Last week the topic was Support Other Artists. The content must have been of little interest to readers since the readership was WAY down. Wow! What does that say about us as a creative group? “Maybe, I told myself, “everybody’s distracted by the approach of spring and infected with spring fever.”
It’s been a long, long winter for those of us in the northern states. The early spring months have brought little in the way of sunshine and consistently warm temperatures. I could see my backyard covered in six inches of snow by tomorrow. (Groan.)
We’ve been here before, in every aspect of our lives, in a place where we aren’t inspired to go forward and we certainly have no heart to help others. So this is a good – no, great – week to talk about social media. We use social media because it’s social. We can interact with others and get responses. The interaction makes us feel good – usually.
Sometimes, depending on what we see on social media, we don’t feel better. That’s something we have to pay attention to and get it under control! As artists, we especially need to pay attention to what we are doing and giving away on social media before making one more social media post.
Social Media for artists. the good and the bad.
I just completed a course offered by Springboard for the Arts on Legal Considerations for Artists. I have been self-employed as a graphic artist/designer/copywriter – you name it – for much of my professional career. I didn’t think I needed this course, but what could it hurt?
This was an excellent class and a terrific reminder to
- Know the law and
- Follow the law and
- Get help with the law
Our instructor, Naomi RaMona Schliesman, did not offer legal advice since she’s not a lawyer – she didn’t even offer an opinion. She did direct us to resources to research our needs as artists to protect ourselves, our work, and how we work as we work for others as freelancers and by commission.
One thing I knew (I knew this) and ignored every single day that I posted artwork on this blog or on other social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. – is that many social media platforms’ Terms and Agreements assign your rights to your content to them by use. I went home and thought about how I use social media. The idea was to boost traffic to my website to get people to:
- Read my blog
- Hire me as a speaker
- Purchase artwork
- Inquire about freelance work as a writer and/or artist
Are my goals being met? They are not! I am not driving traffic to my website via social media. I made some immediate changes.
- Linkedin because the site offers job information and professional networking opportunities
- Twitter because I like it. (But no more artwork!) I like Twitter because I can EASILY find people, information, and businesses I’m looking for by hashtag
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have money for legal fees and big corporations have lawyers on staff. It’s a no-brainer for me to step back and review what I’m doing on social media.
Another lesson learned. Another lesson shared. Have a great week. I hope it’s filled with sunshine and summer-like temperatures.
Write or draw a paragraph or image of social media in action. How it hurts. How it helps.
Next week’s topic: Craft vs Fine Art
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