5 Ways Creatives Can Build Their Brand Between Jobs

With some hard work, you will be able to do things you did not think were possible, but all you have to do is get started.

Being in a creative field is truly amazing considering we have the power to well…create.  We are writers, designers, photographers, videographers and so much more, but the downside to all of this creativity is that there are so many of us and not enough jobs. So what do we do in the meantime? We build our personal brands because brands seem to be more important than ever. In a world where individuality is barely individual, standing out may mean the difference between rejection and landing that dream job. Actually, building your brand may lead to you creating an empire of your own! Putting those ingredients together to create your brand may seem a bit daunting, but it is not as scary as it looks.

1. Freelance

Just because you are not walking into an office building every day does not mean you cannot continue to do what you love AND get PAID for it! Freelancing can help pay the bills while also letting future employers see that you were not just sitting around waiting for that next opportunity to fall in your lap. Freelancing can also lead to you building your own brand as it is great self-public relations and can work around your schedule even when you do land that creative job you had been waiting for.  Simply Hired, Upwork and IFreelance are a few places where you can find freelance work. An extensive list can be found here. Also, do not forget the power of social media, freelance jobs are posted all the time in several Facebook groups, Twitter, Instagram and many other places, you just have to look out for it!

2. Create A Blog or Personal Website

Do not be afraid to show people how you think! Creating a blog is a great way to broadcast your personality and interests, and share your talents with potential employers, connections and clients.  A blog also shows hiring managers that while you may not be in your field, you are still taking that extra step to continue to hone your craft. A personal website is great for showcasing your work and it shows that you have additional skills working with web based information systems like WordPress. You can truly make your personal site unique with a logo, artistic pictures and other touches that will make you stand out.

3. Social Media

Needless to say, social media is a whole industry in itself; one that can definitely be lucrative. A strong social media presence can help you create a name for yourself, earn a following and inevitably create a brand.  Whether you pride yourself on your unapologetic viewpoints, fashion and beauty types, humor or passion for different causes…maybe even all of the above, but these things, along with your dope personality, will help you create something amazing. Post to your social media accounts as much as you can and with a purpose. As much as many of us hate trends, trends do get you likes, shares and views. Observe and engage with what is trending, but do not forget to put your own spin on things. Follow other young professionals doing the same, as well as other creatives that you admire. Interact with your followers and those that inspire you! And do not forget to leave some bread crumbs along the way to help them find where they can check out your work because you never know, a job offer may come your way.

4. Volunteer Your Talents

It sucks to be between jobs, especially when you are at a job that is not fulfilling your creative talents, but with a little hustle, you will be that much closer to your dream job. One of the best things you can do in the meantime is volunteer your creative talents to people and causes that are important to you. Do you know someone with a start-up that needs a graphic designer, or content writer, or videographer or social media coordinator but that someone does not have the cash to pay you? Do it! Not only are you helping someone, but you are building your portfolio and getting experience that will be crucial in this competitive job market, or even for creating a company of your own.

5. Brush Up On Old Skills and Learn New Ones

It can be easy to fall into a slump, but you should not lose sight of your passion! Continue to create and challenge yourself to create so that when that next job does come along, you will not feel like you are learning to do things all over again. Tinker around with those different editing programs you learned how to use in school and if you are a writer, write a little or a lot every day! And as the creative field is a competitive job market, edge out the competition by learning new skills.  Take classes at your local community college in things like photography, graphic design, audio and film editing, marketing and more. Maybe even attend a workshop! But first and foremost, ask yourself, what type of skills will be beneficial to making you stand out.

Written by Megan Sims

Megan Sims is a writer, creative, certified history nerd and proud Howard Bison.