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Become a Working Artist

Lesson 14 of 22

Picking Social Media Platforms


Become a Working Artist

Lesson 14 of 22

Picking Social Media Platforms


Lesson Info

Picking Social Media Platforms

Major social media platforms I know this is going to be old news to a lot of you because a lot of you know what these places are, but I'm going to talk about not as much about how they work as I am why I feel like they're important going to use um so twitter is that social media platform where you tweet hundred no more than one hundred forty characters, so and that includes the earl, so I used twitter to two, three times a day to share my block content and mostly I only write one block post today occasionally too, like that only happens once or two times a month when I have a lot of stuff going on that I need to share. And so in the morning, I might say, um, let's say, I'm writing about and an opening that I'm having the next night, and I've written a block post about the opening inviting people to come. I'm also linking to where people can buy the work online because a lot of money let's say my shows in san francisco and a lot of my followers live, but the work's gonna be available on...

line, so I write about that and I post pictures and links, so my first tweet might be, um, I'm having an opening in san francisco tomorrow night hope you can come, you know, then a link and then the second link, maybe I'm goingto target more than people who don't live in the city, you know, work for my new show available online, starting at nine a m tomorrow with a link, and then at night I might post the same content linked to the same content, but target somebody else or word it differently. Twitter won't let you tweet the same exact words and link more than once, so you have to change it up if you're going, you khun tweet the same link or post the same link. Sometimes I used to be really into, like making friends on twitter. I was one of those annoying people who was always, like talking to my internet friends on twitter like every night we would watch mad men together and talk about what was happening or whatever, and this was before I had a lot of followers and I realized over time, and that was probably not the best place for me to be having a conversation of my friends about whatever tv miniseries we were watching. A lot of my friends were in new york, so we've all sort of stopped using it as much for conversation, especially now that I have a larger following I need to be more conscientious about, and also if I'm tweeting at people, you know that um the only if you if that symbol and somebody's user name is the first thing that you post on ly people who follow both of you are going to see that content had to put like a little period in front of it if you want everyone to see it if you start your tweet with theat symbol on somebody's username so um but still there were plenty of people that we're following my friends and I and I thought that was kind of a noise so I stopped doing that occasionally there is an article that I think is interesting last night there was a grace bonnie wrote an article on designs bunch about you know about sort of the future of blogging and how the landscape of blogging for design bloggers is changing and I thought it was a great article and I posted a link to it most of the time I'm using twitter to drive people back to my block and my website if I've updated my portfolio I might even directly linked to the portfolio my portfolio site um but most of the time if I've updated my portfolio I've also written about it where on my block so I'm gonna I'm gonna link to my block although oddly my website gets mohr statistically more hits a day in my block does um even though it's you know it's uh static and I haven't quite figured out where they're all coming from um so twitter's great! Another reason to have a twitter account even if you don't want to be the person to tweet is that other people can tweet about you and then if people click on your user name like let's, say somebody's written about my work and they know my username is at least a condon they can tweet about me, other people click on my name and see I'm an artist, and then that can drive them to my website. So having a twitter account and using twitter is great not just for you promoting yourself, but allowing other people to promote you. If you're on twitter, it's, I love it when I write about somebody else, and they're on twitter because I can use their handle. Okay, so that's twitter, I'm gonna take questions at the end of this little part about about social media platforms, and we're gonna do a quick exercise. Facebook we've talked about a little bit already sort of how it works. If you don't already have a fan page, I recommend getting one. It is, it takes a while to sort of build up your numbers, but once you hit a certain point, it just happens like I get, like five hundred new followers a week now and it's not because I'm that big of a deal it's just not it's because that's how facebook works because so many people are sharing and then facebook all car also recommends you to people oh you like this artist you might like lisa condon too okay? And that will come up and I see that for artists who only have three hundred followers or less are recommended to me all the time because they're, um facebook's just picking out these the's fan pages that if they think are similar to yours and recommending them to you and other people. So if you get on facebook there's it's not all about you sharing and inviting people to join your facebook fan page it's also that facebook's inviting people to join your facebook fan page and it is a great way to share content it is a great way for other people to share content don't get too tripped up in the algorithm just give it a try um interesting I have a pen arrest account although I'm totally inactive user I got really mad for a period of time and interest and I have a lot of friends who worked at penn arrest so and they know that I feel this way I got mad at penn arrest because it's very easy for people to repent things and and oftentimes the links back to me or that it was my work we're getting lost the onus is on the person who pins to make sure that they link back to the original source and you know oftentimes people are pinning images and over the course of time the the source of that image can get lost and so people were posting my work with giving me no credit whatsoever and that was feeling really frustrating to me it wasn't technically pinterest fault but I was getting frustrated so for a while I close my account now I've recently opened it up tonight and I want to try toe use pinterest again because I do feel like it's a great way to potentially share your own work a lot of artists and makers use it to pin their own stuff so that people end up re pending what they pin it's also a great way to share the things that are inspiring to you and the other artists that you like so I personally am not an active pinterest user but you heard carry letters say yesterday that you know she's a curator and she's pinteresque boards around certain types of art she finds artists on pen arrest that's another great reason to be on pinterest or instagram, which we'll talk about next these air places where people can find you and hire you or curate you into a show or email you about buying a painting or drawing from you are you know finding your etsy shop or whatever um, instagram okay, I love instagram it's visual there's a feed, right? Um, people can sort of follow you people can recommend you and tag you, um, there's no links so you can tell people like goto my block to check out this story I wrote on what such and such. And by the way, that question about writing is is that, you know, the great thing about blogging and instagram is that you don't have to be a writer. You can just post images and a two sentences, and on instagram, you don't even have to post a few sentences if you don't want to, although I think a short description is great. So, um, it's a great way to show your process what you do. I'm gonna share with you. They're on my phone here, some names of some of my favorite instagram feeds, and these are great ones toe look at as examples of artists, designers who use instagram have pretty big followings, some medium followings who do? I think a great job of sharing their work in their process, and they're not all, you know, clean and pretty and polished, like I love jason poland, p o l and I'll write these down for you later at jason, poland, he's, great he's a he he draws he hosts thes taco bell drawing nights mostly in new york city where he lives. But if he's traveling it's just just like this great idea and like people come to the taco bell and meet him there and then they all draw together and he posts hilarious drawings on dh you kind of stream of consciousness thoughts about whatever he's drawing has a great following is a great sense of humor his you know I love him lily stockman she is a lily l I l why spock mea n she is a painter in los angeles. She also owns a company called block shop textiles with her sister s o she she has her own instagram feed where she post pictures of her work and life and process and then she's got this great at blood shop lock shop textiles feed with her with her sister where she also um post pictures of their textiles that they make in their trips to india which is where they have the textiles produced l l luna e l l e l u n a is a fantastic painter in san francisco she is has a fantastic feed that shows her studio and her process and all the things that she's doing and working on I could go on but these these are examples of people who really pushed their brand and what they do on instagram and I bet you they get a lot of work I've sold paintings on instagram I've gotten illustration jobs I just about to sign with a gallery in new york who found me on instagram so get yourself on instagram if you're not on their already um all right we're gonna do a quick activity and I've asked dahling tio come up and do it with me um I was gonna model this for you um first of all, while she's coming up I'm going to run through these slides were goingto always starts small find one of these things I just talked about and do it for a month and then add another one unless you're already doing them already and then just take it to the next level be responsive respond to people show people you're human people ask you questions respond stay positive don't don't talk about your mom share some of yourself okay? Um mark it mark it mark it it's a great way to market what you're doing celebrate your successes don't be shy about that strike a balance make sure that you're not over posting if something feels like too much to you, it probably is trust your own judgement um female news blasts how many of you have them? Um I have been using male chimp I love male champ, but I used to use uh campaign monitor which was great too the's air ways that you can people can sign up for your email newsletter there's templates I think male chimp passed some really great templates and easy ways teoh mi e mail people on a regular schedule never add people without their permission to your list. That's a pet peeve of mine? Um, stick to a schedule I think once every two weeks or once a month spine doesn't have to be every day always create a call to action in your newsletter get people to go to your website, get people to go to your shop, let people know get people to go outside of their email advertising. Um, is still a great way to promote what you're doing, but the thing about advertising is that you can't just do it in one place, you have to do it in lots of different places. It's really, as I said yesterday about brand recognition and it's kind of like social media, people aren't necessarily going to find you on one instagram post. I'm sorry, one twitter post that you make they're not gonna necessarily find you through one advertising post, you have to advertise in a lot of different places and advertising can be expensive, but it can be effective business cards are great, great way to connect with people people love the tangible card. Same with promotional postcards, which a lot of people will talk about this a little bit in illustration sex section but one way to promote your work as an illustrator is literally toe like mail postcards to our director's toe. Let them know what you're up to. Okay, coming up, filming. All right, we're gonna have a seat and using a handheld mark, we're gonna do a little assessment. You can do it along with us in your packet. There's a little activity that says promoting your work part one I'm not sure we'll get to part two, but that could be homework. So darlene, name one tule or method you use for promotion now? Facebook. Okay? And you do you have a fan page? I do have a facebook fan page. Ok? And how often do you post on your facebook fan page twice a day? Um, and I've actually been able to have a ten several talks on the best ways to do facebook great. Yeah, I'm sure people will be interested to hear about it. Okay, what do you post when you post on face? I generally will post a sketch or an action shot for my studio, so you post pictures, do you link to other places I do not? And that's something I've learned facebook thie algorithm doesn't like okay, so maybe if you're posting maybe you have a block I do have a blogged but you're not actively using and I get that from the look on your face yes, because again facebook does not like stuff that drives it away from the page okay, so in order to get more people to see it on facebook it likes original context a contacting con you know, sometimes I post away from facebook every single day and I'm doing just fine so yeah, you also want to drive content to your site ondas long I think facebook as long as facebook sees that people like your content and are interacting with your content I also no comments on my block and people know that so they might go read something and then they go back to facebook and comment on it there that might be part of the reason I'm not sure so what else do you d'oh? Instagram okay and how many pictures do you post today? Two or three I'm kind of a little bit of an instagram addict so I try to keep it to two or three sometimes it's a little bit more but no more than four okay, maybe four and why no more than four I don't wantto in un date somebody stream with stuff because then it seems to start to feel a little bit softer grand izing especially I've noticed two words like when in my feed if someone has five pictures, I'm like I'm kind of not into that so seeing their stuff over and over and over interesting yeah um and I assume then that to avoid that you make sure these pictures air spread out there spaced her head uh what else? Um I have I'm another pot from cold zebra, which is kind of new words so it's the I b b I I two eyes yeah b r a o okay, and what zebra zebra is a way for you to build an audience and have them engage in your work and also support your work through sponsorship so you can create a journal that part of it is public like you can choose which ones republic and summer private so for a certain amount of money, people can get access to your journal on regular intervals on dh seymour behind the scenes stuff that you wouldn't necessarily post publicly for whatever reason privacy or you know, the methods that you use on dh then also you can kind of give them quarterly bonuses like a print that's on ly closer to that particular page how's that going for you it's going it's going well, I have a check in schedule this week, but it's kind of an interesting thing and it hasn't had a huge launch just yet, but they're they're about to yeah, great um so look it up zebra and their ah lot of other platforms that I didn't mention that are actually just for artists and makers to share what they do. I only talked about the major social media platforms today and it's important to be on all the major ones because those are the ones that most people use but there are also ways to share your work that are that are you know you might even do a google search for like social media platforms for artists or things like that there are smaller ones they aren't gonna give us much exposure, but they're great wayto meet people make friends um share your work, that kind of thing um all right, anything else? Um, I have a blogger, okay, so you do how I do have a block? How often do you write on it? Not I haven't written in a couple of months, okay? Because I've been focusing on facebook and instagram, okay? And super okay, um, so anything I said today make you think differently about how you might approach things if you were going to go back tomorrow definitely in terms of revisiting my blogged and kind of making sure things track back to that a little bit more and increasing my frequency and taking a look at the layout and kind of really, really working on that some more because I have noticed that in the past when I was really good at it I did start to get a lot of traffic and with google people are driven there when they look up my name so it's yeah you know it is good that's another great point that I didn't mention it's another place for people to find you um um when when somebody googles your name thank you so so you're going to start blogging more I think that she's really right on about instagram I think it the most I try when I'm traveling and then I feel like I'm being a little indulgent but most of them I try not to post more than four pictures five pictures a day most the time it's two or three I think that's a great number your followers will let you know if you're posting too much because they'll start to involve you and if you've got great images people want to see more um facebook I think one two, two times a day on your facebook fan page is plenty again you don't want to overwhelm people like oh there goes dahling again with another post um so and they're having about facebook is that you khun time your posts when you have a fan page so like for example I had something that went off at eleven today so if I'm not physically able to do it it's doing it for me yeah no yeah you can their sprouts, social and other platforms that you can use to actually pre load stuff when you're going to be at work or busy or in a class like today. So a lot of people use those my friend maria who writes that log brain pickings um she tweets every twelve minutes or something crazy like that I don't know that might be an exaggeration but it's a lot I read something somewhere and it's not that she's sitting at the computer writing a tweet every twelve minutes are on her phone she pre programs that stuff ahead of time and it goes automatically and you can do that too. Um okay that's great thank you you're welcome um, I'm in a way we can take a few questions at the end, but I'm going to just quickly make some really important points here and I hope this has sort of become clear to you as we've been talking and I hope that all of you will also do this exercise where you do an assessment of how much you're using social media and then the next page is like what you khun do differently or what you khun ad or what you know add this to your plan or your goal setting chart too if you feel like you're weak in self promotion, what are some of the things that that you, khun dio and use that, you know, start a new email newsletter, you know, start using a social media platform that you don't already use um, maybe just one if social media feels scary and new to you, um, so the the effectiveness of your promotions is in relation to your reach. So notice I wasn't like choose one social media platform and on lee used that I'm saying eventually get to the point where using two or three and use them really well and use them consistently it's kind of like advertising you advertise once, um, in one place, you won't reach as many people as if you advertise several times and in several different platforms use different channels simultaneously and consistently to reach a wider and wider audience. And again, this isn't gonna happen overnight. I have a lot of facebook fans compared to some people have got like nothing, but it took me years of being on facebook to get to that point, but if you're persistent and determined and you continue to post interesting content, people will follow you there. Um, same with twitter, same with instagram, so you got to start somewhere even if it's at zero all right, we did this already? How do I currently promote my work using the internet? Do an assessment if you haven't already I encourage you to do this is homework if you don't have time today, how often do I use each of the channels and then let's talk about this now if you did this assessment while we were sitting here even a little bit, what did you learn? Either from you guys are from the internet. What did you learn when you were right starting to write this down? Yes, christian I think I learned that for me that I'm probably I'm hitting the same sort of frequency just infrequently and so it's more it's, more about consistency. So when I am posting instagram which I love hosting teo and I think it's probably my strongest like promotion outlet and it's resulted in sales and resulted in shows and it's where I can really display like what I'm working on and then even a finished piece um but then I'm realizing that I'll go sometimes a week if I'm just busy without posting and so maybe maybe I need to consistently hit thes frequency market sometimes look at three o'clock in the afternoon and I'm like, and so then I'm like, I'm not working on anything today I don't have anything to post and then I'll be like you might have noticed the day before yesterday I posted a picture of an old painting that I made and started a conversation about this you know this painting it doesn't always have to be you know it's called instagram but you can actually post old pictures and it doesn't have to be on flashback friday or throwback thursday uh you know so figure out like do you have something that you worked on two days ago that you want to post a picture of and I called my sister the other day and I was like I'm calling you because I just saw a picture that you posted of your lunch on instagram and she's like and it looks so delicious and she's like don't tell anyone but that was yesterday's lunch you know nobody has to know so that's a great point yeah so just thinking about that and wanting to bring that sort of back into alignment and think about how I can be consistent I have a question that may be maybe don't know and when you mentioned and it's something that's flustered at me because most of my followers are actually on instagram and tumbler knows we're just where everybody's at and there it is frustrating that you can't post a lincoln instagram do you know and so I will often cross post to twitter like not creating original content but I'm posting my instagram out and this might just be something I can figure out during our break if you put a link in your instagram description and then you cross post it does that link become active in twitter yeah, I think so, but let's do a test to it after the break I think that's a great quote, I'm pretty sure it does yeah, you can post a link an instagram but it's not clickable it's not live, so if somebody wants to like and you can't cut and paste in instagram and I actually really appreciate that about instagram that way people can't advertise their doesn't become this forum for people to advertise products it's keeps it in I don't know I love that about it and I hate that about it all at the same time. So that's a great question yeah, I learned that I'm not doing any of this enough I set up the fan page I've set up the meaningless, but I haven't actually posted to the hamptons are sent out a mailing, so I mean toe I did the first step that's good and I have to actually be consistent and do it too, so that people are reminded that I you're there yeah that's right? And that you can find your people this way you can find your audience it's really it's really great and I know some people who actually have very small facebook followings, but they are very active on their facebook fan pages and really interact a lot with the people who follow their work and have sort of small communities there and I think it can be a valuable place now. All of that said, there are a lot of problems with facebook, and facebook has a lot of control over what people see and don't see. And I recognize that all of that is true. I still think it's it's, a it's, a place to be in addition to all the other places I talked about, and then potentially maura's, darlene was pointing out.

Class Description

"This is an incredibly helpful class for anyone who feels intimidated by all the "giants" in the land of art, and wonders if it's really worth keeping trying to make money from their talent. Lisa breaks everything down into manageable steps, while not dumbing things down. Her manner is very approachable, so that you can imagine yourself doing what she does. Her generous spirit means too that she is sharing really useful stuff - not just some fluff, and keeping all the good ideas for herself!"
 - Janet and Craig Mathewson (CreativeLive Students)

An enthusiastic audience that appreciates your art is waiting for you. Join Lisa Congdon, illustrator, artist, and author of Art, Inc. for Become a Working Artist and learn everything you need to know to make a living as a fine or commercial artist.

In this class, you will find out exactly what it takes to break into the art world and reach new, diverse audiences. Lisa will show you how to:

  • Identify the characteristics that make your style unique
  • Map out the vision and goals that will drive your artistic career 
  • Navigate the fine art market and break in to it
  • Land and negotiate art licensing deals
  • Develop effective techniques for promoting your work
Every artist faces rejection and setbacks on the road to finding an appreciative and paying audience. Become a Working Artist will teach you how to navigate the inevitable disappointments and push through to build a vibrant, rewarding career in art.

Making money as an artist doesn’t have to be far-fetched dream, Lisa Congdon will show you how to make it a reality.  



I was very happy and inspired to be able to attend to this class! It helped me so much to understand which are my goals as an artist and what I need to make to make them happen. Lisa is amazing and I cannot be happier to have been part of this, thank you so much!! I am now more than inspired to create beautiful things and make the tasks I need to make to become the professional artist I aim to be. Thank you Lisa for your wonderful generosity and Creative Live for hosting and creating such a wonderful event!


This course was fantastic! The format was great and Lisa was extremely helpful, knowledgable, and engaging. I was so inspired and loved that she gave very real information and great advice. I came away with a great new plan for my business and a renewed excitement for growth. I would highly recommend this class!

Simply Stated Architecture, PC

Professionally, I am an architect, but I also dabble in some watercolors as well as wood and metal work. When I started my own architectural office, I found good resources for business information were scarce. Most of what I found applied to retail or service businesses that really did not apply to a creative professional. One of the best resources I have found has been my local art guild - The Yellow Breeches Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. I found that the painters, jewelers, potters, fiber artists, and other artists faced much more similar issues to what I was dealing with than the contractors, store owners, financial planners, insurance salesmen, and other business people that I was finding in business groups and classes. Lisa Congdon's class is the first CreativeLive course that I've taken. I had signed up for the CL email recently and Lisa's class just caught my eye. I'm glad that I took the time to sit through the sessions. A few of the segments - such as that on illustration and licensing or fine art - really did not have any practical application to my own situation. But there were items of value in pretty much all of the segments that I could take away to adapt in my own business. For someone just starting off in a creative profession, I'd highly recommend Lisa's course as a roadmap of items to keep in mind and plan for in their business. But by no means should you consider this to be a "beginner only" course. I started my business four years ago and I really wish that I had found something like this course in those first months or first year. But even after four years, I found great value in this course. The information on setting goals, actionable tasks, and the final segment on managing your success were extremely valuable and gave me many items to work into my own business in the coming weeks and months.