Though the word “exposure” has taken a negative connotation for a lot of creators (for good reason), it’s unfortunately a very important concept in any sort of content creation. People do have to be exposed to you and your work in the first place in order for it to be seen. Now, before anyone gets angry, I’m not about to tell you to do those unpaid content creation requests that only wanted to pay you in exposure. However, I am here to tell you that you also can’t write exposure off and expect your marketing efforts to fall into place.
How does one gain exposure though in ways that don’t necessarily include unpaid work? While there are a lot of ways to get it, I’m going to share with you today one of the most important things that you can do for free and for fun: getting involved with the community. Whether you’re a writer, comic artist, YouTuber, or something else, there is a community around these industries. The communities will consist both of creators and consumers, and these are the people who are going to be the most interested in the content you have to offer. This being the case, getting involved with the relevant community can be a great way to gain this much needed exposure.
This is, of course, easier said than done. For some, they’ve never really gotten involved with a community hard-core, and for others there’s an issue of social anxiety. Whatever the case, my post today is going to walk you through some of the basics on getting involved with your community, why each one matters, and a few tips regarding them.
Social media marketing is hard, time consuming, and honestly very exhausting. Yet, it can be your best method when it comes to marketing your own creations. As I mentioned in last week’s post, engaging your audience, talking about your work organically, and finding your target audience are all important facets to growing your audience. However, these were aspects I could not delve into as far as I would’ve liked. Today, I am going to remedy this a bit and help those beginners out there with the platform I know best: Twitter. Twitter can be an amazing platform for spreading your work, so it’s one you should utilize to the best of your abilities. However, since that can present certain difficulties, I will share my tips, tricks, and knowledge on how you can use Twitter to the fullest extent. I will be sticking away from paid features (like promoting tweets), and be focusing purely on things you can do for free.
“What am I doing wrong? Why doesn’t my creation have more of an audience?”
These are questions that are often frequent in any industry’s indie sector. No matter what you create, whether it be comics, stories, videos, games, or anything else, there are special challenges that come with being a solo or small-team creator. Oftentimes, indie creators feel that no matter how much work they put into their product, they don’t have enough people consuming their content. This is when those questions start plaguing their minds, and it can lead to some depressing attitudes about future success.
I’m here to tell you that you can succeed when you’ve hit the point where you’re asking these questions. However, in order to be able to succeed, you have to take a very tough and harsh look at your content and how you handle it. Since this can be a scary and intimidating matter, though, today I’m going to walk you through the questions you need to ask yourself. Some of these questions are going to be hard to tackle, and know I mean no particular offense with them. Yet, by working through them you will be better positioned to figure out what you need to do to grow your audience.
Nobody likes to talk about quitting, as the word carries something of a negative connotation. Some people view it as weakness to quit, some view it as lazy, and so on and so forth. However, it’s a situation that comes up in everyone’s life. Perhaps your life’s circumstances changed, or maybe it’s just you bit off more than you can chew despite your confidence otherwise. Regardless of your personal situation, it will come up eventually that you will have to quit something.
That being said, quitting should be handled as the serious matter it is. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a traditional job you get paid for or an online project you do for free; there are certain points you should hit regardless of what you’re quitting. Unfortunately, when it comes to online projects, it can be a lot easier to be overly casual with it. While some just think it’s not really that important, others just don’t know what to do when it comes to quitting. As such, today I would like to talk to you about just that: how to quit online projects in a professional manner. If this is something you feel you need guidance on, well then sit back, and hopefully I can relay some wisdom to you concerning this.
Considering we’re in the age of information overload, it’s no secret that promoting your content is hard. There is no one true correct formula for promoting yourself that works for everyone. After all, everyone has a different audience that is interested in their content, and each audience is more susceptible to certain types of promotion than others. That being said, while there are no universal right ways to promote your content, there are universal wrong ways to do it. Unfortunately, I have lately seen a rise in these wrong ways, which inevitably results in people being turned away from the content. Thus, today I would like to share with you my tips on what you shouldn’t be doing. Contrastingly, I will also try providing alternatives on what you can do.
UPDATE: The morning this post went up Patreon decided to rollback on their decision for fee changes. However, I will be leaving the article as is since the point is largely not about Patreon. Remember, just because Patreon listened to feedback does not mean their next decision won’t hurt you. Be wary and use this as a lesson even still.
I debated long and hard about writing this post. I do throw around my opinion a lot on my blog, but there are certain topics I hesitate to come within any reasonable distance to. Writing tips and media analysis are, for the most part, fairly harmless and not something most people will take offense to. Then there are other topics. Topics like politics, like social issues, like economic issues, etc. Those are topics I don’t like to make any mention of. I have seen how much vitriol comes from talking about them, and it is just something I don’t like to be a part of within a public sphere.
However, the recent incidents with Patreon have made me want to speak up about something. Now, before you click off, I’m not going to talk about what I think of Patreon’s decision with their fees (for those who already know what’s going on). There are literally 100’s of posts already talking at length about this topic. I also don’t care where you chips fall on which side to take; that is your business, and I am not here to convince you that Patreon is a villain/not a villain.
What I do want to convince you of is the cold, unfortunate reality that most for-profit, multi-employee businesses do not care about the creators.
Generally, everyone has been in at least one of two of the following positions. In position number one, you’ve had to deny the request of someone whom you genuinely like, plaguing you with guilt and remorse because you hate saying “no” to them. In position number two, instead of dealing with the guilt of saying “no,” you said yes and now find yourself stuck doing something you completely hate and/or inconveniences you to a monumental amount. Neither position is desirable, so what is someone supposed to do?
Thus brings us to our topic today: saying “no” when it comes to businesses or projects. No one wants to be that person who says no. After all, no is the easiest word one can say that will cause some hurt feelings. Unfortunately, for businesses and projects, it’s somewhat unavoidable. Someone has to be in charge of saying it. If there isn’t, it’s very easy to find yourself in position number two, and whatever you’re working on could risk floundering.
While e-mailing your friends is easy enough, it’s often a whole other ballpark to e-mail a business or similar professional entity. Is this too formal? Will they care I didn’t capitalize this word? What else should I do? These are just some of the questions that may pop into your head as you try to conquer your nervousness. As someone who deals with a lot of professional e-mails in an indie setting, though, there are a lot of common mistakes that get made that I feel the average person doesn’t quite consider. That being the case, I wanted to impart my wisdom in these four quick tips that will help you compose a better e-mail.
“Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.”
This is a common saying that gets passed around, but I think too few people actually stop to think about what this concept means. Particularly for indie creators, whether they’re creating games, comics, or otherwise, there seems to be a general trust that goes towards third party businesses as far as making your content available. Unfortunately, the risk for betrayal is somewhat high and may catch the more naïve off-guard. Today, I would like to analyze this statement a bit, particularly as it pertains to comics. Why comics? Well, I will tell you why.