DIY - Do it yourself Social Media Marketing

Art is everything

The term “unprofitable art” is misunderstood. Artists create value, and without art life is much less worth living for all of us. No art means: no music, no Netflix, no beautiful buildings, no extraordinary designs, no book, and less interaction. No great outfits of the day, no pictures, no new impulses, no inspiration. No YouTube movies, no Instagram posts, nothing on TikTok, Snapchat. Without art, life is white to transparent.

Sascha Schulz - Coach & Artist Trainer
Sascha Schulz: “Artists need a rejuvenation in terms of digitization in order to be able to plan and implement their careers independently.”

And despite the enormous importance of art, unfortunately the self-absorbed or ignorant part of our society (and at times our parents too) still thinks that artists are profiteers instead of making profit. “Art must be subsidized!” I consider that to be a gross conceptual error. Art does not have to be subsidized, art has to find its market. Collectively or alone.

Originally, “unprofitable art” certainly did not mean that art basically does not bring any money. “Unprofitable art” meant that artists implemented “pro bono” projects, i.e. worked unpaid for once. Anyone can create art today – without formal training, without a lot of equity, without connections. That’s great, and the computer brand with the apple is a very big part of that mass empowerment. Anyone can make art, and anyone can have it custom made and shipped risk-free via print-on-demand and drop shipping. Anyone can sell digital art as NFT and plan and run their own auction rounds. In the current digital art euphoria, nobody should be confused by self-appointed prophets who explain simple “NFT manufacturing” in complicated ways. Everyone can build their own audience, maintain their own channels with relevant followers. Everyone can create additional digital products based on their art, which can be used to pay rent and much more. The spectrum is so wide – it ranges from embroidery instructions to online courses to our own color collections and macros for popular software programs (“Filters”, “LUTs”…)
Power shift in the art universe: Artist Dries Ketels explains to us why art schools no longer have to be!

Classic power relations in the art market will no longer exist in their usual form in the future, and that’s a good thing. Arrogance, artificially created barriers to market access, scarcity caused by the expensive and time-consuming mistaken belief in the fabulous quality of one’s own “vita” – proclaimed by art academies, curators, museums and galleries – will disappear. Gatekeepers in TV stations and publishers are becoming less influential. Your own audience provides the reference!

So, did we just have a little glitch that lasted a few centuries? Up until the Middle Ages, talented people honed their skills as trainees with established painters, authors, or actors. They produced for a market, for a clientele, for individual clients. In recent times, this has long been frowned upon, which has led to over-intellectualization and the hope of finally achieving a minimum income, at least after death. What the market didn’t want was delivered.

Luckily, the internet, social media, NFTs in blockchains and, in the future, the Metaverse are putting this head-sick watering can back on its feet. If you want to make art, you don’t need an expensive and long university education or external “experts”. If you want to make art, you need talent, a story, an audience, and the know-how to build your own brand. Start, go out, learn to walk, improve… keep going.

According to Forbes, Mr. Beast made it back to the top of the YouTube charts in 2021. Of a total of 300 million advertising dollars that the platform has distributed to its creators, 54 million went to the Wichita-born 23-year-old. With its 87.5 million subscribers, he has over 14.2 billion views. Jake Paul is hot on his heels with $45 million.

Content creators like Mr. Beast are artists. And art and money go together! There are far more impressive examples of this. Damien Hirst is the richest living artist and the richest artist ever, with an estimated fortune of around 1 billion euros. Art has many forms and faces: painters, sculptors, conceptual artists, film producers, entertainers, but also actors like Tom Cruise (approx. 515 million euros) and The Rock Dwayne Johnson (approx. 80 million euros annual income), musicians like Paul McCartney (approx. 1 billion euros) or Madonna (approx. 800 million euros) and of course book authors such as James Patterson (approx. 480 million euros) and JK Rowling (about 900 million euros) occupy top positions on the list of super-rich creatives.

Should we be looking at these prodigies in the top spots? Is that the yardstick we can realistically reach for – and how did they get there? Those who are up today have worked hard to get there. They were and are creative and can bring their creative products to an audience and take money home.

Don’t you understand that many kids today dream of becoming creators? You can see what you can earn with it and compare the income with standard wages and 8-to-5 jobs. As with any solopreneur, being an artist means being able to plan for success at your own risk. Whoever succeeds in this early on will never forget it!
What role does art play in society? And how can artists independently generate more income? Dries Ketels knows the answers firsthand!

Belgian artist and poet Dries Ketels shows us why Instagram, TikTok and an own artist website are more important for success than the wet dream of gallery owners and agents helping us to grow. Dries Ketels appeals to artists to market themselves pragmatically and shows how this can work. Ketels lives in Ghent. From 2011 to 2015 he studied art at the university there and at the Freie Universität Berlin.

What Ketels conveys can easily be applied to influencers, Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), performing artists and DIY bloggers with an arts and crafts focus. In my opinion, it makes sense for artists of all ages to get a “digital rejuvenation” today and to be accompanied by competent coaches with online marketing competence when entering the market, growing, and marketing.

If you know the way, wear the right shoes, and dare to walk today, you own the art world!

DIY - Do it yourself Influencer Marketing

No buzz with the bullshit clicks?

The Englishman knows, “There is nothing but a free lunch!” In life, nothing is given for free. So, if you think your YouTube video doesn’t cause CO2, you’re wrong. To put this into perspective for you, every 60 minutes, a streamed HD YouTube video uses 220 to 370 watt hours of energy. That’s 100 – 175 grams of CO2 per video. In a previous interview with the broadcaster Deutschlandfunk Kultur, the research institute Borderstep published these values. The emissions of a film are equivalent to those from a car per hour.

Video Hosting Center mit hohem Energieaufwand
Video hosting and streaming platforms are gigantic energy consumers

That is no reason for me to get upset. An artist who does not play his music at a live concert due to the pandemic, but entertains 2.1 million people at home, somehow brings the ecological balance back into line, at least emotionally. But what about the many self-proclaimed gurus? Today, for once, I don’t mean the many top achievers who offer systemically applicable winning knowledge in all industries and areas of life for 5,000 euros per weekend course in order to give the masses access to endless happiness. I mean untalented and unqualified product testers and influencers!

Whoever is reading this may know that I have been enthusiastically photographing for over 38 years, have already bagged a few prizes and helped to create exhibitions. What ever happened to this art form? Nothing against smartphones with good cameras, I like them too. Rather, this is about all the talentless people who want (and need) to have a say in paying their rent with clicks and affiliate commissions. Ever scoured YouTube for camera and photo accessory reviews? In very few cases, you’ll find good ideas and advice on how to use the equipment being tested, or even how to compose better images. Battles to get the most out of already very good premium compacts are also hard to find. Instead: Showing off with far overpriced equipment and – sorry – shallow product reviews that the sensor shakes…

I suspect that most of the people who talk about photography products on YouTube don’t know how to take pictures themselves. Many will not understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and sensor sensitivity (ISO). And even worse, most will take photos or shoot videos with lenses and cameras that cost well over 7,500 euros, in the quality which one can also manage with 450-euro equipment or a phone.

Why am I bringing up these talent-free in this post in the context of YouTube’s power consumption? Because today it is too often simply about the quick buck! It’s about using cleverly manipulated films to keep viewers on the channel for as long as possible and thus collect advertising money without communicating anything meaningful in the slightest. And to talk people into buying things they don’t need.

This is doubly worse, because on the one hand looking at bad product tests pollutes the environment, and on the other hand the customers of pointless products or superfluous replacement purchases also cause the waste mountain to grow.

Wieviel Technik braucht man für gute Videos und Fotos?
How much technology do you really need to create good videos and photos?

It’s not the camera that takes the photos, it’s the person! Even with a 2016 smartphone, with compact cameras or simple entry-level MFT, APS-C and full-frame snaps (with the right lens – but that hardly costs anything today), fantastic photos can be created. What is crucial for this, that happens not in the body of the camera, lens, HDMI recorder or in the flash trigger, but through the understanding of movement, emotion, light, and image editing.

And I’m only picking out a small section of the vast ocean of nonsense here when talking about camera and photo accessory testers. There are excellent exceptions. But unfortunately, the number of freeloaders is growing more and more. Shame on you! “Think global” means here: Think better of the (psycho-mental and real) environment than of your account!

In my coaching sessions you’ll learn first-hand how to garnish channels with meaningful content and get rewarded by quality, how to create good photos and top selfies with almost all kinds of cameras and how to ultimate pimp photos with a tablet, smartphone, or computer and easy to use software. I’ll also teach you how to set up optimal product testing channels.

Branding Advertising DIY - Do it yourself

Better first impression? Design your own masks!

Do we give up a piece of our individuality when we cover half of our face with disposable masks? Are there alternatives to the OR green or white of the standard paper versions that we get at every corner? And what is the subject of “mouth and nose mask” actually doing in my blog about digital lifestyle?

This week, the second Covid-19 wave has Europe firmly under control. Official requirements for wearing masks or protective shields that “glass in” the entire face are becoming more stringent. Even if we have been doing our coaching and consulting business more and more often via online conferences lately – Zoom & Co. does not go shopping for us, to the restaurant or even on the first date with the flirt.

As a co-founder of the Influencer Marketing Academy (IMA), I have a natural professional interest in the fields of beauty, style, personal care and travel. Even if we prepare a wide variety of business customers in our academy to make the best possible use of social media and influencers and of course not only cover B2C topics related to appearance and well-being – what we depict our customers in posts, stories, videos and live casts , should be as authentic as possible. This authenticity, and actually very practical “(self-) branding” options offered by masks, have moved me to write this article.

Standard disposable masks, designed to protect us and others, cover almost half of our face. This is the first time in our hemisphere that we are forced to adapt our appearance to a certain extent to comply with legal requirements. Masks become part of our outfits and tell others something about our style. How do masks change?

The influence of masks on the perception of others

“If the eye cannot convince, the mouth does not convince” – there seems to be something to this quote from Franz Grillparzer. As the editorial team of the “Brigitte” magazine sums up, there are six little things that others use to judge you without knowing you. The dress style comes first, according to “Psychology Today” especially the color choice. Then the eyes follows. Cobus market research confirms in a study that eyes are true “eye catchers”. Handshake, posture and voice occupy the rankings three to five. The mouth is listed #6 and was noticed by 22 percent of those surveyed. Studies have found that a smile, especially when you first get to know each other, “remembers us better and feels a little connected to us,” says Brigitte.

Make the obligation to create your own style with self-designed masks

Because masks will probably be with us for a long time, there are several aspects that stand for reusable mask products: If the functional quality and hygiene are ensured, high-quality fabric masks are certainly more sustainable than disposable ones. By far the most important aspect, however, is that designed masks – picked from artist collections or self-made – underline your own personality more strongly. Because everyone needs masks, the purchase is not only suitable for yourself, but also for family, friends, colleagues (employer branding!) And for customers, of course.

The possibility of applying individual prints to masks is a new way of adding fashionable accents to the face. DIY masks are as well suitable for abstract patterns, plain colors, but also for displaying the (own) brand, e.g. for social media personalities, influencers or “public figures”. As a small gift for customers in times when real social contacts are rare, mask presents are really meaningful and the opportunity to break new ground in marketing and advertising by connecting your own brand with something positive, useful and groundbreaking .

Where can I get individual masks?

Reusable masks are available from major sports and lifestyle labels such as Adidas and Nike. More exclusive fashion brands like Yoshi Zen offer design face masks from $ 89. Profound has a selection of colorful paper masks and more elaborate prints on washable fabrics.

In Europe, Vistaprint with it’s mask creator is certainly one of the pioneers when it comes to the quick and easy implementation of your own creations. In addition to the selection from artist collections, it is possible to upload your own graphic or photo here. There are self-designed masks for adults (in two sizes for 18 euros) and for children (14 euros). Part of this money goes back from Vistaprint to small businesses. The masks printed with your own motifs can be machine washed up to 25 times at 60 ° and then prepared in the dryer for reuse. The manufacturer writes about the product: “The new IF masks are equipped with an integrated filter so that you no longer have to worry about replacing them. By wearing a self-printed everyday mask, you can fashionably and creatively show attentiveness to your fellow human beings when you are out and about.” Order the individual, customizable masks from Vistaprint online here (no longer available).

Ethical Notice: The creation and publication of this article is aided by product placements and affiliate links. Nevertheless, this potential remuneration in no way affects the editorial independence of the author.

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