When it comes to being creative and putting stuff out there, often we end up focusing on the wrong thing.
We ignore the audience we already have and put our efforts into reaching new people with the hope of growing and growing.
However, what often ends up happening is we lose our current audience in the process because they no longer feel like we’re creating for them.
Instead, you’re much better off putting your efforts into creating for the people that are already here. Those people are already interested and given time will care enough to spread the word, if what you’re putting out is good enough.
As someone that has never written for a publication or written a book, I have a hard time calling myself a writer.
I’ve always thought that having my words published in a newspaper, magazine, website or a book etc. would be the validation that I need to claim the label of writer, yet they are not things I actively pursue.
I think this is because when you do something for the love of it, trying to make it anything more is scary. There is also the fear of not being good enough, of my writing not being good enough for someone else to want to share it with a wider audience.
And part of having fear and being scared has resulted in me not putting myself in a position to receive feedback.
So overtime I have come to realise that the issue is not that I can’t call myself a writer, it’s that I didn’t meet the criteria of what I thought a writer should be. But further to that I am not yet the sort of writer that I aspire to be.
Coming up with an idea of who your customer or target audience is incredibly helpful. For example, if you are trying to attract a younger age group you would use different methods than those you would choose to attract an older age group.
That could mean promoting your work on a Tik Tok account instead of setting up a Facebook page.
But you can even take things further and really carve out what sort of person would be interested in your work.
Perhaps it is someone that spends a lot of time reading, isn’t on so social media much. Maybe they are introverted or they prefer meeting people in person rather than online. Keep going with that until, you eventually begin to cultivate this conceptual idea of a person and then you’re able to look at different ways of reaching that person.
Ask yourself, ‘Would this person want updates on twitter, insta stories or by email?’
Once you can answer these questions, it can provide a useful base for figuring out the best place to share your work and promote your stuff.
If someone took a look at your instagram account, what would it show?
Would it help you gain employment in the area you want to work in or is it something you have just for fun?
I think that for many people, especially now with social media which is essentially a CV of sorts, you have the opportunity to show a much wider audience of people what you do. You could be a photographer, writer, creative director, textile artist, chef, singer, life coach or a poet.
You won’t necessarily get hired from Instagram but it can be used to showcase your work, like a portfolio.
They’re out there maybe you just haven’t found them yet.
When putting your work out there it is important to put it in the line of the people you’re creating for. If they right people never see it, how will they find it?
These days it can be easy to fall into thinking that simply having an Instagram account is enough. Of course we can’t deny that Instagram is an incredible useful platform but there are plenty of other things worth doing to find and grow your audience.
I think there are 2 main ways: creating content on more platforms and making yourself visible.
It’s about giving people the opportunity to find you. This is something I’m working on and so this post is as much for myself as it is for you.
Here are some ideas to help increase your visibility and find your audience:
- Write articles for other sites
- Create YouTube videos
- Start a podcast
- Attend events relevant to your work
- Speak at events relevant to your work
- Create sharable content
- Talk about what you do
- Host an online event
- Start a mailing list
When it comes to putting your work out there it’s really important to consider your audience.
I think these days because Instagram is such a popular social media platform, we automatically think that our audience will be on there. We think it’s the only way to find people that are interested in our work.
I think that the issue we sometimes end up having is that we can’t think of any other possible way that we can put our work out or connect with new people. It’s Instagram or nothing.
However, I think it’s valuable to seek out other ways because sometimes the truth is your audience might not be on Instagram.
Something that you may have observed in almost any field of work is that once momentum starts to pick up, the people that support you or your work will begin to promote you themselves.
However, it’s not that you no longer have to promote yourself.
But what happens is when you build up a network/group of people that believe in what you do they will eventually talk about your work with the people they know and words will spread. Essentially you end up getting free promotion without even asking.
It could be something as simple as when someone asks for a recommendation, your brand/work is what they bring up. However, over time it may go further, to the point where your work is brought up as a conversation starter rather than in response to something.
I recently found myself journalling. It’s something I did consistently for almost a decade.
I stopped keeping a regular journal because it no longer served the purpose in my life that it did when I first started. These days I journal maybe once or twice a month. Sometimes just to let out frustration or get some thoughts out about whatever is on my mind.
Sometimes I think that this site is like my journal because I’m writing about my life and my experiences. But the biggest differences with this blog and my journal are how much effort I put in and my end goal.
My journal isn’t something I put effort into (in the sense that it’s more of a brain dump and not written for an audience) and it has no end goal other than serving as a release.
This blog on the other hand is a real passion project and from around 6 months in I started making plans for the future.
I was recently asked about whether I write for myself or for readers.
It’s something I think about every now and then but it was interesting to be asked.
On one hand I write for myself because I love it but on the other hand I write for my readers too.
I’m thoughtful about what I share and my intention is to always add value in some way.
I don’t expect anyone to read every single post I write but for the posts you do read I’d like it to feel like time well spent.
Whether it’s 100 words on friendship, career development or overcoming fear, I do my best to add some kind of takeaway.