Are you an artist? A creative? Do you dance, paint, write, sculpt, craft, or photograph to put food on the table?
How active are you on the internet? Do you have a website? Are you on twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn? My Space? Do you sell on Etsy? Do you write a blog? Do you actively use the internet to market yourself? When I say “actively”, I mean, do you make some kind of mark on-line that is related to your business at least once a week? Do you interact with potential and existing clients on-line?
Most of us who’ve chosen to pursue our creative passions for a living do so because we love what we do and we can’t not do it. I doubt many of us start out as business people who think doing something artsy would be a good way to earn a living. We have to learn how to be business people and how to market ourselves.
Today’s on-line world is not the same as it was 10 years ago when slapping up a website that never changed was all you needed to do. The internet has made the world a much smaller place, where you have the opportunity to connect with potential clients before they even know they’re looking for you. You can build relationships, target your efforts towards specific clientele, make it easier for people to find you and see your work, and meet future collaborators. There are a wealth of opportunities out there with little financial cost (there is a time cost associated with them though – and time is money) attached to them.
So where do you start? What do you need and what can you forgo?
Over the next little while I’ll be putting together a series of posts specifically focused on helping creatives running their own businesses (and even those who aren’t creative) navigate the world of the web – from websites and blogs to twitter and facebook.
It may all sound overwhelming and like a lot of work. I won’t lie, it can be a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. And you don’t have to do all of it. Picking just two or three ways of on-line marketing and focusing on them and doing them well can pay off in spades. So stay tuned!