Thank you so much for following the Impact of Social Media Series! I am happy to wrap it up by introducing you to an incredible artist, podcast host & Snapchat QUEEN - Paige Poppe! Paige and I met through Instagram, and after interacting over the past year, we actually met IRL at the Phoenix airport last month! How exciting is that?! There's nothing quite like chatting about social media, entrepreneurship, and post-grad life over a gluten free pizza...mmmmm. Read on to learn why Paige views social media as a deeper story & to hear how one innocent post inspired a new product offering...!
LISH: What do you do?
PAIGE: I am an artist in living + working Scottsdale, Arizona. I create paintings in watercolor and acrylic mediums, and am most known for my desert landscape and botanical pieces. I use a ton of color, and love sharing my perspective as an artist! I create original paintings, commissions, sell prints of my artwork, design products, and also love creating hand painted logos and branding elements for my clients!
L: How has social media influenced your career path/business?
P: The biggest influence social media has had on my work is connecting me with people who are interested in my art, which is huge! I have also made more creative friends than I can count through social media, which is so special. And these aren’t just online wishy-washy friends, they are some of my closest. I met Asia Croson, who is my podcast biz partner, on Instagram, and when I recently found a new art studio space to lease, my artist friend Suze Ford was one of the first people I texted…and I’ve never met her in real life! And it was such a treat to meet you through Instagram too, and we were able to meet up at the Phoenix airport...too rad!
Other than that, the process of documenting everything with the purpose of others has allowed me to see the big picture of my work. With Instagram for example, I am able to see my color palettes change, or where my interests lie. Each photo speaks for itself, but when you start arranging a bunch of them together, it starts to tell a deeper story.
L:You are such a Snapchat queen! How did the growth of this platform affect your overall social media strategy?
P:Why thank you! Snapchat has been such an interesting + fun way to share the behind-the-scenes of my business and life as an artist. I have learned that besides pretty images, a huge part of social media is storytelling, and Snapchat is one of the easiest ways to do this! I narrate my day, and share both my artwork + business updates, but also my real life. One of the perks of having a personal brand!
Lately I have really started to notice a crossover between Snapchat and Instagram. I recently was talking on Snapchat about a specific photo on my Instagram account. Within a few hours, I noticed a bunch of comments on that photo continuing the discussion we were having on Snapchat. I thought that was so cool! Since you have to use existing social media platforms to promote Snapchat, I think it’s really interesting to see the platforms start to weave together in this way.
L: Did you ever expect social media to play such a large role in your professional development and business?
P: Honestly, no! I first started using social media when I had my first blog around 2012. I didn’t share much of my art there, and I was caught up in the numbers. I felt frustrated that I didn’t see it growing, and didn’t think it ever would.
That all changed when I started sharing something I was so passionate about, my art. People are way more interested in what you are doing if they can tell how passionate you are about it. Once I started concentrating on my art + worked towards growing as an artist, my social media platforms started to grow. But the funny thing was, by then I had found so much happiness in my work and business, that the numbers didn’t even matter to me anymore!
I care about the work more than the numbers, but having an audience of people who are excited about what I’m creating definitely motivates me. Anyone who keeps up with my work inspires me to work hard, be unique, and keep constantly creating! Plus, it really does help connect me with clients, for which I am so grateful.
L: What are some of the largest opportunities that have resulted from social media?
P: Definitely the mural paintings I have had the opportunity to create recently! I have been painting in retail stores, homes, personal training studios, and backyards. I think that social media has created trust in people who are considering hiring me. Even if they haven’t seen me do exactly what they are looking for quite yet, they still reach out with their ideas + we make it happen. Which is so cool!
L: Do you find that Social Media changes the way that you would typically find and interact with clients?
P: Definitely! I am constantly amazed by social media. I really make an effort to interact with clients both online and in-person. The online space is amazing because it has connected me with many clients + friends who might live right in my neighborhood, but I would have never known about them/met them without Instagram! It’s mind blowing.
I do my best to speak + write in my own voice on social media, as if I was talking to a friend. I enjoy making friends with my clients, so I want there to be no difference in my online persona + in-person persona. I try my best to share as much as I can about my artistic process and what inspires me, so that my clients can perceive that passion and trust me. At this point I have learned to never underestimate social media. You never know who is watching and who will reach out with their ideas!
L: What is one piece of advice you would give to creatives who are looking to use social media to enhance their careers/business?
P: Definitely to share more of their process! It really opened a lot of doors for me. I think I naturally started sharing process photos + video so that I had something to share that day, but now I do it intentionally. I loveeee seeing the behind the scenes of businesses, blogs, and artists, and I have learned that others really do too. And also be sure to post once a day! You gotta stay active.
L: Spread the love....who are your favorite accounts to follow? Any hidden gems we should know about?
P: Whitney of @WhitneyLeighMorris is constantly inspiring me with her cozy yet bright home decor, abundance of plants, and life in a tiny 362 square foot cottage in Venice Beach
Victoria of @AndSmileStudio creates the cutest illustrations that I DIE over, and I love the way she photographs + shares her work. It’s just so fun and colorful!
Janine of @IfYouGiveAGirlASaw is a woodworker in San Luis Obispo, CA, where I used to live + went to college. I’ve been stalking her since she first started (I think?), and it’s been really amazing to see her creativity expand and her business grow.
Melissa of @WalterandGeorge creates such beautiful leather goods! The photos on her feed are so beautifully and simply styled, yet each picture has so much variety to the next. I definitely have my eye on one of her splattered clutches!
L: What's next for you - tell us about something you're working on!
P: I’m so pumped to be creating watercolor designs for ceramic travel mugs at the moment! This project was a great example of how to use social media to listen to my audience, and how it can spark creativity! I recently painted a desert scene on a paper coffee cup that I got at a cafe. After posting a selfie with it on my Instagram, everyone was asking me to get them printed to sell. I hadn’t even thought to do that! I’ve since created 2 designs, and the mugs should be available for pre-order in the next few days. I’ve never seen my audience get so excited about something I’m working on, so it’s really fun. It has also really opened my mind to more product ideas…!