Chris Carlier

A Word on Sharing Creative Work


First, ask yourself: why am I really sharing this? Does this need to be shared? Should it be shared right now?

Nobody cares about your work as much as you. Even your biggest fan isn't focused solely on your work. They're just patiently waiting for your next great thing. They'll get excited when they hear about it. Not before.

Don't expect people to go out of their way to look for your new thing. Tell them about it. It's polite to tell people about it, but not inundate them with it.

Social media is set up to post and forget. It trains us to post frequently and consitstently on their platforms. But that leads to a high volume of low-quality, meaningless "content". Instead, consider spending more time working on your art, then tell the people who care the most. They'll tell more people! Social media can come later.

Second, ask yourself: with whom am I really sharing this?

There's a difference between telling people who care about your work about something new and just posting it to the void online. Both can be important (you may wish to reach a broader audience), but I'd argue that it makes sense to focus more on people who already care, then reach farther. Overserve your super fans.

Send an email - an actual email that you typed up, yourself - free of sales pitches or buzz words. Be a person. No fancy templates. Be careful with this, though. There's a difference between telling people who care about your work and just sending spam. Consider asking people to do an action. Instead of, "Here's my latest great thing," try "Let me know how this new thing makes you feel." Perhaps most importantly, though, consider with whom you're really sharing this. Is this someone with whom you have regular exchanges or are you just contacting someone you haven't talked to in the last 2 year? Chances are the former will be more receptive.

Finally: follow up.

People are busy and everyone gets too many notifications. If someone hasn't responded to your latest great thing, maybe they didn't notice or maybe they were busy at that time and forgot (remember: nobody cares about your work as much as you do!). If you sent an e-mail and didn't hear back after a while, send a follow-up - just something quick. Don't keep doing it, though. One reminder is polite. Two reminders is starting to get annoying.

There is an enormous sea of information out there. It's exhausting. If you have something of value that should be shared, be thoughtful, be useful, be genuine. People will appreciate having something interesting in a little stream of information they actually care about.

What are some meaningful ways you've shared your creative work?