How to Support Artists you love
An easy guide to support artists all around you for as little as nothing
So you see an artist creating something cool, now what?
Perhaps their work is out of your price range or you just can’t swing it at the moment. The easiest way to support their work is to interact with their social media accounts. Do you follow them on Instagram? Do they also have a Facebook? Follow them on all of their platforms if possible. If they don’t have socia media (1. They should, 2. If they have a website, you could create your own post on Facebook to share their website since Instagram doesn’t like websites in posts)
Below I talk about different platforms that I have experience using such as Facebook, Instagram, Google Reviews, Buy Me A Coffee and other general advice.
Posts: Facebook is a little easier because you can like, comment and share posts pretty easily. It costs nothing to like, comment and share posts. Algorithms can be an artists worst nightmare. Facebook looks to see if people are interacting with the artists page. If not, they will think that you are no longer interested in seeing their content and show you less and less of their work in your news feed. INTERACTION IS A KEY ELEMENT.
I will add a slight downfall to sharing. Ideally, the person will click on the original post to interact with it rather than only interact with the sharers post. For example let’s say I share my own photography post. The original post gets 25 likes but the shared post gets 50 likes. Facebook will see the number of shares and number of interactions only on the original post. It really helps when people click on the ORIGINAL post to interact with it as well.—> Disclaimer: I am no expert, this is based on previous experiences & data that I see from my own page
Events: Lets say the artist creates an event. You can’t go to the event or you don’t want too but before you scroll past it, do you know someone that might? Even if you aren’t sure, could you spare a few seconds to invite some people, just in case? You never know who might be interested!
Invites: You can also invite people to “like” or follow the artists page. Under Community, click on “Invite Friends” and you can select as many people as you want.
Posts & IGTV: Instagram is a little trickier to work with but not impossible. You have less options with Instagram. With Facebook you have several interaction options for “liking” a post...with Instagram there is only one, the “heart” button. Commenting works the same but sharing is quite different. Where Facebook shares can either go to your wall/newsfeed or to a private message, Instagram only has the option to share a post to your story or as a direct message (aka private message). If I really wanted to get creative, I have been known to take a screenshot of an instagram post and post it to my Facebook wall. Or if you’re on instagrams website (not the app) you can copy/paste a direct link to Facebook.
Cross sharing/interacting with posts on multiple platforms is always encouraged! Even if you just liked the same photo on Facebook and now you see it on your Instagram feed...go ahead and give it a like too. I promise you, WE WON’T think it’s weird, in fact any and all interactions are appreciated.
Stories: Instagram stories don’t have “likes” but you can reply to a message (if there is a question on it, or a poll) or you can send the story as a direct message (aka private message) to another user. By interacting those two ways, you are helping the person that posted.
Even if you haven’t been to the artists studio/place of business, you can leave them a good review as long as they have it set up.
Buy Me A Coffee
If you haven’t heard of this one yet, it’s fairly new. Think about Patreon, only this platform is designed to cater to creators/artists alike. Since they are new, they still have a few kinks to work out. It isn’t easy to go to their main page to browse creators. It’s easier if you have a direct link to a creator. Here is mine so you can see what its all about: www.buymeacoffee.com/721vanessa
On Buy Me a Coffee (BMAC) you can support artists here for a small fee. You can buy 1, 3, or 5 cups of ”coffee” at a time. The idea is that if you are out with your friends you might buy them a coffee...but perhaps it’s harder to support them as an artist (for whatever the reason may be). No worries, you can now “Buy them a coffee” to support them. While you aren’t actually buying them a real cup of coffee...it’s a nice way of saying “I support you”. BMAC has multiple options for creators to utilize.
For mine, I also have a membership option that come with bonus content. You can subscribe monthly or yearly. There are also “Extras” which are outside of my normal photography business where I typically only offered photography sessions. Here it gives me an opportunity to be more creative and offer other services that still pertain to my business. There are options as low as $1, this is a great way to support artists as well. Similar to Vocal, you can tip a writer by giving them $1. Same concept On BMAC.
I wanted to give more information on that platform since it is newer. So what is the take away on how to support an artist on BMAC?
See if they offer any inexpensive “Extras”
- Buy them 1, 3, or 5 cups of coffee (those are the default options, creators can also have it setup up as “tea or tacos” ... I ALMOST chose tacos)
- Subscribe to their membership
- Or —>Free option—> copy/paste their BMAC link and share it on Facebook
Word of Mouth
Be on the look out/Keep your ears perked for Friends, Family, Co-Workers, or Facebook posts when people ask: “Does anyone know anyone that does ________?“ Even if you aren’t 100% sure the extent of the persons capabilities, you can always let them sort that out, go ahead and tag them! Or if you aren’t sure and want to ask/give them a heads up, it never hurts to message them on social media or email them first.
For example: I don’t shoot wedding photography. I still get tagged in wedding posts and that’s ok! I appreciate that someone thought of me to recommend. Who knows...maybe down the road they will need a family portrait photographer.
Words of Encouragement
When is the last time you sent a public or private message to an artist telling them how much you love their work? I can’t tell you the number of times that I was ready to throw in the towel, and I would get a message from someone that told me they love my work. That does wonders for a person. Whether they are successful or still struggling, Speak up! You never know who you might just be pulling out of a creative rut.
All in all, most things don’t cost a dime to help artists/creators/small businesses. While they can’t survive alone on likes & shares, it is the hope that they will find people to share their content with or people will find them. I challenge you to do one of the above suggestions! So, who are you going to help out today?
About the author
I am a portrait photographer, graphic designer, creator extraordinaire. I suppose I am dabbling in writing too 😊 | Based in Evansville, IN | I am 721vanessa Photography | www.721vanessa.com