Friday, June 8, 2012

Get Online & Engage!

social networking, social networking advice, marketing, promotion, Holly DeWolf, illustration
© Holly DeWolf- Engage

Hey super illustrators! 

Today's post is all about engaging your audience online. It's not always easy to know what to say after a long day at your desk. Being conversational online seems easy in theory. It's all that push and pull we must do to connect. We need to push our ideas but we need to pull them in with interesting content too.

When I think of the word engage, I picture Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek telling me to get out there and socialize in the vast space of the endless internet. 

It all sounds like rules.

It takes time to social network. Many of us forget to do it and some us don't enjoy it all. I am guilty of it from time to time when today's deadlines are nipping at my heels.  

There are many reasons why we do not social network enough as illustrators:
• It feels like work to some of us.
• It requires something thought provoking.
• It does take time. 
• Sometimes you may not have anything you deem worthy of sharing to the   
   whole world.
• You may not feel in the mood.
• You may have too many sites to post to. 
• The character limit on twitter and other sites pose a challenge. Not easy for  
   us wordy types. 
• Perhaps you're not getting the response you want or no response at all. 

Obviously we want others to take notice of what we post. It's no fun when you have to tap the computer and ask your self, "Is this thing on?" Insert cricket chirping sounds here!

Another way to look at it:
• It's like a conversation but very casual. 
• It can be a form of promotion.
• It can be a much needed break.
• It may help stave off the solitude many of us feel working at home.   
  Connecting is important. 
• You can share your successes, your projects, work in progress and your    
   ideas as you putter throughout your day. 

Illustrators offer something unique in the way of making images. So why can't we be just as creative when we post on Twitter or Facebook? Since many of us are an ongoing idea making machines with no apparent off switches-think short snippits of thought. These can include:

• something you've learned.
• something your working on- links or pictures.
• something you've observed.
• something you've read that is beneficial to those who follow you.

Humour works. So does word attitude. 

A good way to begin is to dabble with a bit of promotion. Add a link to your blog. Take a shot of an illustration in progress with your nifty camera or fiddle with Instagram. Again, this is another avenue to a social network. Huge community there! 

If you start off with a purpose to your social networking (like anything else we continually do in this industry) it will become habit. Need ideas? Spend time on twitter and read how others mingle. Getting wordy can be contagious. So as to quote Jean-Luc again, "Make it so!" 

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