If you don’t have one, you should change that now.
Calls to action. Do you have one? Do you have multiple? What is a call to action? If you are a creative person trying to make it online, you need to be aware of this concept. Basically, a call to action is a command for your audience. It’s the sales pitch on social media captions. It’s the long ramble YouTubers give at the end of their videos. A call to action is any action your audience performs that will benefit you as a creator/business.
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Calls to action are very important. Sometimes they are subtle. Sometimes they are in your face. Whatever form they take, you need to be aware of how to use them on your audience.
Why do you need a call to action?
It is not enough to just be on social media. It is not enough to just get a follower’s attention. Yes, you can attract new followers by simply sharing your art, but will you get art sales? Will you generate income or grow your email list if you are not giving your audience direction? You can, but using a call to action will increase your odds for success.
I remember when my Instagram following started to grow, I was filled with excitement when I got my first DMs asking, “Is that piece for sale?” It was a great feeling, but the fact a follower had to message me and ask this meant it wasn’t obvious my work was for sale. I wasn’t effectively communicating my call to action, and I was potentially missing out on sales as a consequence.
I got my audience’s attention, but had no idea what I should do with it after that. A call to action is the next step.
What is your call to action?
What do you want from your audience? What is your main focus? If you want to make art sales, then create calls to action that point your audience in that direction. If you just want new followers, then your call to action will come in the form of great content alone. (Please, please don’t use “follow me for more content like this” or anything of the sort in your social media captions. Also, do not drop unsolicited calls to follow you in strangers’ DMs or post comments. That is a waste of time and energy. Focus on creating great content.)
Every creator/creative business will have slightly different calls to action. It’s up to you to determine what you are pushing to your audience. Every social media profile and post/caption are opportunities for a call to action.
What do calls to action look like?
Calls to action in social media bios:
Instagram/Facebook/Tiktok/Twitter bios should always have a call to action and a link to whatever action you are asking your audience to perform. Focus on one, maybe two calls to action. Make sure your call to action is your main goal as a creator online at the moment.
All of these calls to action should be made clear when your audience taps on the link in your bio.
- Commissions open, Email me at ____
- Join my email list
- Read latest blog post
- All art for sale
- Shop my store
- Sign up for my e-course
- View tutorials on YouTube
Hard sell calls to action get right to the point. Introduce an attractive piece of visual content to get your audience’s attention, and then direct them to your desired action immediately.
- New pieces are in my shop! Follow the link in my bio to claim one.
- Hey! Follow the link in my bio to read my latest blog post.
- My commission schedule is now open for the month of May. DM me now to get on calendar.
Soft sells are less aggressive and open with something related to your call to action, but they don’t demand the performance of the action. Think of soft sells as just showing up and providing information to those who might be interested. I try to make the majority of my social posts soft sells.
- This piece of art was inspired by *insert backstory to your art*. I am excited to finally put this piece into the world. If it speaks to you, it is currently available for sale. Follow the link in my bio and tap on the Shop button.
- Lately I have been thinking about *insert topic your audience might be interested in*, and this inspired me to write a new blog post. You can find it through the link in my bio.
The benefit to a soft sell is that it can double as a conversation starter, which leads me to the next kind of call to action.
A call to action doesn’t need to focus on sales, nor does it need to focus on actions that benefit your tangible business goals. A call to action can be a call for conversation, a call for community, or a call for stories. This does two things. 1) It helps you get more online exposure as your posts get more engagement. And 2) It helps you connect with your audience while reinforcing your brand.
Social media is a popularity contest in a lot of ways. Posts that get more engagement get seen by more people. A call to action in the form of a question that can lead to conversation in the comments can then boost your exposure to a wider audience.
Think about the topics that relate to your art, your creative process, your brand, yourself, etc.. Then write a caption where you share a bit of your own thoughts before you turn the focus on your audience. Give them an opportunity to talk about their own experiences. Get to know your audience and let them get to know you.
How many calls to action can you have?
You can have a variety of calls to action. I have many that are tailored around all the things I do in my business. (Like sell my art, write blog posts, support my Patreon page, do consulting sessions, commissions, corporate licensing, and more.) The areas that make me the most money are the calls to action I focus on more often. Seems obvious, right? It’s not at first. You never know exactly what will be your biggest stream of income until you try it, promote it, and see what happens.
When you are first starting out, I suggest focusing on one money-oriented call to action, and a couple of community-oriented calls to action. If you want to work mostly on commission, then push that call to action most often using hard sells, soft sells, and then give your audience a break with conversation starters.
As your business grows, you can start introducing more calls to action that cater to your diversified income streams. Since I have multiple calls to action, I created a landing page for the link in my IG bio with buttons that I point to with each call to action I use in captions. (ex. New art is in my shop. Follow the link in my bio and tap on New Arrivals.)
What if your followers get tired of you selling to them?
If you want to sell your art, then you need to see yourself as a business. That means you have to think like a business too. You have a product to offer and you are online to sell it. Your followers should be following you because they enjoy your art and your brand. A true follower won’t get annoyed by your calls to action if a) they genuinely enjoy what you do and b) you offer quality content around your calls to action to keep them engaged.
To keep your audience from getting burned out on calls to action, stagger your use of hard sells, soft sells, and conversation starters. Don’t just bombard your audience with hard sells like “This piece is available for sale. Go to my website now to buy it,” on every caption you post.
How often should you use a call to action?
You should use a call to action in almost every social media post you create and your social profile bios should always have a call to action. Like I said above, don’t do a hard sell every time you post, but at the very least, plan on using a conversational call to action.
If you have your audience’s attention, don’t waste it.
Do you have a clear idea of your call to action now? If you don’t, I am always here! You can easily add a consulting session to my online calendar now.
Please leave questions and comments below while commenting is open or reach out to me directly through Instagram or email. I’d love to hear from you! Make sure to sign up for my email list below to never miss a blog post. New posts are published every week (kind of). And if you’d like to see more content like this in the future, consider becoming a Patron of mine!
P.S. You probably know by now that I am here to help artists with these posts. If you need help with your online branding, Instagram account, or just want a creative accountability coach, then check out my consulting services.