A friend recently recommended that I consider signing-up on yet another photography/portfolio/social-networking site. He went on to say that it was "better" than DA, and that it would be "definitely worth" doing.
Now, this is not me knocking what my friend said (and I'm sure he will read this), but as I wrote my response to him, I realized that sharing my response might be helpful to a number of people who are trying to market themselves online. [MY RESPONSE FOLLOWS...]
When you say "better than" DA, I ask, "better than DA...at what
When you say "worth your time", I ask, "what is
your time worth, exactly?"
These are both personal and professional parameters that have to be assessed & re-assessed frequently, as you evolve as both an artist and a business.
Before I perform even the simplest of tasks, I always ask the question, "what exactly am I trying to achieve, by doing this?"...and I always define my answer clearly, before proceeding.
Here's my take on promoting myself online (which has worked astoundingly-well for me, so far) :1 - Build a fan-base
- The numbers do not lie...DA is the largest community of its kind. But like any community, it only gives back what you give
to it. Success in any social community requires your ongoing interaction, and along with that, your time. Without your involvement, you will never become well-known within the village...you are just the stranger who lives at the bottom of the hill, that no one really knows. I only have time to involve myself in one-such community, so why not make it the largest
community? If you are going to speak to an online audience, it is just as easy to address 10 people, as it is to address 1,000 people. Simple choice.2 - Make yourself known amongst your peers
- I define my "peers" as those who are either in a position to hire
me, or are close to those who can
hire me. My peers are magazine editors, photo editors, creative directors, art directors, advertising agencies, project managers, gallery curators, authors, and the list goes on. DA serves kind of a double-purpose, in that regard. My peers are
on DA, to a certain degree...so there is some direct cross-over within this community...but my main peer networks are organizations such as Communication Arts, Google+, Gallery Owners, and the entire Publishing Community. Without these folks, I am still a "popular" guy...but a popular guy without much money.
To sum-up: Comments are always nice, but I am not here for my ego (ok...maybe a little). I want to buy a downtown condo within a year, and until/unless someone invents a "Comments-for-Cash" program, my main efforts are put towards promoting myself as a business [END OF RESPONSE]
Remember: you can be the most amazing whatever-you-are, but unless people know you exist
(and exist as a shining example of what you do), you cannot realistically expect to be in any kind of demand.
Extrapolate what you will from this...I'm just offering some free advice.