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Week 14 Marketing

November 30, 2009

Before I get to the artist that I am following, Sarah Camp, I noticed that the many social marketing venues available can introduce a current or potential customer to more of the skills that a graphic artist or freelance web designer might have. For instance, a graphic artist might contribute one piece of artwork to an internet project, but on a social site like deviant art or Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., could demonstrate a talent for recreating this artwork in jewelry or statues. I have a relative that displays his graphic artwork on DeviantArt – then also adds an ongoing internet comic book with some of these characters. I can see where a current follower of one medium might also discover a second or third reason for following an artist because of these social interactions. One quilt artist, Linda Schmidt whose work I am always astounded with – uses the internet to let others discover her talents in artistic wearables, portrait and fiberart and I have taken some of the courses she teaches through Quilt University. Linda sums up my feeling towards social marketing in a comment she writes on her website:

On the wall of my daughter’s room, as she was growing up, there was a poster of a prima ballerina teaching a little girl in a tutu how to dance, and the caption read: “A candle loses nothing by sharing its flame. ” Thank you for sharing your flame!

Sarah Camp owns a small 9 person company Camp Creative Group designing websites with WordPress and custom content management systems. I loved the websites that she produced, and especially chose her because of the variety of designs she creates. Her website is beautiful, the tag line matches the design; the name of her company conjures up all kinds of ‘wish I could join them’ ideas for me – a budding freelancer; there are lines under the navigation headings that create a friendly expectation before one even selects the page. The website, the blog, and all of the social interaction links list award links, links to articles written by magazines, and a means for the customer to follow future articles using RSS feeds and easily ‘following’ Sarah’s blog. This website chooses to write articles that appeal to potential customers advising them about web page related information – which lends to trust. There are other articles that are poised at fellow freelance artists, creating a give and take – a sharing attitude that I really liked.

Each social connection emphasizes something a bit different about Sarah and her company. Camp’s LinkedIn is more of a professional overview of her company, however it allows her to increase customer and employee trust by divulging projects that cannot be posted on her website. She shares information, for instance about close work on an astrophysical research project in the South Pole as well as the honor of working with a teacher on an exclusive project. Sarah’s Twitter page shares inspirational links that I plan on following. I like the fact that she finds more peace and website inspiration taking long nature walks instead of browsing the internet to see what others are creating. The Facebook account is used to talk about new projects before they are posted on the company website. The interaction allows followers to provide feedback, which is a great way to get customer input while working on a project. So far I have not seen the feedback during the process of development, but as an appraisal afterwards – which again builds trust as the client sees other people’s reactions to their new site. The blog allows the previous customers a place to provide direct quotes (even though they are also showcased in the gallery and praises section of the website). The blog also allows one to bookmark articles using delicious,facebook linked in, twitter,friend feed, stumble upon, technorati favorites, redditt and squidoo as well as a +Share/Save button to quickly bookmark the page using diigo,wordpress, amazon, and several others. Another marketing feature used is a button allowing one to email the article to a friend – thereby widening the audience as close to word of mouth as possible on the internet. Reactions to the blog located on the home page keep both pages active, as well as postings categorized in recent/popular tabs in the right column to help the customer navigate and personalize their search. I find that all of these social interactions point back to the website, back to trust and enhance the professional and unique talents of the artist, Sarah Camp – much in the same way that professional web design standards do – creating a social ‘implied’ and ‘psychic’ line pointing back to the artist. If an artist is not using social marketing to their advantage, they are missing a free advertising opportunity.

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