Now That You Are Using Facebook
Just like in the art world itself, on Facebook you need to make friends with interesting people who are involved in the arts and are a part of the community you belong to or want to belong to. The easiest way to find the right kind of friends is to look at art publications or even well-known personalities in the art world. The Facebook page of Jerry Saltz, a New York art critic, has the maximum or about five thousand friends on it, and among them are tons of New York City art world personalities, from collectors to curators, museum directors, writers, and artists. In fact, the Saltz page in particular is very popular, because he manages his page with a certain savvy, and it shows. He has a talent for posting questions and making statements that generate comments in return, sometimes hundreds of them. Those comments are the art world talking to itself. All of the commenters are involved in the world of art, especially the New York world of art. Reading their conversations will not only provide you with insights into that world, it will help you to familiarize yourself all its key players.
Real-Life Connection through Facebook
Facebook is incredible in its ability to make real-life connections and meetings with curators and collectors possible for you. As you build your network of friends on this platform, you can also send messages to them easily. In fact, you can send a message to almost anyone on Facebook without even being their friend. I discovered this as I was looking through the friends of a curator whose page I found by searching for the word “curator.” As I was looking at different people who were friends with the curator, I saw that some were art collectors. I looked at what the collectors were saying on their walls and commented on it or “liked” it. Then I would send them a direct message, even if I wasn’t their friend, by using the “send message” option.
One of the nice things about sending messages within Facebook is that Facebook inboxes are largely free of junk mail, so people actually read their messages. Once, I decided to message a collector who lived in New York City, and I asked her if she would have lunch or coffee with me so that I could introduce myself. Remarkably, she wrote back right away and gave me her assistant’s cell phone number. I made a time and met her, and it was the beginning of a lasting relationship. I messaged a museum director the same way, and I went out for coffee with him, just to get to know more about him and see if there was something we could do for each other. For all the criticism that social networking gets for being isolating and not “real” enough, I say that if you want it to, you can use it to set up meetings with people in the flesh who can help you and support you or just become real, lasting friends.
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.