Most of us been there if not still are there. You want projects, but in order to get projects you need to have projects. The vicious circle.
As I learned, the opportunities come to us in many different ways, and most of them are quite bizarre. But there are simple things to do to increase your chance to be found and seen, and hopefully – get some work.
Simple answer – Just put your work out there.
But the most important thing in this equation is put let your work be seen. I keep repeating this to my students, and I will keep repeating this to any creative person who are struggling to get work – put your work on the fricking internet.
There are websites, that you probably know about made for this specific purpose – displaying your works. I do not know many of them, but I know two that are enough.
Made to display your WHOLE work as a presentation of some sort. It takes a bit of time to prepare your work for behance, since you need to think about it as a whole, but it is worth it.
Many creatives also use it as a main portfolio website to show their works and I think it’s an easy way to get your sort-of-private space without putting too much money and effort into it.
I personally love Dribbble, but there is a “but”. You need an invitation in order to get your work into Dribbble. Invitation means that there are much more quality work in that website than Behance with free access, but you will need to hunt for an invitation and show your work to convince a person to give you one.
Easy way to get an invitation is to join some of the Facebook groups related to your industry, and once in a while you’d see “Dribbble invitation” posts popping up in your feed.
Dribbble also has a very specific format of posts – it’s 1080p. One page to prove your worth. I find it to be easier and less preparation than Behance, though the screen has to be perfect.
Of course, you can get your personal space on the internet which is your portfolio. IMHO, it’s not worth the time, effort and money when you are just fresh of the box. But if you actually have some work to show and a great idea for a portfolio, why not do it?
As a person with some knowledge in programming, I never payed too much attention to websites that allow you to build portfolio websites. I like to control every tiny part of my portfolio (or at least as much as it’s possible with my knowledge and WordPress). But as far as I’ve learned in life – if you want something unique and specific for you it will cost you.
Social media is your key to… erm… to tell people you somewhat knew about what you do now so they could ignore it and think of what they are doing with their lives? But for reals now, it is a decent way to show your work too. But let’s talk specifics.
Facebook gives you an opportunity to inform people in your circle about what you do, and it might actually bring you clients. You never know who in your circle might need your service now or in the future. So don’t be shy and just do it. Share your work on your personal Facebook.
Also, you could create Facebook dedicated for your work too. It’s a great way to pretend you actually have a job (aka putting it as your current place of employment). Other than that, with current Facebook algorithm, it does not do much, but it will not take much time to do also. Plus, you will separate your “work” from your “life” (because work is life, innit?) so you will not have to explain your Facebook wall to every person you meet in a bar.
I have a platonic relationship with Instagram – I love it, and it does not love me back. Honestly, I’ve been posting for year pictures of my travels and the following does not change (thanks to all my friends that still are liking my pictures from solidarity). So I decided to create a separate account for my business. Guess if it goes better? Nah.
On the other hand, I am really proud of what I post. I am not ashamed to show it in real life for the people I meet, and that is an accomplishment on itself. But enough with whining.
It does not actually matter how many likes or follows you get, as long as you consistently post and do the work. One day, I promise, it will give you results.
Me and Pinterest go a long way back. And I truly love it. You can spend as little or as much time on it and somehow it will still give you fruits for your labor.
The only downside to posting your work there is that it actually have to lead somewhere, so it leans you have to post it somewhere else first. Apart from that, it takes very little time and could actually lead you somewhere great.
Real life things
Don’t forget real life exists too – and actually, it is quite good to market yourself in real life space. It gives you a chance to tell people what you do (because they usually ask), and then you can give them a business card. Which leads me to :
Old school, innit? Nope. In this digital date and age, where robots control our lives… ok, not yet, but still, it gives us an opportunity to give someone a sort of souvenir, that will remind them of us.
I love business cards, and I always store the best ones, but I rarely get some, so getting one instantly makes business look more legit, I always remember I got one and will be the first thing I think of when it comes to certain niche.
You don’t need much and you don’t need to push them like flyers, but when someone says “Oh boy, I might know a person who needs your expertise” just give them a business card. Trust me, it’s magic.
And last but not least
Talking with people
You would not believe how much power a simple conversation with people has. Tell them what you do and what you like. It will stick to them.
The more you put your work out there, the bigger are your chances to be seen. Every minute you can spare spend either working or showing your work and you’ll be set.