Welcome to Part III of a IV part series on vulnerability.
Through this series I hope to share with you what vulnerability can mean to us artists as we struggle to define ourselves in the creative space and build small businesses that, let’s be real, are direct reflections of us and our hearts.
Each post in this series will feature the thoughts of a different designer who is actively sharing their work and building a creative business. In the last post I will share my own struggles and embrace vulnerability as I tell you some of the challenges I’ve faced as a creative.
I hope you enjoy. Here’s to being vulnerable!
In part I of this series, Virginia (AKA The Happy Artisan) shared with us her concerns about diving into social media as someone aspiring to build a creative business.
In part II of this series, Mary Williams of Creating to Love shared with us what it is like as someone who jumped in and embraced vulnerability from the start.
Today, Lisa Hetrick of IndigoJade Creative and IndigoJade Art shares with us how she navigates social media as a business owner and creative who for years has helped small businesses tell their story. I was lucky enough to connect with Lisa early on when I started blogging, and have found her advice, support and friendship invaluable. In fact, we previously collaborated on the blog post Patterns Infused with Meaning Kick Ass.
I think you’ll enjoy reading what Lisa has to say, and hearing the advice she gives her clients.
Social media has definitely changed the way we share our lives and our work.
I believe it can take several years to really find a good balance of use. Our lives are so much bigger and more interesting than what we all show in the squares/posts! It’s easy to get caught up in what we see and it can be a huge strain on time and mental health.
For me personally, and for my business, I don’t prescribe to the idea that you have to be on every single social media platform. In the beginning, I think we all felt we needed to be on all of them. It grew to be very chaotic, so I’ve limited my time and resources to just two platforms that I love. I show up consistently and share my work that I believe has the most impact and can help the most people.
NO, you don’t have to be “in all places at once.” Show up where your people are. There is so much NOISE. So many people “out there” saying “do this,” “no, now it’s this.” I’m saying NO to all of that and encouraging everyone to do the same. If sharing your work on social media is something you desire, find your home and give value to your people. Show up consistently and with purpose and be REAL.
Over many years I’ve refined the boundaries around my business and found a level of vulnerability that I’m comfortable with. I’m focused on sharing work, stories and valuable content that I believe my audiences have come to know and love.
I share the good, bad and the ugly. I am human and not everything comes out shining bright like a diamond. I believe if you have to share or behave differently in social media then you would standing right in front of someone then you are doing yourself and the people you serve a disservice. Authenticity is key for me. Honesty and value. I’ve been very open about the hurt/pain/joy and emotion that centers around the work I create. I tell the story. I believe if I share my story, it may help someone else feel less alone and they can start to heal.
The stories are the threads of life. We are all humans. We have stuff. We are not perfect. We can show compassion and empathy. It is the gift of grace I try to share on social media and beyond. It is important to me that the way someone experiences me on social media is the exact same way they would experience me in a class, at a show or in-person.
I don’t follow people who use the platforms as their personal soundboard for complaining. My work and life is centered around positivity and light, so I follow people who do the same.
I don’t post selfies. I sometimes post pics of myself but not many. I do post videos and share content related to my work. I will often share a neat technique or tell the story behind a piece of art. I show all the mess. I lead with value, light and positivity. I believe we all need more of it in the scroll.
Social Media as a Business Tool
Social media can be a powerful tool for business and I do believe it’s important to integrate it into your business strategy. But remember, it’s only one piece of your overall marketing plan and consistency is key.
I don’t get caught up in likes, comments and shares. These are all vanity metrics that are not good for our mental health. LIKES don’t pay the bills, people. LIKES have a way of making you feel a false sense of adoration. They are not at the center of how I show up. I don’t generate content based on what may get more likes, comments, etc. I show up. I’m consistent and I share what I think will bring people value.
These founding principles are all the same things I share with clients who consult with me for their social media strategies. Some clients just don’t get it and want a quick fix. Some think they’ll put a post out and sell a million dollars in product with one click. Sorry folks, that’s just not going to happen and I often say, “You’re not a Kardashian.” You have to do the work. Nurture your audience and give them value.
There is tremendous buying/selling power in social, but you have to do the work and show up for your people. AND… you have to be authentic. Many clients don’t want to do the work. Everyone wants immediate ROI and a quick fix. The clients that have been in it for the long haul have had the most success.
Being True to Myself
I don’t work with people who aren’t open to understanding. I choose not to because I want to focus on the gifts I can give to my audience through my work and creative business.
These conscious choices are important to us as business owners. They allow us to stay true to our authentic self and help us maintain good mental health. Since my work and the gifts of grace I share with the world are all about positivity and light, that’s where I put my focus and attention. I consciously choose experiences that are aligned with those core desires.
It’s taken me a LONG time to get comfortable operating my business this way and I feel more grounded and centered than ever. It’s a good thing!