HOW to help Artists, Makers, Musicians & Small Business Owners in your life during these times
Hey Folks, Nat here
So the internet moves really fast and as an Artist (maker, musician, small business owner) it is very easy to get lost in the shuffle of all that is being shared, you spend countless hours creating and then sharing work that you are passionate about (and dependant on for an income source) but then no one sees it, comments or shares it... no sales happen and you are left feeling lost. It is easy to get discouraged but I hope this blog post will shed a bit more some light on how social media engagement works so we can all help each other get visibility that translates into sales and support that can sustain our lives. The dependance of online platforms has grown massively during this last year due to circumstance and it seems we'll have to rely on this online world for awhile longer. Please read on if you want to help support Artists, Makers, Musicians and other Small Business owners during these trying times.
1. ENGAGE - Social Media now a days runs on algorithms and those algorithms pick up engagement : more engagement = more visibility = more engagement = more visibility = sales = more sales and so on... this cycle becomes an isolating climate for those who are struggling to get engagement and a very lucritive climate for those who somehow became 'popular' because now they continue to get seen over and over again while everyone else deals with online invisibility.
It is a frustrating cycle but it doesn't have to end there.
Want to help people you love gain traction for their projects so they can keep doing what they do? ENGAGE with their posts - leave a comment, leave a full sentence, ask a question, leave a review, leave words of encouragement! 'LIKES' don't do much within the algorithm, sure, like it or love it but also leave a comment if you really want to help create traction for that person who's work you believe in.
2. SHARE - When you share a post, make it personal! We all scroll past many things on a daily basis if we utilize social media but when someone you know says "hey world, look at this art created by this person i love dearly" or "hey my back was really sore but X persons salve really helped me"or "my best friend just released this new song and it is amazing"... it tends to stop the scroll for a moment and increases intrigue if the topic is of any relevance to you. This is either because you also know that person they speak of or because the person you know is somehow connected to that person and thus they aren't just a stranger on the internet... there is a connection and that connection draws people in.
Want to share the work of others? SHARE it with a person touch! Let others know this project or person means something to you and is connected to you somehow and not just another random post you are sharing on social media.
3. SHOUT OUTS - If you love someones project, work, small business, music, service, product etc. take a moment to shout it out to those who follow you with tags to that persons work. This comes across differently than sharing as you are taking the time to say something about this person or their work in your own words to your network which inevitably extends their reach to new people. It really means a lot to most small businesses and creative folks when someone takes the time to do this. Word of mouth is still some of the best promotion.
Love someones work? Shout out on IG or FB and tag the creator or business
Just received an item you purchased in the mail & love it? Take a photo and tell all your people about it with tags so they can purchase their own!
4. REVIEWS - if you make a purchase or receive a service from someone and there is a place to leave reviews... do it! Shop reviews on Etsy for example are a game changer, the more good reviews people have the more others will also shop feeling secure that they'll be happy with their purchase. Options are endless but reviews help narrow down who is providing great work.
If you can't find a place to leave a review you can also ask the creator or do your own review as a shout out on your own social media and tag the creator or small business page.
5. REFER - referrals are HUGE, there are millions of options out there when you want to make a purchase or find a service but if someone you know and trust refers you to person A you'll probably just go with person A rather than seeking out person B who is a complete stranger.
You don't have to wait until someone asks for a referal either... shout outs are referrals!
Refer people to those you love as much as you can, it really makes a difference!
6. SHOP - within your circle! It is so easy to go on the internet and find anything you need to buy but try to purchase items or acquire services from folks you know first. Keep it within your circle before you look elsewhere because those close to you need support during these times.
When you choose to support folks within your circle first you know it is making a bigger impact in the lives of those around you and they certainly appreciate it. Please support small as often as you can!
In closing though these actions may not seem like a huge deal but they can seriously help Artists, Makers, Musicians and any small businesses utilize their projects and talents to bring in the money they need to survive and hopefully thrive right now as those who are self employeed are some of the hardest hit and least helped during these times.
COMMIT TO HELP!
You can easily make an impact in the lives of folks by choosing 1-5 people within your circle who's work you really believe in and focus on them... try to devote 5-20 mins per week to consciously help those people get seen. Always leave a comment on their relevant posts, occasionally share their work with a personal message to connect you to them, refer folks to them, purchase their items and leave reviews on their pages or shops, shout them out from time to time to promote them within in your circle. Even if you don't have the means to make a purchase, committing to the other actions will really make a signifigant difference to those you love and want to help with minimal time spent.
If you know a lot of self employed folks you can start with folks you think would benefit more than others, folks who are dependant on online sales for their monthly income, folks who's family doesn't have a second secure income, folks who face marginalization, BIPOC, Women, folks within the LGBTQA+ community, folks dealing with chronic health issues etc. We can all help make these strange times easier for the ones we love, especially those who fall through the cracks of any government support.
Be well & stay cozy
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