SELF PROMOTION ONLINE –
There are many, many ways to promote yourself and your business. One way that hasn’t been around as long as TV adverts and billboards for example, is self promotion online.
There are many various platforms which you can promote yourself online. The main ones are: Social media, websites and ads.
First of all social media is one of the most popular and most effective ways of self promotion that you can use to your advantage because essentially, it might take you 10 seconds to write and post a tweet on Twitter that updates your readers and will attract new viewers. I shall be going through some of the common platforms below, using links from my own profiles on this site so you can get an idea of what people might post or make their profiles look like:
This is a photo sharing site based primarily for Apple users. The use of hashtags (#nomakeupselfie for example) is used as a marketing technique in itself, ways shops may do this is to get people who buy their products to post a photo on Instagram of themselves wearing the products, using their specific hashtag so others can join in and see it. People who have tonnes of Instagram followers make it easy to promote their site and what they do by frequently updating pictures relating to themselves/their business. They can also add their website/other media in their profile bios. The unique selling point of Instagram is that it is a trend, lots of people come together to share in the same place – this allows you to be part of a common crowd who has something different, allowing you to attract more followers. Instagram’s basic limitation is that every image has to be square and this could be a problem for those in the creative practice because they might not be able to display it in the shape/format they prefer. On the flip side of this, Instagram can be really useful for designers and the like for posting “in progress” shots or “teasers” of the work they are doing – using Instagram this way will make your followers curious to see the outcome – which they will have to visit your site to see, thus increasing your website traffic.
Tweeting on twitter is a super fast and easy way of sharing your thoughts or what your doing/where your going at a specific time, hashtags are also used here too. Some people may find this intruding and overkill, though it is a surprisingly effective way to keep your fans or client base in the loop at all times. You can even hook twitter up to automatically tweet whenever you post something on another social media platform, only making it even easier to use and update. This is what I do as I have no specific use form twitter until I finish my website and blog. The unique selling point of Twitter is how easy and simple it is to make your followers feel like they are a part of your business. For designers and those within the creative practices, Twitter is a great way to give your followers a break from your usual business/portfolio orientated content and give them a view into your personal opinions, jokes, whatever you post. Also, it is good for announcements and endorsing your other social media. One downside of Twitter for me is that it is highly word based. This may be a problem for those who rely on their visual portfolio to attract customers if they haven’t set up any other means of showing their work.
YouTube has become one of the most used and best recognised social media platforms out there, allowing people to promote what they do by uploading videos of whatever they want. I mainly use this to do tutorials for art though the possibilities are endless. Something like Google Adsense can be used to not only make money from ads on your videos, but make your own advertisements and broadcast them before other people’s videos for a wider client base to see. The unique selling point of YouTube is that there are no restrictions. You can advertise, give sneak peeks, show people behind the scenes…. whatever you want and there are millions of viewers with literally no limitations at all. The downside I’m pointing out on YouTube is prevalent throughout most if not all social media… though I’m linking it with YouTube because it is where I see it the most: Haters. The way YouTube works is so that there are no limitations to you… or the people who are free to comment hateful things on your videos. Though there are countermeasures in place to help moderate these kinds of comments, they could still harm the image of your business to those who take the hateful/insulting comments seriously. Despite all this, YouTube is a brilliant place for those in the creative practice because it allows you to create a documentary for example, of how you work, make a video portfolio and even make tutorials to teach aspiring designers/beginners how to excel in your practice by doing what you do.
Personal sites can be anything you want them to be, aimed at whoever you want your target demographic to be. That is the beauty of websites, they can contain anything from blogs to portfolios, social media links to shops. Anything. This sort of flexibility allows you to get exactly what you want to get out of a website with the help of a designer (unless you are one). The unique selling point of websites is that they are 100% customisable and unique to what you want them to be. The only limitation I can think of when it comes to websites is that (assuming you don’t know how to design/build your own site), their may be the money issue of having to hire someone to do it for you, or the limitation of having to do it yourself when you don’t know how. All this revolves around your personal experience and the goals you have in mind for your site so it is more personal. Websites are the go-to way of promotion for creatives for many reasons, one of these that stands out is use of a personalised portfolio, for a lot of designers and those within the creative practice a portfolio is your ultimate selling point, it allows both existing clients and potential clients to see what you have to offer. The contact sections of websites are also very important as it tells people how to find and contact you for potential work.
Thankyou for reading! Continue to section 3 …