Five Ways Creatives Can Share Their Work Online Without Feeling Self-Promotional

When you use your online presence as a marketing tool for your creative business, sharing your work and your portfolio is maybe top of your list for things to include in your content plan. Sharing your recent client work and projects though can leave some creative entrepreneurs feeling a little too self-promotional, and so many of us want to find a way to share that side of our business without feeling like a pushy salesperson. 

Today I want to talk you through five different ways you can share your work online without feeling like you’re promoting yourself excessively. There’s a way to still add value and insight by sharing the awesome work that you do, while pushing yourself creatively in the process too. 

First up, you may be wondering - should I be sharing my work and portfolio online? Honest answer - it’s completely up to you. Many service based creative entrepreneurs find it can work wonders for attracting dream clients and sharing their expertise and experience with their audience. It’s a little bit tougher for someone like me who is a coach as the majority of my work is confidential and less tangible than something like web design or photography - though I am exploring some ways I can share more of my work with you as hopefully it can be an interesting insight along the way. But for services based entrepreneurs like photographers, web designers and developers, branding experts, writers and stylists, sharing what you've been up to and your recent portfolio work can be a great way to keep your scheduled booked up with tons of client work that you're excited to get stuck into.

Tell a story

We’re usually sharing more than just photographs from a wedding or graduation day, or a new website or brand design - we’re sharing a part of someone’s story and the part we played in bringing that part of their journey to life. There’s only so much someone can connect with seeing the awesome work that you do - yet if you start to share the story and weight behind it, that can allow your audience to dig even deeper into this piece of work.

When you work one-on-one with your clients, you usually start to build a relationship much deeper than the work itself. You have an exclusive insight into their world, their work, or maybe even their relationship, and you have the possibility of maybe bringing that depth into the content that you share.

What story can you tell when sharing your recent work? 

Share the behind the scenes

Sharing some behind-the-scenes insights into your work and creative process is one of my favourite ways that creatives share their work online. More than just sharing the beautiful and functional web design you just brought to life, you can also share the creative process and some of the insider-knowledge behind it that allowed you to do such an awesome job. 

Not only can this be super engaging for those reading, but it can also show in more depth your ability and expertise within your industry. Sharing both what worked and what didn’t is a great way to dig even deeper into the finished piece of work, and you can also share these type of insights across all content sharing platforms. Social media is also an awesome way to share regular sneak peaks and behind-the-scenes of your current workload. 

What are some recent behind-the-scenes that you can share via your blog and social media channels?

Make it reader focused

I’m a big believer in the power of creating a reader-focused online space. If we create within a vacuum of just our own needs and intentions, we can struggle to really build some traction, impact, and reach along the way. Your audience will most likely want something to takeaway from your content - whether they’re inspired, have an insight into your life, encouraged, informed, or entertained.

When sharing your work, you can create content that is both purposeful for your business and your audience. Instead of creating content that is all promotional-promotional-promotional (because this type of content can struggle to connect and  convert), you can spin it on its head and create content that promotes your work, shares your personal brand, and establishes your expertise while still being purposeful and enjoyable for your audience. 

When you’re struggling to create content that shares your work without being overly self-promotional, ask yourself - how can I share this in a way that is purposeful and insightful for my audience? 

Start a conversation about your industry

There are most likely a lot of voices within your industry online. You probably really respect them, some may even be your friends and you may root for them every step of the way, and you probably have both similar and contrasting views and opinions about your industry. When sharing your work and your approach and creative process, you have an opportunity to start to develop your voice as a leader and a game changer within your industry.

This takes the main focus away from promoting yourself, and instead it becomes part of the conversation and something that can add value to those who are reading. You can shine a light on some of the misconceptions and insider knowledge that those who may not be as seasoned in your industry may know or understand yet, and more than anything you can really establish your own voice and place within what is most likely a very crowded and noisy industry.

How can you share your work in a way that also starts a conversation about your industry? How can you use it as an opportunity to establish your own voice and viewpoints in a crowded market?

Take a new spin on the classic show and tell

A really great way to share your work online is just to show and tell via blog posts and social media. Many of my coaching clients feel really uninspired by this approach at the moment though and feel frustrated and feel like their content isn’t standing out from others in their industry. The trick? Take a new spin on a classic approach. 

There is no one-size-fits-all-way to show and share your work. You can use whatever mediums and approaches that take your fancy - maybe a blog post is up your street, or maybe video content, or maybe Instagram or Twitter. Whatever it is - choose something that fits your brand, and don’t be afraid to incorporate multiple platforms too. Switch things up a little and push the boundaries of what a show and tell could be. Incorporate some behind-the-scenes insights and maybe tell a little bit of a story - give your content a little more depth and see it have so much more impact and reach than just a classic show and tell.

The secret here? It’s all about substance over style. Don’t put any pressure on yourself to create something with bells and whistles on - sometimes the simplest of approaches can resonate the most. But if you want to do something big and bold? That’s pretty awesome too - it’s all about doing what fits you, your brand, and your creative intentions. 

The biggest takeaway?

Don’t be afraid to share your work online in fear of being overly self-promotional. If your online presence is a marketing tool for your creative business, you can’t shy away from sharing the awesome work that you do every day. The trick is finding an approach that works for you, that feels comfortable, and that ultimately connects with your audience and the right people for you. 

Now over to you - how do you share your work online? Have you found the right approach for you yet?


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