By: Rashida Ashley
So, you’ve got the dream, planned out your vision, and got the work started on your creative endeavor. You’ve mastered your craft whether it’s pottery, painting, singing, dancing, writing, teaching, etc.; you’ve honed in on your skills and are an expert in your field. So, what’s next?
As an artist there’s so much work to be done. Not only do we have to master our discipline with years of training, but we also have to let people know who we are, what we stand for, and where we’re going. A few years ago, I thought my artistry ended after I graduated college. There were a lot of things I still wanted to do. I had spent years dedicated to taking care of myself, educating myself, and repetitively practicing the things I wanted to master. What I didn’t realize at the time was that there was still much work to be done and much planning too. I didn’t have anyone to hold me accountable and keep me motivated.
Not only do you have to master your craft, but you also must put your work out there and give yourself exposure, even if it’s a little bit. I remember when I first started out as a musical artist. I recorded a video of myself singing. My heart raced as I pressed the “post” button on Instagram. To my surprise, my followers were incredibly supportive. It’s crazy to think that if I hadn’t decided to put my content out there, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
If you love what you do and are a master of your craft but need advice on how to get set up in the right direction as an artist, here are a few tips to help you along your way.
✨Know Who You Are, Overstand Where You Come From, and Know Where You’re Going
Anyone can post content on a social platform, but if you don’t have a solid foundation of who you are as an artist your future success can seem a bit vague. Understanding yourself as an artist is very crucial for the exposure of your craft. When you are more self-aware, you allow yourself room to be authentic and even ready to attract your target audience.
✨Push Yourself to Overcome Your Fear of Being Publicly Seen
Putting yourself out there in the public eye can be frightening, trust me I’ve been there. There’s always a chance of receiving negative feedback or even disapproval, including from your own family members. It can all be very unnerving but for the sake of your dreams, you should find the courage to press on. Even if you aren’t willing to put yourself out there all the way, there are other things you can do to make yourself feel a little more comfortable. You could create a social media account using an alias, which would prevent anyone you know from finding you in a search and you’ll feel more comfortable sharing your art. However, if you do decide to go with using your personal account, then be prepared for a mix of encouragement from those who remain supportive of you along with some unfollows from those who don’t. I say this from experience; but I also say don’t take it personally. Just keep posting and the ones who left will be replaced in time with people who genuinely want to support you.
✨Find the Right Social Media Platform to Use
There are many social media platforms for our convenience. However, if you have a goal as an artist, you must pick the right platform that helps you accomplish that goal. If you’re someone who loves to create videos, perhaps your best bet is Tik Tok. If you are a singer, you might want to research a few platforms for people in your discipline. LUM is a recently launched platform for artists geared towards music. There are many possibilities a creative person can choose from, so choose one wisely and stick with it.
✨Get Your House in Order
As a creative you need a main location where your supporters can see your accomplishments, events, purchase products, and have a way to contact you. This can be in the form of a website or webpage. When setting this up, think about your brand colors and implement that into your site. Think of your site as an art showcase of what you’re all about as a creative. There are cloud-based development platforms you can use to design a website for yourself such as wix.com or squarespace.com. Choose one that works for you!
✨Network! Network! Network!
Although networking can be just as scary as giving yourself the courage to be seen, if not more, it is crucial. You must meet people who are in your chosen field. By doing so, you stand the chance of making genuine connections that can last a lifetime and gain insight into your desired field. Start by attending events that have to do with your craft or what you want to learn that will help you reach your goals. Make sure that when you introduce yourself to a potential connection you have a professional, yet authentic and creative way of doing so. And at the end of your conversation be prepared to provide your new connection with your personal or business card that lists your website or platform URL, your social media sites and a way to contact you. This will give them a chance to learn more about you and even possibly provide more motivation to want to work with you.
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