Tag: Facebook

Five Reasons Why You ABSOLUTELY Need A Website Right Now

As a professional artist myself, I’m all about embracing what makes our work unique in our marketing and branding practices. Utilizing your creative DNA in this way isn’t just smart, it’s essential. The more customized you can make all aspects of your customer’s interaction with you, the more he or she will feel connected to your artist brand. We know the look and feel of our favorite brands or companies before we even see their newest products based on how they have cultivated their presence. Tone of voice, language, color, font and style all share the details of what we can expect. As artists, we inherently understand this about our creative work. And many of us work hard to cultivate this creative voice.

Yet unfortunately, taking this highly customized approach to managing online presence is something artists can often neglect. Sure, I know lots of you spend time cultivating your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat as if it was a MOMA exhibition. We agonize over hashtags and make sure to like and chime in on every comment. But how many of you spend that kind of time on your website? Better yet, do you even have one?

Why in the name of Instagram do we even need websites anymore anyway? Aren’t they irrelevant? You can sell work through Facebook and Instagram, share live feeds through Facebook Live, meet new fans through Soundcloud, and use those fun bunny filters in Snapchat. So what do I still need a website for anyway?

One thing you still can’t do on the Instaface? Brand everything directly to yourself. At the end of the day, Facebook still feels and looks like Facebook, even with all the apps, features, filters, and functions you could ever have. It’s not built with you in mind. Not only are websites relevant, they can enhance and boost your social media following if they are well maintained. But left to rot in the netherworlds of the interwebz….Well, we’ve all seen those artists who haven’t updated their sites since Geocities was still a thing. Don’t know what Geocities is? You probably still need a website.

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Not convinced? Here’s a list of 4 reasons you need a website (or a website upgrade for you Geocities folks) right now. #LetsDoThis

  1. You need a home for your work. Think of your website as your online address. Just like your real home has furniture that you love and walls painted in colors that make you feel good, so, too, should your website look and feel like you and your work. Fonts, colors, photos and logos can say a LOT about you before your customer ever makes it to your “About Me” page. Everything should look and feel like your work, and the more it does, the more your customer will connect with you. You know what I’m talking about – there are those places you like to browse or shop just because it feels good to be in their space. You like the environment. Give your customers the same feeling when they come to visit you.
  2. Facebook isn’t made for you – or your customers. As great as social media platforms are for interacting with an audience and sharing content, they offer a cookie cutter platform that isn’t tailor made to the needs of you or your audience. Social media platforms also don’t play well with others. Content shared from one platform to another doesn’t have the same traction as if it’s organically shared within the platform. Functionality is constantly changing. Your own website allows you to host the features and content that are specific to you are your work, without other distractions competing for your customer’s attention.
  3. It makes you look like a professional. Having a website makes you seem like someone who has their …ahem…STUFF together. Having everything laid out in a format that’s easy to navigate for your customer makes you seem like you have thought through their buying/experience process before. The easier it is for a customer to find the information about you that they’re looking for, the more trusted you become in their eyes. If information is hard to find because it’s between several different platforms, it’s gonna look like you don’t know what you’re doing. And buyers aren’t the only ones looking. Are you applying for residencies, grants, awards, exhibitions, shows or any other kind of work? It’s guaranteed that folks who book and work with artists are also looking to see what you look like online to know whether or not they should risk working with you.
  4. People want to know how to contact you. This is my biggest pet peeve with professional artists. Have you ever found someone’s work that you just loved only to never be able to find them anywhere else ever again? No cards, no phone number, no email address…nothing. You hope maybe one day you can find them at a festival around town, but that’s a longshot. Don’t be that person. Have a home for your work online and a place where people can find out how to contact you. Another word of advice? Contact forms are great, but have a REAL email address or phone number available, too, just in case. Sometimes “Contact Me” forms aren’t the easiest way for folks to send you information. And you want people to be able to get in touch if they want to know more about you and your work. You can always get a separate business email or Google Voice number to keep your personal contact info separate.
  5. New and different is attractive. Updating your site regularly with new information, new work, and new content helps to keep folks coming back again and again. Train your audience to use your site as a platform for finding out new information by driving traffic from your other social media accounts and email marketing. Updating your website regularly also helps to show folks that your constantly working as an artist, which inspires trust and confidence in the value of your work. Remember that Geocities artist with the website from 1998? Who knows if that person is even still working anymore? Make keeping your site up to date a part of regular part of your creative work.

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Need a helpful hand to help you take the first step? Never fear, C4 Atlanta is here! A new Website Bootcamp class is starting on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Over four weeks, you’ll learn how to build an attractive, easy to use site for yourself that you can easily update and maintain on your own. We’ll also cover some basic user design info, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and a little content marketing to help you drive traffic to your site. If all of this still sounds scary, we promise that there is a lot of hands-on work and facilitator feedback in this course to build your confidence.

Join us for Website Bootcamp!

Date/Time: Tuesdays, April 17 – May  8, 2018 – 10:30am -1:30pm

Location: Fuse Arts Center

Cost: $125 for non-members, $100 for members Register Online Here

For more information or to register, visit: Website Bootcamp Course Page.

Sneak Preview of Dive into Social Media….

Social Media… two simple words that when used together often initiate fear and frustration in small business owners. Now a days not having a presence on Social Media isn’t an option since it is expected that 2.5 billion people world wide will be using social media by 2018 (STATISTA).Thumbs up, like button on white background.

It’s also not difficult then to understand the importance of Social Media as a marketing tool… It’s where the people are.

Nonetheless, I am constantly approached by artists and creative workers who struggle with social media, don’t want to use it, or are daunted by where to begin. I hear questions like:

  • “I have a Facebook, but no one is following me. What am I doing wrong?”
  • “Do I really have to pay for Facebook Ads?”
  • “How do you use Snapchat?!”
  • “No one is RSVPing to my event.”
  • “Why is no one following me on Twitter?”
  • “Can you please explain a hashtag?!”
  • “Do I really need a separate business page on Facebook?”
  • “What do people use Snapchat for?”
  • “Should I buy supporters/followers?”
  • “Do people even still use Twitter?”
  • “How do people sell art through Instagram?”

All of these are important questions which most creative entrepreneurs struggle with. This is why C4 Atlanta has developed “Dive into Social Media”. My hope is to answer questions associated with the major social media platforms and their audiences while providing tips for effective (and authentic) engagement. Below is a sneak preview of a few specific topics which will be covered in this 3 hour class hosted by C4 Atlanta at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.

How to use Snapchat:

Snapchat can no longer be ignored. With 57 million American’s using it, 70% of which Millennials,  Snapchat is the largest growing social media platform on the market (MEDIAKIX). Unfortunately, many people find the user interface less than friendly. During this course we will do a deep dive into how EXACTLY to use Snapchat and the many features associated with it. We’ll take a look at “all-star” users such as Shonduras and GrubHub and see what they are doing to grow an audience. Trust me, you’ll be a Snapchat pro before you know it.

Which audiences are using what platforms:

The PEW Research Center recently released new information showing that 52% of online adults now use two or more social media sites. This is good news! More people are on more social media platforms, but identifying which ones can be difficult. Each platform is unique in it’s offering and therefore also unique in its users. During “Dive into Social Media” we will take a look at exactly what demographics are using which platforms so that you can target the right audience for your business.

What platforms are right for my creative business:

With all the different platforms out there it can be daunting trying to figure out which ones are right for your business or practice. No single person can manage them all, and the last thing you want is to waste time and energy on a platform that isn’t reaching your audience. For this course we have designed an activity to look specifically at your marketing goals/audience and match them to the RIGHT platform.

How do I best utilize Facebook:

Lets face it, almost EVERYONE is on Facebook nowadays. Friends, colleagues, Grandma, and even your anti-social cousin are on Facebook. It is still the most widely used platform in the world with over 1.35 billion people using it monthly… that’s almost equal to the population of China (Washington Post). Because of it’s large user base Facebook rivals other platforms in regards to the marketing opportunities available, but not everyone understands the differences in these opportunities. For this class we will look at Ads VS Boosted Post VS Organic Reach as well as a Pages VS Groups VS Events in hopes that Facebook will no longer be a marketing mystery.

What is branding and how can social media make it stronger:

The word branding is tossed around a lot in small business. As if it’s some magic key that when found will open up all the doors for making money. But what is it really? If we take a step back and look at the origins of the word branding it comes from the labeling of livestock. Branding is the literal mark made on animals so that others can identify who it belongs to. “Branding” is often used interchangeably (and incorrectly) with the term marketing, and even though they can work hand in hand, Branding is really the established presence your business has. For this class we will look at how to build a stronger brand using social media so you’re not simply pushing content but pulling your audience into your offerings to keep them coming back for more.


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Want to learn more? Enroll in “Dive into Social Media” today! 

When: June 25, 2016 from 10:30am to 1:30pm

Where: Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia 

Cost: $35 Non-Members; $25 for C4 Atlanta Members

TechsmARTs Follow-Up: Social Media at The Weather Channel

Note: The audio of April’s TechsmARTs discussion can be found at the bottom of this post.

If I were to split out the world of social media professionals into two camps (for the sake of this post), there are those who like to refer to social media as a conversation, and those who don’t. Mark Elliot, an on-camera meterologist with The Weather Channel falls squarely within the pro-conversation camp.

Mark is a TWC meterologist who is specifically charged with keeping the conversation going. A quick check of his Twitter feed at any time offers a glimpse into the conversation. His latest tweets generally tend to include replies, questions to his followers, and updates on weather events. Mark also maintains a Facebook page that doesn’t cross-post to his Twitter feed (thank you for not cross-posting, by the way).

A few months ago Mark approached us with an offer to speak at a TechsmARTs session. We decided this was a good opportunity to try something new, and see what wisdom we could glean from his experience and apply it to the arts world. Many thanks to those of you who showed up to indulge us. 🙂

Mark offered a wealth of information on who is using the various social media platforms, and how each of them tend to be used. But he began by making the point that social media is a conversation — and it’s a conversation where you (as an arts organization) want to be involved.
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