Artist Guide: Make A Private Collector’s Club Through Twitter

by Natasha Wescoat

Twitter is one of the most influencial social media tools available to everyone, including artists as a way to connect with friends, fans, collectors, and business colleagues. If you don’t already know, it’s a microblogging tool where you can type what you are doing, reply to other Twitterers and send direct messages to others that are private.

It’s been used for everything from ranting and conversation to promotion and marketing. I could go on and on about the uses of Twitter, and will soon. But, I want to propose an idea on using Twitter that may not have been concieved yet.

PRIVATE TWITTER ACCOUNTS AS COLLECTOR CLUBS
Twitter allows you to protect your updates so that only the followers you want to come in can see them. Being that Twitter is excellent for making announcements, offering info and links, this would make an excellent place to hold your own private collector club/mailing list. Noone can see the updates if you didn’t approve them to follow you. And Twitter is FREE to use.

The possibilities are ENDLESS!

5 STEPS TO BUILDING A PRIVATE TWITTER ACCOUNT:

1.  Create your private profile and go into settings. There will be a box option that says “Protect my updates”. You want that marked so that your tweets are NOT public.

2.  Design the wallpaper and avatar to go onto the profile. You can either design your own or find a site online that offers designs for free or minimal fee.

3. Announce the private Twitter club on your mailing list, sites, blogs, social media profiles, etc.

4. Followers will start to show up on your profile, which you can approve by hand. It allows you to look up their profile. Have followers send you an email with their:
Twitter profile name, real name, and why they want to follow.

5. Decide if you’d like to monetize on the private group. You can offer them access for a fee, monthly subscription, or payments. You decide.

WHAT I WOULD OFFER IN MY PRIVATE TWITTER CLUB:

1. Exclusive offers and promos. Have a club only discount available to your followers.

2.  Club exclusive art or prints.
Offer something that only they can have. Maybe make it a special edition work that is created on a monthly, yearly, or seasonal basis.

3.  Special private art sales. Only the club members are allowed the discounts and offers that you give them. They are your most loyal customers. They deserve the offers. And noone outside gets to do it.

4.  Giveaways. Maybe you can giveaway a free print or special edition collectable to your club members within the group.

5.  Exclusive news feed. Announcements about new art, shows, interviews, or other events are sent to them immediately, thanks to Twitter. Before the news is posted on your site or blog, they get to hear about it.

Making a club for your loyal following builds a reputation. You are building up your collectors, and they in turn will build you up. Grassroots media is where its at, and if there are ways you can offer something special to them, they will want to tell the world!
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Natasha Wescoat (natashawescoat.com) is a licensed artist and social media creative utilizing the web to promote and sell her art. Learn more about the artist at her official website or her blog, Natasha’s Art Candy (natashasartcandy.com)

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Artist Guide: Speed and Intensity

1484869620_eca9fccb49_mby Natasha Wescoat

Web Presence, Exposure, and Evolution

When it comes to selling and marketing on the internet, speed and intensity is key. You may have this already working out in your favor, considering you have OCD tendencies, like me, and can’t wait to do this and that in regards to your business and art.

The internet’s rate of evolution is going at a much faster pace and increases. Now, if you spend about a month off of the internet and come back, you will notice new sites, new tools, new avenues of revenue possibilities. You may feel collectors or fans have long gone. It’s a catch 22, being an internet business. It’s about consistency and progress. It’s survival of the fittest or fastest!

Anything that’s static will die.

Read more here . . .

Social Media, Blogging, and Licensing Art Advice

A fellow artist (who has done work for Blizzard) had emailed me, asking me about a few things us artists all want to know, so I thought I’d share our conversation along with you as I answer his questions. And by the way I’m totally addicted to World of Warcraft, so it was an honor to talk to the artist who has rendered some of my favorite work for my favorite game:

If you don’t mind, I’d like to pick your brain about  Licensing & fine art.  I really enjoy finding another artists who actually see a bigger picture and understands the value in diversifying your talents across industries.  I’d like to hear your thoughts on the differences, problems, and benefits with the different fields.
I have no idea how profitable those fields can be.

Have blogs helped you?   Why do you prefer WordPress over blogger, facebook etc? …. Best, Sean”

Thanks Sean! My advice:

ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
I’m still working on finding the best options in the business. Selling online has it’s pros and cons, so promoting is almost like an experiment.I’ve found that testing out all the options has helped me find out what works best for my business and my art audience. It may differ depending on your audience and art style as well. Some people find Facebook is a lovely tool for promoting art. I haven’t found it work for me, but yet I do get lots of networking opportunities as well as new fans through Myspace or through Twitter.

It probably took me about two years of working with all the available free online programs and communities to find my audience and know who want to see what I had to offer. Social media has given us really great opportunities to promote and expose our art to people worldwide. You learn alot by being able to connect with your fans too. I love that part of social media.

ON LICENSING ART:
With licensing, I think it’s important to make it a regular routine to contact companies yourself.

Thought I’ve recieved most of my licensing deals by being contacted by the companies themselves, I have found that they are responsive to inquiries by artists. In the web, it’s hard to find artists that are really good, are talented, and marketable, so I think they like to be approached. It helps cut out their hard work to find you.

You may find a future opportunity you wouldn’t have had, had you not contacted them yourself. I’ve had several opportunities because I scouted out connections and people who’s company would benefit from my art.

ON SELF-PUBLISHING:
When it comes to self-publishing, I have told artists to definitely seek that out. Seek out companies that offer self publishing like Imagekind.com. I was with Art.com since 2004 and because of them, I had achieved many opportunities, including spots on television, movies, and commission deals that I wouldn’t have been offered before. Unfortunately there are cons to that as well.

Art.com was a company that had changed it’s structure, closed it’s connection to emerging artists, and in doing so cut royalty opportunities significantly for artists. I also lost a significant deal with them that had been discontinued because their business’s plans had totally changed. I’m still waiting to see my art be part of their site again, instead of just being in the Emerging Artists category. They really reduced my possible sales (and their own profit) by having done that.

But in saying that, I’m not saying it’s bad to have your art in these places. Any exposure is good exposure and the people that want art like yours are out there, searching the net for it. Putting it in places where they are looking for art gives you the chance to find new collectors and fans! Finding a publisher may not be as good as publishing yourself. It all depends on the deal you are offered, or what you can negotiate.

ON BLOGGING:
It does take time to really understand the value of blogs. I have been blogging since 2004, when I started to offer my art online. I’ve used Livejournal, Blogger, Vox, and others until I found one that worked for me. I learned about HTML, blogging etiquette, design, and networking. Be sure to connect with other artists that blog. Comment on their blogs, read them every week. SUBSCRIBE! Which really makes it easier to read. I have mine come to my email. Also, try to blog every week at least 1-3 times. Even if it’s just about you. I think people like to be able to see your personal side as much as what you are doing. They want to know what you are about. But, like I said before, it’s about experimenting, testing, figuring out what works for you, what’s right for you, and what people respond to that will determine what you blog, how you blog, and what you do on the net.

Artist Guide: Ask and You Shall Recieve, Know What You Want

JUST ASK

One of the biggest and nagging misconceptions that artists have in their mind is that when it comes to opportunities, business offers/deals, or sales – they come to you. So for months, years, or decades you will be sittin at your chair wondering why that fine arts degree, those years of hard work, or having a website isn’t getting any biters.

You have to approach these goals and people yourself. And it’s only a matter of knowing how.

Asking for what you want means:

– approaching potential partners, publishers, customers with your work/ideas.

– looking for opportunities or making them.

– researching ways to promote your art.

– contacting the galleries, websites, companies that you WANT to work with.

Alot of us just assume indefinitely, maybe unconciously that if we ask for something, we will get an obvious and expected NO or NOT INTERESTED.

To Read more of the article by Natasha, click HERE

Artist Guide: Fabulous Creating

 
This sounds alittle corny perhaps. Natasha, you’ve lost your mind now. I want to discuss the art of making art. Have you as an artist given yourself the ambience and atmosphere that inspires, strengthens, and enlightens your work? Plein Air artists get the beauty and ambience of the outdoors. What about us indoor folks? ;P

Creating art while in a state of stress, clutter, or chaos can be constructive for a few, but for the rest of us, this is a killer of creativity.

Some ways to help you produce excellent work:

How To Sell Art Part-Time

Yeah, I totally said that correctly.

How to go – PART time selling your art? You say, are you crazy woman? What the heck is she talking about?!

 In the beginning, many artists focus on being able to create our art full time by:

 – quitting our day job.

– make an income that’s good enough to live off of, and maybe more.

– expand our art’s exposure and therefore…opportunities.

Little do we realize all the work, sweat, blood, and tears we must experience to get to that place. For some this is grand! For others, this is a nightmare.

To read more of this article, go to: http://art2pt0.wordpress.com