It was a normal Tuesday. I woke up, made my coffee, sat down in my favorite chair, and looked at my phone. First I check my messages, then my emails, then my social media apps. I had a direct message on instagram from an Art collector in Miami. His name was Pablo, "Hey Pauly, wondering if this piece was still avaiable" he said. There was a picture of a piece I painted titled 'BFF.' It turns out it was available. It was a fairly large painting, he ended up purchasing for around $2,000. Later that week before I had even shipped Pablo his painting, he sent me a structured email. It turns out he ran a business making luxury rugs and he wanted to create rugs with my Art on them. It was an idea he had been brewing for awhile and I would be the first artist. We collaborated on the idea. We made rugs. We sold rugs. We carried out more business ventures. We became friends. I flew down to Miami and he picked me up in a Lamborghini. Today Pablo is my manager, he is a mentor, and he is truly a great friend. I met Pablo through instagram. Social media allowed this to happen.
The most valuable element of social media is interaction. Sure, getting tons of likes and followers can seem nice, but numbers do not always translate to success. Instagram for example, is most useful in its interactions (comments, DM's, etc). Those are the things that lead to collaborations, human relationships, business relationships, etc. After all, isn't "Social Networking" supposed to be about NETWORKING? A lot of the time I think people hold back from liking, commenting, or replying to comments because of an "image" social media has instilled. After all, when you like or comment we can all see that. It's all out there in public and not everyone is down with that. Nevertheless, interaction is the key to building. When people really connect, real stuff happens. I believe Snapchat is the future.
Imagine you're in the mall and you ask a sales associate a question about a product or service they offer that truly interests you. Your question then gets broadcast on a loud speaker for everyone in the mall to hear. They all stop to listen, then maybe look at you. Most people probably don't care what you said but some might. Some might judge you. Some might say "who cares, let them judge" but none of that is the point. Your question does not need to be public, and if it was, you might not ever ask it. This destroys any potential for building. Perhaps you would stop interacting all together, just scroll through pictures, never like, never comment, never DM. Perhaps you would put on a front when you interacted so when people looked at you, you would seem cooler. Perhaps what other people thought might begin to really influence your behavior. This is what I have seen happen on Instagram. Most interaction is public when it really doesn't need to be. Human interaction doesn't work that way.
On Snapchat people aren't afraid to interact. It is bridging the gap between social media and real person-to-person contact. When someone replies to my snap they connect directly to me. Nobody else sees it. This creates a safe environment for people to be themselves. Social media is coming full circle.
I am an artist; I paint and sell paintings. The other night on Snapchat i did a studio inventory to show everyone what i had readily available to buy. I began the segment by talking to my audience. I spoke about a conversation i had earlier that day. Pablo and i were talking, and he told me, "you should offer payment plans on your art. It would aid your vision to getting art into young peoples and working class peoples homes!" I had already been doing payment plans with people for years I said, but this conversation made me realize, new buyers didn't know that! I took to snapchat to address my audience (my story is now getting roughly 300 views). I was about to have a great night!
After speaking about the payment plan option for a moment, i did my studio inventory. This was a rolling reel of pictures showing every completed work available in my studio. As the night went on the snaps started rolling in. I had given a piece of information that people didn't know, that would afford people the opportunity to buy my Art. THEN I provided a list of all my art available at that very moment. Each snap that came in was either an inquiry about pricing and sizing of a piece, or a "wow, its good to know payment plans are an option! I will be purchasing an original piece soon!" Some people asked for videos of a specific piece, or close-ups. I was able to do all of this, right in the app. It was a real live interactive studio tour, personalized for each individual i was talking to.
I sold two paintings that night, both subscribing to the payment plan, both sent me deposits right there on snapchat (via SNAPCASH). One of the paintings was purchased by a high school art teacher in brooklyn. He sent a snap about the painting and we ended up talking for about a half an hour! He was a native new yorker, and we had a great conversation. Not only did i enjoy our conversation about Art, high school kids, and eventually the housing market in NYC (a topic we are both learning about). I sold a painting to someone who is not rich! This is a huge thing for me. This gentleman has already paid the second and final payment on his small piece, and we have plans to meet in Brooklyn next week for hand delivery of his painting.
At the end of my exchange with this art teacher and new client of mine, he said: "thanks for taking the time to talk". Wow. Human interaction is such a great thing. He appreciated me! This guy was a fan of my art, but he didn't know that i was a fan of teachers. Now it becomes more than just "an artist i follow on instagram" its Pauly. Pauly is a good dude. I own one of his original works. Pauly would come in and talk to my class if i asked him to. That's how this thing works! Social network means NETWORKING! Snapchat is the best platform for networking that ive seen so far. It leads to real personal interactions that can build real relationships- The kind that build a strong network. In today's world, your network is everything.
ADD ME ON SNAPCHAT: THANKSNYC