How to be an artist on social media, grow your audience, and find your spot in the market

You’re a creative. 

You make killer work. 

You want people to see and be impacted by what you do. 

Sound familiar? 

If so, you need to market yourself. 

But how?

This is where social media comes in. 

Social media is free for everyone to use. Literally everyone (4.4 billion) is already on it and is using it daily. 

Now the question is, how do you get your art out in front of other people? 

How will others find you?

Let’s dive right in. 

1. Here’s how to be an artist on social media:

To be an artist on social media, you must share your work in service of others. 

That is, publishing work regardless of perfect (because perfect is selfish). 

You must adopt the mindset of serving others before yourself. 

You must also publish as often as you can to build up your own body of work. This will help others understand what you can do for them. 

  1. Grow your audience. 

Followers can be bought, but an audience has to be built. 

I’ll explain. 

The number of followers you have doesn’t mean anything if there is no actual community supporting you along the way. 

When it comes to content, quantity > quality. 

But when it comes to audience, quality > quantity

At the end of the day, your audience are the people who will look at your stuff and buy from you. 

And to build your audience? Simply engage with the kinds of people who will find your stuff relevant. 

  1. Find your spot in the market.

This one is the trickiest of the 3.

It’s the trickiest because your spot in the market can change over time. 

Finding your positioning isn’t an answer you can find from a google search or textbook.

Finding your positioning takes consistent execution of content and engagement with your audience. 

It will take time for you to find your spot and nail it down. 

Sometimes months, or even years. 

This is the part where you need most patience.

But I promise you if you do steps 1 and 2 consistently and successfully, your spot in the market will come. 

It will come because by then you will have built your brand. 

Being an artist on social media doesn’t have to be hard. 

There is a formula, and it’s been tried and true for many. 

Luckily for you, I’ve been working on a project specifically about social media for artists and designers. 

And it’s specifically about how to be an artist on social media, growing your audience, and finding your spot in the market. 

Want to be a part of it? We’re hosting an event on this very topic and we’d love to have you there. 

Sign up for our email list to get the updates when it comes: https://mailchi.mp/6988bd0c81c7/content-workshop

How I Never Made Money as A Freelancer

A couple years ago, I wanted to pursue fashion illustration as a career path. Fashion illustration was something I was really interested in, and it seemed to me that the people around me really liked the way I drew too (thank you positive reinforcement). 

Eventually, event organizers of fashion shows and boutique shop owners started reaching out to me. They wanted me to draw at their event, which I was thrilled to do. The gigs started at around $200 per event—a very fair pay for a 20 year old. I was excited. Nobody ever paid me $200 for my work before. I didn’t even know this was a viable career path for myself. 

Unfortunately (or fortunately) I never got past my 5th or 6th illustration gig. I didn’t understand at the time that it was my responsibility to make money as a freelancer. That meant in order to stay in business, I must stay profitable. I was taking every project whether it was for free or for $50. Somewhere down the line, 20-year-old me simply got tired when it came to talking budgets with clients. So I stopped.

I never made money as a 20 year-old freelancer, but I learned a valuable lesson. When you’re a freelancer, you become your own business. That means rule number one of freelance longevity: you have to stay profitable to keep the business (yourself) running. 

Getting Out of the Planning Stage

I had the idea of adding a drink loyalty card to our parent’s restaurant 3 months ago. I had it in my head for a long time, and I kept it there. Unbothered. Indefinitely in planning mode. 

Until I decided our restaurant actually needed it, just 2 weeks ago.

At first I couldn’t find a time to fit the production of the project in my schedule, then I just brought my laptop to work so that I couldn’t leave the restaurant without working on it.

It was slow at first.

Day 1: Open an Illustrator file with the right dimensions, put down all the text we needed on the card. Save, exit.

Day 2: Make 1 design variation. Save, exit.

Day 3: Make 1 more design variation. Save, exit.

Day 4: Edit colour, type, and sizing. Place an order with a reliable, quality printer.

And before I knew it, I was done.

In just 4 nights of downtime, I finally was able to get out of planning and into the doing.

Did it take much less time than I thought? Yes.

Was the effort worth it? I think so.

Sometimes getting the momentum rolling is the hardest part.