Episode 202 – New Markets for Artists / Finding People

Finding  People

Next, go to the top of the page and click that profile button again to see the changes you just made. Now for the best part—and the easiest part—which is to follow people who you find interesting. So click the button on the top that says, “Who to follow.” After you click on that button you will see a new page, and on the left-hand side of that page you’ll see a long list of suggestions for whom to follow. When I did it in the summer of 2011 the first name was Barack Obama. When you follow someone, you are simply enabling your Twitter account to display what that person has tweeted. But let’s continue with how to follow someone. You see on your Twitter page that the button “who to follow” gives you a whole list of potential people to follow. Now all you have to do is look to the right of that person’s name and you will see a green button that says “Follow.” Click on that button and it will instantly turn into a bigger green button that says “Following.” If you want to “unfollow” that person, just click on the button again.

Now you know how to follow people and post tweets. If you are looking for more people to follow, you can look at other people who have Twitter accounts and see who they are following. You can do this by clicking on the name of the person you just followed. You will see her page and in the upper right-hand corner you’ll see the words, “followers” and “following.” Click on the word “following” to see a list of everyone they are following. Just as with the other list of people to follow, all you need to do is click “follow.” It should seem similar to the process of adding friends on Facebook.

If you choose not to go any further with Twitter, that’s all you need to know. Since we’ve been talking about your art website, you can do the same thing with Twitter that you did with Facebook. You can add a Twitter widget to your web- site’s homepage, right next to the Facebook widget, so that when people arrive on your web page they will also see your most recent tweets, or what those you follow are  tweeting.

More Advanced Techniques

The next chapter will cover more advanced techniques for Twitter and Facebook, but the wrap-up of this section is as follows. You will set up basic accounts on Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, you will post pictures of your art and your studio and talk about them. You will also add friends and comment on other peoples’ posts. On Twitter, you will just make comments about your art and will eventually add  pictures  there  as  well.

You will follow people that are involved in the arts or related to art in some other way. The homepage of your personal  art website should have two widgets on the home page, one for Facebook and one for Twitter. Widgets are little boxes that your web designer can add for you. They’ll link to your Twitter and Facebook accounts and update automatically to display your most recent tweets and  posts.

Remember, it’s all about show and tell. Tell your story and listen to other people’s stories, and you’ll be on your way.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 201 – New Markets for Artists / Your First Tweet

Your First Tweet

Now that you have set up your account, click on the “home” button at the top of your Twitter account page. You should see an empty box there with these words above it: “What’s happening?” Take a deep breath and fill that little box up with some words. You could say, “I just opened my Twitter account!” Then click the button that says “Tweet.” With that, you have just sent your first tweet. For the most part, that’s all there is to Twitter. You can send out tweets as often as you like. The next step is the equivalent of adding friends on Facebook. On Twitter, it doesn’t have to be mutual. In other words, you can “follow” someone without him “following” you, and vice versa. If people boast about how many friends they have on Facebook, the equivalent on Twitter is boasting about how many people are following you. In order to understand this, we need to try it out.

Following People

Begin by clicking on the next button at the top of your Twitter page, the one that says “Profile.” When you click on  this you will see the page with your information on it. Now look at your picture if you have one, the way your name appears to the right of it, and most  importantly,  the  blurb  under your name that says a little bit about you. That little blurb is important, because that’s what everyone will read first to see what kind of a person you are. You can see how other people write theirs to get help, but if you want to keep it simple, you can just say something like, “I am an artist. I like to play video games, and I like to look at art.” You could certainly write something more interesting that says more about you, but this is a good start. The way you do that is to look just below your picture on the profile page and you will see the words “edit your profile.” Click on those words and you’ll see where to enter your first and last name and where you can enter your website information and a few other things. There are also more account settings on this page, but for now you can just update your information and click “save changes.”

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 200 – New Markets for Artists / Twitter

Twitter

Next up on our list of social media platforms is Twitter, which is actually much easier to use than Facebook. Twitter is a platform that simply sends out short messages of 140 characters or less, known as “tweets,” to a group of people who choose to “follow” you. To give you an idea of the maximum length for a tweet: “I am painting my studio and I keep stopping to read the articles on the newspapers I use to catch drips. How distracting, how educational!” That one was actually 138 characters, but you can’t go over the limit of 140 characters, or the sentence will be cropped. That’s pretty much all there is to know about Twitter. You send out messages that may be unimportant, important, or even breaking news. It may seem rather useless for most people, but like Facebook, Twitter gives you access to a huge network, and as with Facebook, it can become intimate in that you can make real contact with people by sending a private message. For the purposes of this chapter, we’ll cover the basics.

How to Sign Up for Twitter

To get started, go to Twitter’s website at www.Twitter.com. You will see the space for starting a new account; be brave and click the sign-up button.

The process is similar to Facebook at the beginning. You will be asked for basic information. Although I have written a whole chapter on passwords, this warning bears repeating: Do not use the same password as your Facebook or email account. Pick something new, please. After you have set up your Twitter account by responding to the verification account set-up email that will be sent to your email address, you’ll be ready to go. The first thing you can do is look at your Twitter page. You may notice some similarities to Facebook, but it’s actually much simpler than Facebook. As with Facebook, there are four buttons at the top of your page; you have “home,” “profile,” “messages,” and “who to follow.” Those are the only buttons you need. You’ll also see the space where you write.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 199 – New Markets for Artists / The Webmaster and Widgets

The Webmaster and Widgets

The first thing to think about is who is going to design your website? Unlike Facebook pages, web pages have to be built from scratch, and that usually costs money unless you do it yourself. Let’s imagine that you are paying a friend or a web designer to update your website. Here’s what you’ll do: You will send your web designer (who you trust) your Facebook username and password so she can access your account. Tell her you want a widget on your website’s homepage that links to your Facebook page. It is not a difficult thing for a web designer to do, and it should cost very little, but the advantage of doing this is huge.

There Are Many Widgets

Widget boxes come in different shapes and sizes. I recommend telling your web designer you want a rectangle, either tall or wide—whatever fits best. Your homepage is the first page people see when going to your website, so place your Facebook widget somewhere noticeable. Your Facebook widget will look almost like a mini-Facebook page; your name, your profile picture, and your latest update will be there. It can also show you other things, like recent posts, but the basics are probably enough. This will make a fantastic little addition to your website, because it updates itself automatically, and it does it continuously. Now there’s no need to pay your website designer to make constant updates or update your website yourself, because the Facebook widget will show updates from your Facebook page as soon as you make them. That is how you join your website and your Facebook page.

Some other advantages to adding a Facebook widget are that your website will always have current information about what you are doing and people can add you as a Facebook friend by clicking the widget and going right to your Facebook page to make a friend request. There is also a Twitter widget that you can add to your homepage next to the Facebook widget. (More on Twitter later.)

Summary Thus Far

To recap what we have said thus far, the first step is to make a Facebook page, then send friend requests to your real friends as well as other people in the arts who you want to be in touch with. You will find those people by going to other artists’ Facebook pages and looking at their lists of friends. Next, you will familiarize yourself with the different features of Face- book by uploading a few pictures onto your page and looking at other peoples’ pages and “liking” things and commenting on them. Lastly, you will sync up your website and Facebook page by having your web designer install a Facebook widget on your website’s homepage.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 198 – New Markets for Artists / Removing Comments

Removing Comments

On your Facebook page profile—also known as your “wall”—people can post comments, pictures, links—pretty much anything. If someone is bothering you by posting unwanted comments on your wall, there are several ways to take care of it. If you are looking at the post on your wall, you can move your cursor over the upper right-hand area of the post and you will see a little “x” appear. Click on that and you’ll be given several options. One is to remove the post; another option is to mark it as spam; and a third option is to mark it as abusive. You also have the option of blocking that person permanently. Once you block someone, he won’t be able to see your wall or your status updates, and won’t be able to comment, post, or send you private messages anymore. Your Facebook account should be set up so that only your friends, who will include other people in the art world you might want to meet, can view your work.

Facebook and Your Website

The next task to tackle is making your website and your Facebook page talk to each other. Now that you understand most of the basics of a Facebook page, you can see that it is very different from your web page in some ways. It is similar in that both your Facebook page and your website display images of your work. On your website you will probably have past and current images of your work, whereas on your Facebook page—especially  if you created it only recently—you’ll probably have mostly current work. Also, whereas you might announce an upcoming show or event on your website, this is even easier to do on Facebook; all it takes is for you to write a sentence in your status update and click the share button. You can also create an “event” and invite people to it, making Facebook the better venue for promoting your shows.

In a moment I will explain how to connect your Facebook page and website, but first I want to talk about things you might hear concerning the “ranking” of your website on Google. Before Facebook, getting webpages to appear at the top of the list of results for a given search term was a big concern. For a corporation, this could mean getting its website to come up at the top of a search about its product for you. Now things have changed a bit on the web, so it’s not just about getting a website to be ranked higher in search results. Though that still helps, having your Facebook page come up first when someone searches your name is just as useful, especially if someone is trying to contact you. I mention this because there is a lot of talk about website ranking, but it’s not as big an issue for an artist, unless many people on Facebook share your name, in which case you want your page to come up in a search first. I’ll explain how to marry your Facebook page with your web page so you will get a higher page ranking and be easier to find.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 197 – New Markets for Artists / Relationships between Facebook Friends

Continued from Episode 196…

What was interesting about the school photograph was that names that I had forgotten other people remembered. Before long, almost everyone had been tagged in the photo. For me, this was a turning point in using social media tools. This was not about sharing my interests or liking someone else’s pictures; it was about memories and people from the past that I enjoyed for purely sentimental reasons. Some people hate that aspect of Facebook, but for me, it was welcomed and inspiring.

The story I want to tell about this post on the elementary school group’s wall is about enemies and how they can come together on Facebook, often in these types of group pages. You might not want to be friends with someone on Facebook, but you may have to see their posts on a group page that you belong to. In this case, I was watching my old school photograph get tagged and remembering all those names. Below the photograph, people were commenting on the image and their memories. I recognized the names and commented back, enjoying myself. Then I got a private message from someone who was commenting on the photograph. (On a side note, a private message is the same as an email inbox message, and you can send anybody that is your friend a direct message by clicking on the “send a message” button on the top right of anyone’s Facebook page. It’s just like email, but with less spam, and it’s very easy to read. You can read your messages by going to the top left of your Facebook page and clicking on the envelope icon. Then you will see your messages and you can easily respond to them in the space below.) The message was from a friend who told me that she hated someone else from our elementary school class who was commenting on the photograph. She told me a story about something that happened between the two of them as children that permanently damaged the relationship for her. She said that she wasn’t speaking to her anymore but she wanted to tell me because she didn’t like being in the same stream of comments as her ex-friend.

Relationships between Facebook Friends

Of course, I understood. Then, I got a private message from the other person involved, the ex-friend, who said she knew that what she did in the past upset the other friend and hoped her old friend will forgive her, going so far as to ask me to put in a good word for her! You see how complex things can get on Facebook? Luckily, it’s fairly

easy to deal with this, because there are lots of privacy barriers in place on Facebook. I just responded to both people politely and said that I understood. The point that I am trying to make is that just like in the real world, there can be relationships that are tricky to navigate on Facebook. I have found this to be a very minor issue for me, partly because I am in a stable relationship and have been for several years, and partly because I don’t gossip much or talk about people I prefer not to be friends with.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 196 – New Markets for Artists / Tagging

Ex-Spouses

Ex-spouses and ex-lovers make up the next category of friends and are to be added with caution. You should generally not add an ex-lover or spouse unless you want them to comment about your new relationships. Be careful, because un-friending someone isn’t always easy to do, especially if you are just breaking up. Facebook is aware of these kinds  of issues; in fact, when you first sign up and give Facebook your basic information, it asks you what your relationship status is. If you check “Married” or “Single” you can always change it to “It’s complicated” or something else. In the new world of social networking, relationship status can be mysterious or not, but it is something to be mindful of at the very least.

Enemies

Another issue is sometimes having friends that don’t get along. There are a lot of groups that you can join on Facebook, and I ran into some problems, (albeit a very minor one) after joining a group that will explain what I mean. I joined a Facebook elementary school group after I was invited by a past classmate from elementary school. That’s right, it was a page for my very first school! People often make pages about schools so they can get in touch with friends from that time. I recognized a few names and joined. On that page, if I recognized someone, I made a comment on his or her photo. Then I realized that I had several old class photos stored away somewhere. I found one, I scanned a photo of the class picture from fourth grade. On the elementary school Facebook page there is a place where you can post a photo. I posted the photograph of my school picture from fourth grade, which had about thirty students in it, neatly arranged.

Tagging

Once I posted the picture, other former students began commenting on it. What happened next was really fascinating. People began to “tag” the photograph of the group of children. “Tagging” means identifying other people in Facebook photos so that their names are displayed under the image. When you are looking at a photograph of people on Facebook, there is an option right next to the photograph that says “tag this photograph,” and if you click on it, you can drag your cursor over the photo and click when it’s hovering over someone’s face. A form will pop up for you to fill in that person’s name. After you tag one person or several people in a picture, you click a button that says “done tagging.” What you are  left with is a caption underneath the photo with everyone’s name in it. If you casually move your cursor over the photo, you will see who’s who in the picture. Pretty neat, huh?

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 195 – New Markets for Artists / Special Friends

Special Friends

Of course, there are exceptions. Consider for example the special cases of family and exes—that is, past lovers, spouses, and family members. Once you friend someone and she or he accepts your friendship on Facebook, you are connected to her Facebook page and see her daily news and updates. This works for many relationships but not all. The first time I heard about a Facebook relationship issue was with teenagers and their parents. One woman told me that her daughter would not accept her friend request. The daughter had her reasons no doubt; she wanted to talk to her friends  in privacy. This became an issue for the mother and daughter, but the mother eventually came to understand, and the daughter did eventually accept her mother as a friend. The mother posted the news on her Facebook page, saying “My daughter finally accepted my friend request today!”  That post was funny of course, but it also illustrates how Facebook users make an effort to control who sees their pages and who does not.

Teenagers

I have a relative who is a teenager and attends public school in New York City. He’s on Facebook, and of course so are all his friends. He accepted my friend request, so I’m able to see how he uses Facebook and communicates with his classmates. Looking at a page like his gives you a clear sense of what tools on Facebook are used most often. There are video chats with friends, abbreviations for everything you can imagine, and quite a bit of cursing and off-the-cuff comments. Because his page feels very informal and he seems to say whatever he wants, there is even more reason for him to screen friends, in case he doesn’t want an ex-girlfriend or someone else to see the page.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 194 – New Markets for Artists / Your Schedule

Your  Schedule

As part of your fifteen minutes a day, you can try adding  two or three friends that you have found on the Facebook pages of other friends in the arts. That’s it! Take it slow at first so that you don’t risk adding too many friends and getting a warning. When you add a friend, you have the option of sending a personal message with your friend request. In my opinion, it’s smart to add a short personal message, even if you send the same message to everyone. When someone friends me now on Facebook, the first thing I want to know is if they’re a spammer. It’s hard to tell, but I usually check to see how many friends we have in common, and if they send me a personal message, that’s a good sign, too. I almost always add people who send me personal messages because I know they’re real and not just adding friends for game points or something. I suggest that you come up with something short, such as “I am an artist and I would like to keep in touch . . .” Sometimes I’ll try mentioning a friend we have in common and say something like “I would like to be your friend. I’m a mutual friend of Sandy Robbins and I would like to keep in touch.” That’s another good way to  introduce yourself, but you could make it more casual or more formal depending on who you are friending. For example, if you’re writing to family it might be more casual, whereas if you’re writing to a museum curator or gallery director it might be more formal. In general, I think it’s good to err on the side  of being too polite. It’s not too much to say this in a note   for a friend request: “Dear John, I would like to talk about art with you and Kristine, who is a mutual friend. I would also be interested in perhaps interviewing you as well. Best, Brainard.” Of course, you do not have to say you want to interview them, but I can tell you, I have been interviewing people for years, and pretty much everyone likes to be interviewed. I could meet almost anyone at all by sending them a legitimate interview request. Everyone loves to talk about themselves, especially famous artists, curators, and celebrities. They are selective in the requests they accept— they have to be—but if you are sincere and have a place to publish the interview, even a blog, you can interview almost anyone.

However, the friend request note we are talking about need not go that far. Most people will accept your friend request. Some people like to keep their Facebook friends true to life, meaning they have to have physically met them before accepting their friend request. You can draw the line wherever you like. You do not have to accept any friend requests, and when you get one you can always use the “not now” button and make a decision later; the person requesting your friendship will only see that his request is pending. Don’t worry about hurting this person’s feelings if you decide not to add him.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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Episode 193 – New Markets for Artists / Friend Limits

Continued from last episode…

How was I finding the friends I needed for my zombie army? I was looking for other artists, curators, and people who liked the arts. I started looking at the Facebook pages of people and organizations in the art world, including critics, well-known artists, and galleries and museums. I would then look through their friends and click on the “add friend” button, thinking that those people might have interests similar to mine. If you look at someone’s wall and you like the comments that someone else is making, friend them. That’s what I did, and before long I had an entire army of zombies!

Friend  Limits

Facebook is designed to make you want to connect with other people and make more friends. However, Facebook discourages random friend adding because they want to generate real conversations rather than meaningless lists of friends for gaming purposes. If you add too many friends in a day, Facebook will send you a warning. If you continue to add friends, Facebook will turn off your account and tell you that you broke the rules. I know because it happened to me. You can either start another account at that point or you can appeal, which is what I did. I searched, “What to do when your Facebook account is shut off” online, and I found an email address to which to write an appeal letter. I simply wrote that letter and my account was restored.

More Friends

The rule-makers at Facebook are really not after individuals who are adding too many friends; they’re after bots, which are automated programs that create Facebook accounts and automatically generate friends. Why do bots exist, you ask? Because having a lot of friends actually translates into real value. If you are an artist for example, having many friends is valuable because a lot more people will be seeing your art, and they are potential customers or partners of some kind. If you are a businessperson or corporate employee, you are making friends and mixing business with pleasure a bit, and that could turn into professional advances for you as well as personal benefits. As an artist, you are sharing your work and telling people about what you are doing, just like any person who has a message that they want to share—and the more friends you have on Facebook, the more the message of your art is shared.

In short, the more friends the better, especially friends who are interested in art, because your work can reach the world through them.

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.

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