An artist is a business person in your neighbourhood and I am one such artist, albeit one who is emerging into the light, having lurked for far too long in the shadows. I had already started a business as ‘Authentic Reflexology’ and for this reason I made use of face-to-face network meetings to get to know my business community. This summer however, something amazing and wonderful happened for my art business through my use of Twitter. The Women’s Inspire Network has been instrumental in the workings of this twitter magic. Firstly, let me say, my knowledge of social media has been gained primarily from experience, reading articles, a few workshops, and following those who are savvy in this business. I wasn’t extremely fond of Twitter when I started out but I listened to the advice of those around me and they all said the same thing, ‘engage!’ So I started to ‘get to know’ the people in my twitter network, through twitter hours such as #womensinspire, ‘engaging’ in much the same way as I would at a regular face-to-face event.In August 2016, I took a leap of faith. I decided to run a ‘Fund-It’ campaign to raise some funds and much needed PR for my exhibition ‘The Sacred Lives Of Trees’. The funds were set up like a pre-purchase of my art and the funders were also to be entered into a draw for art prizes. It was a win-win set up. Still it was a long shot, if I didn’t hit target in the three week campaign, I would receive not a cent of funding offered.
I was saved! In my first week of campaign during the Women’s Inspire Twitter Hour, I was offered sponsorship from a very kind ‘Digital Alchemist’. Trevor Lorkings @Bizzy_Fizzy, took the time to check my profile and immediately contacted me to say he would like to sponsor the promotional stationary for my exhibition. I was blown away by this offer. He was true to his word and within a week I received 500 beautifully designed cards featuring my artwork.
I was also invited to be ‘Star Biz’ in the Womens Inspire twitter hour the following week. Prior to that hour, as a result of the article I wrote which featured Trevor as my sponsor (I’m a blogger too), I received another amazing sponsor in the form of ‘DigiGranBiz’ promoter Brenda Bergin, who left no stone in Ireland unturned, ensuring that everyone in her path knew about my campaign and my art exhibition.With such giants of twitter and social media, I really couldn’t go wrong. I had such amazing support from the Women's Inspire Network during that twitter hour, that my hashtag #ArtOfCaroline trended at No7. This was the first time ever in my life to trend on Twitter. The buzz was electrifying.
Another tip that The Womens Inspire Network group gave me, is that, it is very worthwhile to meet with some of your social media network in the real world of face-to-face events. For this very reason I am attending their October Event ‘From Kitchen Table To Building An Empire’.
On the eve of this meet up I am excited about meeting this extremely supportive group and some of the sponsors of my Art Exhibition ‘The Sacred Lives Of Trees’ which takes place during November 2016 at Carlow Library. For further information and to receive invites visit www.carolinecunningham.com