How to Win at Shameless Self-Promotion

Self-promotion isn’t easy, but it is free, and in a world run by digital stories, networks, and communication, it’s never been easier! Just jump a few hurdles and get plugged into the big, bold world of creatives at work – both on and offline. Here are a few ways to get started and get out there, fear-free.

Build A Personal Website or Portfolio

First and most importantly, your work needs a digital home (it’s 2017, you can’t avoid it anymore). Why? Because otherwise, no one can discover you.

The Internet’s a big place, but a personal website – even a simple landing page – makes it easier for future collaborators and employers to find your work and contact information. Make sure to include clear, high-quality imagery (set your phone camera to HDR or borrow a friend’s DSLR if you’re feeling fancy), update regularly with upcoming exhibitions, releases, and works-in-progress, add buttons to social media pages, and please – please, please, please – include your email address (no contact forms). Make it easy for people to say hello.

There are plenty of free platforms for online portfolios: check out Weebly, WordPress, Foliodrop, AllYou – and hey, you could always make a free portfolio with us.

Just Keep Tweeting

On that note: social media. You don’t have to love it, and you don’t have to use it often, but you should at least have profiles on Twitter and Instagram. (Do it. Now.)

Social Media is the simplest and easiest way to keep your network up-to-date, share inspiration, get connected with creatives and organisations (from all over the world!), and scope out upcoming exhibitions and jobs. It’s also a good way to network with like-minded creatives, get talking, and find some inspiration of your own.

A few key etiquette points to make the most of your social media experience:

  • Use images or video where possible (images of your works-in-progress, pictures of something that inspired you that day, a quick vlog if you’re feeling ambitious).
  • Be genuine (offer insights, updates, encouragement – be yourself. Use your own voice).
  • Be a friend, not a megaphone (listening is key – create and join conversations on certain topics rather than posting a constant stream of Me-Me-Me).
Join the Conversation

For many people, this aspect of self-promotion is the most daunting. It’s one thing to plow through projects in the studio, but what will you say when people ask what you’re working on? How can you explain what you do and why you do it? You might not like to hear this, but articulating these things comes with practice. The more often you speak with others about who you are and what you do, the easier it is to explain! There’s a wealth of opportunities to meet other interested creatives and get chatting about your goals, backgrounds, hopes, and questions.

If it sounds intimidating, start small – a lot of this can happen from the safety of your phone. Hop on to social media, see what conversations are flying around, and say hello! Introduce yourself, contribute your perspective, listen well, ask questions, be respectful. It’s a quick way to build a network of creatives who can learn from and inspire each other.

When you’re ready, explore in-person events – the word “networking” might make you queasy, but an hour or two with some drinks and light conversation never killed anyone. Besides, it’s a great way to get facetime with more inspiring people! Attend local meetup events (ours is early next month), exhibition openings, album releases, film screenings – and talk to people. You’d be surprised how easy it is to keep a conversation once you’ve started.