Building a Community and Telling Your Story

Building a Community and Telling Your Story

As an artist in the digital age, you have one of the greatest marketing and community-building tools at your fingertips – social media. A lot of artists know to share their actual artwork on social media, but the best way to truly grow a following and engage with fans, followers and shoppers is through telling your own story and creating a community around your unique values. Here are some great ways to expand what you’re sharing on social media beyond your physical artwork.

1. Look at your social media profile as your own personal gallery or studio.

While open studios and galleries still exist IRL, it’s mostly online where we communicate and exchange ideas. Think of your online profile as a welcoming space to greet your followers. How would you speak with someone visiting your studio? What would you want to say to someone who is discovering your work for the first time? Once you shift your mindset to view your profile almost as if it’s a physical space, you’ll find ways to make that place special for each new visitor or follower.

2. What is your story? What are your triumphs and struggles?

Opening up to tell your story will not only make it a whole lot easier to stay true to your art and your brand, but it will allow your followers to see a more authentic side of you. This authenticity will help your fans connect with you on a much deeper level, as well as create a dialogue about their own lives. Having conversations about your struggles and triumphs makes you more human, and therefore easier to relate to. All of this communication fosters engagement, which results in a better experience for both you and your followers.

3. What about your values and beliefs are you communicating with your work?

Sharing why your story relates to your art gives your work a deeper level of meaning. Sure, we all want to create pretty/cool/interesting work, but if there is no deeper meaning behind why you create that work, the designs tend to fall flat. What sets your work apart from the pack? What motivates you to make the work that you do? Sharing these personal insights with your followers will create connections on an even deeper level, encouraging engagement, which strengthens the bond between you and your followers.

4. How are you serving your followers with the content you’re sharing?

Of course, we want to sell art but we also know that vibe you get from a sleazy salesman who just wants to sell, sell, sell all day long. To offset the days when we do have something to sell or a promo to push, it’s key to keep a balance between serving and selling. In your online space, it’s helpful to have a clear vision for what you provide for your followers and fans on a day-to-day. What feeling do you want your fans to have when they see your posts pop up on their feed? Inspired? Enlightened? Confident? Knowing that key emotion will help you plan posts that evoke that feeling so your followers look forward to hearing from you every day.

Creating a community through social media will ultimately bring something so much more real than just posting your work—hoping for it to stand on its own. You have reasons for being who you are as an artist and sharing those reasons will set you apart by helping others and being true to yourself at the same time.

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