Honey, it’s post-COVID 2020 — everrrrything is digital and you have to put yourself in the new digital marketplace. Your online presence is your shop window — if you don't show up, how will someone find you?
WHY IS AN ONLINE PRESENCE IMPORTANT?
I am going to make this super-simple for you…
- If I didn’t promote FYI — I wouldn’t have a business
- If I didn't have a freelance website — I wouldn't have got paid work
- If Ellie didn’t promote her work and herself online — she is less likely to get clients
- If Ellie didn't reach out to me on DMs — she wouldn't be an integral FYI team member
Ya see? Just show up. To put it into perspective, my ad-hoc FYI Team (Ellie, Holly, Anna) showed up on Insta and as Members.
Ellie says, "It's as simple as showing up to be seen! If you can nail a great online presence, you're instantly five steps ahead in the race to get your dream job/ clients. For me, finding Jasmine on IG wasn't just luck - it's all about creating a powerful presence and reaching out when the timings right!"
I am going to make this super-super-simple for you…
Personal branding + Creative Profiles with great Online Presence + Content + Engagement + Consistency = MORE LEADS
More leads + Conversation = POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES
Potential Opportunities + YOU = POTENTIAL PAID WORK
Paid work = 🤑 🎉🛍🍕
- Google yourself! Before you start, have a look what exists out there to remove or finesse. Make sure it aligns with you and your personal brand.
- To show up online you have to be active and engaged — so make sure you're engaging with other creatives on your profile for 10 mins every day.
- You are now your own digital marketer — so think like one! How can you 'sell' yourself to the right people? Where are your people and what do they wanna see/hear?
- Think about this: if you removed your image would your profiles still scream you? Make sure they do!
- Ensure you showcase your work on LinkedIn - it's not all about IG and there are some amazing connection opportunities over there.
WHAT MAKES UP AN ONLINE PRESENCE/CREATIVE PROFILE?
Good for: showcasing your work and services — check out this FYI post on Online Portfolios
Good for: connecting with the industry and applying for roles
- Professional Insta
Good for: connecting with the industry, showcasing your work and injecting a bit more personality
Good for: creating video content
Good for: promoting your work and directing the customer to your site/Insta
Good for: broadcasting your voice and opinions (best for literary specialisms such as Fashion Journalism)
- The Dots
Good For: expanding professional network, finding work and showcasing yours
Good For: showcasing and discovering creative work
- Arts Thread
Good For: students and Grads to showcase portfolios
Good For: showcasing and discovering creative work
Good For: selling designs or products
Good For: freelancers to offer services
TOP TIP: You can’t be smashing ALL of these. Pick the platforms that showcase you and your work the best, the ones with the most reach and most importantly — the ones you feel motivated by. You need to update them and stay active on them often, so for this to work you need to feel motivated by them - otherwise, you just won't get it done! Aim to start with the main 3 (website, LinkedIn, Insta).
But if Insta doesn't fill you with joy and happiness, don't stress - you don't have to use it! In that case, try to make the content work for you and look at Insta as more of a direct line of communication to other people in the industry.
Once these are all tight and in order, we can go onto Digital Networking and how to find these dream brands.
[All tips mentioned in above video!]
- Have your own domain registered
- Have a headline like on LinkedIn or biz card. Check out this FB post here for tips
- Get into a habit of adding new work to your site ASAP — new project done? Add to your site!
- Make sure you use SEO keywords onsite or at least name your pages for SEO purposes
- If you feel like you don't have "visual work" such as graphic design or fashion design and specialise in something like fashion journalism — you can still showcase your written work via a mag mock-up or blog!
- A website is a great driver for SEO. If you meet somebody and they lose your details, they should be able to find you online and most likely by your website. If you are a freelancer or someone who sells items/your services SEO is how people can find you! Make sure you add these keywords to your SEO/page titles.
For example; when I moved to Bath and my work was mainly Freelance Graphic Design, I made sure I added these keywords to my SEO: ‘Bath, Bristol, Freelance, Graphic, Designer’ this meant that when somebody searched for those typical terms I would come up. I got a lot of work this way!
- Create a separate work Insta to showcase your talents and to engage with the Industry — check out this FYI Post here
- Content-wise, there is so much noise right now on Insta, don’t add to it. You have to make the content work for you, create content that is authentic to YOU and not what you see already on Instagram. Don’t just create another carbon-copy of your portfolio. Or Meme quotes. Or mock up app screens that look like a reminder. If you are a textiles designer; do a time-lapse of you embroidering a sample. Think like a brand — what content would stop you scrolling and make you wanna save?
For example, I started doing Reels on Insta but I didn’t wanna add to the noise. The last Reel I put up was me. I didn’t look polished, I didn’t feel like I looked ‘good’ I just got it up and the engagement was HUGE.
- Don't just show polished work, people love BTS. AKA: real-life-s**t
- Think like a brand or a creative you follow: what do they post that you are engaged by? Take inspo from this and replicate in your own way
TOP TIP: The aim of Insta engagement these days is to create posts that are 'saveable' the more save the more the algorithm counts this as engagement. So ensure your posts are value-driven!
- Match your profile to your CV; every time you update your CV make sure you instantly make the changes on your LinkedIn too
- Add your personal branding via the header, headline, language, content etc.
- Link your website and profiles
An online presence is there to give you visibility! It’s there to help you host the conversation about your work and help you produce content that will circulate and get out there (thank you SEO). According to Claudia from Grad Soc; 'LinkedIn is in a content deficit. At the moment there are more users than there is content. Instagram is saturated with content.' Basically, there is more content than users on Insta. So if you want your content to be really seen — think about posting it on LinkedIn too.
TOP TIP: Don't just share your work — share your thoughts, values and opinions! Share it in an article on LinkedIn or a creative post on Insta. Industry professionals love to see who you are as a person.
How to create content that gets SEEN:
- Post articles on LinkedIn
- Like to create videos? Make some Reels or a Youtube video
- Share your work on Behance
- Share your work on Pinterest and link it back to your Insta/Website
Your online presence is so much more than just ‘profiles’…
Your online presence/creative profile is your DIGITAL FOOTPRINT and it filters through everything, so make sure these are all aligned:
- Your email address
- Email signature
- Content you create
- Content you are part of (Google yourself)
- Gmail Icon etc.
Got a question or wanna know more about this Honey? Drop it in the FB Group! We will be waiting for you!