In a LinkedIn group with creatives a question was raised on whether anyone in the arts actually got any business made by using LinkedIn. A very valid question. Some do and some doesn’t. Here is in part my thoughts on this topic.
Like the Subject title ask: Should or Shouldnt I even put time on having a social media account. Or any of the LinkedIn, Facebook, Google plus, Twitter, YouTube or why not simple the blog and website.
I have got more business made through LinkedIn than Facebook, that´s for sure. I agree that personal contact is always the best. Equally many of my clients I have never met at all, so again what is the best. A mix.
I have tried to use LinkedIn way more than I have before, the last two years 2013 and 2014. I have increased my activity. I am quite selective to whom I have on my contact list also. I like to keep LinkedIn as my business platform. I take contact with interesting businesses via LinkedIn, often just by searching before contacting via email, phone and so forth. Sometimes via the LinkedIn platform directly. I noticed that until 2nd quarter of 2014, my contacts were mainly international and not so much local Swedish. It is a bit like everyone is just starting to use LinkedIn. Not knowing what to do with it. So I started to make contacts with Swedish businesses via LinkedIn. I am a kids book cover artist and illustrator, but also an illustrator and graphic designer with a broader range of clients. Most, but not all, of my clients are not in the book business, nor advertizing agency’s these days, percentage wise that is. Most of my clients are in the non-media. But who need media and design and images for their own business nonetheless. That percantage wise can change of course from year to year and over time.
All in all I think its important to think business, and think of who the contacts are that one have. For example, I don’t have too many illustrator and designers on my contact list. In comparison to the other businesses. Simply because colleagues like illustrators and designers are not my clients. We creatives may temporarily collaborate, but Editors, Art Directors, Project managers, CEO´s, small business owners, printers and many others are. They are the ones who needs stuff made. And who pay the bills. My Facebook is another matter. On my private and public Facebook I have basically everyone and any type of field. Same goes for my Twitter, which is more Rock and Roll
We artists, illustrators, designers and so forth, must see ourselves as the business people we actually are. There is too much talk among artist and creatives about non-business side of things, when they actually talk business. Which is odd. People tend to accept to work for less and for nothing, when nothing pays the bills, but money does. Which is the reality.
But the most successful social media platform business wise for me, by far of all social media platforms I use, is my website and my two blog´s. And they are bilingual. One in Swedish and one in English.
Sometimes I hear and read how the blog is supposedly a dead platform, but I would say the contrary. The blog and website are what is generating more hits, SEO, via Google, Yahoo and other major search engines.
Illustrator, artist, graphic designer