As artists, we regularly deal with the public, online and offline. Our reputation is crucial to our success. We should always be concerned about how we look in the public eye.
The image of the artist is sometimes just as important as the art itself. Some collectors do buy from artists because of their public persona. On the other hand, they may not buy if they see your public image as tainted.
Please guard your online reputation and strive to take every necessary step to maintain a professional image. Without precautions, all your hard work may go down the tubes – I hate to see that happen to anyone.
Here is a list of some things which can harm, and even destroy an artist’s reputation on the internet.
Things which can Destroy an Artist’s Online Reputation
Making controversial statements onlineIf you say the wrong thing on the internet, whether in your blog, art newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, etc., there may be a backlash from some people. You will certainly lose followers, and some may even go as far as campaign against you. Racial slurs, slander, hateful statements, trouble with the law and the like will only make you appear unprofessional.
I know this type of stuff often brings attention to certain famous actors and musicians, but for artists who are trying to work their way to the top, try to guard your reputation at all costs.
Think before you speak or write!
Stealing content and photosThis is a sure way to ruin a reputation online. If someone finds out that you have stolen their content, they may do what they can to ruin your reputation by reporting you to DMCA and posting about you online. Content and photos are also protected by copyright laws – so this could land perpetrators in legal trouble. Duplicate content (ie copied blog posts) also causes problems for SEO. Be assured that Google knows when something is copied directly from another site!
Some seem to think that just because something is online it is theirs to use any way they want. Even if a credit link is given, without proper permission, it is still stealing. Artists of course know that taking images without permission is wrong. Give credits where credits are needed and always ask first before sharing something which is not yours.
Incidentally, at Artpromotivate we do allow sharing of all our posts via social networks. (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) But reposting full posts is not permitted. Sharing excerpts of posts along with a link to the original article is welcomed though.
Only promoting your own artwork without participating in the online community.Consistently sharing your own art is recommended. But if that’s all you do, without interacting - commenting and sharing other’s art and blog posts - then this leaves a bad impression. Some may even label you an art spammer and/or egotist.
Not being concerned about others.Artists who have a website, art blog and newsletter should be concerned about what readers want. Don’t write about topics which may offend some people (ie politics, religion) or subjects of no interest to readers. Keep your site user friendly so that they will have a pleasant experience when visiting. Have easily readable fonts and a color scheme which pleases your audience. If you are unsure about something, take a poll or ask for feedback.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their advice regarding the recent design change of this website. Your feedback has helped immensely and is continually welcomed!
Not keeping your professional life separate from your personal life.This is mainly a concern with Facebook profiles. Its not uncommon for people to tag others in unwanted photos and the photos instantly showing up on your newsfeed for friends to see. Also, if you participate in Facebook apps and games, the automatic shares can annoy some friends and certainly harm your reputation. I think you will agree with me how annoying it is to receive so many app requests from fellow Facebookers.
Our recommendation is to keep your personal life separate from your professional life. This can be accomplished by having a Facebook page for art connections and a profile for communicating with friends, participating in Facebook apps, etc Of course, if no one takes unauthorized photos of you and and you do not play Facebook games, this may not be a concern for you.
Not appearing professionalThese previous points will of course make an artist appear unprofessional. But, included in this list are several mistakes some online artists often make.
- Poor design of an artist website and art blog (Visit these posts: Website Design Errors to Avoid and Website Design Mistakes)
- Not having your own professional website, with a custom domain (a central hub).
- Not branding yourself online with a consistent profile image and logo.
- Posting everything you ever created. It is general recommended practice to only post your BEST artworks online. A selection of sketches is a good idea, but would leave a better impression if they had their own page, or are included for illustrative purposes (progression of an artwork).
Of course, all these things take time and can be worked on. If your followers see that you are improving your online presence one step at a time, this can only have a positive effect on your reputation.
If you are making one or more of these mistakes, it may still be possible to repair your ruined reputation, though it can be an uphill battle. Take steps to mend relationships, apologize where needed and go out of your way to play nice.
Can you think of any other things which can ruin an artist’s reputation online?