I’m friends with a lot of writers and artists and costumers (because I do writing and art but not costuming) and we’ve all been hit by the down economy. It’s tougher when this is your only source of income and the real hassle is that when you’re NOT producing, you’re not really getting money. Meanwhile there’s a zillion other artists/writers/musicians/filmmakers/craftspeople out there slaving away trying to reach the same market you are.
Now, IF you’ve got a business that involves art or cartooning or writing or other things, you may have noticed that a LOT of the “how to get traffic” tips and “how to get sales” just don’t work for you. Yes, I’m positive that many folks get income from list building and “Squeeze pages” and so forth, but you can’t put up a 700 word sales letter to get rid of one piece of art or one simply fabulous Steampunk hat accessory. And it might not be useful for a book, either. And as for starting a newsletter, well, I can either actually WRITE a book and draw my webcomics (did I mention that they’re over here and here?) or I can go out and market.
But I can’t do both. So this edition of my “Fabulous Five” (actually, it’s SIX — more bang for your buck!) is for folks who do creative projects and want a bit more “buzz for their bucks.” One of these times I’ll have to do a Fabulous Five for people who have cats helping them on the Internet (my Siamese is giving his opinion and trying to “love” all over my keyboard)… but that’s a post for another day.
If you’ve somehow missed it, then run READ the first article in the “Three Micahs” series by MCA Hogarth. She’s putting it out as a book on Amazon as well, but you can snag some wonderful advice over at Friends In Business.
First up, let’s deal with one of my own personal “big mistakes” — having a personal website. I don’t have one as an artist. There’s some seriously good advice in this article about setting up websites for artists — and by the way, the advice would apply no matter WHAT you’re doing and what you’re selling.
An oldie but goodie — Start a Fan Page (a.k.a. Business Page) on Facebook. If you’re like me, you’re going “no. Just… no.” But the advantage is that you can put your gossip on one page and your business stuff AND samples on another page. Your friends love you, but sometimes the Facebook algorithm will totally ignore all your posts. And a Fan Page CAN be used in place of a web page for your art.
Another interesting read from Alison at the same blog is “how to choose your Twitter name.” Okay.. I know this doesn’t sound like a thrill a minute, but she makes some good sense in the article. It’s a pity I didn’t read it before getting my own Twitter name (Foxraven — and no, I just picked it because it sounded cool. I have yet to do any serious fox or raven (or foxravens) art. I should, but I’m not right now. The world will just have to deal with this.)
This article seems like it’s several years old, but I know a number of artists who also make part of their living at trade shows, swap meets, craft fairs, and street art shows. The wepage is pretty brief but it does include suggestions and ideas that almost anyone can follow.
And finally, there’s this web page about using “Google insights” to creatively tune up your website to make it easier for your fans (and potential fans) to find you. And yes, this would actually apply to blog posts if you’re setting up your personal artist page in a WordPress format.