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Tips for Online Presence & Sharing Your Work

Practical advice for sharing your project, spreading your art, or pushing your online presence. Avoid common mistakes to make your posts more impactful, and improve your social media experiences!

Becca Hallstedt, Blogger

September 12, 2016

6 Min Read

Here's some advice for sharing images for your project, game, or art! I think that a lot of folks make pretty common mistakes when trying to increase their online presence, so hopefully this clears up some misconceptions about the best ways to do it. Everyones experience will be different, but break down those fears and start putting yourself out there!

1. More is not always better.

I've found when sharing art, people consistently react better to one image than a huge gallery. A big mistake that young artists make is to go into a new Facebook group and throw up 20+ drawings in a single post. When folks do this, they're hurting their chances in a couple different ways.

First, very few people (if any) will actually go through and look at all of the images in a social media, so your viewing numbers will be low. Also, since folks are more likely to look at one image, it's better to spread them between various posts. When you've got enough content to throw a post up pretty regularly, you'll be seen as an active member in the group, which is appealing. Therefore, when you throw up all of your stuff at once, you're missing multiple opportunities to frequently participate with other creators. On this point, I'm not referring to sharing things like an update on your specific blog. Go crazy on there! I'm just recommending that you share a single image on social media and then have that link to a place with more visual content. Use social media posts as a teaser for folks to go easily find your other work.

The exception to this is when you're adding images that show your process and explain your technique, but even then you want to minimize the quantity when possible. That's where GIFs are super powerful!

2. Add a description.

Share your thoughts! Show that you're investing time in your post and that you genuinely want conversation. A lot of people will drop an image into group with just "here's my art, k bye" and that looks careless and disinterested. Specify if you want feedback, particularly if you want critique on a specific part of the image. State how long it took to make. Talk about what you struggled with. Keep it pretty concise so that it's digestible, but speak transparently. People really respect it!

3. Make sure you're sharing in active, relevant groups.

Sharing doesn't mean anything if you're talking into an empty room. Be aware of your platform and how posts are shared. A few examples:

  • LinkedIn feeds are not chronological. If you make posts frequently, you'll be at the top of your connections feed, which is the best place to be. LinkedIn (depending on your target audience) is also great because it shows things that your friends have liked. Therefore, your post will be shared even to people that you haven't connected with yet, and the potential for sharing is unlimited!

  • Instagram seems ideal for images since it's so visually-based, but the kicker is that you can't really repost other people's work. That way, it's hard for your stuff to spread. Even though I get consistently more likes on Instagram than Twitter, it doesn't really matter. Likes don't make my post visible in other people's feeds.

  • Twitter's retweet feature fills the hole that Instagram has, so definitely get on the tweet train. If one person with a large audience retweets your stuff, it's very easy for it to spread really quickly.

  • Facebook is great because 1. it's enormous and 2. it's very easy to share on here, just like on Twitter. It's another place where there's a lot of opportunity for posts to spread. There are a few huge groups on Facebook that are the best place to get immediate exposure, and my personal favorite game art group is Ten Thousand Hours.

Make sure you're sharing in places with professional-grade content and lots of active members. There are a lot of "indie developer" subreddits and groups that are mostly made up of inexperienced devs with absolutely no professional game development background, and many members have never completed a game. While there's nothing wrong with that, those aren't the groups to share in if you're looking for a job, professional-grade feedback, or funding. Consistently share in groups with good people, and consistently share in as many groups as you can.

4. Don't be a jerk to yourself.

Please, please, please, regardless of how amazing or not amazing your work is, don't say that your creation is "trash that I threw together" or something silly like that. You'll sound like a dingus, and no one is going to respond because that's super awkward. Just speak professionally and be respectful to yourself. 

5. Link to your social media.

Give the audience somewhere to go if they like what they see! This is a workaround for when you have a lot of images to share, but you don't want to dump 20 of them into a single post. Try ending your description with "You can find more about my work at website.com!" String your social media together and make it as easy as possible for people to find your projects on all platforms that you're a part of.

6. Use clean presentation.

Use high-resolution images. Make sure that lighting (when applicable) brings out the best of your project instead of flattening it. Don't have a tiny drawing on a huge background. Compose your model's render in a cool way rather than just taking a screenshot of it in ZBrush. Stuff like that. Consider the details and take the extra few minutes to make it look pretty! It makes you look like you're taking yourself seriously, too.

7. Respond to comments.

When people do respond, converse with them and build relationships. It stinks when I respond to an image with a lot of feedback, and then never hear back about if it was helpful. Strike up conversations with folks as much as you can, and listen as much as you speak. This will help you build up a friend circle of other creators, too!

Also, always be professional. Use some spellcheck, punctuation, and common courtesy. If someone is being a jerk, then delete their comment or just completely ignore them. If you do choose to respond, be aware that a lot of folks will see it, so don't play the one-up game. Stay level-headed and as positive as possible.

8. Be persistent and consistent.

One of the best things you can do is to just keep sharing! Building up a following and presence takes a lot of time, and most people won't stick around for the long-game. By pushing through lulls and discouragement, you're already standing apart from the crowd. Push through and keep going, you're going to be great!

Feel free to comment with any suggestions or points that you'd like me to elaborate on!

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