If you create things as a business or for a living, you must use social media in today's age.
Now, before we get too deep into this, yes, there are a great many artists who make a fine living without social media. Still, I also know that these people are in a position through other means where they don't have to use it, through luck, circumstance or otherwise. But all the same, by not using it, they're handicapping themselves when it comes to business.
I'm not interested in debating this important fact's edge cases—I'm speaking to the full-time artist masses here.
What I am interested in, however, is arming you with the tools at your disposal. Social media is one of those great multipliers in our current age. It's the thing that, if successful, propels the potential of our opportunities exponentially.
There are so many benefits to growing an audience on Social media. The connection you have with people who love your work, the sense of community you can build together, the opportunities that come your way from people who notice your work and love it. Among the countless amounts of jobs, campaigns, trips, travels, foods, and people I've met through Social media in some way, I can strongly attest that deciding to grow an audience using the platform of my choice (initially Instagram) was the single most fruitful and impactful decision in my photography career. It changed the way I live my life. I met my girlfriend through Social media; I met many of who I call my closest friends through Social media; I've had the pleasure of working with almost every single Fortune 500 brand I've ever wanted to work with through Social media, I get to do what I do for a living largely through Social media.
It's because I know how beneficial it can be that it absolutely breaks my heart when I hear artists and creatives dismiss it.
But I understand the resistance. It can feel like you're selling out. It can feel like you're pressured into doing something you don't want to do. It can be something you don't want to make time for. It can be terrifying to be in the public eye in any way, especially if you're using your own name and likeness.
Even not that long ago, just a couple of years, I remember the wall of emotion before me as I was scared out of my mind about starting YouTube.
What if people call me out?
What if they think I'm a fraud?
What if people don't like my work?
What if I get a lot of hate online?
What if I have to do things I don't want to do?
I'm not good enough.
I'm not attractive enough for YouTube.
I don't have the right personality.
And it can go on forever. Truly.
You can come up with 10,000 reasons not to start something like this, but the truth is that everyone goes through the same thing.
We all have the same fears and the same walls to go through, and you can bet that your favourite artists and creators went through the same fears and pushed through them (or, even more likely, still facing them head-on every day).
But the rewards at the end of the day; the connections you get to make, the people you get to help, the ones you get to inspire, the money that comes at the end of it, the brands that you get to work with, the places your campaigns take you on—all of it. It's all worth it in the end, trust me.
If you're a full-time artist or creative and don't have a Social media presence, I implore you to start one on any of the big channels today. I implore you to start focusing on it and find out how to make it work for you and your art. And I implore you to use it to help your creative business so that you can have a long-lasting creative career.
Wishing for your success. See you next week, creative.