If you’re in any way in the business of creating, whether it’s art, music, film, photography, or what-have-you, Twitter can become a home away from home. Twitter users are incredibly receptive to creative people who tweet.
Just ask Miley Cyrus (@MileyCyrus). The former teen idol turned racy pop singer had a childish image. She’d been the star of Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel, and nobody was taking her seriously as a young adult. But she joined Twitter around the same time that she drastically changed her look and dropped her album and tour called Bangerz.
Throughout this transformation, she shared updates (bizarre photos included) with her followers on Twitter to let the world see another side of her.
Cyrus is a pretty drastic example of how you can use Twitter for rebranding, marketing, and self-promotion as an artist, but Twitter can also help relatively unknown people make it to the top for the first time.
Twitter also helps artists such as Natasha Wescoat (@natasha) increase their prominence in the art world. Wescoat’s work is finding a home in art galleries, movies, and more, and she can attribute some of that increasing reach to contacts that she made on Twitter.
How can you (as an aspiring musician, artist, photographer, or other person who makes a living in the creative industries) find success on Twitter if you aren’t already on the level of Miley Cyrus (@MileyCyrus), MC Hammer (@MCHammer), Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13), Lady Gaga (@LadyGaga), and Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake)? Here are some simple tips that you can follow:
Surround yourself with successful people. This doesn’t mean just others in your profession or field who are more successful than you! This also means people in other fields or areas of creativity that inspire you. You can start to find them by finding out which of your real-world contacts in the industry are on Twitter or by doing a few Twitter searches to find like-minded people while you build your network.
Take it offline. Take the connections that you make on Twitter and organize events and get-togethers that bring the experience offline. You can also find out about other members’ tweetups that are relevant to your business. In creative industries, the talent is what counts, and so real-world connections can really lead to new opportunities, fan segments, and opportunities to build your loyal fan base.
Share your content. You don’t have to give away all your hard work, but put your music, art, videos, or other work out there for people to sample and play with. Start a SoundCloud channel, upload a short video to YouTube, offer free MP3s on your website, or set up a page that features a few Creative Commons–licensed photos.
Whatever you do, give people a way to take a look or have a listen so that they can get to know you and what you make.
Creative Commons is an organization that makes it easy for people to license their work so that they retain their copyright but allow it to be shared. Check here for more information on how Creative Commons works.
Tweet on the go. Give your fans and potential fans a look backstage, in the van, behind the canvas, on tour, or behind the lens. Take them with you by tweeting while you travel with your music, art, film, or other creative medium. Also, let them know where you are! Many fellow Twitter users would love to hang out with you if you happen to be in town.
Engage your fan base. Don’t just post static links to content or schedule changes! Talk to your fans and respond to them through Twitter. They probably want to ask you about the thoughts behind your work, your experiences, and you. Let them. Answer them. Engage them in good conversation, and watch as they spread the word about your work to their friends and followers.
Be yourself. Put a good face forward, yes, but don’t try too hard to project a persona that really isn’t authentically you. Twitter is a medium that rewards authenticity, candor, and transparency. Try too hard to put your best face forward, and you may lose yourself and stop being genuine. Twitter people notice if you aren’t being real. Just do what you do and be yourself, and the fans will follow.