Rene Arreola, Rock Star Marketing’s Head of Media Division, also happens to be a freelance illustrator and artist. While working for 20-plus years in commercial printing as a graphic artist and prepress department manager, Rene always worked on creating artwork in his spare time. Since going full-time freelance in 2018, Rene has developed a strategy that works well for his particular art niche, digital illustration. In this article, Rene gives his insights about what he’s been doing during this time to up his social media exposure. You can learn more about Rene by visiting his website: www.renearreola.com
When it comes to marketing for an artist, the one thing I have learned is ‘Rene Arreola’ is what is being marketed. Therefore, it is paramount that I create and regularly share my artwork online and engage with my audience in an authentic way.
Coming to the close of my second year as a full-time artist and about to enter my third year as of this article, I need to be aware of who my audience is on each of the social media platforms I am on. This is important to know, for it gives me focus on how to share my content with these different audiences and interact with them.
I share my content on several social media platforms. Each platform has a specific audience and I try to tailor what I say about my art when I post to each one. Below are the channels I use and what my strategies are for each one.
Instagram – To me, keeping my Instagram flush with content (my art) means posting quite regularly. My goal on Instagram is to post once a day. The nice thing about being an artist is I can re-post my artwork and it doesn’t hurt me. With Instagram, I might post the same painting or drawing a week or so later, but write different text with it. Or I might crop the painting and write something different about the piece that was never brought up before. In this way, it is possible to repurpose old artwork with a new spin. I always keep this in mind with Instagram: create once, repurpose multiple times. As long as my images are crisp, colorful, and detailed, I’ll have a nicely curated feed on Instagram. This is what people on Instagram tend to gravitate toward.
Facebook – On my personal Facebook page, the biggest advantage I have is that I can post my artwork and be part of online interactions with many people I know personally. I think of these interactions as ways for these people, many of who are friends and family, to continually experience my art and who I am. This is an important part of the social media experience when it comes to building online relationships. First, you must build relationships and nurture them before you may in turn expect them to trust you enough to do business with you. In many cases, I am freely sharing my art and my art is receiving constant exposure from those who comment on my work. This is a great way to build social proof online.
Youtube – This is the ultimate social media site for sharing video content, and I’m not just talking about silly or funny dance moves. Youtube viewers are particular about where they will spend their hours watching and whom they will give their attention to and subscribe to. With that, my approach is to create video content that is thoughtfully shot and edited, yet still free for anyone to watch. I do not monetize any of my videos because I view the posting and sharing of my artwork as yet another way for people to learn what I have to offer. I view Youtube as a channel where I want to grow a viewership through videos that have a high-quality finish to them. This includes graphics, effects, music, and audio. The content I create for Youtube is focused on a slick presentation that entertains and maybe even educates to a certain degree.
Twitter – Twitter is a special social media website for me and my niche. In my niche as an artist, I am focused on digital illustration in fantasy and comic books. In the past two years, I have seen that Twitter is a website where many of the professionals in those niches post and share their work. I view Twitter as the site where I can interact with those professionals. This is not at all like LinkedIn. Instead, it’s much more casual. While I may not know many of them personally, being able to comment, like, or retweet one of my favorite artist’s work allows me to participate in the same space. A handful of these professionals have been the very same ones I have followed since I was in high school! Twitter is where I want to share my content among the same circles where these professional comic book artists and writers share their works.
TikTok – Tiktok is something like Instagram and Youtube put together. A TikTok profile is just made up of video thumbnails. But, each video can only be up to a minute long. I like my TikTok gallery to look as good as my Instagram on the face of it all yet in the form of engaging video content. My TikTok focuses on creating shorter videos, most of them showing my art process. As of this writing (November 2020), TikTok is still a young app but growing more and more in popularity. Part of the importance of this app is being able to get in on the ground floor and grow along with it.
In all of these social media platforms, my focus is on creating my art content while understanding who the audiences are on each platform. In most cases, understanding my audience means engaging with them. This engagement is a two-way street. When someone comments on my work in a positive way, I respond with a thank you and sometimes with a comment of my own.
If I receive a negative comment, I will try to respond in a meaningful way and in a manner that is non-confrontational. I don’t really receive negative comments about me. If there is any critique, it is on my art. This can be invaluable feedback I can learn from.
In addition to the social media platforms I mentioned above, I also post and share my art on specific art forums to my art niche. One example is a comic book forum for artists, writers, and fans of related genres. Posting, commenting, giving my own feedback to others is an invaluable part of social media marketing.
In marketing myself as ‘Rene Arreola’, I am making an effort to interact as myself. All of my posts are made with that in mind. The way I conduct myself online is also another important facet of who the artist is who is making this art. That is equally as important as the artwork itself.
As for my particular goals in working as a freelance artist, I like to work both as an artist on other people’s projects to help bring their message or product to life. On a personal level, I am creating many of my art-based properties that intersect somewhere between owning my intellectual property and creating a sustainable income from it.
To assist me in these endeavors, I am using social media marketing to help share my art and communicate my ideas. The ultimate goal is to share my content and create an impact in the world that helps other artists or teaches the value of the arts in our society. While that is the big picture of what it is I do, no doubt social media marketing allows me to begin taking the needed steps to help me get there. One piece of content at a time and one comment at a time.
If you need help with your social media marketing or need any illustration work or graphic design assistance, Rock Star Marketing is here to help. Contact us today to see how we can collaborate to help get your message heard by your audience and create an impact in the world.
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