Networking has always been a key aspect of success in professional photography and visual art. Whether it’s schmoozing with gallery-owners and collectors, or meeting other photographers with whom to rub shoulders—people who are successful in the art world get around! That’s why social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are so important to emerging artists these days.
Not too long ago, there were those skeptics who thought the ‘Facebook fad’ would go the way of bellbottoms and 8-track tapes. Now it’s clear that social media sites are here to stay. Facebook has 700 million users and counting. The exciting part is that photographers and other artists are using social media to their advantage and the results are impressive. Artists use social media sites for six reasons: networking, inspiration, work, feedback, career and platform.
For an artist, besides your amazing talent, your network is your most important asset. Without a large number of people viewing and talking about your work, it can be difficult to gain notoriety. Think of the ‘big breaks’ you’ve had in your professional life−likely these have all been a direct result of your network of friends and professionals talking you up. Social media sites make cultivating and then expanding these professional relationships easier and faster. More than just meeting people, social media helps you carve out your own identity in front of others. Your online presence−social media, website, blog−helps people get a sense of who you are and ultimately brings people closer to you. Through your online presence, friends and galleries, curators and collectors come to appreciate your artistic approach and see that others are appreciative−even calling themselves your fans. You never know which acquaintance will prove to be a pivotal one.