This week’s post is a bit of a PSA and a request for creators to not see each other as competition all the time, but also for non-creators to support their favourites. It is particularly important to help raise voices of marginalised creators to normalise us and start celebrating us equally.
This is a general ‘trying to cover all the bases’ post. A lot of artists and creators have their portfolios of work online and sell items to help fund their creative endeavours, and when you are a smaller creator with a minimal following, supporting yourself can be greatly difficult. I will be addressing as many points as I can across most types of creative and explaining how fellow creators or followers of the work can help bring more people to the art.
Creators is a pretty general term but I feel like it’s a pretty good one considering all the different types of artists we have now on the internet. Traditional artists, comic artists/writers, clothes designers, filmmakers, YouTubers, musicians, photographers, script writers, fanfic writers, novelists, short story writers, poets, performers, actors, comedians, tattoo artists, dancers, it really does go on. Every category has a sub-category and so on.
The world we are brought up in, particularly for millennials, makes you feel like everyone is out for themselves and lifting other people up means losing your clients or customers… If you’ve not succeeded by 25 you’re a loser and will always be a loser. The best thing for small creators to do is to shout out their fellow small creators and acknowledge what they are doing, send some of your following their way. Most of the time this will be reciprocated and if it isn’t you haven’t lost anything in the process. There are other ways of helping your fellow small creators and that is usually offering your time and skills to assist them with a project. It is also okay to ask for payment for your time, or for a favour in return. Really it feely like we are all stuck out on different rocks until we get to a certain ‘popularity level’, it would be nice to make it feel more like a community than an aggressive LIKE4LIKE SUB4SUB spam-fest it tends to be when you’re starting out or trying to boost your following.
Now onto the people who don’t make content but enjoy consuming it.
If you have FRIENDS who create content and you know work really hard to make quality stuff on the reg, give them a boost! They’re your friend and friends should be doing what they can to boost your status. Even if their content isn’t your thing, do what you can, there is so much on the list below you could do that wouldn’t disrupt your day at all. It’d be great if you could SHARE what your friends are creating once in a while…
This is my all-encompassing list of things anyone can do to support creators!
(if I miss anything, my bad, leave it in the comments!)
- write a review (you can do this on any social media, or more specified websites like goodreads or amazon if you purchased the book there)
- go to the library and request they purchase the books
- vote for the book on goodreads lists
- recommend the book (to any one in any way, even lend the book to someone)
- talking about them or their books on social media is always good promo, also while you do this putting in some links is helpful. Maybe a link to merch, the book itself or other ways the writer can earn some money.
- Vote for them to be nominated for awards, or vote when they are nominated for awards. Being able to say you won an award as a writer makes people take you a little more seriously.
- If you’re at a university, see if you could pay the writer for a guest lecture from your course or society funds
- For fanfic writers, leave kudos! Or comments. Share the link around.
- These things go similarly for graphic novels btw.
- Anyone with music on a streaming platform (apple music, spotify… etc.? even YT actually) play their music on repeat whilst you sleep, put it on mute if that’s better for you, and their music will get 8ish hours of play/watch time every night (this would also work for filmmakers and YouTubers)
- Requesting the songs on radio. I’m not sure how you go about doing this but I know you can still do it, it gets the music out to a more mainstream audience and I think the radio play means something cool? Sorry, I don’t know I’m not a music person…
- Buy their merch and make sure it’s from the official musician’s seller so they actually get paid.
- Buy their music. Seems pretty straight forward but, I think it needs to be on here.
- Some musicians are able to do small jobs like creating jingles etc. so if you need a jingle or short song for some reason, ask.
- Similar to the music one. You can literally click a button to play all videos on a channel, or lots of YouTubers have playlists so you could select to play one of those. Stick it on mute or have it on whilst you do something else. Views are important.
- Along with views, likes and comments are also important. So wherever you can, give videos a like or leave a simple comment. Doesn’t take up much time.
- YouTuber success is highly based on interaction. So do as much of that as you can! And please subscribe even if you’re not a big YouTube watcher!
- Commission work from them. If you like their style but really want to see them do a specific thing, you could probably commission the piece for a price. It’s a cool way of getting a unique poster for your room or presents for friends.
- Artists often have shops open with their creations available for purchase so go shopping for things they have already made. This could be anything from drawings to graphic novels or even things like tote bags.
- When you receive your items you’ve purchased, it’s really cool if you take photos and share them on social media. People want to see what has been made before and what other buyers think of the product!
- These guys should be pretty good at giving you a headshot if you work in an industry where you need one. So hiring them to do some work for you in general would help if they’re local. Find out what they’re best at, have a chat with them…
- Buy prints of their work. Again, obvious, but needs to be here.
General Performers (writers, musicians, comedians, dancers, etc.)
- If you work for some kind of event planning job role, do what you can to book performers! There are so many different types of performers, you could find a singing juggler if you wanted, but not many events make the effort to hire performers or a mixture of different types. Universities are a great example of an institution that has the space and time (and sometimes money??) to have events like this!
- If you can’t hire them, how about starting a regular open mic type event where local creators can come perform to build their portfolio. Plus if you’re a really small creator, it’s a good way to meet other local creators and iron out the wrinkles. It’s beneficial to many people even if it isn’t a paid opportunity.
Lots of creators now have Patreons. It’s different for everyone but if you pledge a certain amount a month to a creator, you get to see content no one else gets to see! For example YouTuber bloopers, Musicians’ behind the scenes of music videos, Writers’ old works, or just being able to communicate with the creator in a way you wouldn’t normally!
This is my list compiled of as many things I can think of! If there are other things I have missed, please let me know in the comments and I might update this post at a later date for everyone to use as reference.
I hope this has helped some people to see this differently or find new ways to support small creators! See you next week.