Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Social Media For Creative Businesses

by Dr. Cheryl Cottle

With the internationalization of creative businesses, comes the emergence of creativity as a national and economic strategic opportunity for business development. In many parts of the world, it is also valued and recognized as a great “human asset,” that contributes to the gross national product. The creative individual is also being recognized as contributing to the national image of many nations across the globe.

Throughout civilization, creativity has played a pivotal role in defining our cultural practices, norms and values. It reflects who we are, our history and our value system. It serves as a vehicle for social changes and fostering national pride. Countries are known for their dancers, painters, singers, song writers, film makers, crafts, food, furniture, clothing designers, fabric designer, jewellery designers, and architecture, just to list a few of the creative icons. With greater recognition from our leaders and policymakers, more and more creative individuals are coming out of their private enclaves and promoting their work through the many outlets that are available to showcase their work.

Some of the best avenues that are being used to self-promote, reach clients and sell creative products and services, are social media sites. While there are countless social media sites available, I strongly recommend those that are described in this article.

Joining Social Media Sites
Some of the most popular social media sites that a creative entrepreneur can join are; Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, and You Tube. These platforms are great places to brand, market and promote creative products and services. It also gives creative business individuals a space to widen their network, and make connections on a global level. It also allows them to develop the personal prominence as an artist and creator of new information and resources.


  • Facebook
  • Facebook in particular allow you the opportunity to create a profile of yourself and through your profile you can connect with others and build your friend’s list. You can perceive your “friend’s list” as your audience for marketing and promoting your creative work. This is branding at a small scale and Facebook offers you the opportunity to be much more creative in how you showcase who you are and what you do.

    On Facebook you can also create your own group(s). You can name your group based on your business or an area of interest for your clients. This can be an effective marketing strategy, where you can have a following of like-minded individuals joining you as well as people who appreciate and support your work.

    If you are not open to creating a group, you also have the option to create a Fan Page and lots of people are opting for this alternative. A Fan Page has no limits as to how many people can join you and it gives you a great deal of autonomy.


  • Flickr
  • Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website that is owned by Yahoo. It was created in 2004 and provides a space for you to feature your images. You can store your images and easily access them when you need to on other web platforms. At the time of this article, records indicate that they have a following of over 51 million registered members and over 80 millions visitors.

    Flickr has the capabilities to store millions of files securely. You might be wondering; do I need to be registered to access images and photos from Flickr? Well you can access without being registered, but if you want to upload content on to Flickr, you must register an account. If you have a registered account you can also create a profile page with photos and videos.


  • Pinterest
  • Pinterest is another social media site that I think will appeal to the creative entrepreneur. Creative individuals use images and photos to illustrate their thoughts, share ideas and express themselves. As a creative entrepreneur, you can upload, save, and sort your images into “boards.” You can also manage your “pins” so that they reflect your area of interest and body of work.

    Pinterest is a “pin board” website that is designed for photo and video sharing. Users can create and manage theme-based boards based on their interest, inspirational subjects, health and wellness, almost any topic you may think about. It also allows you to upload your own images and create boards so that those images may be repined by other users. You can also create several “secret boards,” for information that you will like to share with a select group of individuals or have for “your eyes only.”

    To become a member of Pinterest you will need to register and create an account. Pinterest allows you to connect with your Facebook and Twitter accounts to start a Pinterest account. The platform also allows you to follow others in your network that has a Pinterest account. You can also share your activities on the other platforms. You can see a preview of the platform, in a previous Crafted Spaces article: 6 Reasons Your Business Should Use Pinterest.


  • YouTube
  • YouTube is another great social media forum with great appeal to the creative entrepreneur. This space allows you to create and share video on a range of topics. People can access your “channel” and view the information that you share. It also allows them to share your content with others, subscribe and leave a comment. You Tube accommodates over 800 million users. People on a daily basis upload and view information on the site. As a creative entrepreneur it is a great opportunity to share what you do and to brand your business.


  • Etsy
  • Etsy is an online shopping site that creative entrepreneurs can utilize to sell their products. It caters to many areas in the creative sector including, jewellery making, clothing designers, quilting, crocheting, knitting, painters, art, pottery, cooking and baking, home d├ęcor, just to list a few. You can access Etsy by registering an account, similar to the other sites.

    The difference with Etsy is that it allows you to upload your commodity and process online sales via PayPal. This gives you an opportunity to reach your clients and eliminate the “middle man.” There is a cost for using Etsy and you will want to review their policies carefully to decide if they are the right online shopping platform for you.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope you have found it informative.




    About the Author
    Dr. Cheryl Cottle is the founder and chief consultant of Cottle's Professional Consulting. Dr. Cottle is an education and business development consultant, and has written several post for Crafted Spaces. She holds a Masters degree in Instructional Technology and a Doctorate degree in Education and Computer Applications. She has worked as a consultant for over ten years and is also a social media expert, who works with individuals and organizations to achieve their professional and business goals. Dr. Cottle also provides women entrepreneurs with valuable business development resources through her CPC Women in Business group and other initiatives.

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