As the holidays speed towards us like a gift giving freight train, spreading the word about your work to take advantage of all of the promotions and increased sales is more important than ever. And one of the most useful ways to promote your work (amongst many other options) is a personal Facebook fan page.
Having a Facebook fan page can help you generate income from your artwork and create opportunities for yourself. Opportunities such as extending your personal network base, building your personal brand, and most importantly, having a place to unify and present all the different projects you’ve been working on.
Many artists I know have been invited to conferences, events, live-drawing gigs, and to speak via a consistent Facebook networking presence. It’s not just a place to showcase what you’ve been up to, but like Twitter and other social media channels, it can be used as a tool to speak to people for new opportunities.
Here’s why and some examples of good ones from the RB Community:
There’s a handful of convincing benefits to having a Facebook fan page, like you’re going to be reaching a group of people that voluntarily want to hear your news. That’s a wonderful feeling and gets rid of that icky feeling when you’re promoting yourself that perhaps your audience are as interested in your work as they are watching ceiling paint dry. Having a Facebook fan page gives you a direct audience that (literally) like you. Facebook is extremely large with about 1.9 billion users, meaning the potential to reach new communities of artists is exponential.
Facebook fan pages also cost exactly $0 — unless you choose to boost your posts, but that’s a whole other, controversial topic (see below) — and it’s a great way to build meaningful relationships, friendships and a community with others. When you can establish engaged relationships with your target audience you’re building very valuable brand loyalty to what you create, which is priceless. If you consistently post interesting and dynamic content which gives your fans an insight to your artistic practice, you’re building your personal brand immeasurably.
Other benefits include being able to gauge via the Facebook insight tools which of your posts are popular, which helps you to understand what your fans want to see more. I think they are a funny group of young entrepreneurs, but I often think of all those YouTube channel stars and the way they have embraced this idea of using fan feedback to build their personal brand, which in time (a few years) literally turns into income, networking, tours, appearances, and a career based on a completely reciprocal relationship with fans. Having a fan base is a way to building future income and networking, and I’ve seen firsthand the success it can bring to artists of all levels. Obviously, the artists’ skills and talents are the most important part of a successful creative career, but Facebook fan pages do help facilitate transitions in public image (which is very important to handle smoothly) from hobby to professional artist.
Your Personal Profile Isn’t Enough
For continuity and expected growth (you can only have 5,000 Facebook friends, and you can have unlimited fans) bite the bullet early on and have a fan page.
Plus, some features available for fan pages aren’t available on personal profiles, like uploading specific images when sharing links to your Redbubble shop. For some tips on the best practices for sharing on Facebook check out this FAQ.
Getting Ready For The Holidays And Events
Using your Facebook fan page is a great way to communicate your artistic plans for the holidays. Are you making new work for a specific product? Putting out a range of Christmas cards? You can share this holiday news using your fan page, and I’ve seen it done brilliantly to garner momentum and success of sales, discounts or promotions over the holiday period.
Especially during the upcoming Holiday season, Redbubble runs numerous discounts and promo events for both buyers and artists so a Facebook fan page is an easy place to share coupon codes and images of specific products that might be on sale.
It’s also helpful to create Facebook events and share them on your fan page and invite people to them when you’re having an exhibition, or even a yearly-one-off-super-special artwork sale. I know many creative people that only have Facebook for the events feature as it organizes their social life. If you want to hold an event which people might attend, make an event for it, your fans will get notifications the day of it and increase your chances of reaching an interested audience.
How Facebook Is Making Marketing Harder
You’ve probably heard since late last year, and then again in March this year, that Facebook is making it much harder for unpaid pages to gain any organic reach to their followers. Facebook have made it difficult to reach new fans if you’re not paying for their marketing services. Time magazine published a great article which goes into detail on how Facebook are putting the breaks on free marketing.
Facebook for small individual artists is still an effective way of reaching your target audience. You might have to do more of the heavy lifting (directly networking and reaching out to future fans), but for the approaches artists and designers are taking, it still works very well. When you’re both increasing your personal brand and promoting your artwork, a fan page, if run consistently, isn’t a damaging idea. But it’s entirely up to you if you want to pay Facebook for their expanded services.
Do you have a Facebook fan page? Do you think it’s a bad idea? Link to it in the comments below and let us know about your experiences so far.
[Header image: Take Care. Take Care by monochromefrog]