Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Five Tips for Your Online Presence as a Creative Professional

By Amanda Brandon

So much of a creative professional’s work is done in the online arena. As media budgets are cut to the bones, businesses are seeking solutions via the cost-effective World Wide Web. What can you do to establish yourself online? Here are five tips:

1. Get a website. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Work through one of the many web hosting companies such as GoDaddy.com or Yahoo! Small Business. These online services offer you great tools at a minimal charge. They even have very simple site building tools to help you set it up in an afternoon or less.

2. Sell yourself via your website. Your website is going to be your number one marketing tool. Make sure your links work. Use clear, crisp copy. Be sure your contact information is prevalent.

3. Online samples are must. Every creative professional knows prospects want to see their work before they offer a job or project. Make it easy by creating an online portfolio via your website. You can upload documents to your site in PDF format.

4. Keep your site up-to-date and error-free. Be sure to review your web site at least a couple of times a month. You may have new samples to add. Read your copy from time to time to make sure you don’t have typos. These little errors speak a thousand words about your quality of work. Make sure you don’t shoot yourself in the foot with typos or poor spelling.

5. Keep your message simple online. Whether in an e-mail to a prospective employer or client, your qualifications have to be clearly stated in writing. Writing must be simple to communicate your message. Tailor your messages to the job or project you are seeking. Prospective employers or clients get tons of email. Make your stand out from the crowd with to-the-point messaging.

6. Join Online Artist Networks. A good way to get your name out there is to join creative websites like DeviantArt or CreativeContact.com to collaborate with artists, display your work, and get your name out in the community. Work together with other artists, and getting to know them can really help when you go to sell your work, find a job, or hold an event.

Establishing your online presence takes some time, but just like your resume or portfolio, it’s important to your success. Take the time now to reap the benefits later.