How Creatives Can Successfully Put Themselves Out There
When you’re an up-and-coming creative — an author, writer, musician, or similar artist — your income depends heavily on your popularity. Getting your work in front of more eyes is essential to boosting sales and securing lasting support. Below, we offer advice on how you can successfully put yourself out there as an independent creative:
Share your work for free
People are more likely to give you a chance if it doesn’t cost them anything. Consider offering a free taste of your work to drum up interest among your audience. For instance, if you’re a writer, you could put up the first few chapters of your novel on a suitable literary website. If you provide a service — like editing — you could offer to work on a part of a manuscript for free. Working for free isn’t always the best idea – HubSpot offers advice on when it’s okay to do so.
Create a blog or portfolio website
Having a portfolio website offers several advantages. You can share examples of your work with your audience conveniently, you allow your audience to get to know you in a no-strings-attached way, and you can build up a repository of your work to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. If you’re a writer, blogging about your area of expertise is a great way to organically secure more eyeballs.
Get on social media
Being on social media can be incredibly beneficial — you can be accessible to fans, share your work, build up personal relationships, gather feedback, address concerns, and more. Some examples of social media strategies are choosing the right channels, telling a story, and being conversational.
If there’s one area to focus on above all others, it’s networking. Knowing the right people is critically important. What do we mean by the right people? Examples are potential patrons who could support you, fellow artists you could work with, movers and shakers in your industry who could hook you up with new opportunities, and experienced coaches to guide you. To get started with networking, join groups, attend events, get online, introduce yourself, connect, prepare an elevator pitch, and be approachable.
Participate in relevant events
Participating in relevant events like fairs, competitions, shows, award programs, and similar, can be an effective way to raise your profile in your industry. Besides getting noticed, you can also gather valuable feedback about your work, pick up new skills, make connections, and (possibly) snag an award or two.
Writers: Get published
Writers need to focus on getting their work published. Traditional channels like paper magazines and newspapers are always good for exposure (and making money). Also, you could get published in a digital equivalent – it can be just as effective, if not more so. If you’re an author, you’ll need to team up with a reliable publisher to put your book in front of the masses.
Protect yourself with proper paperwork
Creatives must meticulously draft terms and contracts for commission work to protect their interests and clarify client expectations. These documents should detail the project scope, payment terms, deadlines, and copyright information. Here’s a solution: utilize online tools that enable clients to e-sign and fill out PDF forms to simplify the process and eliminate the need for physical documents. Once signed, these digital contracts can be securely shared with all parties involved. This modern approach streamlines business dealings, allowing artists to focus more on their craft and less on administrative tasks.
Get a job or set up your own business
An effective way to raise your profile is to get a job in your industry. For instance, working for a publisher or writing company can help you learn more about your audience and what you need to do to be successful. It can also put you in touch with the right people. If you start your own business, you’ll be forced to get practical to market and “monetize” your offerings.
Getting discovered is a long-term endeavor. You’ll need to invest time and energy in putting yourself out there and cultivating your audience (or fan base). If you keep learning and keep at it, though, you will successfully gain the recognition you deserve.
Image via Unsplash
Join the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce for more great resources and advice that will help you learn to balance business and your creative work!