By Jamila Jelani - Creative consultant & entrepreneur
Social media is important for all artists and creative entrepreneurs working to create awareness and business opportunities. The rules are the same, no matter your craft. Here are 9 rules that creatives should live by in order to improve their online presence – and perhaps even their profits.
It’s all about focus. Many creatives either fail to leverage social platforms at all, or try to use too many different platforms because a more established creative seems to be having results with the use of multiple platforms. You will have more chances to build a strong awareness if your strategy is to focus on only 2-3 different platforms. However, make sure you know your focus in terms of demographics and audience. “If you market to everyone, you market to no one.”
It’s not always about you. You need to share other people’s content and interact effectively. Who inspires you? Whose work resonates with you? Through sharing you’ll create new opportunity, people will return the favor and share your content. When you see the platform as a tool of engagement, it becomes a space of inspiration, community and growth rather than a mechanical effort to be noticed. Those who engage, win!
Building relationships is one of the most important factors of social media success, so always acknowledge every person who reaches out to you. Think of it this way: If I said hi to you on the street, would you ignore me? It’s no different online. Acknowledge those who engage and respond. Likewise, reach out to anyone you would like to acknowledge. Oh, and by the way, likes don’t count. Get in the DM.
A good portion of your time should be dedicated to finding online influencers within your industry and reaching out to them. If you connect with them in a relevant and authentic way, you have a good chance of them reposting your content or potentially collaborating in some capacity.
Creatives, this time, should be building relationships and creating collaborative efforts. Send free samples for an influencer to use in their content. Think outside the box. If you make music, for example, find someone who may resonate with you in another industry, send them free samples for their content. If they use it, they credit you and expose you to a whole new audience. Create opportunities to expand creativity and influence.
For creative entrepreneurs, paying influencers to repost your products can also be a great investment. I’ve seen brands get 500% direct sales ROI when influencers talk about their products. You’ll grow sales and audience – which are the two biggest pillars of business nowadays.
Success with social media and content marketing is about more listening and less talking. Focus on reading your target audience’s online content and join the conversation! In addition, watch how they interact with your content and ensure you keep giving them more of what they enjoy.
What conversations do you want to be a part of? Join in and bring your unique, authentic self and improve the life of others with your influence.
It takes time to reach 200K active engagement and there is no such thing as overnight success, much less are you able to predict it. At the end of the day, it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the people and the value you provide them. If your numbers are your priority, you have already lost. Leverage your energy to build a long-term strategy. Art and creativity are your passion, so have a long-term vision and focus on building a quality audience. Sometimes the longer it takes, the longer it will last and the better quality your audience will be.
Like patience, it’s all about quality. You only need a thousand true fans to create the stability you think 200K will bring you. Quality trumps quantity. If you can find 1,000 fans who read, interact, share and support your work, you’re on your way to success. Focus on building an audience that will follow your work for 20 years and more.
Care less about money and more about creating amazing content that brings value to people’s lives, especially in the beginning. I understand the need but think of the long game.
Artists inspire their audience, speak to their inner creative. Dazzle them with your movement, inspire them with your songs. Keep inspiring and entertaining them, then when the times comes for you to “ask” for a sale or support, you will receive. Over time, people will find interest in your work, products or services and see you as an authority. Conversions and sales will come in due course.
Create & publish. then be available, be accessible. Publish more, answer, interact, discuss, repeat and so on. Don’t just create content, then disappear. Social media has so much noise and your audience won’t have trouble replacing you if you don’t keep creating. Be there for them every day.
If you treat it like a hobby, it will pay like a hobby.