Updated: Aug 15, 2018
Wondering how to get noticed as a creative? Getting people to pay attention to your creativity can be tough if you're only on one platform that's already flooded with talent. It’s a lot easier to be discovered if you have at least a presence across multiple sites and apps. If you’re just starting out and really need to get things moving, even the smallest or least popular portfolio-like services can have a return, even if you don't see it at first (or ever).
Let's say someone stumbles upon your profile on a random platform and thinks about for a while. After some time, they end up contacting you through a different one, such as Twitter - this goes for fans and clients looking for creative talent. The point is, you may not notice a return from investing in this tactic - even if you use links that you can track.
Often times, the decision to hire you can be made over weeks, even months in some cases. The same can apply to fans wondering if they should subscribe or follow you.
This leaves a lot of sources and content that can contribute to your evaluation. Just because they chose to use one link out of the many you may have, doesn't mean that's exactly what drove their verdict.
Let's talk about some of the ways you can bring awareness to your work and generate interest around your personal brand as a freelancer, entrepreneur, or any creative trying to build a reputation.
Get out there and make a profile on a few additional websites or apps, and use them as billboards to advertise your work. You don't need to push major content here and it may be best to just use it as a portfolio of your skills.
This doesn't have to be on every platform you can think of either, be mindful of what platforms suit your creativity. For example; Transverse Audio isn't on Tumblr or Snapchat and isn't focused on pushing content to Google+, Pinterest, or Instagram (yet). That's not to say they're bad, it's just too much of a commitment - at least for now.
Make sure to put some effort into it too. If you put up some half-baked profiles, you might come off as unprofessional and can leave a bad impression. After all, you only have one chance to make a first impression.
If you’re going to link to anything on these, share links to your most well-established accounts and/or the ones you want to grow the most. For example, don’t list 20 social media accounts or freelance profiles on your website or profile.
It’s important to keep reading at this point as you’ll have to get a good grasp of what’s said below about focusing your energy to fully utilize this.
Getting a basic profile set up on some of the leading freelance and networking sites such as Linkedin or Glassdoor can help with discovery. Those are very general though, so if you want to go into detail, there are plenty of sites of this nature directly related to specific niches such as Composers, Artists, Sound Designers, and Voice Talent.
Keep track of what profiles you make and be ready to take on the responsibility of keeping them all in sync with each other (update them regularly).
It’s not only about portfolios either. Showing of your skill can be done in many ways.
Approaching these social media platforms can be done in a variety of ways. So, keep in mind the purpose each one serves. Based on the format of content, some things may be well accepted and others may not be suitable for a particular type of media. Things that can factor into compatibility can be:
Length (time) - Does the platform favor long-form or short-form content?
Content format - Is video, image, audio or text the main thing on the platform?
Don’t be limited by these either. Sometimes you’ve got to be a maverick! For example, try out unique ways to integrate your format of art with a platform that supports another.
Instagram - Posting images of you creating your art (audio, visual, you name it), your studio/workspace, and other things that may be related to your work can be a really good way of integrating seemingly foreign media types.
Twitch & Facebook Live - Do Q&A, show your creative process, make something, etc.
Announcing a time that you’ll be live is important to get people to tune in. Don’t be scared by the numbers either. 1-5 people at first is totally fine, what’s critical is engagement at this stage. Word of mouth is going to have a huge impact if you are super engaging with early adopters of your live sessions. Even with 0 it’s okay as long as you make it rewatchable. You can take interesting parts from it and use it for shorter videos to put on YouTube.
As a little disclaimer, I don’t prioritize Facebook, Instagram, or Twitch right now. Transverse audio’s focus is on YouTube and Twitter. So without a lot of experience on those platforms, I can only suggest them as a part of a strategy you may want to consider.
It’s also important to understand each platforms purpose and popularity. Some Social platforms are going to be a better investment of your time than others, based on what you’re goals are and the type of content you create.
People generally subscribe or follow others with the expectation of consistent and quality content. This can be hard when you only post content once every couple of weeks or even monthly. By tapping into alternative ways to interact with the community and potential clients, you can start to see more traffic surrounding your creativity. You can stream or make videos of "behind the scenes" production. There's also the option to teach others through tutorials and how-to videos. It doesn't stop there, those are just some of the ways you can regularly make content to not only help others but to build interest in what you do.
Among the community and following you build, there can be clients and even people who may refer your work to those who need something done. Even if the people who subscribe or follow you aren't your direct customers, it can increase your presence in the market, making it easier to be discovered and trusted.
It's important, however, to understand that if your sole objective is to find clients and/or work, you should be investing more time in content that can be consumed by the demographic that would hire you. Who would be paying you and what kind of content can they benefit from, that you can create.
When developing your following, it's important to be uniform with the way you present yourself and the kind of content you publish.
After all, don’t you subscribe to something expecting that the type of content will remain the same? Besides, most employers and clients will be seeking out someone who has a good understanding and skill in the specific area they need work done in. It may come off as confusing and can alter their perspective on your ability and professionalism if you throw your other skills into the mix. It’s certainly not wrong to be capable in other fields of work and if a client mentions their need for it, maybe you could then offer it to them.
Basically, deliver what's relevant to the work you want to get and keep the brand laser focused on it. For the most part, people will follow you with the expectation that you'll continue to deliver similar content. If you want to present a different skill, it's best to do it through a different account or brand.
Consistency isn’t only about the type of content you publish either. A large part of it is posting at the same time and the same day that you have done before. This also means sustainability. Running a marathon involves keeping at a consistent pace and one that can be sustained. And that’s what this is. A marathon, not a sprint.
To make it really easy to understand, here’s a list because this is really important:
It's better to have a strong presence on fewer platforms than have a weak presence on many. If you’re really well known on one platform, expanding to others will be easier. Take a look at the platforms your on and pick 1-2 to really lazer focus on. Understand your capabilities and don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s better to expand to new platforms if you think you can handle it, rather than abandoning ones you just couldn’t keep up with.
Making content on one platform that ONLY drives traffic to another can have more negative effects than positive. Doing this can create a disconnect between you and your following and the community you're a part of. It can come off as "look at me, do for me" not "I'll help you unconditionally". Sure linking to something here-and-there is good, but focusing on native content (stuff that was made specifically for the platform you're posting it on) will be more authentic, discoverable, and consumable.
As for your freelance/networking site portfolio’s, they are there to get you discovered and won't really serve as a medium for a following like social platforms will. - There are exceptions.
When dealing with engagement in communities or content as mention in the next section, it’s critical to focus on communities and content surrounding your work, and the work of those that could be your employers/clients. There are so many niches in each field of work so make sure to prioritize on the most relevant to your target audience and business opportunities.
Not ready to invest time into a new platform but worried someone will take your name? Make an account and sit on it until you have the time.
A big part of a following is a sense of community and involvement. Being connected with your audience and people around your niche will give people more of an incentive to come back for more. It builds trust, shows that you care and can lead to solid friendships down the road.
Dive into the comments section on other creators content! Interacting with an already existing fan-base can really be a good bridge for people you know are interested in the kind of work you do. One thing’s for sure though. DO NOT just leave a plug and then bounce. Reply to others, comment on the content, and really show some genuine interest.
Don’t underestimate commenting on platforms such as Reddit or even people’s blogs. But, without having something for others to explore on your profile, you are missing out on capitalizing on others curiosity of who is engaging with them.
Engage with other creators too, plan for a collaboration, share their work with your following unconditionally and help each other out!
At the end of it all, remember, be yourself!
I hope you enjoyed this post on promoting your creativity and getting noticed as a creative. If you liked what you read, please share it with someone you think would like to give it a read as well. Thank you!