For more than a year now, our association has been involved in a great creative project ART Lid together with our partners Centrum Edukacyjne EST and Wadowice Cultural Center from Poland. Today we present one of the results - our latest workshop and interview with the tick tock star Justyna Nowak - a content creator who has a huge community of followers on TikTok (+38k) and Instagram (+11.5k) where she promotes travel, well-being, and Erasmus life.
Have you ever thought that social media is stupid and just about teenagers posting funny videos for God knows what reason? Many people in my surroundings think about social media that way… and then they ask me “Justyna, how are you able to grow your audience and even earn money, earn collaborations, and make your dreams come true so easily?” Well, first of all - stop thinking that social media is stupid platform for kids making funny videos.
This was Justyna’s opening line for the workshop.
The workshop made us think and left us wondering how one can build a community on social media nowadays. And, how to do it organically and on point but most importantly, how to even start.
How I started working with social media
In the middle of the pandemic I decided that I didn’t want to wait until I finish my studies to share with people my knowledge or inspire and educate them so I started my account on Tiktok (I know I know, you might think “oh tiktok these dumb dancing videos) and I used the platform to share tips on well-being, self-care and on what I am learning during my psychology studies which to my surprise started reaching thousands of people.
Quite sometime later, half a year ago I started taking my Instagram seriously and started posting about my biggest passion - which is traveling. In only half a year I gained over 10 thousand followers with videos having hundreds of thousands of views and dozens of people started texting me how I helped them go to exchanges abroad. So my tip for you?
1. Stop waiting for the perfect moment to start - it will never be “perfect” so just start now
2. Think about what is your passion and how you can share that with people on social media.
3. Choose a platform and start - think about “who do I want to reach with my content and where on social media (on which platform) those people are?”
4. Make a plan - I will always repeat this, plan and consistency are key.
My biggest failures and best results and why?
My biggest “failure”, although I view it as a lesson not as a failure, is not treating consistency seriously! With social media like with everything, if you want to succeed and be better - you have to be consistent at it.
When it comes to best results, when I started being consistent with posting video content about something I’m passionate about and actually created a plan of what, when and how to post - I started quickly seeing results reaching half millions of views.
What’s the difference between social media platforms?
Probably you are aware that there is a difference in content format when it comes to different social media platforms. Content format is for example: blog posts, videos, images etc. Tiktok is dominated by video format which is the best performing format currently and we can see that as well on Instagram where Reels (video format) are what’s making people grow the fastest right now even though Instagram is still viewed as the ”photo format” social media.
But did you know that the important difference you should pay attention to when it comes to choosing a platform you’re going to post on is - what type of audience is using that platform. If you want to attract a younger audience, you probably won’t find your luck searching for them on Facebook and should choose Instagram or TikTok to attract them instead.
So is it possible for artists to sell on social media?
Of course, it is. You can use social media only as your marketplace (like some people who sell their products on Facebook marketplace) but in my opinion, it’s more worth to gain a bigger picture on how you can use your social media to sell - and create a strategy to build your social media name by sharing your art and gather your audience who will be interested to buy or collaborate with you. Does it take time? Yes. Is it worth it? That’s for you to judge but in my opinion YES!
If you want to get inspired, here are some successful artists who have gained their audience and clients due to social media presence and consistent work:
Natalia, Poland https://instagram.com/bynatalija/
En Iwamura, Japan https://www.instagram.com/eniwamura/
Nicholas Wilton,US https://www.instagram.com/nicholaswilton
Noemi Ibarz, Spain https://www.instagram.com/noemi_ibarz/
After reading this inspirational journey and the suggestions from Justy, here are the things we consider are the most important if you start such a journey yourself.
CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY
is something that you will probably
heard or read everywhere as a first tip to start building your profile on Social Media platforms. Maintaining a consistent presence and sharing your art keeps the audience engaged. You show devotion to the work you do and believe me, they will appreciate it.
Another important thing is BEING AUTHENTIC AND ORIGINAL. It is crucial to understand that anything you post about—whether your personal life, opinions, job, or artwork—becomes part of your public image. You are always promoting yourself. Don’t fake!
We must say STORYTELLING is the most important thing when building a brand/online presence and is perhaps even more critical than the art pieces themselves (though we say that with a smile).
But, let’s face it, stories breathe life into everything. A simple object has different value if you hear an interesting story behind its making, the person who owns it, secrets it holds. As an artist, sharing your creative journey and the emotions behind your work adds depth and relatability. Storytelling turns your art into something more and we all know how powerful a narrative could be.
Never underestimate the stories. People really want to take part in something bigger, a part of a story, movement, active participation. Don’t take that away from them. When you promote/sell your art, you are selling an experience, a little piece of hope, an inspiration.
The last but not least tip is to KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE BUT ALSO ENGAGE AND INTERACT with the potential customers. Building a community of art enthusiasts around your work not only boosts sales but also brings joy to the whole creative process through shared experiences. You can seek suggestions, gather ideas, and welcome feedback, making your audience feel valued and appreciated simultaneously because they will be involved in the process of making and part of the whole journey. As said previously, people really want/and need to be involved in the bigger picture. So let them be.
To sum up: consistency, authenticity, storytelling, and community building, are indeed key factors in building a strong online presence as an artist.
We will finish this article with the same question Justyna finished her workshop:
So what are you waiting for?