Why Showing Your Work Will Get You More Work
Have you heard of iceberg hauling?
No? Ah, well then, allow me to regale you.
It all started way back in October 1977 in Iowa, where the International Conference on Iceberg Utilization (yes, that was a real thing) was being held. Sponsored by a Saudi Prince and some crazy-rich Californians, everyone was trying to figure out how to tow icebergs from cold parts of the world, and bring them to warmer climates as a clean water source
A riveting read, I’m sure
In a surprise to absolutely no one, that plan never came to fruition. Even though hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on this idea, no one had anything to show for their work at the end of the day.
Now for us, being the creative types we are, demonstrating our output is one of the most important parts of what we do. If we want to get more clients, we can't just rely on people to stumble across our website or our reels/portfolio, but instead we have to be in a constant state of showing our work.
Thankfully, showing our work can take countless forms
And yes, we can definitely show our stuff off based on our portfolio and our website, but we can (and should) do so much more.
On top of our personal sites, we have countless avenues to demonstrate our work: social media, YouTube, blogging platforms, speaking engagements, and on and on. But why should we even bother?
The more we show off our process, work, and philosophy
The more connected our potential clients will feel to us. They are also far more likely to trust us in doing the work for them.
Think if you were a game developer looking to hire a composer. Would you hire someone who has taken absolutely no efforts to show that they're practicing, doing the work, and engaging in their community regularly?
Or would you rather work with someone who you can connect to, who's posting their stuff on a regular basis (even if it's unfinished) and seems to share a similar creative mindset as you? The answer is pretty clear.
Still, if just a website and a portfolio/demo reel aren't enough, how should we be sharing our stuff?
It does depend on your medium, but there are so many ways to share
If you're more in a creative space (music, sound, video, photography, etc.) then Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, and Behance can all be good options.
If you love to write, then Medium, LinkedIn, a newsletter, and even your website can be options. You can even turn those into a podcast.
The key isn't in stressing too much over where you're going to show your work, so long as you share consistently. Many potential clients will love to see that you've shared your stuff, your behind-the-scenes processes, and your work on a regular basis.
All of this builds trust and shows that you actually enjoy doing what you're doing. Also, this sort of output is more fun for potential clients to engage with, especially when compared to a static demo reel or ever-aging portfolio.
And the thing is, you can start doing this now.
There's no "right time" to start showing your process and your work
No matter what stage of your career you're at, "right now" is a good time to begin sharing.
No, you don't need to produce videos every single day, and no, none of your content has to be as well produced as some of the world's most famous YouTubers.
Just by sheer virtue of the fact that you're making stuff and putting it out there, you become instantly more trustworthy and hireable than others who stay in the shadows and hope others will notice them.
"But Akash, you edible Fabergé egg," you ask "I'm a total beginner, so I don't have anything to show!"
Even if you're a total beginner, you have plenty to show off. Instead of worrying about creating content from scratch, we simply need to think about documenting what we're already doing.
Learning about a new piece of software? Take a picture of that, write a caption about what you're up to, and post it to Instagram. Just found out about a new feature on your camera that took you ages to understand? Write a short blog post that explains things in your words.
Gary Vaynerchuck said it best: "Don't Create. Document."
Now, it's tempting to think that now isn't a good time
And that we should wait until we're "ready."
Unfortunately, all that does is slow down your progress when trying to become a creative pro. The sooner we get into sharing our stuff, even if it's unfinished, and even if we think it's basic, the more likely we are to get noticed by the very people we want to work with.
So let's cover what we went over today
We can (and should) be doing more when it comes to sharing our work than just relying on our websites and reels/portfolios
The more we show off our work, progress, and philosophy, the more likely people are to trust us, and thus, hire us
There are countless places to share our work, so we shouldn't rely solely on our websites
You can do this even if you're a total beginner. Don't create. Document.
When I become a billionaire, I shall revive the iceberg hauling industry
Thankfully we’re not trying to haul icebergs
Which means it’s way easier to show off our stuff. And show our work we must. The more consistent we are with sharing, the more consistently we'll bring in clients, work, and opportunities.
Even still, it can feel terrifying to share our work
So I've created an absolutely insane amount of content for you to help you do just that.
From exclusive free courses, books, sounds, and videos, my newsletter will not only help you improve the quality of your audio work, but also give you the most cutting edge advice on how to get it out there so that you can bring in as much work as possible.