If you are the friend or family member of a writer, blogger, or other creative type, you are probably aware of how much these people struggle for recognition of their work, not to mention making a living from it! But the good news is, there are ways you can help that cost you nothing but a minute or two of your time.
The list below travels from the least amount of time and commitment to the most – decide how much support you can give and then strive to give just a little bit more!
Follow and Like!
This is the easiest and least time-consuming way to help out the creative type you care about. Like and follow their accounts – the more likes and follows they have, the more they will gain – not just from the laws of attraction, but because that’s how social media sites decide what to recommend to others. Your creative type, if they are just starting out, probably can’t afford to pay to promote their own page, but this is one way you can help promote them. Like their Facebook page. Follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr. Subscribe to their blog on WordPress or whatever platform they use. If they have a social media account linked to their creative activities, follow and like! It only takes a second but is very meaningful.
Share, Share, Share!
If the creative type you care about posts a link to an item in their Etsy shop, or news about a show they’re holding, or a link to their new publication, or a blog post – like this one – share it everywhere you have a presence. It may not seem like much, but the more you share, the higher that search engines will rank your loved one’s pages, and the more exposure they will get. You may think “Oh, we have so many friends in common on Facebook, they will just be annoyed by me re-sharing this” but it’s not only about that, it’s about giving them a chance to be seen on search engines, or by strangers wandering around on Pinterest. Every single share makes a huge difference. If you want to help, click those little buttons and add your loved one’s posts to your Tumblr, your Instagram, wherever you can!
And don’t forget, that person who sees your loved one’s post on your Facebook feed might be key to them getting that next contract/show/job that they so desperately need! Even if it’s a mutual friend, you never know when you’ll make a difference, especially when it comes to social media.
Review where it counts!
Did you know that for self-published books on Amazon, they have to have 25 reviews before Amazon will feature them – that is, show them to anyone who hasn’t specifically searched for them. Considering that it can take 25 purchases to get even one review, you can see how hard it is for a writer that doesn’t have a huge publicity department behind them to get noticed! On sites like Etsy, people decide whether or not to buy from shops based solely on reviews at times. It can make or break an artist if they have even a couple of positive reviews for their merchandise.
If you care about a creative person, review their work – and review it honestly! People reading reviews can tell whether someone is just giving a fake 5-star review to a friend or whether they have actually read/used something and have something to say about it. Review on any sites that allow it – Amazon, GoodReads, Etsy, Facebook, even your own blog or website! Be honest, give an accurate description and a personal note about why you liked their work. And don’t forget to share your review across your own social media platforms! This takes a little more effort than just sharing their posts and items, but it’s also a bigger way to create an impact.
Buy and Give!
One great way to support a creative type is by shopping their wares (and not asking for items for free or at a discount – if they offer, great, but if not remember that this is how they support themselves and their art, and their supplies aren’t free!) and by giving their items as gifts – preferably with a note or business card that indicates where you bought the item, so that if they like it, they can buy more!
If your loved one has business cards, ask for a few and carry them with you when you wear one of their creations or when you are talking about what they do, or when you have others over to your home where they might see an item they made, or any other time when you can advertise for them! Word-of-mouth is one of the biggest ways creative types make sales, and just saying “Here, this is the artist” and handing over a card can make a sale.
Go to the art show. Go to the book launch. Go to the craft fair. Just be there, even if you don’t buy anything. Be there to say “I support you. I’m here for you. I think your accomplishment in being here is awesome!”
It is so, so hard to life a life of creative expression in a world of Wal-mart. People nowadays value how cheap and fast they can get an item over the creativity and uniqueness and quality that goes into anything an artist suffers over. Change that by being there and showing that you value their work. Change that by standing up for artistry in all it’s forms.
Love your artists! They love you too! After all, you never know when you’re going to show up in a painting or as a character in a book!
For all of you out there who do this and more to support me and other creative types – THANK YOU!!!