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.