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.
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.
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.
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.
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.