By Amari D. Pollard
In this industry, you have to be able to advertise your work—but that often feels uncomfortable for young whippersnappers who worry about seeming egotistical. Think of it this way: You’re the talent, agent, manager, and promoter all in one. You have to be your biggest advocate because no one is close enough to your work to promote it with befitting excitement or detail. Luckily, the digital age has provided ample unique ways to get your name out there. If you’re not doing these seven things already, it’s time to start!
1. Build a website.
This will be your professional online home base. Everything people need to know about you should be found here: resumé, portfolio, social handles, contact information, etc. Content management systems such as WordPress and Wix offer great packages (some free) to build personal websites, so look around to find the best deal. Having your own domain will make it much easier for you to be found by others.
2. Have business cards handy.
You may have business cards for your current job, but if you freelance or have a side hustle, make separate cards for that too. We all know how easy it can be to overlook work emails and calls, so the personal contact information on these business cards will provide a more surefire way for people to reach you. And don’t be shy when giving them out; if you hit it off with someone at a networking event, go ahead and give them a card.
3. Schedule your posts.
You don’t want to miss any opportunities to push your work, but you also should never bombard your feeds with tons of links all at once. That’s why social management platforms such as Hootsuite and Buffer are useful tools when it comes to scheduling content. Instead of rushing to find time in your hectic workday to post, you can spend an hour on Sunday preparing future tweets and posts for the week ahead.
4. Make video promos.
If you haven’t noticed, video is so hot right now (said in my best Zoolander voice). According to Wordstream, social video generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images combined. So instead of sharing the normal link to your latest article, tease your work by creating a quick Boomerang or stop motion animation. This not only draws attention to your work in a fun way, but it also shows off skills that people may not have known you had. Need some inspiration? Check out these Instagram examples from Bookishbronte and Vox.
5. Take advantage of Insta Stories.
Insta Stories are a life saver. Your followers could potentially miss a lot of your regular posts, but Insta Stories are at the top of their feeds for at least 24 hours (and now you can even highlight them on your own page so people can see them forever). Every time one of your stories goes live, create an Insta Stories slideshow directing followers to the piece. Tip: If you need a little help with the design, Canva is a great place to start.
6. Try speaking engagements.
I know this one sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Speaking engagements are great for three reasons: They help you master public speaking, gain a potential new audience, and connect with the community. You may think you’re not qualified enough to address a room, but no matter where you are in your career, you have experience that’s worth sharing with someone. A great place to start is your alma mater—colleges and universities love showing off their successful alumni. So hit up your favorite professor and ask if it’s possible to schedule a speaking engagement.
7. Collaborate with other creators.
You don’t have to do everything on your own. Think creatively—if you and your coworker both love reading, join forces and start a bookstagram. Or maybe your friend is just as passionate about social commentary as you are and would love to team up on a podcast. These moves will give you access to someone’s following and an audience outside of your normal beat. And it’s more fun to team up with other talented people anyway!
Amari D. Pollard is a social media producer at Advance Media New York. She has written pieces for Parents, Popsugar, Elite Daily and Inside Lacrosse. She’s a news junkie obsessed with her collection of glasses, vintage shopping, and brunching. Check out her work at amaridawn.com and follow her slightly above average life on Instagram and Twitter.