In his New York Times bestseller, Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed us how to steal ideas, combine them, and create something new of our own. It’s the perfect book for those who want to create something, but don’t know where to start or fear they don’t have any good ideas.
This time around, Kleon tackles the challenge of promoting the work you’ve created. Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered outlines several strategies to promote yourself and/or your work, even if you hate the idea of self-promotion.
Following the same approach as his previous book, Show Your Work is a quick read – concise and jam-packed full of actionable advice. In fact, you could build an entire marketing strategy around each chapter if you wanted to.
"I’m going to try and teach you how to think about your work as a never-ending process, how to share your process in a way that attracts people who might be interested in what you do, and how do deal with the ups and downs of putting yourself and your work out in the world"
Below is a summary of each of Kleon’s 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered.
1. You don’t have to be a genius.
Although the term “genius” is thrown around often, very few people are actually geniuses. Instead of trying to become a genius, Kleon suggests you find a “scenius.”
When you look at many of the most respected and accomplished creatives in the world, more often than not they started as part of a group of creative people. You don’t have to be extremely smart or have a special talent to be part of a scenius, you just need to share ideas, build connections, and start conversations.
Embrace being an amateur. The true meaning of “amateur” is someone who does something for the joy of doing it, not for fame and notoriety.
Being an amateur gives you an advantage over the pro because you can be flexible and experiment without worrying that your mistakes are going to crush you. People expect amateurs to make mistakes.
You’ll never find your voice by looking for it. You have to use your voice and let it find you.
2. Think process, not product.
Social media and blogging have completely changed the game for marketers because it allows us to take prospects and customers behind the scenes in real-time. More than ever, people want to see the real process behind the products they purchase.
Perfection is no longer necessary and, in some ways, it can actually work against you because it seems fake. Stop listening to your ego and start showing your authentic side.
3. Share something small every day.
"A daily dispatch is even better than a resume or portfolio, because it shows what we’re working on right now"
Turn your flow into stock. Your flow is the feed of posts, tweets, and daily updates that remind people you exist -- help you stay top-of-mind. Your stock is the content you produce that’s just as interesting in two months (or years) as it is today; it’s evergreen.
Maintain your flow while working on your stock in the background.
4. Open up your cabinet of curiosities.
People who get into creative work usually have good taste, big ideas, and vision, however, it takes some time before the quality of your work reflects your taste.
In the meantime, Kleon suggests you not be a hoarder and share what inspires you with the world. Not only does this help your audience understand the inspiration behind your work, but it helps you connect with people who share similar interests.
Most importantly, it gives credit where it’s due. You can’t expect others to give you credit for your work if you haven’t made a habit of doing so yourself.
To continue on to rules 5-10, click "keep reading" below.
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