Social Media is Dying, So It's Email Newsletters To The Rescue
We need to rethink social media because it is starting to betray us. We put all of our anxiety, hard work, and personal information out there just for it to be deleted without warning, or simply ignored because the algorithm didn't think it was good enough.
After this poster got taken down on Instagram without warning yesterday promoting body positivity, I realized that I'm putting too much time into a platform I don't control. What would happen if Instagram just deleted my account? Boom the 30k followers that I have been connecting with for over 6 years GONE.
I've worked too hard to build up my career to lose my biggest advertising channel. So I'm switching tactics. Let's stop drowning in the vortex that is social media, and get on that newsletter bandwagon. I still believe social media is a great way to promote artists, but a newsletter is a secure backup. Especially for creatives that have sensitive subjects in their work that platforms like Instagram can really fuck with.
Remember blogs? Oh, sweet pages of uncensored content where you have unlimited links, no annoying ads, and can say whatever the fuck you want. Doesn't that sounds amazing?! No hashtags, trolls, or AI to worry about. You find a blog, sign up for the newsletter, and you get regular content. How could we have gotten so far from this basic concept?!
How to start using blogs and newsletters for artists
We need to get back to basics and start using our websites to help build a community around our work instead of merely relying on social media. A website is not just a portfolio for artists, it's a fucking sanctuary where we can be our most honest selves and play by our own rules. Let’s start using our site as a tool to connect more with our audience, sell our products, and get hired for commercial work all at the same time.
To get started all you need is a website and an email service. I use Squarespace and Mailchimp for my newsletter, and they work perfectly together. I like MailChimp because they only charge you based on how many subscribers you have, so until you reach 2,000 subscribers or are blasting out more than 12,000 emails per month, it’s totally free.
Once your email campaigns are set up, then any time you come out with a new piece of art, product, or article, post it to your blog to then blast to your newsletter. This not only is a great way to put your content in front of more people, but you also get the added benefit of fostering a more tight niche community. People check their emails more throughout the day, than social media anyway. Then people can directly reply to your email blast with questions and comments vs. a meaningless thumbs up emoji on social media. That's one on one interaction baby!
How do I get people to go to my newsletter?
For this whole newsletter concept to work, you need to incentivize people to go to your blog to sign up. If you are already posting your work to Instagram, there needs to be some kind of bonus content to reel them in. Then in your caption, include a call to action for people to click the link in your bio for that extra layer of hidden awesome.
Here are some content ideas to help you make the switch:
Process videos and articles on how you made that piece.
Writing an article on the subject of that piece for deeper meaning.
Uncensored versions of your work so people can see all the raunchy details.
Product releases with additional photos, information, and customer testimonials.
Educational articles that are teaching others something you just recently learned.
Journal-like posts about your everyday life for the people that care.
Newsletter only sales, discounts, and digital freebies to straight up bribe people.
See, there are way more options than you thought eh? This additional content will not only help you better bond with your community, but it will also help showcase yourself as a professional too. You’ll get people added to your newsletter from places like Instagram and Facebook, while also starting to rank on Google. That way more people can find your website organically since you are adding content to your blog regularly. Yassssss.
To be a successful artist in 2019 you need to add more context to your work, explain your process, and start giving back to the community. Plus this new way of thinking will increase your status as an artist, without much additional work. Yes, you’ll need to have a website and find the right email service, but after the initial set up you just keep doing the same things you were doing on social media, except way more people will actually see all your hard work this time.
Why should you sign up for my newsletter?
Instead of putting all my energy into just Instagram, I'm focusing on my website for a while so I can give you even more of an inside look into my process, the meaning behind my work, and what I’m learning along the way. When you sign up for my newsletter, you will never miss another post from me again! Plus you'll get exclusive newsletter discounts starting with 20% off everything in my store and first dibs on all my free educational content for artists.
I'll still be posting on my grid regularly along with some behind the scenes in my Stories on Instagram, but if you want the good stuff, it will be here at lettershoppe.com.