When you wake up each day, do you crave world domination? If yes, then you need to know how to increase your visibility as a creative and get in the faces of those who need your offerings.
In case you didn’t know (and I’ve said this times without number), you’re not the only creative person out there.
Have you seen Instagram? YouTube? TikTok? Do you see what other super creatives are doing? How can you beat that?
You know, they say that a pad product with good packaging does so well than a good product with bad packaging.
In this blog post, I want to show you how to be a good product with awesome packaging.
I want us to talk about how you can increase your visibility as a creative.
Someone said if the people in your circle are looking to hire or recommend someone who does what you do but your name desn’t come up, then you’re playing.
If your friends and family, Church members or colleagues are looking for a Facebook ads expert and your name doesn’t come up in their conversation, then you have a lot of work to do.
I know this isn’t popular opinion but your low hanging fruits – friends and family- are those who will refer you to people and they’ll do that even without first seeing the quality of your work.
They’ll be your first clients, your first promoters, your first believers and so on. You must start from there first.
The next thing is to begin to get outsiders to see that you can do a clean job for them and the only way to do that is to be visible.
What then can you do to increase your visibility as a creative?
1. Work for Free
No, I’m not kidding, you need to work for free if you want to increase your visibility as a creative.
I know this might come as a shock to you and that’s because people all over the internet would tell you never to work for free.
But you need to work for free.
The work for free strategy is a practical way for you to grow your clientele as a creative.
Listen, if you’re just starting out, you want to create a solid portfolio for yourself because no one will be confident enough to give a newbie their project.
When I left my 9-5 and decided that I wanted to work for free, I knew that I had to get a solid portfolio.
Yes, I was really good at social media management and website development, but I was the only one that knew that.
The only way people would know that I was good was to show them what I had done, which at that time, wasn’t much.
So I started with my low hanging fruits, I managed a couple of IG pages here and there for people, I contributed on blogs, I worked with others on several campaigns, all for free.
At the end of the day, I had something to show to people.
You need to have a large body of work under your belt and in your portfolio.
You cannot build your reputation if you have nothing to show to people.
If we put up a tweet now asking people if working for free is a great option for any creative, many people would respond with a big NO.
But you see, life is in stages and people are in phases. Many of the people telling you to never work for free have gotten to stages where their previous work done can speak for them.
And we humans often judge situations from our perspectives. I can turn down free jobs because I have built my reputation online a little bit, but I wouldn’t encourage you to do so if I know that you’re new in the industry.
In fact, I don’t turn down every free jobs if I know what I’m going to gain and what opportunities that would open up for me.
So look at the stage you’re in and decide if you want to turn down free jobs or not, because that one free job might just be your ladder to a million dollar contract.
Related: 3 EXTREMELY CRUCIAL THINGS TO BUILD IN YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
Volunteering to work for others is also similar to working for free and it’s the best way to get on people’s radar.
I love to volunteer my services a lot, it opens me up to many opportunities and many of the clients I work with came from volunteering opportunities.
I’m a Church girl and I love to volunteer my skills in my Church a lot. I can confidently say that I have gotten many paid projects from members of my Church and even from outsiders because of that.
When opportunities to create content or handle social media projects open up in Church, I always love to volunteer, and I’m not talking about my Church alone.
I actively look out for Church events and register as a volunteer.
One thing I noticed is that many creatives find it hard to promote ourselves or to toot our own horns. We are really good but we want our work to speak for us.
But in this day and age, its the mouth that speaks, not the works.
So what I find that we can do is to put ourselves out there without any form of promotion.
So work for free, volunteer your skills, step up and show up the best way possible. Ensure that if it comes from you, make sure that it’s your absolute best.
You never can tell who is watching, you might catch someone’s eye.
You may get work opportunities from a client who was referred by someone you volunteered with or for.
I got an opportunity to teach the staff of a real estate company on Lagos in February, how did I get the connection? I taught a free digital marketing class to some people in Church.
Look, volunteering can take you to places that application can’t take you to.
If you wrote to an organization that you want to volunteer with them, you’ll get a quick and positive response than if you applied for a job there.
When you sign up for volunteering, you’ll actually be putting your skills to use for causes that change the world.
And the bonus is that you’ll be building your portfolio and you’d increase your visibility as a creative.
3. Create Content
Another way to increase your visibility as a creative is to become a content creator.
Content creation is a great way to get your message out to the world and create a buzz around your skill or your offering.
Start creating content on platforms where your target audience show up the most, and this takes a lot of research to figure out.
The content you are creating has to resonate with your audience, this means that you need to figure out who they are and what they really care for.
If you are good at speaking, create a podcast. If you’re a great writer, start a blog, if you love visuals, start creating YouTube videos.
I have a YouTube channel where I post videos regularly and I also have a Substack account where I write, it gets the eyes I want on my content and my brand generally.
But you must understand that becoming a successful content creator is much more than knowing how to take and edit photos or videos, or how to create a stunning podcast episode.
You need to create what works. So look for ways to get your content out to the people who really need it, and the best way to do that is to create a content plan.
A content plan helps to determine the content you hope to create and sets expectations for how it should be created and distributed.
If you want to know more about creating a content plan, read this article.
If you want to be visible as a creative, then create. It’s that simple.
4. Join Communities
If you want to increase your visibility as a creative, you can join communities.
Asides the fact that online communities will give you opportunity to meet with like minds and people who share the same interests with you, it also puts you on people’s radar.
Users of online communities can navigate and resolve problems easily and quickly.
And you want to position yourself as a problem solver in whatever online community you join.
Join communities with the mindset that you want to help and not because you have a bigger fish to fry.
Don’t be a ‘card shover’ but a value creator and in no time, you’ll be closing deals.
5. Partnerships/ Collaborations
In Nigeria, everyone runs at the mention of the word ‘partnership’
This is because many people have been scammed, cheated, or bought out of their own companies.
Even small time business owners who went into partnerships with friends have very gory stories to tell about their experiences.
Partnerships in this side of the world is a sore tale.
But on the other end of the spectrum are businesses who are thriving as a result of partnerships.
Some, if not all, of the fintechs that we know today started and are currently been run as partnerships.
So that’s just how life is. Some will have great stories to tell and some will have gory ones.
But if you want to go far in business or in increasing your visibility, you need not fear partnerships.
Two heads are better than one, your partner will be bringing to the table what you don’t have.
Partnerships are all about saying “hey, I have something you don’t have and you have something I don’t, together, we can make history”.
Partnerships and collaborations are really vital if you want to increase your visibility as a creative.
You don’t necessarily have to be tagged as the “founder” or the “team lead” just bring your skill to the table and create a great body of work.
Don’t stop doing free work if you know it’ll open you up to opportunities.
Make volunteering your skill a habit so that you can be seen by those who really matter.
Continue to create relevant and valuable content that are of good quality, join communities that will help you grow and work with others.
Doing these things will definitely increase your visibility as a creative.
Do me a favour, if this post has been really helpful, share it with your inner circle and your social media platforms.