How to Create Interesting Online Content to Engage Your Fans
Whether you are an emerging artist or well established in your creative field you would be aware that communication is at the heart of engaging fans and followers. No one can expect to build connections if they do not communicate well and often.
It is true, you can tap into a plethora of options online but if you don’t have a reasonable understanding of how social media marketing works, it can be a waste of time and money.
As you may know, my coaching niche is supporting and mentoring creatives including singers, musicians, visual artists, actors, writers, designers and small-business innovators. When I started my first coaching practice in 2005 much of my work came via referrals, and although this is still a significant way I engage new clients, it is not enough to maintain a successful practice.
To educate myself I read a bunch of books and attended various online courses, one of which was a coach success course. The aim of the course was to teach professional and new coaches how to engage their ideal clients using various online marketing channels, so I plunged in and enrolled with a healthy degree of scepticism.
I must admit, I was thoroughly wrapped in the course content and I learnt so much about my niche, my ideal clients and how to engage them using social media. (By the way, I’m developing a version of the coaching course for singer/songwriters. Please let me know if this is something that would be of interest to you and I’ll send you info when it becomes available.)
So the question is, how can you create content that’s actually cool and interesting to your fans, and more importantly, how do you source content and deliver it in a way that captures people’s attention? After playing in this space for the past 18 months or so, I’ve made some interesting discoveries (and a few mistakes) along the way.
I now know there are two important aspects of marketing myself as a coach, which are also very relevant to people working in the creative arts.
1. Provide evidence that you are good at what you do.
You can reach out via a regular blog, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube channel etc. These activities help potential and existing clients get to know you and recognize you as talented and an expert in your field.
In the case of a creative person, these social media posts have the ability to showcase your work, build relationships, educate your clients and build trust.
Singers can post song samples. Graphic designers can post portfolios. Designers can post images of their creations, and writers can provide excerpts from their new book. The options are endless! Think outside the box so your posts create intrigue and/or convey a particular mood. Humour is always a winner too.
People are generally social in nature. They like to connect as long as the connections have a perceived benefit or value.
A smartphone is all you need to shoot short videos. They don’t have to be professionally created to be engaging. Why not share your thoughts about your latest creative work, what inspired you or what were your greatest challenges?
2. Provide engaging information that will help, inform or entertain.
No one is really interested in looking at a pic of what you had for dinner last night but they are likely to be interested in how you collaborated with a person who plays the didgeridoo or how you used dried-up bluebottles in your latest seascape.
Posts about your creativity, ways you can help, where you derive your creativity, the power of the arts, how creativity influences cultural change, or information from other people’s blog pages are all good ways of maintaining connections.
It’s important to mix it up when it comes to nurturing relationships with your fans and followers.
With Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and email blasts you can reach out to people across the globe but no one will respond if the content is boring or irrelevant to your audience.
The age-old saying that it’s quality – not quantity – that counts, is true when it comes to building relationships with fans and followers. Don’t fall into the same trap as I did of spending money on non-targeted Facebook ads in an attempt to win likes.
One hundred true fans are worth more than a thousand disengaged, lukewarm followers.
It’s worth researching how social media works and how creative people can optimize this global phenomenon to create a loyal fan base and loyal customers. It’s helpful to seek advice and guidance with developing your social media marketing plan so you are reaching your ideal fans. That way, your marketing dollar is well spent, and importantly, you are building a strong base on which to promote your creativity.
So, are all these posts worth it? Personally, I think so. Have you got a success story to share or a lesson learned the hard way? Please do tell!
Monica O’Brien is a professionally trained and accredited Coach and founder of Creative Edge Coaching www.creativeedgecoaching.com.au. She blogs on issues about creativity and small business development for conscious artists and business entrepreneurs.
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