Are you ever disappointed by the lack of engagement from your followers when you post new art to social media, share a blog post, or send out an e-newsletter? If so, you’re not alone. Many artists who know they should be building their outreach with their followers and collectors struggle to do so because they are disappointed by the lack of response from their audience.
You’ve probably experienced this yourself. You excitedly post new artwork on social media, sure that it will generate a flurry of activity and possibly even a sale. Instead, you get a few likes and perhaps a comment or two: “beautiful!”, “nice!” and then nothing.
You might not see as much activity as you would like for many reasons. Your audience size might be too small, for example, or you might not be consistent enough in your outreach. We also know posting to social media isn’t as effective as it used to be if you aren’t spending money to increase your outreach.
All of these factors will impact the effect of your outreach, but I want to suggest a simple step you can take to encourage more interaction with your posts and emails. Have you ever tried ending your client communication with a question?
In addition to your normal post, which might be something like:
“I just completed this painting of a sunset in the Catskills. I love the way the light and colors filtered through the trees.”
You might add
“What is your favorite place to watch the sunset?”
“Do you have a place in nature that you love to visit?”
“Where do you think I should travel to find my next sunset for a painting?”
You can also use this strategy with your e-newsletters. After sharing your latest blog post, exhibition information, or new work, end with a question to prompt your audience to respond.
Asking questions at the end of your communication provides several benefits, including:
It encourages your audience to interact with you, increasing the likelihood that they will remember you when they are ready to purchase art. On social media, this kind of interaction encourages the algorithms to increase the reach of your post.
- It shows that you are interested in hearing from your audience and that you value their input.
- It gives you an opportunity to learn more about your audience and what they are interested in.
- It can help you generate new ideas for blog posts, artwork, or even exhibitions.
- It can help build a sense of community around your art.
Not every post or email will lend itself to this technique, and you wouldn’t want to overdo it by ending every communication with a question. However, if you want to increase your audience’s engagement, try ending your posts and emails with a question. It’s a simple strategy that can make a big difference.
Give this tip a try! Share your latest artwork on social media and end your post with an engaging question. Be sure to come back to this post and share the results!
What Else Do you Find Drives Engagement with Your Audience?
What are some other ways you’ve found to encourage engagement from your audience? Do you think asking questions is a good way to build a sense of community around your art? What are some of your favorite questions to ask your audience? Share your experience and questions in the comments below.
I have used questions for awhile but I realize most of mine are open-ended- of the what do you think? variety.
You make a great point with your sample questions in that they frame a specific thought. I’m trying that in the next posts.
A person a long time ago coaching me on emails stated, “You should always have a clear ask.” I think this goes along with the specific question idea.
How do we feel about receiving emails? Why would we expect it to be different with what we send?
Thanks Jason. As always, spot on.
It doesn’t pertain to art, but I have a nephew who is an avid hiker. He often asks where he should hike next. Also a seamstress friend will ask ” this sleeve or this?”
If you are stuck between starting on 2 sketches to become a painting and you are ambivalent as to which next, I might try the poll idea.
A poll is another way to get good engagement!
I often ask for suggestions for books to read or art events to visit . Also, I always mention the names of people who respond. I thlnk a lot of people like to see their name in print even if it’s just on my newsletter.
Thanks for the reminder
Great ideas Gail!
I put up a painting with a comment “proof is in the pudding or in this case painting, Shouldn’t stay away from the studio for so bloody long 😩 OMG!”
1 day is good, 2 days can help with fresh eyes, 3 days could be pushing it, however several weeks forget it! … (the painting was a muddy mess)
I got a few comments of encouragement 😀
I tell a story about a painting, such as “I love crows. They are so smart, they are family oriented and even hold funerals when one dies.”
Then I’ll ask a question like “Do you have a favourite bird?”