March 28th, 2017
"CoPromote is a network of creators dedicated to helping each other reach new and larger audiences. Join us today!"
Hold on, not so fast.
On the surface, the idea is great, but while the hard numbers do support the promise (theory) of reaching a larger audience on the platform, that audience is superfluous. There is no promise that your reach via other users of CoPromote will somehow translate into a maturation of your brand or by serendipitous mass extension and reach, you will somehow gain results that should translate into click-throughs or even more sales.
Did I say "sales"? Crickets.
It's interesting and quite entertaining to see the activity on the CoPromote channel, the "feeling" you get when your CP boost/post has reached 250,000 new potential customers or fans over the span of 7 days. Its almost intoxicating! After the buzz and self-congratulatory high-fives we give ourselves, the reality settles in, the sun rises, and maybe that buzz is overrated. It's more like a fly on a window screen, it's usually dead after a short time.
There's a lot of promise to CoPromote, but not a lot of real world results. At least not the sort of results that justify an increase of focus or effort. I'm not going to inundate you with numbers, that's a sure way to cause people to nod-off quickly. Just trust me, them numbers ain't impressive.
In marketing your artwork, "feelings" are not a metric to rely upon when real world numbers supplant that tingle you get.
Part of the problem may be that the artwork we offer is too niche for a broadcast spectrum such as CoPromote, or what we are trying to sell has not reached a level of marketable value (yet). In theory, (I keep going back to that "theory" word) it should be that if you toss out enough artwork over a large enough crowd, someone would find interest in your offerings. A click should happen, a sale might even occur. (Hmm, sounds good, doesn't it?)
CoPromote is a great platform to test posts. I have turned my use of the free service into a testing service for my Twitter posts. One particular post I boosted received a pitiful 7 CP-boosts over the week it was offered. That was a helpful test, I now know never to do that again! Other posts have shown much greater promise.
The problem with CP may be that the participants all have the same agenda, purely self-interest and absolutely no interest in you. It's a tit-for-tat thing, I boost you, and you boost me, similar to a lot of strategies on most social media channels.
As an example, one particular CoPromoter is selling bargain sewing machines. That's fine, it's a real product, and finding customers is what business is about. However, when "sewing machine selling guy" shares my artwork with his followers, my handsomely crafted post flatlines, his followers don't give a fig about my artwork, and they never will. No way in hell am I sharing his bargain sewing machines with my followers. That's only one example, there are many more I could bore you with.
There is no true fan base to be found or reach with the CoPromote app/service. You can't make people like your artwork just by tossing it out in front of them, any sooner than your can find new customers by dropping your business cards on busy sidewalks. I've walked on a lot of business cards in my day.
All of the CoPromote activity seems like it should work, but the results are not very encouraging. It does however increase our click addictions and screen time.
Like we need more of that?
March 25th, 2017
Distractions of time seem to be the one resource many are willing to spend without much consideration.
They come at a price, and the expense should be given the same weight as any other venture of equal or greater value. Eventually our time investments begin to show themselves for what they are, good or bad.
It's important to have distractions. Just don't let those distractions cost you more than you can afford to invest.
We get exactly what we have earned and not a moment more.
March 15th, 2017
If ever there was something worth obsessing about, marketing would be it, or so I would like to think.
For an artist to be obsessed with self promotion could only end up doing good for their brand.
It would certainly be something worth talking about; an artist who was a compulsive marketer instead of a compulsive creative.
I doubt we will ever hear about that beast. -YoPedro
March 12th, 2017
Often times we artists decry the chore of marketing. What little time we have set aside for creating art is precious, and the thought of using any of that time for marketing is painful.
Imagine if things were reversed; that we were marketers faced with the chore of creating art, prying time out of out precious marketing hours to create art. Wouldn't that make for some interesting marketing strategies!
Marketing will never replace the passion we have for art, but if we develop a taste for it, it goes down a lot easier.
January 18th, 2017
An severely underused option on Twitter is the Pinned Tweet.
The ability to pin a tweet to the top of your feed is quite beneficial.
Itís simple to do:
1. From your Twitter Home page, select your avatar to see your profile page.
2. In the list of menu items next to your avatar, Tweets should be underlined.
3. Scroll to a post of yours that you want to get a bit more traction.
4. Select the three dots More menu option near the bottom right of the post.
5. From the dropdown menu, select the "Pin to your profile page" option.
That's it, you're done!
Now the why:
You get a fair amount of traffic to your Twitter feed each day. Quite often, they visit your profile page. If a visitor is going to Retweet one of your posts, they will RT the post they see first, which in this case is your pinned post.
I recommend you leave a post pinned to the top of your feed for one week at a time. That way, you get to spread the love over a different image each week. You can even create mini-ads as a post that show your products or multiple images from here on FAA.
Getting more traction for a single image or a post is a great way to bring new visitors to your FAA pages.
December 9th, 2016
If you have a job, a profession, a career, and are a functioning member of society, then you know what it takes to go to work and grind it out, day in and day out. It is, work. Without it, you're screwed, or you need options.
PODart is a job. It is work. It requires skill, it demands attention, and no matter how long you have been doing it, you can always get better, or be a whole lot worse off. The one glaring exception to this job compared to an hours job at the factory, is that you don't get paid at your PODart job until you do well enough for the market to pay you. It's a commission sales job based entirely on performance.
I'm not a cheerleader, or the type of person who needs to be thought of as having meaningful insights into the art world. I don't aspire to be a guru or a thought leader. I have some helpful insights into a couple of topics, but for the most part, I am winging it here. Then again, aren't most of us?
I get sad when I read about the difficulties that many in the PODart world experience, and the hardship of our lives, and the downright seemingly impossible gauntlet of social media, of which I am no expert by any means. In fact, by all accounts, I am a disaster in most of that arena.
I keep doing it, because most of us know that it's good to keep pushing on. When I say good, I don't mean it in a glib slogan tone. I mean that it's important to keep at it. You do best to make adjustments, and to not assume that you are right or wrong. You have to keep consistent and try again. Each day is like a new challenge, and how you meet that challenge will largely determine your outcome for the day.
With any luck, today will be a better day than the last.
November 26th, 2016
One of the keys to being a Twitter user who matters, is to have your own voice. The Twitter platform of micro-blogging, limited to 140 characters (thank goodness), it's a perfect opportunity to express yourself and not have to strain your brain. It helps to have something to say other than "BUY MY STUFF!", "IT'S ON SALE!".
Seriously, listen once in a while, talk to your Tweeps. Be more than a billboard or a sales brochure. Think about what you are going to Tweet, and consider the consequences of your posts, good or bad. Keep in mind that once it's out there, it becomes who you are, and possibly who your will become.
The vast majority of POD artists use their Twitter account to broadcast what they have created, and what they have sold. They seem to have a deaf ear and very little vision, and Tweet about their ďART FOR SALE!Ē exclusively. These users are the "Shouters". They don't really consider that Twitter is a conversation. To them, it is a way of broadcasting a single monotonous message. That message can get pretty dull.
Most PODart Tweeps follow some accounts, which it turns out are attached to people with a voice. The shouters don't take into consideration that others out there want to be heard also, they want to be acknowledged, and possibly part of the conversation. Itís why retweeting is so popular, and it works.
Letting people know who you are is fine, but it's good etiquette to listen and respond occasionally . Trying to connect with people takes effort. Without connections, you can't become a "someone" other than your art, and if you want to sell art, it's better to be someone than some thing.
November 18th, 2016
Over the past several months I've been having an entertaining conversation on Twitter with a gentleman whoís business is probably MLM or some version of it.
He connected with my by following my account, but after reviewing his account, I chose not to follow him back because his feed on Twitter looked like a constant stream of spam and I just didn't want to have to read his posts when I checked my feed.
That has not deterred him at all. At least once a week or more I get a message from this determined individual that he is glad we have connected, and have I watched his video yet? I hadn't.
The first time I received a Tweet from this MLM'r, I let it slide, because I had no intention to watch his video, an so what would be the point in responding? It should have died there, but it didn't. A week later, I got the same message, only this time he was thanking me for contacting him and I should take a moment to watch his video.
This was a headscratcher. I hadnít reached out to him, and I certainly hadn't followed or connected with him. I responded to his post and told him that I was not interested in video or his services, and he could remove me from his marketing rotation.
A few days later, I get another post from Mr. MLM, and he is thanking me for connecting with him, and to check out his video when I have a chance. Now it's getting funny, and a little sad. I wonder if this is a language barrier, that perhaps we just aren't connecting on that plane, the one where we understand that there is never going to be business between us. So I try to upset the apple cart, and I send him an insane response tweet about my hair being on fire and that I would probably have to eat my socks to see his video properly.
Nothing. Dead silence. Until a few days go by and I get the same tweet again, asking if I have seen his video.
This is never going to end. I let it go. I could block the posts, but I want to see how long it will go on. It's obvious that I am getting auto posts from this guy, and he has no clue that the record needle is skipping. He has become something of a sad joke to me, and if he ever does respond to my cryptic messages, it will probably be his embarrassment that compels him to do so.
He has missed one of the fundamental purposes of social media, to connect with people. He isn't connecting with me, he is broadcasting my way, but there is no connection.
Then again, he may know exactly what he is doing, and I am being punked.
November 16th, 2016
If your business isn't politics, keep politics out of your business.
It should be pretty obvious, but some PODart people just can't resist the moment, and will lay it out there for the world to see. It's a risk, and one that would be better left untaken.
There are artists who are political, and that is their business. They have an audience who expects them to have a message, and generally that message will resonate with them. For those who are not political, the thought of having to wade through potential hot water can be quite discomforting.
The last thing we want to do as business people is make customers uncomfortable.
November 6th, 2016
Imagine selling an invisible image. One that no Fine Art America member has ever commented on, has never been liked, or favorited, and has less than a dozen views. An image such as that is by FAA standards, virtually invisible, and would not come to the front lines in the endless FAA search combinations and search pages. Unless you knew exactly what to look for, but you don't.
The image I'm describing is invisible on FineArtAmerica, virtually unseen by most (only a couple) of the multitude of FAA villagers. A mere apparition, something you only thought you may have seen from the corner of your eye. Even Scooby Doo and the gang couldn't find it!
It happens. I've seen it happen, and it can happen to you.
It takes work, skill, and persistence. Too often we pod-people (don't fall asleep) expect our images to sell themselves. As hopeful POD artists, we upload terabytes of our wondrous digitized hopes and dreams, our bit-ensemble offspring, to create galleries of our glorious creations. Then we share our newfound joy with our online village friends and family. We join along in helpful groups that deliver multiple viewers and expectant new friends to our online homestead. We all gather our pixel-babies into our electronic galleries and groups and other wonderful digital gathering places. Along with those new friends comes the likes, the favorites, the features, and the kudos. Soon we see ribbons and balloons and online digital baked goods. Very comforting.
We pod-people all know where that most often leads to; not very far, but it sure feels so dang good. That's the oxytocin* kicking in, the digital spooning, virtual hugs.
There's a lot of "feelgoodism" going on in most PODs. I certainly don't discourage the fun, and I would never tell anyone to not engage in such activity. However, for "it" to happen, and by "it" I am talking about real world sales, you have to get "out there" and sell.
Don't let the words "out there" frighten you. I'm not talking about dragging your carcass to art shows, walks, fairs, and galleries. I don't think you need to be following the footsteps of your local vacuum salesman or cosmetics saleswoman (sales associate?). I'm talking about being out there in the cold empty void of cyberspace. The electronic frozen tundra of the interweb, the dark and mysteriously frightening world beyond the confines of our comfortable little village called FineArtAmerica or PIXELS, depending on what part of our virtual town you call home.
The ironic part of what I am saying is, that collectively we all know it, or we should know. It's almost like living in Wayward Pines where most everybody knows what's going on, but nobody (not many) wants to say it out loud. Of course I'm being intentionally provocative. I'm fairly certain that most of us understand that sales happen from "out-there", and not "in-here".
"Oxytocin" The cuddle hormone; This is Your Brain On Social Media https://goo.gl/1RrgFA