The “Art Biz” on Facebook

This post is written by Alyson B. Stanfield of Art Biz Coach. She’s been in the business of helping artists to promote themselves more effectively in this new art world for nearly 10 years.  Her experiences as an assistant to a US senator, a museum curator and educator, art collector and art historian have all given her perspectives that help artists to gauge weaknesses and play to their strengths ~ and to sell more art!

You probably started playing around in Facebook with a (personal) profile and tried to friend as many people as possible.

Then you realized that you need a business page (a.k.a. “fan page” or, now, “official page”) because 1) business pages are public and are indexed by search engines, and 2) Facebook doesn’t allow business promotions on profile pages.

If you haven’t created a page yet, see these instructions.

Now that you have a business page, you want to turn your friends into fans. In other words, you want to encourage them to “Like” your business page.

Here are seven steps to help you with the process.

1. After creating your official page on Facebook (a.k.a. fan page), add content to your wall and photos of your art. It should look active and used—even without a large number of fans—before you start telling people about it.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for artists to have a photo album or two of their art. It’s hard to get people to “Like” something that isn’t visible.

2. Tell visitors to your personal profile that you’re a self-employed artist. Lisa Call shows you how to link to your fan page.

3. Send private messages to your 10 best friends on Facebook and ask them if they will please “Like” your page. Encourage them to write a note on your wall, which will make the page look a little livelier.

4. Post a note to your personal profile wall inviting all of your friends to become fans. Do this at least once a week for the first month and then monthly thereafter.

5. Suggest your page to your friends on Facebook. From your fan page, click on Suggest to Friends in the right sidebar.

6. As soon as you have 25 fans, you can go to http://facebook.com/username and snag a good URL for your Facebook page. You want something that is easier to remember than the string of letters and numbers that Facebook automatically generates. For example, Lorena Fernandez’s fan page is http://www.facebook.com/LorenaFernandezArt.

7. Get out of the habit of asking people to friend you on Facebook. Instead, encourage them to become fans. Add your fan page link to your website, your blog sidebar, and your signature block.

I have other social media tips in my art-marketing workshops (join us in Durham May 20-21!) and in the expanded edition of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion.

I’m thrilled to be introducing the new edition of the book at HUB-BUB in Spartanburg on Sunday, May 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Showroom during the Artists Potluck. I’ll do a brief talk and then answer your questions. I’d love to meet you, so please stop by!

Find the “Art Biz” Event and Artists Potluck on Facebook!

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