We are both now on Facebook and Twitter if you care to "follow" or "be a friend." I had always thought that I had no time for such "frivolous activities." It is enough on my plate just to keep up with a blog, a new Etsy store, and all the email from friends, family, students, etc. That is plenty of online writing and maintenance for me. However, I soon discovered that social networking sites are wonderful places to get your name and your artwork out there and for free!! We have met old friends and brand new friends on these sites and created much interest in the work. Now it is leading to sales. What artist wouldn't like that?
Once set up, your page is easily maintained with little time required. If you choose to do this I have a few helpful hints for you:
1. Do put up as much personal info in your profile as you feel comfortable with. Potential collectors need to be able to get hold of you. It is counterproductive for a business to hide their contact info and if you are an artist, you are a business. Think about whether the info you are giving is any more personal than what people can find about you in the phone book.
2. Link all your sites together. If you don't know how, find someone who does know and will help you. (Thanks Carlynne.)
3. Keep up with it with regular updates. Let people know what you are doing as often as possible. Tell them your thoughts and give the back story behind the artwork, but be brief.
4. Put up photos and most importantly your artwork on a regular basis. No one, I repeat, no one wants to see a blog/website/network page for an artist that has no pictures!!!! (Sorry, just one of my pet peeves. Aren't artists visual people?)
5. Tell people where they can go to buy your work.
6. Accept other artists as friends.
7. Say no thanks to "friends" who want to join your network just so they can sell you something or are looking for relationships.
8. Keep your network informed of events you are involved in: art exhibitions, workshops, books and articles published by you or about you, interviews, awards and other recognition, anything and everything going on in your art career/life.
Good luck with your networking and have fun with it. (Sorry this list is not an even 10, but it's all I have right now).
Peace and Creativity,