Another artist who talks openly about anxiety, self-doubt and other personal struggles is Lisa Congdon. Lisa Congdon is an American fine artist, illustrator and author of eight books. She is self-taught and started her creative career in her late 30s, after being a teacher. As a very successful illustrator, she believes in sharing her knowledge and experiences to help other artists.
Congdon developed her own brand, named simply after her, as she works as a freelancer by herself. Her communication is mainly online.
Lisa Congdon has a comprehensive website where she introduces herself and her work. It has an online shop, classes and links to podcasts, Instagram and Pinterest. Of all the social media platforms, Congdon uses only Instagram and Pinterest.
Congdon features on many podcasts and interviews online, as well as talks she is invited to, such as live talks at events like Blogtacular. A google search on Lisa Congdon talk generates 1,140,000 results.
She also offers various classes online for a wide target audience on different platforms. These are drawing classes for hobby artists or students, as well as classes for professional artists on topics such as time management. Adobe offers free Children’s drawing classes by her. All these classes get promoted via ads on Instagram and Facebook by the platform providers, but rarely by her personally. The teasers and snippets of these classes can also be found on youtube.
Her points of sale are, apart from client work, an online shop and a physical store. The shop offers art prints, her books as well as a range of affordable products such as phone cover, quilt and embroidery sets and stationery. Exhibitions and classes offered through other platforms are further income sources.
Congdon uses online platforms such as her website and Instagram to promote herself. The website is easy to navigate through with lots of images and links that lead the visitor to other platforms such as the classes or podcasts.
Interesting is, that she only uses two social media platforms: Instagram with 378k followers and Pinterest generating 884.2k monthly unique viewers.
Instagram is a highly visual platform, ideal for visual artists who inherently communicate through images. The use of hashtags makes it easy for people to discover an artist or artwork, that they have not been actively looking for. Instagram is said to be used by companies looking for new illustrators which is particularly important for a freelance illustrator or graphic designer. However, it is not possible to link a post with the website. Judging by the number of her followers, Instagram seems to be suitable for her type of art. Congdon posts consistently one post daily with a personal description and replies on comments.
Pinterest is another highly visual-oriented platform. Congdon links her images to her online shop to drive traffic to her website and generate sales. She also uses Pinterest as a platform to share inspirations. This insight of her personal preferences and inspirations creates a persona or image of her and builds an emotional connection with followers.
Pinterest, however, is not as widely used as sites like Facebook, but requires little to no social interaction, thus less time. According to Pinterest, 70% of users browsing through will discover new products, they might buy. (https://khoros.com/resources/social-media-demographics-guide)
Congdon uses neither Facebook nor twitter. Both platforms can be used for images and linked to websites, however they are time-intensive to maintain, as followers expect social interaction. Despite her presence on YouTube via various channels (classes, talks and podcasts), Congdon does not have her own channel. Considering her popularity, she might be missing out on income and traffic to her website generated through a YouTube channel.
However, she uses interviews and podcasts made by other websites to promote her books and classes. The promotion of her classes is mainly done by the provider themselves, which again saves time and money.
The use of user-generated content (UGC) is missing as well. There is little interaction with followers, apart from replies to comments on Instagram. An artist like her could use social media to post challenges in order to create content that is informed by the followers’ interests as well as generate traffic to her website.
Overall, Lisa Congdon’s Communication strategy seems quite selective and yet highly effective. She does not use every existing platform but maintains those she uses well. It seems Congdon selected those channels, that are less labour and time-intensive. She successfully created a relatable and highly likeable persona through intimate insights in her work and personal life without much interaction with followers.
“The 2020 Social Media Demographics Guide.” Online Community & Social Media Management Software | Khoros. Last modified March 30, 2019. https://khoros.com/resources/social-media-demographics-guide.
“Artist Lisa Congdon On Finding Her Passion and Business At Age 40.” Glitter Guide. Last modified October 15, 2019. https://theglitterguide.com/2019/07/17/artist-lisa-congdon-on-finding-her-passion-and-business-at-age-40/.
“Creativebug.” Creativebug – Craft Classes & Workshops – What Will You Make Today?. Accessed May 8, 2020. https://www.creativebug.com/search/results?query=lisa%20congdon.
“Lisa Congdon Art & Illustration (lisacongdon) on Pinterest.” Pinterest. Accessed May 8, 2020. https://www.pinterest.nz/lisacongdon/.
Lisa Congdon. Accessed May 8, 2020. https://lisacongdon.com/.
“Login • Instagram.” Instagram. Accessed May 8, 2020. https://www.instagram.com/lisacongdon/.
“Start Late, Live Your Dreams | Podcast Episode with Lisa Congdon — Create! Magazine.” Create! Magazine. Accessed May 8, 2020. https://createmagazine.com/read/podcast-episode-with-lisa-congdon.
“Which Social Media Channel is Right for Your Art Business?” Artwork Archive. Accessed May 5, 2020. https://www.artworkarchive.com/blog/which-social-media-channel-is-right-for-your-art-business.
“Workflow, Time Management and Productivity for Creatives with Lisa Congdon.” CreativeLive. Accessed May 8, 2020. https://www.creativelive.com/class/organization-and-time-management-for-creatives-lisa-congdon.
YouTube. n.d. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lisa+congdon+class.