I read through all the posts and thought it to be a little more clear maybe to respond to many posts and comments with one, adding some touch of my own experiences and observations.
Before the shock of the pandemic, I worked as a saleswoman at events and fairs. It has been around 8+ years since I started. Little before the pandemic though, I already felt like moving on and said goodbye to the partners. Briefly said, it was not good for my health or anything else. Financially and energetically draining more than providing.
By the side, I was testing and analyzing the similarities and differences between online marketing and offline marketing just out of curiosity. Digging a bit deeper though after some expressions of interest for me to provide sales mentoring. How can I provide any mentorship with only limited experiences though? And especially, having made my conclusions based on feedback and word-of-mouth rather than clear financial comparisons from which I always earned only a previously agreed upon, sometimes even ridiculously low percentage out of.
To be honest, in overall perspective I do not see much difference between a social-media platform and a traditional shopping mall. Considering a traditional day without an organized event therefore: at both of them people normally pass you with complete ignorance, if you do not constantly work on catching their attention and preserving it while you have it.
Additionally, you must be considerate and respectful for Their time, attention and Their focus. It may sound harsh, but first-hand you are just an additional time-consumer to Their planned schedules. So without respect for Their personal space and preferences, you can not get much respect really.
Social-media platforms are thankfully more flexible when it comes to the use of our time, meaning that the posts and comments can be published any time and will be available later-on as well. This is why I have personally come to enjoy writing somehow. There is less pressure on my own speed of work, same way with necessity for speedy and clear self-expression with acts. This “now or never” mentality is a bit more stretched out.
An addition to these benefits is that it is technically a lot easier to share what has already been posted compared to the offline options. The only common problem though, which is very similar to offline comparisons of large fairs and global events, is overwhelment. Meaning here the constant growth of huge amounts of content in all varieties.
This is what I noticed being highlighted here as well by @Lochy and @haikujaguar , where it may even be more complex to catch sincere attention online than it probably is offline. Now, that is obviously my own translation here. I just noticed a connection there with what customers at events have pointed out to me. “If we could, we would buy everything” has been a common phrase.
Which means there is just too much too fast for them, to be able to come to any conclusions for a decent choice or a decision. Conversion therefore is a story of its own - how would they find enough interest to support our work financially?
In such comparison I have honestly noticed offline-means to work faster in terms of receiving financial support. It may be connected to the feeling of trust. This is also why videos have often had better impact than just text and photos: we can see and meet the person in person which helps us to naturally trust them more. It obviously does not mean that text and photos would not work, there is just the difference in how we do it.
In overall, I did wish to mention to @Lochy and @haikujaguar that it is not always about what we do or even the platforms we use. That often-times, these do not make much difference in final anyway. Some platforms and solutions are just more comfortable and easily understandable for some people and for other, some other platforms.
The same goes with certain acts: it is so common to copy acts and expect the same results as someone else has had. Sincerity of our action though just always trumps it all no matter what, primarily based on my offline experiences at least. Therefore, it is never about the step or the act that makes one successful, but more about the Why? and from thereon, the How?. Awareness about a variety of possible action-steps is always good for inspiration though.
Offline example of this, is practically every event where almost every company-owner is fiercely fighting for a better spot, some even offer to pay more etc. In reality though, the ones who do their own advertising independently from the events and connect with customers more often through social-media in addition to face-to-face events, have always had significantly better results no matter-the-weather so to speak.
So our ability to connect and sincerely communicate, to uphold curiosity for our customers and their needs, their interests and concerns has so far proven to be the only true measure of success. Only thanks to customers = people with interest to what we do, we have some income. If we do not have them or expect the event organizers or online platform owners to hand-them-over to us, we truly get nowhere. Because quite obviously this is just not their focus, even though so many seem to expect it to be nowadays.
So the main nut-to-crack with social-media or any online marketing therefore, as it seems to me is: how to connect with people sincerely and dedicatedly enough, that both of us would be able to distinguish trustworthy from untrustworthy and savor this connection even when the growth of attention may start to overwhelm?
@bradguigar I truly like your perspective! Though I can not fully agree with it.
I must admit that I have personally unfollowed most of the artists that I actually admire because of the external content they are sharing that is not connected to their own artwork.
If I admire your art and wish to hear of your art, then why would I be ok with my feed being filled with everything else but your work which is what I assumably asked for through following you? This is how brands work: clarity of focus. It has been pleasing though to read some personal stories or tutorials etc. which by itself is connected to the author and their art usually. So with real connection to the work itself, it has been a good addition.
Undoubtedly, sharing interesting content more and doing it often will catch the attention of more people. The question there is whether it would catch and hold up the attention of the ones with actual interest to our art? How can we connect it well enough? My experiences show that careful selection of content is a hell-of-a-task on its own. Meaning, it is very time-consuming if not even awfully time-consuming. Especially if our interest is not to get cold and ignorant followers or even more-so, to not lose the dedicated followers we already have. The choices we make there most definitely have an impact as much as my personal experiences have shown by now.
An idea I personally came up with was to simply: interact. Which is what I have been using in the offline-sales practice as well. This in online-practice, has meant searching out profiles and posts by certain hashtags or keywords and commenting or asking something connected to the content they have shared.
It sure is rather time-consuming as well and probably takes more frequent posts from myself to have some impact in overall. Though I find it personally rather rewarding. There is a feeling of being connected, more than when I would just work on finding things to post and simply sharing much. So I have decided to focus on interaction so far, though quite honestly I have no true clarity on how well it may go or how little or more effective it could be in final. As of now, it has been more humane at least.
So I personally would not consider focus on content as a bad thing for creators, for in my perspective this is what they should be doing - to focus on Their work. Though it is true again that without people to buy or support our work financially = sales or patrons, there is not much point in focusing on it again.
I have noticed a general lack of awareness about marketing as a form of art on-its-own. It is honestly quite odd to see so many company representatives as well as even owners to expect good results with close to 0 dedication to the choices of their marketing tactics or even providers. A lot of airy, dreamy, up-on-the-clouds convictions and expectations there.
It is prone to criticism, but even big companies with quite expansive, large market-holds do not seem to truly have much understanding (clarity in their own minds) in what they are doing marketing-wise. This is where it gets more painful and risks are higher also, so holding on to old-patterns is obviously more common. Their trust is in the old. Though it has often resulted with pointing their noses high while overlooking quality as well as complaints, advisory or any feedback from customers. It is definitely not 100% of course, but the percentage does seem oddly high. When the quality and support from customers falls, what happens?..
Therefore, I do agree that there should be a lot more focus on marketing in overall, not only by artists, but I personally believe that also by the bigger-players. Considering here mostly the effectiveness and general impact of the marketing tactics. A lot of unpractical use of finances there.
@Lochy Thanks for the Recurpost idea, it looks promising!
@gareth.southwell Lots of followers is just something that can guarantee a potential that at least 1 person would find some true interest in what you are sharing. This is a somewhat comic perspective I have noticed many company owners having. Obviously there is some truth to it, but profitability is a whole other story.
In overall, getting a lot of followers is not very difficult. Getting supportive and dedicated followers is a work on its own and obviously requires a lot more.