With so many platforms now available to us, we are lucky to have so many options when it comes to getting our work seen by the right audience. But as some strategies will obviously be more effective than others, we wanted to find out how differently approaches differ within various creative fields in the industry.
We talked to 9 successful creative working in practices ranging from animation and multidisciplinary design, to fine art and textiles.
While there was some clear commonality in the way they market their portfolios, they also had many unexpected and interesting perspectives about tools available as well as techniques for how best to optimise output on social media.
Above image: Merijn Hos
“Last year I got aware that it’s good to think outside the box and took on projects that challenged me more in the sense that they where completely out of my comfort zone. It can be scary but as a creative person you will always find a new way.
For example, I took on animation projects that I directed and it landed me a whole new audience of people that had never seen my work before.”
Above image: We Love Noise
Luke Finch of We Love Noise—
“I would have to say: Keynote.
It’s a great storytelling tool to help educate clients on the process and rationale behind my design work. I use it frequently to validate whether or not an idea even makes sense and isn’t getting too complicated.”
“I’ve also found it useful to show people how things could potentially interact, transition or come to life. For example, I recently did a UI walkthrough of a mobile application to show how the user would summon the menu and travel from A to B. This communicated the idea way better than any words.”
Above animation:Studio Lovelock
“In terms of broadening our audience, we’ve had the most joy through getting featured on various design blogs such as Siteinspire, Typewolf and Awwwards.
Positive statements about your work always carry more weight when they come from other people, especially if they’re well respected with large audiences.”
“Prominent placement of your work combined with a public seal of approval all help to build an online presence, increasing the chances of someone who might actually want to pay you stumbling across your work.
We have had a a couple of projects come through this way, inevitably there’s a certain amount of luck involved but the bigger that presence the luckier you get.”
“Getting featured is an inexact science, but here’s a couple of tips:
—Be organised—draw up a list of your favourite blogs with notes on submission details, the type of work they go for and any contact details you may have there.
—Blogs tend to have a certain aesthetic they go for, so tailor your submissions accordingly.
—Someone at the other end has to upload images, write blurbs, post links etc. so make their life easier by providing all this stuff in the right formats and sizes.
—It’s obvious point, but polish those key images, making sure they look as good as possible
—Ultimately decisions get made by people, so a personal connection always helps. Perhaps you have a friend who can put a word in or have exchanged a bit of social media chat.”
Above image: Charles Williams
“I’ve started using Instagram more ‘seriously’ in the past year or so. I used to post fun stuff on there like pictures of my dog Maisy and what I had for lunch, which was obviously fascinating for me but perhaps not so for those interested in my work.
Since doing that, it’s become a great tool for showing new work, sketches, ideas, bits I wouldn’t include elsewhere. Maisy still makes an occasional appearance (and loses me about 5 followers each time).”
Above image: Grown Up
Thomas Burden of Grown Up—
“The one tool that’s made the biggest impact in self promotion terms is definitely Instagram. It’s the perfect tool for building an audience as an image maker, and pretty much the only social media I use.
I’m a lot better nowadays at resisting the urge to post pictures of my cat/wife/day to day life and I’ve seen a marked increase in followers.
I’ve got several big ad campaigns through art directors following me, so taking it more seriously and really making the effort to curate my posts properly has definitely paid off.”
Above image: Tomokazu Matsuyama
“It’s Instagram. Artists have become so accessible with all the social media. It’s as influential as having a museum show when you post the right images.
It’s reachable to so many people… posting anything from finished art, installation shots, exhibition images, inspiration sources, etc. Galleries, influencers, fellow artists to museum curators to important collectors do view, as it’s the most accessible gallery ever.”
Above image: Hannah Waldron
“I recently got a new website designed and built by Catalogue that I am really happy with and represents exactly what I do. I think it’s been a great tool so far for people to discover my work and find out what it is all about.”
Above image: Oli Frape
“The most effective tool for me has simply been communication, staying in touch. I’d recommend sending an email newsletter every 6-8 weeks or so and from time to time I send something printed.
I’ve just sent out a hand-lettered screen print recently and it’s created some great interaction with clients old and new.”
Above image: Between 10and5
Uno de Waal of Between 10and5—
“Unfortunately my answer isn’t that exciting – it would have to be Powerpoint… Most of our business and sales happens with the tool and has contributed to being able to sell the business to clients.”
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