create email lists, you will be simply pasting all your recipients into the BCC field in your email. DO NOT use the TO field for multiple recipients. Put your own email address in the TO field and all the rest of the recipients in the BCC field. This hides your recipient list from the rest of the recipients.

For more tips and instruction, hire Benny.

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