I just wanted to thank everyone who helped me with advice on how to get members more engaged with my network...
I am just a baby network right now, but in less than 24 hours I had 4 new sign ups and they weren't people that I asked to join. It was word of mouth. Not only that but most of the members that joined immediately were engaged with the network, and I am so much more confident in the potential growth of this site.
One of the main problems I had in the beginning was the fact I didn't want to go overboard with adding too many graphics or colors. So instead, I went to the other extreme and made it look more bland than facebook in some ways. I had the content, but I was missing the pizazz needed for my kind of network.
Since my network is for artists, I realized that artists aren't attracted to bland looking things. Even I hated the look of my own network but thought it would be better to go with simple. My look and feel is still pretty simple but I added a new logo that pretty much defines everything I was hoping the network to be. I then changed up my colors to compliment the logo, and presto! I think my site looks a lot more appealing to artists and even I feel like I want to log in everyday. Pretty much as soon as I changed up my look, and posted the new logo I had 3 new sign ups without even asking anyone to join.
Here are my before and after photos for my logos: can you guess which one is which?
Ok, so another thing I did was well I have many artists friends on facebook, and I of course read my friends updates often, and when I see someone post something that is relevant to a discussion happening on my network I message them about it. For example: One of my friends posted an update on facebook asking if anyone new of any art shows around down. So I messaged him and copied and pasted a discussion about planning an art show at a local venue that was happening within my network, and in turn he messaged me back and told me he would check it out. A few days later he joined, bringing with him a couple of other friends. Cool, yeah?
Something else I've been doing is when someone signs up I read their "about me" information in their profile. After I welcome them to the site I mention something going on, discussion, blog, conversation or a piece of art they might be interested in relevant to what I read about them. Or perhaps if I know they have a group in facebook, I invite them to create a group in my network as well and to invite new people to get involved in what they're already doing.
Also, if I read something in their profile that seems intriguing or interesting/unique and they haven't posted anything about it really, I ask them about it and ask if they can upload a photo/video and share it with everyone.
These are just a few tidbits that I've been doing and it seems to be helping a lot- some of them were ideas from the Creators Network and some of them I thought of myself.. but the ones i thought of myself I think were born out of what others told me.
So, Thank you all!