Saturday, March 21, 2015

Car, SciFi, Concept Illustration, Promotion and the InterWeb

This post is a bit of a ramble about being a freelancer and some experiments in promotion on the Internet  and otherwise, for the type of things we do.

I've had a website since 1995. I've been on Twitter since 2011, some 4 years, and on Facebook for about the same.  Have a personnel Facebook page and an Art & Technology Facebook page. Also YouTube and SoundCloud Channels.

We stopped bothering to update the Art & Technology Facebook page some time ago. We only had some 50+ likes to the page, but even then Zuckerberg and Co. only showed a post to 2 people who had liked the page, and so signed up to receive updates.  Then offered to show it to more for money. That is just a joke with the other options available, such as our own website.

Even this Blog gets way more than that, and the posts end up on G+ too, and the "impressions" below shows Twitter gets way more as well. Twitter doesn't limit your audience and has nothing like the "Edgerank" that Facebook invented to screw users with.  Sub conclusion: FACEBOOK IS A WASTE OF TIME. 

Some of our Tweet Analytics
The real interesting thing about the above stats from Twitter is that the use of the correct hastags is real important to get any audience if your not a celebrity with millions of non discriminate, unsophisticated followers.

I'm no celebrity. If your reading this you must have class or at least expect to learn something.

The other thing is the interest in the SciFi Concept Designs shown on twitter doesn't equate to much real world work opportunities.  Did some in the past, but haven't had any opportunities in that area for a decade or so.  It is the car / truck/ bike related stuff that people want and will commission me for.

Does that just mean I haven't promoted that type of work to the right people? Short answer, Maybe. I think the game, TV or film gigs are actively gone after by the hordes of hopefuls (and probably their agents) out there, and the people needing the design work aren't hitting Google to find people such as myself. They just don't need too. They have people knocking on their doors to do it.  A lot of work is probably like that. If your banging on their door when they need something and your adequate, you will get the gig.

I should mention the designs I posted to Twitter have been on my website for years and don't get much attention there from Internet traffic now. Twitter interest may have resulted in a short spike of interest, but nothing significant.  So the people on Twitter are not Googling such work either, or they would have already known about those illustrations, right?

It seems that people promote themselves on Twitter and Facebook, by following or liking  LOTs of people in the hope they will be followed in return.  But you all knew that didn't you? Same is true at SoundCloud, where other musicians aren't the ones who would buy your music, and not the people you actually need to target.

I have had work from sign makers that aren't local to me.  The wonder of the Internet!  I tried visiting local sign makers and left sample/contact cards and you would have thought that I had 3 heads from the reaction the places gave me.  Not all sign makers have an imagination..

Also get work from Graphic Designers. This is because most Graphic Designers cannot actually draw and do an illustration, and that is part of a job I can help with.

Other work just comes from all over the world by people that have found Art & Technology.  Via this Blog or our YouTube channel.

All just more clues and riddles in the life of a  freelancer.

Conclusion: Your website is still the most important, followed by knocking on doors if you actually know some place that might need your work . Publishing on paper helps too, and I have in the past had material published in a few different magazines. Gives extra validity to what you do.

I haven't seen Social Media as being significant at all. It is more like soon forgotten light entertainment and for fans of celebrities. The Oatmeal has great success with it, but I see him as more of a celebrity than an artist. I mean really, it seems to get to a stage where people are famous for being famous, and it doesn't matter what they produce, and The Kardashians are just one example of that.

And the real kicker is The Ad Contrarian,  with loads of info on just how useless Social Media Marketing is.

Your mileage may vary.

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