Just A Card Social Media Tutorials : Day 1
Emily will share an inspiring video and Sarah will share her wise words below. We hope you find it valuable. We really want to help you to share all the wonderful things you do and create with the world.
JUST A CARD is a celebration of all things independent and handmade! The aim is to highlight the incredible contribution designers, makers and independent shops make to a diverse high street and creative community, and the hard work they put in to creating and selling beautiful artwork. Not only is it a place to make new friends, to support each other and share your own and others work, it's also an opportunity to learn and develop. The JUST A CARD message is that all sales, even something as small as 'just a card', are vital and valuable to independents. They make such a difference in so many ways. They obviously help pay the bills, but are also a confidence boost - a hop, skip and a jump to any business owner or artist/maker. JUST A CARD not only encourages people to support independents, it also runs initiatives to help people find their market, for example over on our very popular blog and Twitter Hour we share advice and inspiration from other small businesses, and many people get involved. Many of you are so passionate about this and each one of our incredible volunteer team has a unique role to play. A big part of what I do for the campaign is running much of the Social Media. This has put me in a unique position to observe how others use this most powerful tool, and flag up ways it could be used more beneficially. It's such a great way to be seen and heard. Makers and shops really do need to embrace it, though many say they find it intimidating, and also that they don't have time to learn it.
This is such a wasted opportunity on so many levels. Used strategically it will most definitely help you generate sales, meet suppliers, stockists and feel part of a wonderful community. I agree it does take work. But not a huge amount. Certainly the benefits way outweigh the time investment - I can honestly say it has revolutionised my business and opportunities, and lead me to incredible places and wonderful people. To help you feel more confident my friend and JUST A CARD team member Emily Quinton from Makelight and I have joined forces to put together these tutorials which are a guide to the various platforms. We recently invited Emily to our team as she's a Social Media expert and we know her warmth and no nonsense approach to will be an asset to us all. These tutorials will not only help you promote your work, they'll also assist you to form lasting relationships and connections to help you and your business to grow. Whether you're a wiz or a novice there will be something for you to think about.
It's so important to remember that Social Media really isn't about post after post of a photoshopped lifestyle. There's way more to it than that. I've hardly put any images on my personal Instagram account for ages, yet I've used Social Media in ways beyond simply posting of my glamorous, or not! lifestyle. Even if you never put images or tweets up it's still very important to get an Instagram and Twitter account - with a clear bio about who you are and what you do. Here's why. Recently I met a designer at an show and thought I'd recommend his lovely work via my social media channels, so I asked him for his Twitter and Instagram address. He didn't have one. What a wasted opportunity – even if he only had one follower and had never posted I could have directed lots of people to his profile. If you hide you can't be recommended, and personal recommendations are always a great way to find customers.
So if you do nothing else - set up your accounts. It's easy!
Another place to shine is on your bio. If you're a bricks and mortar shop do make this clear in your bio. Otherwise most people will assume you're online only. Many people take mental notes of lovely places, and instantly computing it as a physical shop will make people much more likely to visit. Ensure you put the address in your bio too - including country. The internet is a big place!
Makers - I'd suggest you add your surname to your name on your account. It may be a personal thing, but I mostly don't follow accounts of people who don't add their surnames. Maybe others will but I know plenty of people who won't - somehow it makes you seem less real. I'd also strongly recommend you split your personal and business Instagram by setting up two disparate accounts. It's so hard to work out what you actually do if your artwork is interspersed with baby photos, or holiday snaps. There's a place for your home life, don't get me wrong I love babies, but if for example I'm selecting someone for HAVE YOU MET?! and all I can see are chubby cheeks I'll move on. I'm selecting artists, not judging the most beautiful baby competition. I'm not saying never use family/home shots - they can work, for instance if they're a suggested inspiration or similar, but it's all about context.
Whilst we're on the subject of HAVE YOU MET?! (See our Instagram for info) I'm far more likely to select you if there's reference to the campaign somewhere in your posts. Sometimes I spot a fantastic artist which I'd definitely select but if there's no mention of JUST A CARD - I move on. You can make your own image of course, that's brilliant of course, but it's only fair if we select people who show some support for our message, after all you're helping others by sharing our message.
We'll be sharing lots of advice and tips during the week, as both Emily and I believe passionately that social media is a fantastic tool for artists, designers, independent shops and creative businesses. We accept it can be daunting so we're here to help! Why should celebrities have all the fun - Let's flood Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with art and independents instead....