When you’re focused on your creative work or on your social impact, it’s sometimes a bit more difficult to give the necessary attention to how you communicate to others about what it is you do. But this, as you’ve seen earlier, is an important component of your project’s sustainability – that is getting it the recognition and attention it deserves.
Creatives thrive through the support of their communities – so it’s important to keep your audience engaged and connected. But where do you start in doing that, especially if you don’t necessarily have the resources yet to hire a specialist?
The first steps you should take in this direction
- Create a first draft of your communication strategy – do your research, put pen on paper and write down: the context in which you operate (your industry, the emerging trends etc), followed by who your audience is. After that, define the story you want to tell about yourself: what is the value of your work, its impact, your personal drive in doing it and the things you want people to remember / know about you. The next step is to decide on your approach as far as communication is concerned (this should be visible all throughout the messages you convey).
- Decide on the channels you want to focus on – maybe you’ve noticed that your audience is larger on Instagram, for example, than Facebook. If that’s the case, that’s the channel you should prioritize.
- Don’t forget to experiment – maybe give other channels, such as a newsletter, a try (but also take your resources in consideration). If you’re curious about the options you have, take a look at this Digital Wellbeing Course that’s also available on Startarium.
- Update your main channels constantly – even if you post twice a week, don’t skip it. Consistency is very important in any type of communication strategy.
- Learn from what other creatives or creative companies are doing right – make a list of your top favorites and carefully analyze the way they communicate in a month, for example. See what they are doing right (from post frequency to specific topics) and see if there’s something you can apply in your own strategy. This is not about copying their tactics, but rather about identifying patterns and trends that work for your industry.
- Talk to people in your audience and see what subjects they are interested in or would appreciate to discover and discuss on your channels / with your input.
- Think about what you enjoy seeing or reading (that’s also connected to what you do, obviously). Are there any themes / types of content that first come to mind?
What topics can you communicate about through your channels?
When it comes to the types of content you can use, possibilities are endless. There is no size that fits them all, but there are some themes that can guide you if you feel you’re stuck in terms of sharable content.
- Show people what you do, the impact it produces
Never miss a chance to show and tell people about what you do, what you wish to accomplish through it and what brings you joy in what you do. Don’t be shy to share about the impact your work produces, how it benefits other people.
- Don’t be afraid to be human or offer insights into the behind the scene types of content
If you are an illustrator, for example, you can make videos of you working, or you cand show people you craft cabinet. Maybe share with them your favorite types of materials. People love to be invited in the workshops of artists and creatives they admire, even if only through videos or photos. Talk about your creative process.
- Curate industry related content that is not produced by you, but you feel it may be valuable for other people following your channels
- Show support for other creatives you admire or initiatives you feel are close and important to your domain
It’s always nice to feel appreciated – and that in an explicit way. Create a space for growth and discovery in your field and mobilize your peers to do the same. Strong communities are built from within!
- Be authentic about what you post and show through your channels
Don’t try to follow certain trends if they don’t actually resonate with what you do or who you are. The audience can easily identify ”dissonant” content – more simply put, don’t do things just out of a type of ”peer pressure”. Show your human side – share your struggles or dilemmas, maybe tag fellow creatives who could share their own experiences.
- New stages you reach / new products you launch or develop
Let people know about the new things you are doing – maybe use mini-teasing campaigns before launching or announcing something (a new product, a collaboration, a project you are involved in).
- Educate your audience
Talk about the most common biases or myths in your domain, the things people usually get wrong or have a partial understanding of. Do that empathetically, meaning that your tone should not necessarily be too critical or acusing.
- Show what you are doing right
From the customer reviews you take pride in (and that are very valuable for your credibility), to other forms of recognition (like prizes or competitions you apply to).