FACEBOOK ADS: They work...
(WARNING: lengthy insightful article ahead)
...at a certain level.
I've been playing around with Facebook Ads for a couple of years now and so I will share, in short (sorta), what I think about them.
Like most people, I started small. Investing money you do not necessarily have or can afford to invest is a very scary and risky thing. I get it. No silver spoon has ever been anywhere near my mouth. I may not have a lot and I may not look like much, but what I do have and how I am as a person is ALL self made and owned outright.
I started with playing around with the $5 and $10 ads for about six months but I was not really getting any benefit from them beyond that which I could do myself with just a little time and know how. So, naturally I studied marketing and then studied marketing different types of art. Yes, there are different strategies for Fine Art and for Illustrative types of art. For the most part, those entail two entirely different demographics with very little bleed over into the middle.
Next I started playing around with the $20 ads and placing them at different days of the week or by spreading them out thinly over the course of an entire week. I was particularly noticing positive results when I would place an ad on Friday mornings and letting it run through until Monday morning. Which stands to reason because you are, for the most part, getting the high traffic Weekend Crowd. But I still wasn't really seeing anything amazing that, with a little elbow grease and time, I couldn't really accomplish myself and my numbers and followers were just basically remaining static and I still wasn't really generating any business. IE.,Print Sales, Commissions or Original Art Sales. I also still only had a little over 1000 fans/followers on my Facebook Art Page.
Recently, I've been running week long ads in the $50 dollar range. Now I'm seeing some progressive results! Increased my traffic dramatically, I picked up a couple of sales and my followers definitely increased. These are all good things! Also, you have the options, with the Facebook ads, to add a button for visitors to click such as "Like Page" or "Shop Now" or "Visit Website", etc.. In addition to that, seeing as how Facebook and Instagram are now one and the same, you also have the option to run the same ad simultaneously on Instagram without any additional charge.
Investing in your business, if you seriously want to grow it, is not only wise, it is mandatory. It will not grow by itself. You have to nurture it every step of the way. I have been trying for over 30 years to make my sole income my art. A lot of these lessons I am telling you now are a little late in coming but none the less common sense to a lot of you but they were not to me and so they were gleaned through trial and error and hard knocks. But, I never give up and I never stop believing in my ability and what I have to offer. So, I continue to perpetually educate myself.
I will probably soon begin running ads in the $100 range twice a month to see if that is any more beneficial in generating a paying fan base or not and if the benefits outweigh the investment. I will let you know as I go.
Naturally, you will experience a few people, a handful at best, that you find your advertising a put off and that you are doing art for all the wrong reasons. Firstly, ignore them. Secondly, they are obviously not successful art sellers. Thirdly, it's just either jealousy or a troll mentality. YOU are far better than that. Prove them wrong by not placating their narrow vision. It's YOUR DREAM, not theirs!
The world can never have too much beautiful art. There is no such thing as a flooded market as every artist is unique in their vision no matter what the corrupt Agencies or Galleries tell you. It is just a matter of getting it out there to be seen and wisely investing in it so that it CAN be seen. I highly suggest that, for a while, you learn marketing, marketing strategy, selling strategy, advertising styles and techniques and putting your confidence into it. I know how hard it is to sell yourself as an artist. Most artists do not enjoy selling themselves for a plethora of reasons. All of them not conducive to success nor growth. Nobody but Nobody will ever feel sorry for you and miraculously start buying your product. Being a little aggressive and putting your craft under peoples' collective noses will get you noticed. Very few are actually looking for what you have to offer. You have to show your perspective fans what they want because quite often, they do not even realize they want it until YOU show it to them!
I am by no means an expert at this as I am only sharing what I have figured out but I also know that I have much to learn and the strength that I have in that aspect is simple, I am WILLING to learn. Also, the bottom line for any business venture is this...
You cannot win if you do not play,
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