10 Tips For Creating Great Motion Graphics

If you own a business or have ever tried to tell a story or persuade someone, you probably know the difficulty of creating an engaging and intriguing story or premise.

People love stories, but typically have a hard time keeping their attention on any one thing for too long, including stories, sales pitches, and promotional materials that are meant to move product.

You can alleviate this problem by turning to motion graphics, a medium not used nearly frequently enough for the awesome power of its storytelling ability and novelty.

There are a few key reasons you should use motion graphics, as well as some principles to keep in mind if you choose to use them for your business.

Here are ten such principles if you decide to take your company or storytelling to the next level.

Keep The Animation Fluid And Smooth

Reading plain words on a screen can be incredibly boring for many potential customers. No one likes to sit and read for hours on end about products they may or may not want.

Great motion graphics will add a new dimension to your marketing if they’re fluid and smooth. Bare bones, gliding motion graphics are a great way to keep your audience engaged as a narrator reads text off of a screen.

Motion graphics over text have even helped artists like Weird Al Yankovic create compelling and memorable music videos.

See motion graphic here

Start With Custom Templates

If your company doesn’t have the creative talent or expertise to do your own motion graphics from scratch, you can always use templates from the internet.

These templates are pre-packaged to be totally slick and professional, so you won’t have to worry about customer reactions.

There are thousands of online templates for any imaginable scenario or sales pitch you can think of, so be sure to look around and choose wisely when creating your campaigns.

Use A Company With Motion Graphics Experience

In today’s climate of side giggers and struggling artists, it’s easy to find a company or an individual who will make you truly stunning motion graphics for an affordable rate.

One of the best companies in the business for motion graphics in business is Flocksy.

Flocksy has a team of dedicated graphic artists who are skilled in their crafts and who will take direction and feedback well every time, giving you motion graphics that stand out from a crowd and entice your customers to trust your company and its products.

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Relate The Graphic To Your Story

No matter who you choose to make your motion graphics, or whether you choose to make it in house or out, you should do your research and thoroughly know what you’ve chosen what you’ve chosen.

Specify exactly what kind of motion graphics you need and find scour the net for those which best fit your need and story.

Finding premium graphics that relate to your company’s mission and guide your customers through the what and why of your products or services will engage their minds and teach them why your company stands out from the rest of the industry.

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Always Stay Original

Again, no matter which route you take, it’s always of the utmost importance to stay true to your company’s style and choose images which represent your brand messaging.

Customers like you for you, so stay original when animating, or choose motion graphics which capture the mind and engage the eyes.

Bland motion graphics do exist, and they can be a turn off to many, like the soulless motion graphics of Kroger.

If you stay original and know what you want when you choose your motion graphics, there’s no limit to how far this impressive medium can take you.

Keep It Colorful

Many consumers enjoy motion graphics because they provide a burst of popping color, such as vibrant reds, deep blues, and natural greens.

When selecting or making your motion graphics, be sure to pay close attention to the colors you’re choosing and why, relating your choice to the product and overall narrative.

While stark motion graphics can be highly stylized, many people today gravitate to the more expressive and colorful styles throughout the online landscape today.

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Combine Animated Elements To Static Photos

One of the coolest products motion graphics offer right now is mixing of animated pictures, backgrounds, and objects into an ordinarily static picture.

Your company can use a photo or image from another marketing campaign, or start from scratch, blending animated doodles, clip art, or expressive characters into the photograph to create an entirely new and engaging campaign.

This method is effective because of the craft and skill in merging two different mediums to create something entirely new.

Stay True To The Fundamentals Of Aesthetics

If you’re all-in on motion graphics, there are some great things to remember before you officially start to make your impact. For example, you need to understand the basics of artistic composition and color.

Remember to utilize unity, hierarchy, and contrast within your videos. In other words, keep all visual elements in agreement with each other and point the viewer’s eye toward the point of the screen you want by slightly tipping the balance of the image within that local region.

Even simple animations should be framed in interesting angles and move in a way that pleases the eye.

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Go Looking For Inspiration

If you’ve reached your limit on creativity and develop a case of graphics block, there’s always inspiration on other sites.

Don’t just copy these of course but looking at others’ creative work can often inspire a breakthrough or renew a sense of purpose and novelty.

Some of the best sites to search when looking for a leg up on the competition are Behance, Dribble, and Muzil.

There are hundreds of graphics between these sites and more, so something is bound to spark a creative moment.

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Don’t Make It Too Distracting

Last but not least, your animated graphic shouldn’t distract from your product, brand, or overall message.

It can be tempting to make a meticulous, complex, or overly busy graphic in order to wow your customers, but all you’ll really be doing at the end of the day is shifting their focus away from what you’re selling to what you’ve created.

Great graphics don’t have to be highly complex or overly ornate; many of the best graphics today are simple, clean, and straightforward.

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9 Incredible Illustrators Who Create Art With A Little Something Extra You Might Not Expect

For centuries, creative minds with an eye on breaking the rules of convention have dazzled us with their imaginations and personal perspectives.

From the old masters like Leonardo Di Vinci and Michelangelo, to more recently Salvador Dali and M C Escher, we have had a peek inside the artist mind, into the deep recesses of their viewpoint about the world through satirical scribblings.

This outlet has allowed a multitude of new artists, like the popular street artist Banksy, to show the world what is when we don’t see it ourselves, to give us an idea of what can be when we cannot allow our own imaginations to run free, and let us in on their personal thoughts, dreams, and fears.

When words just aren’t enough, sketches and paintings fill in the gap we need in order to see beyond what is right in front of us.

Embrace The Twist

  1. Shanghai Tango

Shanghai Tango, whose birth name is Gao Youjun, is a Chinese artist and a popular cartoonist in the Chinese social network scene.

His work is so popular, he has amassed over half a million loyal followers who share his creativity with everyone they can, spreading his influence far and wide. His niche is the interactivity between coincidental concepts.

  1. Marcus Connor

Using the power of puns, idiosyncrasies, and funny asides, Marcus Connor, who signs his art with the simple tag of “Marcus,” gives us Brainless Tales, a once a day, single panel drawing.

Each is a glowing depiction of the inner workings of his unique mind. It could be said that he took Dad jokes and gave them visibility.

  1. Nacho Diaz

The work of this prolific Spain-based artist can only be defined as bizarre. He revels in the unconventional and lives on the edge of every double entendre you can imagine when referencing ordinary items.

And he loves to play with the concept of before and after.

  1. Lim Heng Swee

A true doodlebug, this Malaysian-based artist bends his work toward the adorable. He pairs funny phrases and puns in ways that will make you giggle as you did as a child and never feel awkward about it.

Everything is designed with the best, most wholesome intentions, making his work very family friendly. Also, he seems to have a thing for cats.

  1. Ben Chen

With a love of pop culture and a skill to give it a darker spin, Ben Chen inspires emotions with his work that are mixed playfully between a dark sense of dread and a humorous ideal that reaches the viewer where they dare not venture within their own mind, and all while being bold, cartoonish, and a little morbid.

6. Michael Godard

Have you ever thought of a cliche and wondered what it would look like if depicted by olives? Michael Goddard has, running with this idea and so many others to make an entire legacy of artwork depicting just that, cliches.

From card sharking to rolling hot dice, he covers the gamut and then some.

7. Pawel Kuczynski

A Polish-born artist, Pawel is also known as a satirist and philosopher, which punctuate his work very well.

His take on traditional problems in the world, in politics, in religion, give rise to feelings within the onlooker of curiosity, starting new conversations about that which we often ignore out of apathy or fear of personal investment.

8. JrDragao

Many artists stick to a particular color scheme and rarely deviate. JrDragao does not, choosing to use vibrant colors that grab the eye and enrich the senses, while making you laugh.

His work often tackles notions we sometimes ponder but rarely dig too deep into. Does Donald Duck wear pants sometimes? What if God decided to make a better version of modern earth? Only JrDragao knows.

9. Lothlenan

We have all heard of art snobs. Those who are only attracted to the works of the great masters like Picasso and El Greco.

Lothlenan, an artist made famous by her following on Tumblr, is a Canadian/Estonian illustrator known for her clever recreations of famous historical paintings.

She also decided to thumb her nose at these few but faithful purists and geek up their favorite pieces with the insertion of Rick and Morty, Legend of Zelda, and even Adventure Time.

Final Thoughts

Art speaks from the soul of the artist to the mind and heart of the viewer. It is meant to be subjective, so each person feels differently that any other, opening doors and starting new and possibly earth-shattering conversations.

Art is more than something to be casually glanced at, but a living, breathing entity, meant to be absorbed. In the end, good art will change you, enrich you, and even evolve you.

12 Types Of Business Posters To Inspire You

The world of marketing is a wild and wonderful place filled with both the classic approaches to basic advertising and the more innovative electronic offerings, designed to grab your target customer’s attention.

The internet is filled with tiny ads no bigger than a stick of gum to elaborate and often irritating pop-ups. But their size is a deficit.

Business posters, on the other hand, reign supreme because they can be many sizes, often larger than 3 feet by 5 feet, and can incorporate visual attractions more than many other options, including internet marketing ideas.

The resolution, the colors, the style, and even the shape, all draw the eye, and with the right focus points, can even improve your exposure to a large audience.

If you are looking for a passive way to promote your company, we have some business poster ideas you might love.

They have all been used to great success and we think they can bring you a positive outcome in your traffic flow and improve your bottom line.

Here Are 12 Types Of Business Posters Commonly Used For Marketing

  1. Formative Posters

These are less of a cluster bomb and more of a scalpel. Formative posters target a very specific traffic set, visually drawing in only those in the respective field within the artwork and wording.

Medical professionals, law firms, and businesses of this type prefer these poster styles.

  1. Fashion Posters

Do you make or sell clothing, bathing suits, or accessories? Do you use models to display how your products would look to your target audience? Then a fashion poster is perfect for you.

It shows your wares in the right light, similar to a well-shot magazine ad.

  1. Political Posters

Never let it be said that politics is mutually exclusive from other businesses. You are still selling something. You are selling your candidate.

You are selling what they stand for, who they are attached to within a political party, and even selling their visage.

  1. Subject Posters

These are commonly used to promote events. If you are having a block party, an art gallery opening, or even a yard sale, subject posters tell your traffic exactly what is happening, when it will show, and sometimes even how much it will cost while drawing attention and getting to the point.

  1. Campaign Poster

Are you excited about a special event or month? Is it peach season in your town? Are you a huge advocate for breast cancer awareness?

For any campaign that needs maximum eyes to promote it, spreading your message can be achieved with a campaign poster.

  1. Digital Posters

These are very common in bus portals and on fixed walls inside high-traffic structures. You often see them at the airport where poster placement is tricky.

Digital Posters are designed to change images at certain intervals to promote many businesses, not just one.

  1. Corporate Posters

To promote your fortune 500 business, turn to corporate posters. They are not incredibly common and are often found within a certain proximity to the business they are displaying.

Companies that want to keep a firm connection with the public use these liberally.

  1. Show Posters

You have seen these outside movie theaters, opera houses, and even the auditoriums of schools. Anywhere a show is playing, one, or many, show posters will be present.

They change frequently with the rotating of shows and are very cinematic in their display.

  1. Infomercial Posters

Similar to the infomercials you see on TV when wracked with insomnia at 3 a.m., these posters show products that you already use and new products that are just being released.

They are designed to inspire you to buy these products and improve the company traffic via word of mouth.

  1. Affirmation Posters

We see posters every day. Has one ever inspired you? Maybe there was a quote from a great philosopher, a religious passage, or an image of your favorite superhero saying something poignant.

You have just witnessed the power of passive affirmation.

  1. Backlit Posters

These catch the eye, even at night, with some simple but effective lighting. They are often simple posters set into a lightbox. Again, these are common at shows and concerts that run late into the evening.

The lighting is perfectly angled to see them from a distance.

  1. Propaganda Posters

Of all the poster options, these are met with the most distrust. Propaganda posters are designed by a party or business to spread a particular message based on opinions that are sometimes met with a poor reaction.

They are often used to sling mud at political candidates or rival companies.


Final Thoughts

Posters will always be used to promote businesses, products, services, and even ideals. They can be covered over, torn off the wall, and even smashed, but once a person has seen and absorbed what they display, the seed is planted.

That seed grows into a living entity, capable of driving new customers to your offering, but also can push them away.

When creating your business poster, know your audience, know your traffic spot, and place it strategically. Just putting it anywhere won’t achieve the desired effect. You must do the research, the recon, and be pragmatic.

The upside of posters over billboards is people can stop and take a closer look at the poster if it grabs them without the potential of vehicle collisions. Certainly, a safer and more economical choice.

What Are Motion Graphics, And Are They Different From Animation?

Distinguishing motion graphics from animation can be a challenge. Some clients are unsure which one is suitable for their business needs because they think of these terms interchangeably.

So, to try to clear things up, with this post, we’ll compare and explain motion graphics and animations.

To put it simply, motion graphics are actually a form of animation, but not what people generally think of when talking about animation they are familiar with. To most people animation is Sunday morning cartoons, Disney movies, or Pixar films.

Motion Graphics are not quite the same as those types of examples, so the best thing to start with, is to consider animation as a genre and motion graphics as a subgenre.

What Is Animation?

Animation is a broad concept that covers a variety of things. By definition, animation is a technique that creates the illusion of movement by sequentially playing images that appear to flow smoothly like a video. There are five distinct animation styles.

  1. Traditional Animation.

During the analogue era, animations were created frame by frame on paper. Each drawing was transferred chronologically to celluloid to be photographed and converted to film.

  1. Stop Motion.

Also referred to as stop frame animation, this is a technique for capturing animation frame by frame. However, unlike traditional animation, it is created by photographing physical objects/characters rather than drawing them and repositioning them as you photograph each frame.

  1. 2D Animations

2D animations are characters and objects with only two dimensions: height and breadth. Take, for example, Tom and Jerry. They can be drawn the old school way, as in No. 1 above or they can be created on a digital platform. So there is overlap with our first example, depending on the medium you are using.

  1. 3d Animations

3D animations are simulations of the real world. These are animations that are digitally created much like clay is sculpted to give objects and characters three dimensional properties.

They may be turned, moved, and rotated to provide a 360 degree perspective using complex algorithms and digital wireframes and are given texture, color and lighting all within the program used to create them.

  1. Motion Graphics

A motion graphic is a style of animation in which graphics elements such as text, graphic illustrations, video, and pictures are moved around to help explain, or share ideas or teach something.

The term “motion graphics” is self explanatory. Graphics that can change position. The process of giving static images such as shapes, text, and symbols energy through movement and sound is known as motion graphics animation.

Basically, when you animate existing graphics, they become motion graphics.

Making a logo or words spin (animating) is an example of motion graphics.

Another excellent example of motion graphics is converting one shape into another. A straight line that loops into a circle.

To add fun to graph presentations, you can move the graphs or animate pie chart to potion itself on the screen, making it easier for the audience to follow up and grasp the data, regardless of how complex it is.

Broadly speaking, motion graphics is when a designer takes existing components such as photographs, video clips, logos, illustrations, and text and combines them into a video that educates or informs the viewer.

What Distinction Is There Between Motion Graphics And Other Animation?

  1. Time.

Despite the fact that computers have become far more intelligent and software has evolved significantly, a 30 second motion graphic video takes considerably less time to create than a 30 second 2d or 3d animation video.

Motion graphic videos are typically composed of preexisting images and shapes; all that is required is the movement of the images, shapes and the addition of text and sound.

On the other hand, 2d and 3d animated characters and objects are designed entirely from scratch and are highly intricate.

Character development, rigging, rendering, and adding texture, lighting and color take quite a long time and a large amount of effort.

  1. Content.

If you’re still on the fence about whether to use motion graphics or animations in your project, keep content in mind. What are your objectives or the type of information you wish to convey?

  1. Are You Seeking To Educate Or Are You Hoping To Tell A Story?

Motion graphics are dramatic, engaging, and educational. That is why they excel at outlining facts. They help maintain an accurate and informative message while being entirely professional and are ideal for promotional purposes.

Consider the following scenario: you’re watching a promo for a new app, and the only thing on the screen is an image. Sounds dull, doesn’t it. What if the advertisement depicted the app in action?

The screen may be swiping, or the icons can be popping to reveal all of the app’s fantastic capabilities. You’d be proactively interacting with the application, even if it’s only via the screen.

See an example here:

Additionally, there are times where motion graphics are appropriate.

• Educational videos/materials on a variety of subjects.

• Presentations, particularly those that contain statistics.

• Developing new goods, for example, mobile applications.

Characters in animation have a story. Animation is ideal for brand awareness since it establishes a connection and engages the audience emotionally. You want to cultivate a bond with the customer, not just grab their attention.

  1. Cost.

Inevitably, an animation will cost far more than motion graphics due to the additional time and work required.

Considering video content is 50 times more likely to generate organic search traffic than plain text, it has become an integral aspect of most firms’ marketing strategies.

However, whether you utilize motion graphics or animation should ultimately depend on your end goal and budget.

Bi-Weekly Resource Roundup Vol 13

Featured Flocksy Team Member Design Of The Month:

Here is a custom label mockup created for a client by Flocksy team member Airice.

All custom illustrations/brand designs/marketing materials on Flocksy are created completely from scratch by one of our extremely talented graphic design creatives.

Start a graphic design project today and see results in just hours!  

6 Writing Tips To Help You Write Fast And Professionally

  by Flocksy writer Rachel E.
  You’ve come to the right place to read tips on how to master writing fast, while still keeping your work coherent and professional. There are a few great ways to implement efficient writing habits that will have you meeting your deadlines within a timely manner.  continue

Tips For Crafting Your Resume So It Gets Noticed

by Flocksy writer David G.
  For recruiters who are always on the lookout for great talent and quality candidates to fill their open positions, a polished and professional resume is very much sought after. It’s one thing to do the hard work on your resume, but it’s another thing to do it in a thoughtful manner. So with that in mind, here are a few great ways to get your resume noticed.    continue    

10 Easy Ways To Boost Your Rankings Using SEO Tactics

by Flocksy writer Kasey V.
  As much as 93 percent of internet experiences begin with a search. Think about how often you turn to your favorite search engine, whether it’s to find a hot new restaurant or to get the answer to your burning question. Right now, people are searching for answers to their questions. Are you ranking high enough for them to find you?  continue

Utilizing Google Trends To Enhance Marketing Content

by Flocksy writer Matt G.
  Google has a tool which helps you create better and more favorable content more easily, called Google Trends. This tool is great for keeping your content fresh and up to the minute. It also contains many features to check on competition and enhance your existing your content. Here are five ways you can use Google Trends in your favor.   continue

Bi-weekly Resource Round-up Vol. 10

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone had a great summer and got some vacation time in! We’ve been busy over here at Flocksy.

Here is some of what we have been working on:

Simplified starting and completing a project and made it even faster to get work done! :rocket:

Added the Illustration Team to our Team Plan! (used to only be in the Access Plan) Expanded what our copywriting team offers :thumbsup: And more… 

So go check it out and let me know your thoughts! I’d love to hear them.

Sam Ryan
… and the rest of Team Flocksy!

Featured Team Member Design Of The Month:

Here is a poster design mockup created for a client by Flocksy team member Airice.

All custom illustrations/brand designs/marketing materials on Flocksy are created completely from scratch by one of our extremely talented graphic design creatives.

Start a graphic design project today and see results in just hours!
 

5 Tips That Every Digital Creative Needs To Know In 2021

by Flocksy writer Rachel Estes
The design industry is ever evolving. New trends and social behaviors are always cropping up in this creative sector, and sometimes it may feel as if you don’t know where to begin as an aspiring designer. There are a few tips to consider when thinking about jump starting into a career as a digital creative:     continue

5 Creative Photo Editing Tips For Graphic Designers To Improve Their Skills

by Flocksy writer William Hudson
  To have complete control in the design world a graphic artist must know how to alter and augment pictures at will. There are five forms of photographic manipulation a graphic designer should be fully comfortable performing. We list and discuss them below  continue    

How To Lead Successful Virtual Meetings: 5 Guidelines

by Flocksy writer David Galstyan
  This article will outline the best practices for running an effective virtual meeting. You might not need every single one of them, but you can use this as a general guide to run meetings that everyone enjoys.   continue

The Benefits Of Outsourcing Your Social Media Projects

by Flocksy writer Matt Gladstone
If you should decide to outsource and let the experts take care of your social media marketing needs, here are the top seven benefits you’ll receive with this decision.   continue 

How Can You Know If Graphic Design Is The Career For You?

There is no disputing that graphic design is one of the top jobs to look out for in the coming years. Demand is increasing every day, not to mention that graphic designers earn a decent wage of between 18 and 30 dollars per hour, depending on the experience.

An average of $45,000 a year, all you need is a computer, and you can work from anywhere in the world in your pajamas if you want to? It sounds like pure bliss but let’s back up a little.

Choosing a career path is a major and life changing decision. You either end up loving your job, or you dread having to work every day. If you end up with the latter, you have two options: change careers and start over, or swallow the bitter pill and continue to be miserable anyway; both are terrible options, in my opinion.

However, all of this can be avoided if you take the time to explore your options and figure out which career is the best fit for you. But how can you know if graphic design is the right option? We have some ideas to help you figure that out.

To start, ask yourself the following seven questions before deciding whether graphic design is right for you.

Do You Mind Sitting For The Entire Day?

Graphic design is not an active job. Unless you need to go for a short walk to get some inspiration or stretch, you’ll be spending the greater part of your day in front of your computer with hardly any movements and little to no interactions with other people. It could be a bonus for some, but are you okay with it? 

How Do You Deal With Criticism?

As a graphic designer, People will analyze, judge, and comment on your work. But not all will be positive. What no one tells you is that no matter how brilliant you are or how many years of experience you got stuck up under your belt, you will not be the perfect fit for every graphic design task, and not every customer will be satisfied with your work. You must grasp that, it is ultimately about the clients, not you.

You and your clients must share the same vision, which may take two or three attempts. This means that if you want to pursue graphic design, you must have plenty of patience and be willing to learn from every instance of criticism. If criticism isn’t your forte, graphic design isn’t for you.

Do You Have An Artistic Bone In Your Body?

Let’s face it. Not everyone is a creative person. It’s a bummer, but it’s the truth. Unfortunately, most young people are led to believe that all you need for a thriving graphic design career is a computer and a few software programs like Photoshop. Not at all.

Graphic design is basically a form of art. It would work be best if you had a natural eye for design and the ability to discern what looks visually pleasing simply by looking at it. A naturally talented graphic designer can easily break out of a creative jam by drawing inspiration from the most insignificant sources.

Are You Prepared To Learn For The Rest Of Your Life?

Is the thought of a never-ending learning loop appealing to you? If not, it’s time to consider a new career. It is of little significance if you have a degree in graphic design or have worked in the profession for a few years. Every day, every project is an opportunity to learn something new.

You’ll be expected to keep your knowledge and skills up to date to keep them time-proof in an ever-changing industry. Otherwise, new design software and trends will develop in the next several years, rendering your skill obsolete.

Can You Keep Strict Deadlines?

Whether you work full-time or freelance, the world of graphic design is intense and fast-paced, and designers are expected to keep pace; otherwise, you’ll lose the majority of your clientele to your competition. If you’re serious about getting into graphic design, ensure you have excellent time management skills because you’ll be required to meet stringent deadlines, which will allow you to keep more clients and earn more money.

Can You Handle Tedious Work?

You won’t have the luxury of picking and choosing whatever projects you want to work on at the start of your career. Nevertheless, you’ll need as many jobs as possible at this point to build your portfolio and polish your skills. While some projects will be thrilling, others will be boring and repetitive.

Regardless, you’ll need to approach them with the same level of competence and professionalism as you would with your favorite projects. So, if such a situation comes, will you find the zeal and motivation? If you can respond yes to that question, graphic design could be a good fit for you.

Are You A Team Player?

Being a team player is an important skill if you want to thrive in any field, and graphic design is no exception. While you may be allowed to work alone on a minor project, larger projects require teamwork to achieve the best results. Expect ideas, opinions, and insightful comments, all of which you must accept graciously.

Wrapping Up

How many of the questions did you answer affirmatively? If you failed in one or two, don’t give up just yet; take some time to do some soul searching and contemplation. You might find that you’re cut out for graphic design, After all.

How To Network Like A Pro: An Essential Guide For The Budding Social Butterfly

Are you a creative type? Are you looking to grow your business and your personal network? If so, this blog post is for you. I’ll be sharing my insights on how to be more social and build connections that will help propel your career forward and give you the opportunities that come with it.

It’s not just about meeting new people and shaking their hand. Networking is building relationships with other professionals who can help you grow your business or career in a variety of ways—from introducing you to potential clients to hiring you for a project.

Know Your Niche

The first step when trying to find ways to network as a creative is establishing your niche, that is, what your unique talents and skills are and the audiences that are looking for your expertise. Make sure to take the time to brainstorm. The more specific and distinct your niche is, the better.

Your Professional Profile

Your niche should be reflected in your personal website, online portfolio, and LinkedIn profile. While you may not know exactly who’s looking at these places yet, you can narrow your search by looking for keywords related to your niche in the content on these spaces. What companies in your field are hiring? What opportunities are most desired? What are the differences between your skills and the skill set of others?

Vigilance

When developing your personal network, it’s pays to stay vigilant, especially if you’re a freelancer. It’s important to always be on the look out for new opportunities. There are many things you can do to expand your network and get the chance to meet new people. And while you can never make a connection happen by sheer luck, you can definitely turn luck in your favor by staying open to opportunities and showing up. Being in the right place at the right time can make all the difference in the world.

Ways To Connect

If you’re looking to connect with creative people in your area, here are a few tips on what to do.

Local Meetups

Take the time to visit a local meetup group or conference that caters to your skills and expertise. Meetups allow you to learn new skills in a social and relaxed environment, all while interacting with others in your field. You’ll make valuable connections with other creative people, potential business partners, and can learn skills that will aid your job search in the future.

Once you’ve visited one or more meetups, then start reaching out to people in the area. Reach out to individuals on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Find out about opportunities that are relevant to your area of expertise.

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn is a great place to start. Look for groups that focus on your specific niche, then join a few. The more people in a group, the more opportunities you’ll have to meet people and make new connections. Be sure to stick to the group’s approved rules and avoid groups that spread fake news or present questionable connections.

Other Professional Networks

Networking groups are similar to meetups in the sense that they allow you to connect with other creative professionals in your area. Unlike the meetups, however, you’ll be interacting with people on a professional level and not just a social level. In addition, consider joining associations, guilds, and even non-for-profit groups in your area.

Blogging is another great way for creatives to make connections with other professionals in the field. Blogs provide a platform for creative individuals to connect with each other and share ideas, thoughts, opinions and more. The blog also provides readers who may be interested in your services an opportunity to learn more about you online, instead of meeting you at a networking event where you’ll be less likely to get quality time alone.

In sum

Some would say that the creative industries are a giant game of “who do you know”. It’s true — you have to make connections. The key word here being “make” as any good networking guru will tell you: it takes work and making a name for yourself can be difficult.

Stay open to the opportunities in your area and field of expertise, and remain willing to foster new connections by developing the skills you will need when they’re called for. The more specific you are about who you are and what you’re looking for, the more likely you’ll be able to find it.

Remember to know your worth. Most creatives start out working for free, for exposure. It’s important to realize that while this is an inevitable part of the journey, there comes a time when you’ll need to be paid for your hard work. You are no different than any other professional, know what deserves compensation and don’t settle with anything less.

5 Reasons Why You Should Try Freelancing

What can you get out of freelancing that you can’t have with a ‘regular’ job? Is it really a viable alternative to a nine to five, or should you only do it for extra pay? We’ve got five answers to those questions, and some of them may surprise you. There’s no doubt that in the current job market, you should give freelancing a serious look.

With the ebb and flow of pandemic strains and the uncertainty of a disrupted workforce the freelance world appeals more and more to a new breed of workers. Being free of a nine-to-five, or simply augmenting your hours with extra work, makes sense to talented people looking for options. Freelancing holds an appeal to people looking for flexibility and opportunity. Let’s look at five solid reasons why you should give freelancing a try.

1. Flexibility

Having choices is ultimately what freedom is all about. If you’re firmly in the freelance world you have some control over your work hours, work place and work attire. Deciding when you want to wake up, when you eat and when you sleep is a luxury most workers never have. By definition, if you work for someone else and punch a clock, most of those decisions are taken from you. Few businesses can let their workers dictate pace, let alone the duration or intensity of the workday. Likewise the work place often decides when a worker eats. Since most work places are self-contained, and lunch times are relatively short, the employer also indirectly decides what foods the employee eats. A worker who wants or needs some control over their diet can certainly bring their food with them. Increasingly there are more strictures on bringing and storing food in the workplace, however. Employers don’t want the responsibility of allowing foreign organic matter onto the premises. They often provide lunchrooms and cafeterias, which means they control the menu as well as the feeding time.

2. Make More Money

Freelancing is all about adding money to your pocket. If you haven’t quit your traditional job, freelancing means a huge bump of income for you. Some people move up several tax brackets simply on the basis of freelance income. With creative deductions they often keep a great deal of their money for themselves.

When you freelance you’re able to charge what you think you’re worth. If the market agrees and employers meet your price, you often make substantially more than you do working traditionally. The better rate of pay delivers greater dividends if you freelance full time. Without overtime limits and basic employment salary caps, the more you work the more you can earn. Each job pays as well as the last. There’s no employer worrying about personnel budgets. The freelancer simply collects their pay and pockets what they earn.

3. Feed Your Creative Impulses

  • Get Creative! – One of the best reasons for freelancing is to scratch your creative itch. Working in traditional jobs leaves little room for developing your skills. With freelancing you get to do the work you love. You’re free to choose projects you admire and enjoy. The only limitations are the number of jobs you find and the level of skill you possess. It’s not always easy, and sometimes you work very hard to find the right projects. The pay off is extraordinary, however, if you can find a steady flow of work.
  • Gain New Skills And Meet New People – Becoming a freelancer is like living in an alternate universe. Things might look the same, but your experiences feel very different. You’ll gain new skills because you have the freedom to explore. Maybe you always wanted to see if a certain software package performs a task better than another. Perhaps you always wanted to visit a special destination and see what it’s like to work there. You can try these new things when your decisions are you own. Just as importantly, you’ll meet new people. A traditional job may have colleagues who work in your field, but with freelancing you might work beside people you’ve always wanted to meet.
  • Experience New Challenges – In freelancing you can push your limits. Let’s face it; life is more exciting when you explore new horizons. Most traditional jobs give you the same work to do day in and day out. With freelancing you can try things you never tried before. Jobs that push the envelope or that make you part of cutting edge developments are there for the taking, if you have the talent and are willing to take the risks.

4. Freelancing Is Part Of The New Normal

Another reason to jump into the freelance world is it’s becoming more and more the way jobs are done. Contract employees are more prevalent than permanent workers in some industries. Businesses make a habit of hiring the people they need for a set of tasks, then letting them go when there’s no longer any work for them. If you’re already in the habit of juggling schedules and setting your own pace you can pick up more jobs in this newly structured market.

5. Freelancing Can Lead To Business Opportunities

Some entrepreneurs use freelancing as a springboard to start a new business. The contacts and networking they develop while freelancing become a structure for a brand new company. Entrepreneurship brings greater prosperity along with greater risks and responsibility. The freelance world often prepares you for that pressure, however. Making your own decisions and living with the consequences is how freelancers thrive. Starting a business may just be the next logical step.

How Alone Time Can Increase Your Creativity

The image of the solitary artist, painting alone in her studio or typing away by herself at a writing desk, is a familiar one. But how important is alone time, really? It turns out that alone time is actually critical to creative success. Studies have shown that spending time alone leads to many benefits, including better memory, focus, creativity, and mood.

Better Memory

Research has proven that, when you spend time alone, your memory works better than when you spend time with others. When you’re alone, your brain doesn’t have to focus on others’ needs and actions; it only focuses on remembering what you’re trying to recall. Studies show that you will most likely remember facts you’ve learned, associations you’ve made, and ideas you’ve come up with better when you’re alone.

For the creative process, this has enormous benefits. You can better remember your past creative projects and the steps you took to get to your final product. Alone, you’ll also better remember the mistakes you made, which will help you know how to avoid them. Alone time empowers creatives to fully utilize their past experiences when completing a new project.

Better Focus

Similar to improving memory, increasing focus is another benefit of spending time alone. Again, you don’t have the distractions of others’ actions and needs diverting your attention from the project at hand. When you spend time alone, you can zone in on exactly what needs the most of your focus, time, and energy.

If you’re researching a copywriting project, for example, it’s much easier to focus when you are the only person finding articles, reading them, and taking notes on their content for your project.

When there is another person sharing your space or assisting you with the task, you might be sidetracked by their ideas. When you have a creative task at hand, focusing in on your own resources and ideas saves you confusion and time.

Better Creativity

Collaborating with others can often lead to great ideas, but not always. Studies show that when we brainstorm with others, we don’t put all our ideas on the table because we are afraid of judgement and limited by the group’s thought process.

Creative tasks require idea generation that leads to results. If you aren’t coming up with ideas, or if you aren’t following through on the ideas that you’ve thought of because of the group, then you’re reducing your creativity.

Let your ideas flow unchecked. Come up with a list of ideas for your next creative project on your own. You’ll be surprised by what you’re capable of when you work independently.

Better Mood (Long Term)

The research about the effect of spending time alone on your emotions appears to be contradictory, but actually makes sense when you consider the big picture. Here it is: in the short-term, alone time has a negative effect on our emotions, but in the long-term, alone time puts us in a better mood.

When you’re in a better mood, you’re more likely to trust yourself and your creative process. Better moods lead to better relationships and more satisfaction with your work. While it may feel lonely in the short-term, in the long-term, spending alone time will actually make you happier.

One Disadvantage of Alone Time

However, there has to be a balance. While research across the board shows that alone time is needed for creatives to thrive, it also shows that spending too much time alone can lead to negative emotions.

Make sure you are regularly connecting with others outside of your creative hours. Keep in touch with family, friends, and others in your field. Don’t spend too much time completely alone.

When you balance alone time with meaningful connection time, it is ultimately is more helpful than harmful for creatives.

The Benefits of Alone Time

Studies have shown that alone time leads to better memory, focus, creativity, and mood. Having the mental space to work out your problems and generate new creative ideas is key to leading a fulfilling life.

Nowadays, though, it’s easy to get caught up in constant online communication. Whether you’re connecting with friends, family, or coworkers through email, text, chat, or social media, it’s easy for our alone time to become internet connection time. And that’s not really alone time at all.

Here’s how you can make your alone time a truly solitary space.

A Beginner’s Guide to Alone Time

  1. Set limits.

Tell everyone that you won’t be available at a certain time because you need to focus on deep creative work. Put your phone in a different room. Turn off your WiFi (unless you absolutely need it). Isolate yourself as much as possible from the internet.

  1. Stick to a time.

Research has shown that our brains function best in 90-minute blocks. Find an hour and a half to put your phone in another room, block all distracting sites, and sit down and truly focus on your creative work.

  1. Create a solitary space.

If you can, set aside a corner of a room and designate it the place where you’ll spend your alone time. Make it as distraction free as possible. Keep it clutter-free and stocked with all the tools you need for your creative projects.

In Conclusion

Alone time is critical for creativity. Protect your alone time from intrusions (whether they be people, pets, or the internet) and rely on just your brain for your creative tasks. While it might feel lonely in the short-term, in the long-term, alone time will lead you to fantastic ideas.