However, I wouldn't be me if I didn't think of this as bullshit.
I've been calling this whole "marketing is evil" statement on DA utter nonsense before, and I will do it again. Because it actually is. It makes completely no sense to be on a website with so many artists that want to sell their art/commissions/adoptables for a reasonable price. Yet when anyone does something marketing related, he's impure and a hypocrite for willing to market himself. Yet every single one of us complains about the prices being to damn low and how we're not able to sell a thing.
Let me tell you; I've spend 10 years of my life working at several marketing bureau's. And if there's one thing that I've learned during that time, is that in order to attract customers you can't just stand there quietly and hope people come in. It just doesn't work that way. You need to get out there. Sometimes you need to go to the city and spread your flyers everywhere. Or just buy some advertising space in a newspaper. Or buy an online advertisement space. Yes, BUY it. That's how shit works. That doesn't mean you buy people. It means you buy exposure.
Services like dAhub or dATrade are like the DeviantArt equivalent of buying advertisement space. You buy a piece of space on a busy page with many pageviews. Just like, for example, you can feature your art at my page for a few points. The chances of your icon or art getting noticed there is far higher than getting noticed at your page. After all, dAhub has a lot of watchers and probably a considerable amount of pageviews. Having your icon featured there will probably give your more exposure than you get get anywhere else, considering it's not that easy to get your work at DeviantArt's frontpage nowadays, nor is it that easy to accumulate the 37.000+ watchers dAhub has (if it were, we probably weren't all reading articles about marketing).
So what makes services like that have such a stigma? -- I asked myself.
Well part of the thing is that dAhub is known to be a bot. While a bot is nothing more than a fancy word for "robot" or "computer program" it's to most inexperienced computer users apparently synonym to "ultimate evil" and I don't quite get why. The only thing that comes to mind is an incident a few years ago, in which bots where used to generate pageviews on DeviantArt user accounts. The pageviews were of course fake (not real people) as you could expect from a computer program. And the whole thing was basically nothing more than manipulating the pageview counter. But a whole damn lot of people got angry over this issue. And eventually this lead to the banning of several pageviews-for-points accounts and the facts that such bots were made illegal.
Such bots, I say. Because basically it refers to bots that are made for one's own gain. A friendly chat with the creator of dAhub taught me that his bot wasn't of such a type and wasn't actually be considered illegal by the staff. And I mean, come on. The thing has about 2.6 million pageviews. I think the staff would've had noticed and banned it by now if they didn't agree with it. So I guess that makes it legal. Or if not completely legal; at least grey area enough to stay. The flip side about the account being machine operated, is that it actually works. It's online 24/7 because machines don't need sleep, holidays or weekends. It treats people fair, because machines don't have preferences for certain human beings over others. And, unlike with manual labor, robots like that are actually able to serve a huge amount of people. You'd need at least 5 humans to pull of the same thing as that one robot does. So whether you like or not; the bot beat us at it. And it's no shame to admit so.
Having that covered, there's that issue of services like dAhub and dATrade awarding points to people that actually watch those advertised.
While I agree that makes the system indeed a bit more unfair, the hatred systems like these get for this sole reason is imo grandly exaggerated and disproportional. Sure, there will always be those that abuse the system and watch others for points alone. But does that make the system at fault, or human nature? Tell me how different they are from the many watch-me-point-raffle journals that pop up on DeviantArt nowadays and are actually run by humans rather than bots? How many people do watch that person, with close to no interest in the art, for the pure sake of making a chance at that price? Based on my own experience (I had a watcher-related giveaway when I hit 10k once) and considering the rewards at services like dAhub and dATrade are relatively small... I can only guess the amount of fake watchers at point raffles is even higher. Because that's just the way human psychology works.
Or to hit even closer to home... How often have you liked a page on Facebook, or re-tweeted something, not because you were an avid fan of the brand, but just because you wanted to win that awesome price? It might be interesting to know there are no legal rules concerning those giveaways, though. They don't even have to give away the price. Just keep that in mind the next time you mindlessly give away your name and e-mail address to a random company.
I personally use dAhub as a portal, rather than as a means to advertisement. Considering it costs points to put your avatar on display there, you're very likely to encounter interesting and active DeviantArt users there. After all; why would one spend points (money) on his account if he didn't had the means to be at least a bit serious with it? I've met some of the most amazing people I watch there. But I'm honest enough to admit that even if I see you there but I don't like your art or the journals you write, I don't watch you either.
The point that I wanted to make with this story is not that it's okay to those services.
After all, marketing is something very personal and not every approach will fit every person. It's entirely up to you what means you want to use to either market, or not market your page. But I'm sick of every means of marketing being condemned as pure evil in the art world. Especially in a world where art prices have fallen to a bare minimum because nobody has a clue how to market himself, and people lack the confidence to properly price their work.
10 years of being in the web industry have taught me that the internet is becoming more and more of a crowded place. Just having a website isn't enough anymore. Not by far. Pay-per-click advertisement is, despite the negative stigma, actually one of the cleanest forms of advertisements. As much in-your-face as it is, it's at least honest and straight forward. And believe me; I've been around there long enough to learn about the real nasty tricks some company's have performed over the years.
It's totally okay to admit it's not your style, doesn't fit your "image" as an artist, or perhaps you're just too shy or too inexperienced to put yourself out in the open. But don't condemn others for doing it. The internet is a crowded place and the amount of people battling for your attention is immense. You might not need the attention, but some people do need it in order to sell their work and pay their bills. Advertisement has become the number 1 way the internet works nowadays. Entire industry's are build on it, and it's one of the main reasons the web has become so huge. And love it or hate it... but it's also the reason why you can see cat video's on YouTube. Because without the whole commercialization and the huge amount money involved with that, we would still be in 1995 and have really ugly websites.
Do you think it's safe to say that those are just stepping stones or something?
Does that make them a loser? Not really. They just remind you of their existence and inform you about what new products they have. And perhaps you'll get back to them another day.
That's how marketing works.
It's not about getting a reply back from everybody. It's about staying in people's mind
Being a self taught artist (and a full-time freelancer) I never received any training on marketing and those sort of stuff ( I fail at social media //orz) so I'm really learning a lot from you.
Thank you again.
It's basically a feeling for the market you'll develop over time and that comes with experience.
Don't worry too much about it. It'll come
I've been making websites since 2004. And I've been working for web company's, social media marketeers, webshops... and basically every kind of company that's out there.
The more you've seen, the more you know. And even I learn something new every day.
The internet is an amazing world
I bet those experiences really helped you learn a lot! How did you get started into the world of marketing?
I don't know if it's a way I can recommend to anyone, though XD
You got a head start at a young age though, which is amazing! Which programs were you working with?
There's a lot of interesting debate that is going on or will be going on, I guess, with like advertisements that are geared towards us. For example, when I search for "publishing guides", google ads starts showing me advertisements for publishing. And while this can be nice, a lot more people might have a problem with Google collecting information about them.
But I like this about advertising in the art world. Thanks for writing, I'll definitely keep it in mind.
but that doesnt mean ima yell at those who do its not a image thing or anything i just dont care if its good people will find it eventually
(note i dont think my stuff is good)
How would you be able to promote your stuff if you didn't at least think it was a bit good? ^^
For the individual artists or the small businesses, it's one thing.. It's them trying to survive in a capitalistic prison.
But for massive corporations.. well you can't walk down the road without seeing 12 McDonalds ads. For many, this doesn't make them crave it, but for millions it does. If advertisement wasn't a form of brainwashing, they wouldn't invest billions of dollars into it every year.
Advertisement is a tool, and what you do with that tool is what determines if it's evil or not.
It's up to you if you believe them or not. We're born with free will, after all.
They aren't only using their knowledge of human psychology, they are abusing it, they are preying on the stupid and making them stupider to make it easier to sell them garbage. Thus is the most efficient model for a big business interest.
I'm for advertising to spread positive messages through society until we establish a better system. I intend on using ads when my time will come, but I have little choice to do this if I want to be heard amongst the sea of saturated brainwashing ads out there
As a matter of fact, you do the exact same thing.
You might have a different goal in mind.
But who says what's good and evil?
The point is that no matter how you twist or turn it, less intelligent people are always going to end up being manipulated.
Some by good. Some by evil. Depends on how gullible they are and who they meet.
It's easy to pose the question of duality, but this does not justify the behaviour of those that use multi-billion dollar advertisement how they do.
Do you think the intention McDonalds has is beneficial to humanity, or are they bombarding us with ads for garbage food to somehow improve things..?
But along the way they create jobs and part of what is out stable economy.
As much as you might think, world orders aren't just made and rebuild.
You can't just throw away this world and think it's going to be without consequences.
Aside from that; it's human nature to be greedy.
No matter what system we've used in the past to rule and divide, throughout the history of humanity it's always been corrupted by greed.
The irony is that the majority of the companies that can afford to use these ad spaces are the one's who outsourced the jobs decades ago to countries that allow child labour for pennies.
I beg to differ.. civilization comes and comes, rise and fall. There is no way around it, this system will come to an end and we will move into a new era with new a new system. All things come to an end at some point. Of course there are consequences, but they are necessary.
Just because things were a certain way in the past does not mean it is impossible to create a better system, or even a utopia.. Something never have happened before does not make it impossible for it to occur.
And well, if we don't try, we will never know!
Thanks for this conversation, by the way
Honestly speaking I agree with you entirely. I don't see a problem with self advertising as long as they don't go to other people and spam their profile "come and watch me" tpye of thing (I find that a bit rude). Deviant art and art in general is highly competitive and without proper advertisement you won't get any exposure or feedback on your works (or work if you want to) .
I don't really understand why people complain about advertising or DAhub? I see no problem there. Isn't it almost the same as submitting your works to 100+ groups? Isn't that advertising as well? Well sure you pay points at dahub for feature and gets very small amount of point for watching, faving, sending llamas there but the aim is the same getting possible exposure and the chance to find new people.
I used dahub to feature a friend who doesn’t get that much attention and this way at least I could give her and her art more opportunity… and btw I found you through DA hub as well, so it is a win-win situation
But I guess you had your reasons to stay anyway ^^
I've met the most amazing people over silly internet arguments, actually XD
As for the subject, it's obvious that if you want to consider your art as something else than a hobby, some kind of advertising is an absolute need : nobody will know you exist if you don't show yourself.
I know far too well (As I have an opposite personnality to that) that someone with good social abilities fare better, and that people tend to follow something more if you put it under their nose and say "hey, look that, it's cool !".
Honestly I can understand why some people can find this annoying, escpecially when it comes to pretty agressive methods like giveaways or constant eadvertising, but I can't blame anyone for doing it.
I can totally understand why good artists think it's unfair that lesser artists get away with people. But then again; why wouldn't networking skills not be called talent in itself? It's not like they are skills that come without practice. In my opinion is a salesman no less than a person than an artist. They just have different crafts. But they both have skills, and you both need them in order to run a successful business.
The "talent" (or skill or whatever, I don't reallly care to be honest, but as someone who hasn't a single spark of skill on the matter, I kind of admire those who always know how to sell themselves efficiently) to advertise is to make people coming/buying in the first place.
The "talent" (same) in art is the one to keep people on our side. Theoretically, there is some sort of balance that every artist has to keep.
I think that some people have an issue with having the impression (true or false depending of the situation) the advertising skill overcomes the art skill and they feel it's kind of unfair. I can easily understand that. Well we all know at least one thing we find awful but the marketing was so enormous that the "product" was a success in the end regardless of its quality. People can see it as a cheat, because, how to say it, "advertising" is supposed to make people "look" at you work and it's quality is supposed to make them "buy" it. But in the end it happens that the advertising makes someone "buy" directly. And it feels like the balance is broken.
However, I know that it's also a very convenient excuse. "If I was advertising myself like those, I would be super popular". "If I knew how to talk to people I would have sold all my (what you want)"... To embrace the martyr's posture and do nothing is more tempting than we could think.
Again, I'm not "against" advertising. If you want to make business with art, it's part of the business, clear and simple, like it or not. But I also understand why it can be seen in a negative light. (hope I'm not too annoying with all the writing)
I find that its annoying when artists say ads are mindless brainwashing tool or something.But at the end, I noticed that when I go to a bazaar,the most vocal owners tend to have more visitors stopping by,even for a minute.
Do they really think people are that easy to manipulate? :/
There some of good ads to prove my point.Attracting people is not easy. Even to make them interested in watching your ad is not as simple like weeing on a rock.Sometimes,it's not the instant results that matters...I'm sure at some point you'll be curious to try out things that have been advertised a lot of times.
Oh yeah,of course,you're the sarcasm king.I hope you're being sarcastic with your smartass comment. Oy vey ist mir! I took you seriously.