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PP 024: (Pt. 3 of 3) 3 Ingredients for Getting Exposure On Your Side Projects

3 Ingredients for Getting Exposure On Your Side Projects

Give it Some Time and Enjoy the Creative Process Along the Way

It may feel impossible getting exposure when you’re just starting to pursue your creative path.

Believe me, I’ve been there.

I spent over 25 years of my life believing that having a successful art career was impossible. As I’ve become more intentional with my side projects and have seen the potential, my mindset has drastically shifted.

Think about it, technology is in your favor if you start today.

It’s so easy to connect with someone on the opposite side of the globe within seconds. Not to mention that more and more people in the world are getting access to the internet every day.

I really do believe that you are one scroll or swipe away from having your life changed.

Creating the right side project(s) and following these 3 ingredients will aid you in getting more exposure for your work.

These ingredients are:

  1. Research
  2. Consistency
  3. Shareability

Obviously, you could say there are more ingredients, but I believe these 3 are great to keep top of mind.

1. Research

You might get lucky and stumble across an audience waiting to devour your style. However, I’d recommend doing a bit of research to have a plan.

I feel the best, yet the most saturated market out there is Instagram for getting your work noticed. It’s the top platform for engagement right now and I’ve seen many friends blow up and create a thriving creative career from it.

No matter the social platform you choose, research the best ways to utilize the strengths of the platform as you share your work.

I started using Instagram seriously close to 3 years ago when I first became addicted to hand lettering. It started off with me throwing work out randomly until I noticed there were specific accounts and hashtags that surrounded this type of style of work I was producing.

For example, there is the monstrous account of Goodtype that has well over 725K followers curated by my friend Brooke Robinson. I remember when she had under 10K!

Just to note, Goodtype started off as a side project and has evolved dramatically to become more than just an Instagram account.

I noticed that she featured people’s lettering work who used the profile hashtags of #Goodtype and #strengthinletters on their lettering posts. I began using those hashtags and pushing my skills every day and ended up catching my first feature.

Safe to say I was hooked.

There were other accounts that were similar to Goodtype such as The Daily Type, Typespire, Type Gang and Calligritype that helped me build my account and get exposure through features as well.

Tools for Social Analytics

Another way I approach my research is with analytic tools such as Business Page Insights through Instagram and Iconosquare. These tools show you metrics such as your:

  • Most liked photos / videos
  • Most commented on photos / videos
  • Least liked photos / videos
  • Least commented on photos / videos
  • New vs lost followers per given time
  • Best times for posting
  • Age range of follower
  • Top states or countries following you

Understanding these metrics lets you know what type of work people are engaging with and when you should be posting.

With some research and experimentation, you can begin formulating a strategy while creating your own style that speaks to you and your future audience.

3 Ingredients for Getting Exposure On Your Side Projects

2. Consistency

We live in a microwave era where people expect instant gratification and get discouraged when they don’t see immediate results.

The reason many creatives get exposure is because they are consistent and people know what to expect.

I follow people or accounts on social media strictly because they post work I’m inspired by and are posting daily or at a consistent time weekly.

2 friends, I follow due to their consistent quality work are Bob Ewing and Charli Prangley. Being consistent has boosted their creative careers outside of their social presence.

#Hashtaglettering With Bob Ewing

Starting with Bob, he began hand lettering around the same time that I did as he took on the 365 daily challenge. Meaning he hand lettered a word for every day of the year.

Not only did he reach his goal but he ended up extending it to a whopping 534 consecutive days!

Not only did he improve his lettering skills, but he is now considered one of the revered names in a thriving lettering community. This has led to him getting great lettering projects, public speaking and workshop opportunities while building amazing relationships within the creative community.

Video Content With Charli

The other great example of consistency is Charli. She built her career on Youtube by pumping out insightful content targeted to designers on her Youtube Channel: CharliMarieTV. Over this period of time, she’s amassed a following of over 40K subscribers.

She’s been posting 2 videos a week for over 3 years! Oh ya, did I forget to mention that she also co-hosts the Design Life Podcast with the talented Femke for over a year now too?

On top of her drive, she is just a genuine and funny human being. Her hard work has landed her major opportunities such as her recent job of joining Nathan Barry’s ConvertKit staff.

As you can see, being consistent over time can make some pretty incredible things happen.

3. Shareability

First off, I’m not talking about focusing on creating trendy work to go viral.

What I’m referring to is creating genuine work that is:

  • funny
  • relatable
  • inspiring
  • entertaining

Instead of worrying about expensive targeted ads to force feed people your work, product or services; focus on creating something that can spark an emotion.

If you can immediately make someone stop and:

  • tag someone in your comments
  • repost or retweet your video
  • text a link to their friends with the message, “Dude, you’ve got to see this!”

You know you’re doing something right.

Ketchup Calligraphy Sharing

Awhile back I posted a video called Ketchup Calligraphy. I made a quote saying “You’re the Ketchup to my Fries” while spelling ketchup with a ketchup bottle and fries with actual fries.

I use a lot of ketchup and this was just a funny concept to express my love for it.

This ended up getting featured by million follower accounts like Art Worldly and by the entrepreneur influencer Tai Lopez. What made it even better is that they prompted people in the description to “tag” someone who is the ketchup to their fries.

Next thing you know you have hundreds of people getting tagged to see this post and then all the traffic directs back to my account.

Here’s a quick tip, when you catch on to your work that is getting shared the most on Instagram, you can start giving prompts for people to tag someone who can relate below in the comments.

I think you’ll be surprised with the results if you experiment.

By focusing on work that is shareable, it may very well go viral across social. However, don’t create solely to go viral as you’re setting yourself up for defeat. Don’t force it—create work that resonates with you that can leave an emotional impression on an audience.

Getting Exposure Takes Time

I’ve seen people blow up over a year and then there is people like me who have been chipping away over the course of years.

These things take time but I’ve noticed that the ones who blew up more quickly than I knew their research and audience and they posted more shareable work more often than I did.

More power to them, but I’m learning more and more as I go and sharing with you what I learn along the way. I wish I would’ve had these 3 ingredients top of mind when I started sharing art under my side project of Perspective-Collective and that’s why I share it with you now.

It’s rare to watch a side project blow up over night. That’s why I stress the long game as I’ve found the most fulfillment within the creative process and I enjoy the daily challenge of building this into something greater than myself.

So what’s that project you’ve been wanting to pursue?

What’s holding you back?

There’s never been a better time than now to start and technology is playing in your favor down the road.

Scratch that creative itch and start your side project today.

Key Takeaways

  • Technology is in your favor if you start today.
  • You are one scroll or swipe away from having your life changed
  • The reason many creatives get exposure is because they are consistent and people know what to expect.
  • Being consistent can boost your creative career outside of social media.
  • Focus on creating something that can spark an emotion

Show Notes

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