How to Help Your Starving Artist Friend, Part 1: Be a Social Media Friend

You know one. A starving artist. Maybe this Starving-Artist-Friend creates visual art. Or maybe your Starving-Artist-Friend is an artist of another kind: a musician, a photographer, a videographer, or even a wordsmith. And maybe this Starving-Artist-Friend has a good job and isn’t, physically, starving, but has a longing to share beautiful art with the world and has been unsuccessful in multiple attempts to reach the world. And this friend is waning away inside from an unfulfilled hope. Or, maybe he’s* just a little disappointed.

You have the friend. You’d love to help, but you don’t know how. Enter this blog series. In the next six posts, I will share with you simple ways you can help your Starving-Artist-Friend. Most of them take no money and very little time. But if every friend of a starving artist helped share his work, it would increase their circle of influence exponentially.

It’s just like Amway. Only better. Okay, it’s not like Amway, but it is better because it will help and encourage people you love.

So, today, we talk about social media.

Social media is a lifeline for self-published artists who want to leave a mark. No more hunting for a publisher or producer to find us, then waiting for the publicist to help us achieve our dream. Now, we can blast the whole world with notices of our amazing new release and everyone will come flocking to our doors, beating them down, crying for more.

Except that doesn’t happen.

Because the blast gets lost amongst pictures of cute puppies and babies and no one notices.

Don’t despair. It doesn’t have to be like that. Here’s how you can help.

Tweet, Follow, Tumble, Bumble, and Pin along with your Starving-Artist-Friends. Whatever social media outlet they are part of, join them. And when they make a post, comment on it and share it with others in your network. Each network has its own algorithm but usually, just liking (or Retweeting, or +1, or….) won’t do anything for the post’s ratings. You must take 15 more seconds to interact with it.

On Facebook, the magic number is five. When your Starving-Artist-Friend makes a post, it shows up in the feed of those he interacts with most. If five of those friends comment on that post, it starts working its way outward, showing up in the feed of more of her friends, with the circle getting larger the more people comment on the post.

Google has its own formula that includes the number of bookmarks a page has and the number of comments a post gets within the first few hours of posting.

Yes, I know it will take time that you could be watching that cute kitten video or responding to that inflammatory political post. Trust me, neither of those will make a difference in two years. But helping your Starving-Artist-Friend will be an investment for a lifetime.

So, let’s practice. Do two of the following:

  • Like my author page on Facebook
  • Follow me on Twitter (@DGatchel_Author)
  • Subscribe to my blog (the buttons below)
  • Subscribe to my email

Now, find this post at one of the above sites and comment on it.

Awww. Isn’t that sweet. You just helped your Starving-Artist-Friend and I appreciate it so much!

For Part 2 of this series, click here.

*Trying to write gender neutral is a pain! So I don’t do it. This post, I will use the male pronoun. Next post, I’ll use the female pronoun. Don’t get confused and think I’m just talking about male or female Starving-Artist-Friends. I just want the post to be readable for you. Blessings!

Past Performance Does Not Guarantee Future Results

You’ll find this phrase on any company prospectus, usually to warn investors that the good trend may not last. But the opposite is also true: past failures do not a failure make.

I saw this play out firsthand with my oldest daughter. She is involved in speech and debate, to the point that, in the spring, she is at a tournament almost every other weekend. Over the past four years she has blossomed from a shy little girl into a beautiful, articulate young lady.

This year, one of her chosen events is expository speaking, which is your standard, memorized speech with the addition of visual aids.

The first tournament, she placed 12th out of 25 students. Not a bad ranking, but not anywhere near where she wanted to be. She took the suggestions from the ballots, rewrote her speech, revised her props and at the second tournament she landed at the very bottom – a rank she hasn’t seen since she started four years ago.

But I didn’t see a single tear about it. Her teammates gave her some tips and she, again, looked at the trends from the ballots and rewrote her speech. As a result, the next tournament she came in 9th out of 33 – just one place shy of breaking into finals, but earning her half the points she needs to qualify for nationals.

She knew she couldn’t ride on her mediocre performance from the first tournament. And she didn’t wallow about the setback at the second. She stepped up. She owned the problem. She sought advice. And took steps to solve it.

She stepped up. She owned the problem. She sought advice. And took steps to solve it.
Tweet: She stepped up. She owned the problem. She sought advice. And took steps to solve it. #OurStories

And do you know what she was doing the following week? She was pouring over the ballots, revising her speech, and practicing so she can do even better at the next tournament. Because this girl has a goal. And a plan. And she doesn’t have time to let her past disappointments define where she is going nor coast along with “well-enough”.