How to Turn Social Media Likes Into Subscribers (Clint Watson)

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How to Turn Social Media Likes Into Subscribers

Did you know you can easily grow your email list just from social media posting?

Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash

Did you know you can easily grow your email list just from social media posting?

What if I told you "Likes" on your posts, if you do a little more work than just scrolling by, were actually marketing leads that can grow your email list?

Here's how:

Our top strategies to market art involve an email list and personal outreach.

When we tell artists this, they often say, "How do I get people on my mailing list?"

One way to get people on your mailing list is to go through all your contacts, all the people you interact with in your email box, and people you know in real life. Most people know at least 150 people, so it rings hollow (to me) when someone says they don't have anyone to approach when they start email marketing.

But you can also grow your email list to people you don't necessarily know just by being more strategic with how you approach social media.

After you post one of your artworks on social media and someone "Likes" your art, what do you normally do?

My guess is that you feel good and you scroll by and never think about it again.

And you just missed out on a potential sales lead. If one person likes your art, you have one lead. If five people like your post, you have five leads. If one hundred people like your post, you have one hundred leads. Don't throw them away.

Instead, when someone "Likes" your art on social media - send them a direct message.

Just ask them if you can have their email address so you can keep them informed about your art (and only your art) in a way that's "more reliable than social media."

Most people will say yes, after all - they already "Liked" your artwork. Once they say yes, you now have permission to add them to a newsletter list. But be sure you don't use that list for anything other than updating people about your art.

If they aren't interested, most will ignore you. And even if someone says "no thanks" they're still likely to be polite.

If you feel too uncomfortable with this, one modification to the strategy you can make is to pay attention to who likes your posts and only approach those that you notice like 2 or 3 posts, so you can see that they like your work enough to interact more than once.

Whatever you decide, the key to making this work is ASKING DIRECTLY.

If you just post a link on social media that says, "Sign up for my list", which is what most artists do, nobody will sign up. First, if you include a link - most platforms will bury your post and few people will see it. And even those who see it are unlikely to take action. That's why you have to proactively and personally reach out to them. That creates a personal connection and leads to interaction.

If you are strategic and regular about reaching out to people who "Like" and comment on your posts, you can increase the size of your newsletter list rapidly.

And even with the people who don't respond, or who say "No thanks", you still now have a direct message thread going with them on the social media platform of your choice. When you have something new that you think that person will like (based on their past "Likes") DM them.

Don't just take my word that this works though! Here's a message we received from an artist who has successfully converted social media "Likes" into people on her mailing list.

Consider what FASO customer Rochelle Allen in our private Art Marketing Mastermind Facebook group:

[Like most artists] I wasn't having any luck getting people to sign up for my newsletter. So I recently decided to send a short, generic (but easy to personalize) and friendly message to people who "like" and follow my Facebook and Instagram pages.

I essentially asked if I could add their email to my newsletter subscriber list so that we would have a more reliable way than social media to stay connected.

Almost everyone said yes and I was able to increase my newsletter subscribers exponentially!

This happened after I had made 2 posts over the course of the previous week letting people know that I had a newsletter and what the benefits would be for them to sign up. NO ONE did.

Even though one would think subscribing to a newsletter would be super easy for people, it seems like asking directly and offering to do it for them is much more effective.

Take a step back and think about it from the FOLLOWER'S point of view.

I spoke with a collector (and former gallery director), "Jim", who started following an artist that he discovered in the BoldBrush Art Contest. He was truly blown away after he "liked" one of her Instagram posts that she had messaged him directly.

The artist in this case responded directly to "Jim" and let him know that she really appreciated the fact he took the time to like her art and that, coming from him, it meant a lot to her. She didn't even ask about adding him to her list (at first)!

Jim, the art collector was so excited that the artist reached out to him personally that he started paying much closer attention to everything she posted. He told me, "Now that's marketing! That's how artists should market themselves!"

One simple heartfelt "thank you" from this artist turned a casual fan into a superfan - and superfans want to be on your email list.

This is something you have an opportunity to do yourself, several times a day, and, if you ask for their email address, even better.

So remember: Every "like" is a marketing lead. Every comment is a marketing lead.

But you have to do personal outreach.

Personal outreach works the best, while generic posting gets lost with the rest.

Remember, Fortune Favors the Bold Brush.


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Clint Watson

BoldBrush & FASO Founder / Art Fanatic

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