No matter your industry, networking is an important activity you need to participate in. Whether you want to reach the top of the fame chart or just get your foot in the door, networking is generally what will get you there. This is even truer in today’s times where getting yourself seen by any one semi-important person can be a nightmare. However, most people just starting out don’t understand what networking is. Do you schmooze people at fancy cocktail parties? Do you slap flyers into every industry person’s face? In today’s post, I would like to talk about networking a bit, both how you should be thinking about it until you get more skilled and how to start.
Finding a job, especially when you have no connections, is difficult even at the best of times. Sometimes, your location is conspiring against you, and the only decent jobs would take a 2 hour commute every day. Other times, every job around you will want a specific availability that you just don’t have for whatever reason. This is not to mention that even when you find a job posting you like, it’s a gamble since the majority of job postings get hundreds of responses. However, there is another issue at hand that also hurts everyone’s job hunting experience: bad jobs themselves.
Nobody wants to get stuck in a position they hate. Not only is it mentally toxic to one’s well-being to be in such a situation, it is more likely you’ll just be on the hunt for a new job in a short period of time. Spotting a bad job can be difficult though, since most of us have little to no familiarity with 99% of the companies out there. Thankfully, though, there are a few red flags you can spot in job postings themselves that might clue you into the fact it’s a bad job. Today, I would like to talk to you about five of those red flags in the hopes that you can save yourself time, energy, and soul from some dangerous entrapment.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: quitting a project is extremely difficult. Whether out of pride or love, many people will work themselves to the bone to keep their projects afloat. To quit is basically the most illegal thing to do in their mental space, even when circumstances and passion for the project have changed. Even I’ve experienced the anxiety that the idea of quitting can bring, wondering who I might be letting down and how evil I am for not being able to stay committed.
Yet, sometimes quitting is what one must do. The question remains, then, how does one decide on a less emotionally impulsive level to quit? Today, I would like to provide you with five questions you should ask yourself in regards to quitting a project. I strongly believe these five will help you arrive at an answer that is both logical, calm, and extremely revealing of where your own mind is at.
Being an indie creator comes with many challenges no matter the industry. Not only are you responsible for the content produced, but you also have to handle matters like marketing, community management, and, sometimes, making the content financially profitable. Having skills in all those matters is difficult, and it’s even more difficult to do them well. However, learning those skills are focused on one thing: the fans.
Assuming you want your content to succeed and be noticed by others, fans are the beginning and the end of that. Thus, while you shouldn’t necessarily bend over backwards for fans, you should be willing to show a certain regard for them. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things you can do that will inevitably turn those fans away from your content. Double unfortunately, a lot of these things I see done on the daily regardless of what sector the indie creator works in. As such, today I would like to give some tips to indie creators on the things they’re potentially doing that are inevitably turning away their own fans. Please keep in mind this is in no way accusing anyone in particular, nor am I implying those who do these things are “bad” creators. Instead, please regard this post as one that wants to help creators succeed and better understand their fans’ perspective.
It is no secret that marketing is hard. Particularly for indie creators and small business folk, marketing can seem like an endless sea of jargon that is impossible to delve into with limited funds. This is not to mention that marketing can be time consuming, which is often why bigger companies have a whole position dedicated to the endeavor. It can be tireless and tedious, but unfortunately something that has to be done if you want your content or business seen.
What’s worse, however, is that many beginners with marketing hit walls when it comes to improving their marketing skills. Sure, they’re on social media platforms and are posting frequently about their exciting content and business stuff. However, nothing seems to be happening except silence and loneliness. While I don’t have time to offer insight into individual cases, I can give you three quick tips that will hopefully make you think of marketing a bit differently. If you’re a beginner to marketing, I hope you will take a look, as doing these three basic things will help you improve your strategy over time.
If you even do the tiniest amount of research for web design, you’ll see one commonality: everyone emphasizes the importance of making sure your website looks good on phones. Frankly, this is for good reason. Most data backed studies show that the majority of users now browse the internet via their phones, not their dedicated desktops. Having a website that barely functions on a phone guarantees you’re going to lose vital website traffic these days. Thus, when designing a website and putting said design together, there are several things that should be considered.
Unfortunately, all too often I see some very basic considerations not taken into account. Otherwise functional and good looking mobile sites are brought down by these basics, and ultimately the entire site becomes a turn-off. As such, today I would like to take a moment to address these and give a few tips on these basics of which I speak. If you’re an experienced web designer, this probably isn’t the article for you. However, if you’re an absolute beginner to mobile design considerations, get comfortable and read on!
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.